The foreign resident population in Portugal increased last year for the 7th consecutive year, totalling 781,915 citizens, with the Brazilian community still the largest and the fastest growing, SEF has revealed today.
“In 2022 there was for the 7th consecutive year, an increase in the resident foreign population, with an increase of 11.9% compared to 2021, totalling 781,915 foreign citizens holding a residence permit,” said the Immigration, Borders and Asylum Report (RIFA) on what Lusa news agency calls “the occasion of the anniversary of the Immigration and Borders Service”.
On the basis that the country has only a little more than 10 million inhabitants, foreigners are steadily approaching the point where they will make up 10% of the population.
According to SEF, Brazilians remain the main foreign community residing in the country, last year representing 30.7% of the total.
Brazilians are also the community that grew most in 2022 (17.1%) compared to 2021, totalling 239,744 – many of them ‘fleeing’ what they see as deteriorating conditions in their own country.
RIFA also shows that the United Kingdom” maintains its position compared to 2021, with a growth of 5.8%, making it the second most representative foreign nationality in Portugal.
“The sustained growth of foreign citizens from European Union countries confirms the particular impact of the factors of attractiveness already pointed out in previous years, such as the perception of Portugal as a safe country, as well as the tax advantages arising from the regime for non-habitual residents,” the report adds, highlighting that immigrants from Angola have shown a marked increase (the country has risen three slots and is now the 6th most prevalent foreign resident nationality) as have Indians, which are now the fourth most representative community here.
Romania and China have “left the group of the ten most representative nationalitiesin Portugal”, continues Lusa.
At the end of 2022, 239,744 Brazilians were living in Portugal, followed by citizens from the United Kingdom (45,218), Cabo Verde (36,748), India (35,416), Italy (34,039), Angola (31,761), France (27,512), Ukraine (25,445), Nepal (23,839) and Guinea-Bissau (23,737).
SEF also reports that Portugal was the destination country of 44,519 Ukrainian citizens in 2022 fleeing the war and to whom the Portuguese state granted temporary protection.
Immigrants reside mainly on the coast, with about 65% registered in the districts of Lisbon, Faro (meaning the whole Algarve) and Setúbal, totalling 512,141 resident citizens, while there were 466,779 in 2021.
The report highlights increases for the districts of Bragança, which had been decreasing since 2020, and Viana do Castelo, specifying that seven of the ten municipalities with the highest number of foreign citizens registered belong to the Lisbon metropolitan area.
With regard to migratory flows, SEF says the downward trend that had occurred since 2020 has been broken, with 143,081 new permits issued, representing an increase of 28.5% compared to the previous year, when 111,311 new permits were issued.
Most of the new permits were allocated to Brazilians (43,313), followed by Indians (7,414) and Italians (6,977), Angolans (6,939) and Bangladeshi (6,153).
“The most relevant reasons for granting new residence permits were professional activity (51,525) and family reunification (27,054),” said the report.