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Proposed immigration points system

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(@jgibson)
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Proposed immigration points system

The PSD party has called for a review of the immigration law to a point system, more focused on qualifications than on the origin of the immigrant.

anyone have any thoughts on this?

https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/2022-01-10/proposed-immigration-points-system/64544

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(@martin)
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most immigration points systems seem to based on how many of these you have

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or

£££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££

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(@davidb)
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The news was low on specifics.  I have no idea what any proposed changes would entail.  I don't think it is useful fretting about the potential impact of something that is so nebulous and may not even eventuate.

With that said, one thing a points based system would probably assign more value to would be mastery of the language.  I think this does not bode well for those hoping that the A2 language requirement will be removed for PR or citizenship.  More likely it will be bumped up to B1 in line with other places like Italy.

Another thing that may be considered is contribution made through taxes.  I sincerely hope not as one of the main reasons I relocated here is to avoid (not evade) taxes - though I have nothing against evaders.  

As an Eu national, I'm not sure if any of these changes would impact me.  I think the worst it could be is that if i wanted to go for PR or citizenship then it may make it harder with the language requirement? It's not something that matters a great deal to me personally, but my wife (as non-Eu) could potentially be more impacted.  We will have to wait and see.

 

 

 

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(@jgibson)
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Thanks for input I read this article this morning thought it was interesting but very little specifics. I am in the process of purchasing a home so it does cause pause for thought, my wife and I are hoping to be able to eventually apply for citizenship in the future. As an American I hardly think the American immigration system is one that another country would want to model their system after.

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(@davidb)
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@jgibson Right now there are a large number of immigrants coming into Portugal from Africa.  Many of these migrants have very little.  Portugal is far from a wealthy nation and simply cannot afford this.  Nonetheless, the socialist government has essentially rolled out the welcome wagon.  It is natural that center right parties and right wing parties will take advantage of this open door policy that is unpopular with many Portuguese. If I was a Portuguese national, I would definitely vote to toughen up the immigration regime and any kind of points based system would be better than the system in place now.

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(@jeanne)
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@davidb  what sort of visa are immigrants from Africa using to enter?  Are they perhaps from former PT colonies, which I assume (But just conjecture) may have access to some sort of visa or special immigration arrangement?

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(@x-camone)
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@jeanne There isn't currently any special arrangement regarding residence for nationals of any countries besides the EU / non EU split.

There was an idea floated by the current administration a while back about a "freedom of movement" arrangement between the Portuguese speaking nations, and indeed that has been developed to the point of an accord ratified by some, including Portugal on Dec 9th 2021. This accord entered into force on Jan 1st this year, so difficult to see that yet having any impact on immigration stats, especially as it only provides a framework within which the signatories must develop their own individual policies, with respect to various factors particular to each.

Historically, of course, Portugal has been (and still is) a country of high emigration and struggles to maintain a constant population, especially with declining birth rates added to the mix. There is generally a recognition that it needs to attract migrants in order to counter the shortfalls, and that retired people (or those living from passive income or savings) alone do not fulfil the country's needs when it comes to a suitably diverse workforce and a sustainable social security system. Hence, on top of the generous offerings of recent years with regard to arrangements for those who are averse to paying income tax at the standard rates applicable to existing residents, there have been other initiatives to encourage or assist PT nationals working abroad to return, alongside pathways to residence visas for entrepreneurs and for pretty much anybody who can obtain a contract of employment. Or even a promissory contract. And laws which allow for those amongst the working population whose immigration status is irregular to rectify their situation (although it appears that this latter can be a lengthy and frustrating process for those concerned).

There are some good stats here regarding the numbers and origins of migrants to Portugal over the past 60 years or so.

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@jeanne I was referring to the ratification of the accord recently adopted by Portugal and mentioned in a reply below by x-camone.  it is a clear sign of things to come and that the direction of travel is going to be more African immigration into Portugal. I see the policy proposed by the PSD as pushback against that, as it goes for points based immigration versus origin based such as the accord creates.

Aside from this, we have the asylum system in Portugal, which is completely broken. People from Africa are one of the major users of this system and can perversely obtain Portuguese citizenship even more easily than I can as an EU citizen.  No language test for them.

 

 

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(@old-bloke)
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Posted by: @davidb

People from Africa are one of the major users of this system and can perversely obtain Portuguese citizenship even more easily than I can as an EU citizen.  No language test for them.

Without looking it up I don't if people from Africa are the major users of the asylum system in PT, but the rest of that statement is untrue.
They are subject to the exact same 5 year period of residence and language proficiency criteria to obtain PT citizenship as anyone else. The only group exempt from the residence period and language requirement are descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews, but they have other criteria to meet.
Article 6 of the Lei de Nacionalidade applies.

