Elena Russo is an Italian from Tuscany, a small village near Florence. The 33-year-old has been in Portugal for three months. He was soon granted a residence permit, which was facilitated for EU citizens and represents a good portion of the 109,000 new residents in the country. He is obsessed with Lisbon and was one of 5307 Italians who came to live in Portugal last year, members of the community most represented on the new visas. The French and Germans follow.
“I do a kind of tour around Europe, I live in England, Holland, Spain, now in Portugal, I started working in a call center, but I didn’t like it, I came to this. I love restaurant, customer contact and I work in the center of Lisbon, I can see how the Portuguese live and I have many Italian colleagues, ”explains Elena Russo.
She is the maid at the Volto Building Pizzeria in Piero Alto, which was packed despite a quiet night last Friday. Portuguese and foreigners at the table, Italians in the kitchen and service. Elena will be staying in Lisbon for now, arguing: “I like everything about the food, the people, the climate in Portugal. It has a good atmosphere. People are very happy.” If I had to choose a country to live in for a long time, it would be Portugal or Scotland. Low salary is not a barrier compared to Italy because it is said to be offset by lower cost of living.
Workers and families
By 2021, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) had issued 109 thousand new residence permits, bringing the total number of foreigners in the country to 771,000, according to provisional data available to the DN. Of these, 27 318 went to EU citizens, mostly from Italy (5 307), France (4 750) and Germany (3 937). Already in 2020, there was a huge influx of Italians, but since 2020 the British have been standing alone outside the EU.
Also, foreigners, not to mention tourists, dominate Lisbon’s nightlife.
French Gullet Mathis, 31, and Apte Cebab, 42, first from Marseille and second from Paris, met at the first company where they came to work, meanwhile they left.
“I came to see a friend, I really enjoyed it. I went back to Paris, but because there was not much work, I decided to look for work in Portugal. Life is quieter, occupation is less, food, landscape, women. A better life,” says Gullet. He is a law graduate, works in the management department at Uber and insists that foreigners living here are paid more than Portuguese. Aside from the fact that they hire companies to carry out the entire installation process in the country, they say it makes the process much easier.
He drinks alcohol with Apte Cebab, and he explains how to Portugal: “At the time, there were many reports about that country in France, which meant a quality of life that seemed to me to have an environment similar to Marseille. Beaches, and I decided to take a risk”. He has been working on the webinar (an online course for events) for a year.
He has been here for two years before obtaining a permanent residence permit. He has already visited the country from the north to the south. Since 2018, it has seen the arrival of many young foreigners, including numerous French nationals. “They will come in two or three years and the adults will stay. I want to stay,” says Apte.
The 2020 Border Immigration and Asylum Report already highlights the “sustainable growth of foreigners from EU countries”. It underscored: “They confirm the specific impact of the attractive factors mentioned over the years, namely the perception of Portugal as a safe country, as well as the tax benefits arising from the regime for unaccustomed residents.”
The 109,000 new residence permits issued in 2021 are largely divided into three types of visas, with a small difference between them, and by 2020, EU citizens and immigrant family members stand alone. First, family reunification groups (29,473), immigrants who come to meet family members. This includes people from EU countries, but the vast majority are from Brazil, Angola, India, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. This is followed by Article 89 (28 544), Brazil (13 027), India (5685) and Nepal (1876) to work from outside the community. Third EU, Italy, France and Germany. 15,405 people justified their entry to study in 2021, mostly from Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Sவோo Tom and Prப்ncipe.
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