Brazilians are the largest immigrant community in Portugal, followed by the Ukrainians and Cape Verdeans, according to a report on migration trends released Tuesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
According to the International Migration Outlook 2011, the total foreign population in Portugal, in 2009, was 457,000, an increase from the 443,000 recorded in 2008. “The largest group is the Brazilians, who account for 26 percent of the total foreign population with a valid residence permit, followed by the Ukrainians (12 percent) and the Cape Verdeans (11 percent),” the report says.
The OECD study also indicates that “the number of naturalizations continues to rise and reached a new peak of 25,500 in 2009, representing seven times more than the 2006 level.”
Most naturalizations (about 40 percent), relate to immigrant populations from the PALOP (Portuguese-speaking African countries) particularly Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Angola.
The OECD document notes that “these communities stay longer in Portugal and are able to meet the six years of legal residence and also meet the requirements of the Portuguese language.”
The document reveals that groups such as Moldavians (about 11 percent), Ukrainians (4 percent) and Indians (4 percent), are on the increase.
The “Outlook” of the OECD on migration within EU member countries also indicates that “Portugal is among the countries receiving a lower number of asylum applications.” In 2009, only 139 applications were received, “a further decline in relation to the 161 applications received in 2008.”
The document stresses, however, that “new estimates based on residence permits and visas of long duration suggest that, despite the difficult general economic situation in Portugal, migration flows were slightly higher in 2009 than in 2008.”
The OECD concludes that although the immigration trends from the Lusophone countries are relevant, there is a significant increased on immigration flows from Eastern Europe (14 percent) and China (8 percent).
The number of long-term visas for non-EU citizens, however, continues to decline, with one third of applications for family reunion and only 20 percent related to work visas, “about 3,000 below the quota fixed at 3,800 by the government.”