The number of people choosing to live in Portugal continues to rise, with almost 83,000 new residence permits issued between January and September 15, of which around 24,000 are family reunited permits.
In a statement, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) reported that by mid-September 82,928 new residence permits had been issued, 23,861 of which for family reunification, in addition to 59,102 renewals of residence permits.
“These figures are much higher than those recorded in the same period last year: 42% more new residence permits (58,562 from January to September 2018), with an increase of 36% in family reunification (17,598 were granted in the same period last year) and 8% more renewals (54,530 in the same period last year),” reads the statement.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in its annual report on migration, published last week and cited in the statement, also said that “Portugal is the second country where immigration is fastest growing”.
According to the OECD report for 2017, Portugal received around 40,000 new long-term or permanent immigrants that year, 20.6% more than in 2016.
On the other hand, the MAI states that the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) has registered in recent weeks “a significant increase in appointment scheduling capacity, especially for the renewal of residence permits, family reunification and granting of residence permits” thanks to the opening of around 11,000 additional staff vacancies by the end of the year and more than 116,000 vacancies for the first quarter of 2020.
It also says that SEF has implemented, in recent weeks, a new more secure method of scheduling appointments – following complaints about appointments sold through online classified ad sites – and a public competition is under way to hire 116 technical assistants, specifically for public service.