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Over 170,000 Brazilians at Risk of ‘Illegal’ Status in Portugal as CPLP Visa Suspended


Thousands of Brazilians in Portugal will not be able to continue their stay in the country despite the agreement reached with the Portuguese Language Community (CPLP) to introduce a special visa for nationals of these countries.

The agreement, which aimed at legalising thousands of immigrants who had been waiting for a Portuguese residence permit, turned out to do the opposite, as they risk losing their jobs and other benefits, thanks to the Portuguese government not being able to meet their demands, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Portuguese authorities announced that the CPLP residence visa will be valid only until June 30, 2024. The announcement was not welcomed by 200,000 applicants whose applications are pending.

New Administration Suspends CPLP Visa

This type of visa became effective in 2023 under the administration of former Prime Minister Antonio Costa. After the legislative elections on March 10, the Democratic Alliance (AD), which won the majority of the votes, came together in a coalition with social democrats (PSD), centrists (CDS-PP) and monarchists (PPM).

Right after the elections, the Agency for Migration, Integration and Asylum (AIMA) said in a statement that CPLP visas would expire by June 30.

This programme was going to help nationals of Brazil, Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, and Timor-Leste to work and live in Portugal under the mobility agreement.

In the first three months of the CPLP visa coming into effect last year, more than 150,000 residence permits were issued by Portuguese authorities.

Nationals of Portuguese-Speaking Countries Surprised & Disappointed Over CPLP Visa Termination

Merlander da Costa, a Sao Tome student in Portugal, was headed to AIMA to apply for a residence permit, but he was shocked to find out that the CPLP visa had its days numbered.

He told Deutsche Welle that the majority of those impacted by the programme termination are people who work in Portugal.

And if [the visa] runs out, they have to find a solution for that [so the person doesn’t end up] without a document. 

Merlander da Costa, Student from Sao Tome

Miguel Fortes, the president of the Cape Verdean Association of Seixal, has also commented on the matter, saying the decision to suspend the CPLP visa was ‘hasty’.

The association leader said that there is a lack of public information about the new changes for DW and that AIMA’s decision is not binding.

AIMA must make a total record of the immigrants who are here under this visa and after the 150 thousand who have already had this one-year residence to be able to also say what the future of these people will be in Portugal.

Miguel Fortes, President of the Cape Verdean Association of Seixal

A report from Portugal’s Institute of Statistics reveals that the Algarve and Metropolitan Area of Lisbon are the regions with the highest proportions of immigrant background and first-generation immigrants, while 1.4 people there have an immigrant background.

The same shows that around a third (32.5 per cent) of the population with an immigrant background were born in Portugal, which means that they are descendants of immigrants. A fifth (20.7 per cent) were born in Portuguese-speaking African countries, while another 16.4 per cent were born in Brazil.

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Monte OZ
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