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(@davidb)
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@old-bloke The chances of Africans not being "one of the major users" of the system are remote in the extreme.  Maybe you should look it up. You probably won't like what you find though.

Portugal is a gateway state for immigration into the EU.  It is well known that the authorities here are letting huge numbers of people in on even the flimsiest of grounds.  Many of these asylum seekers subsequently migrate to other EU nations, because economic concerns were their primary motive for coming to the EU and Portugal does not serve them well in that respect, although they do get rapid access to a welfare state here.

As for the language requirement, I was unclear and apologize.  What I should have said is that for most of us seeking citizenship we have to pass the CIPLE at A2 level or above and pay for education to get ourselves to that level if we need it.  However, what many asylum seekers do is go to schools paid for by the state designed to help them integrate.  The certificate of attendance at these schools is sufficient for them to bypass the A2 language exam.  It is taken as equivalent and representing sufficient education in the language even though it is regarded by most as less difficult by far than the actual exam. Therefore, the path is easier for them and cheaper.  

 

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@davidb I really don't understand why you've chosen to focus on asylum seekers in this discussion when the original topic is about something quite other. Asylum is a completely separate category under which Portugal's status as a signatory to the relevant international convention imply obligations on its part, and rights on the part of those who seek sanctuary here. The number of applications on asylum grounds are very modest indeed, the numbers granted even fewer. It's hardly a topic to get steamy about in terms of numbers alone, so I'm not sure where your allegation comes from that Portugal is "letting in huge numbers" or that it's acting as a gateway for onward migration to the rest of the EU via asylum grants.

Nor does Portugal seem to be any major exception when it comes to the general experience of asylum seekers, ie that they have to have endured experiences and / or faced dangers none of us would wish upon anybody and must establish that to the satisfaction of their caseworkers and decision makers. Most who get through any initial screening find themselves in administrative limbo for an indeterminate period and neither during that time, nor in the case that their claim is successfully established, do they have any rights outside Portugal unless they have acquired citizenship, which is another lengthy process which can't be started until after the required residency period has been fulfilled and the other conditions satisfied.

Returning to the other issue - that of the proposed ease of mobility between the CPLP countries - you said, after I had brought it to your attention, that 

..it is a clear sign of things to come and that the direction of travel is going to be more African immigration into Portugal...

yet the statement from the Prime Minister includes the following :

The Prime Minister invited the member states who haven’t yet ratified the mobility agreement, to do so. "We say our borders are well set. Now, what matters is to open the doors for our peoples to do what they naturally do, which is circulate within the same language space, the space that is familiar to them".

António Costa claimed it is very important to "create the conditions for this circulation to flow". "It is incredibly important from the economic perspective, yet also from a cultural point of view, and close human relations".

"It is difficult to understand why we need to apply for a visa, why we need to show a visa when in fact we all feel part of the same community", he added.

and the President of the CPLP was quoted thus :

"This is a model that envisages a range of progressive implementation solutions, based on mobility instruments, such as short stays, temporary stay visas, and residence permits"

which makes it clear that what is envisaged is not a one way street but rather a circulation of peoples (and, indeed, there is many a Portuguese national who currently resides and works in another of the CPLP countries, despite the attendant bureaucratic difficulties), and thus more of a matter of dismantling unnecessary mutual barriers than of lifting all restrictions to immigration in one direction only. There will still be set procedures and requirements, just as there are now even with respect to intra-EU movement and with non EU immigration, and Portugal's compromises with regard to obligations under EU and Schengen Zone membership will still have to be complied with.

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@x-camone None of the text you quoted from statements does anything to refute the assertion that there will be increased migration from Africa as a consequence.  Quite the opposite. More mobility means more immigration.  There is a vast difference between Portuguese people going to Angola, getting a work visa etc and someone from Mozambique coming to Portugal on some sort of favorable visa / waiver  issued under the scheme and working illegally or simply vanishing. 

The application of regulations as they pertain to asylum seekers in Portugal is the problem. The issue being mainly not the law but the leniency with which it is being applied.  People are being permitted to remain based on whatever stories they choose to tell and Portugal is widely regarded as one of the easiest places to obtain asylum and move beyond that to residency.  As a case in point: wasn't it Portugal that fell over itself to offer asylum to the Afghan women's soccer squad? The government does not appear to be projecting a tough stance that requires a high burden of proof.  In sharp contrast, all the signs show that the welcome wagon has been well and truly rolled out.  

Illegal immigration is of course another huge issue and the lax way that this is dealt with here is a whole other kettle of fish.

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(@aspidistra)
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@x-camone very well put.

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