There have never been so many foreigners living in Portugal is the first obvious conclusion. The number is rising since 2017, back when Portugal had just over 420,000 foreign residents. Today there are over 780,000, mostly Brazilian citizens (close to 240,000), followed by citizens from the United Kingdom (approximately 40,000) and from Cape Verde (close to 37,000).
When looking at the current distribution of these citizens within Portugal, the vast majority (more than 300 thousand) is settled in Lisbon, followed by the districts of Faro, Setubal, and Porto respectively.
SEF ReportThe prevalence of Brazilian citizens in Portugal is not new, but it is important to highlight that there is significant population growth (22%) compared to last year.
Considering the relevance of this community in Portugal, the Government has carried out initiatives such as Digital Equality – already explained by us – which aims to facilitate the bureaucratic processes needed upon the arrival of Brazilian citizens to Portugal. This initiative, among many other mechanisms, allows the acquisition of residence in a much simpler (and digital) way.
Back to SEF report, it is also interesting to note that, despite the increase in the number of Brazilian citizens in Portugal compared to last year, the growth of the “Others” category reflected in the SEF chart was even greater. Foreigners now living in Portugal from destinations considered unconventional grew by more than 33%, according to existing data.
The most expressive numbers are related to the arrival of citizens from Oceania (+130%) and Eastern Europe (+94%). The latter can be justified by the war in Ukraine and the acceptance of many new citizens who fled the conflict in this country.
It is also interesting to realize when analyzing the new foreign residents in Portugal that, citizens of countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, or Pakistan go to Portugal for professional reasons, while those who come from Africa, from countries like Angola or Cape Verde, go to Portugal mostly under a request for family reunification. Brazilian citizens are no exception – 47% of residents go to Portugal for professional reasons, while around 30% have applied for family reunification.
The list of foreigners who were granted residency through “investment activity” – which is related to the attribution of Golden Visas through, mainly, the purchase of real estate and transfer of capital – is led by citizens from the USA (216), followed by the Chinese (213) and Brazilians (109).
Finally, there was also a significant increase in nationality permit applications – since 2021, more than 63,000 Portuguese nationality permits have been issued to foreign citizens, mostly to citizens of Israel (>20 thousand) and Brazil (>18 thousand).
Generally, these residence permits are granted nationality through naturalization but, when it comes to Brazilian citizens as the majority, the numbers show that most obtained nationality by their own will, through marriage or similar.
A Lamares, Capela & Associados apoia e representa os seus clientes nos serviços relacionados com a concessão de vistos e autorizações de residência em Portugal, bem como nos processos de aquisição da nacionalidade portuguesa. Prestamos ainda serviços de relocalização a clientes individuais e empresas que pretendam instalar-se em Portugal.