Portugal to speed up visa issuance to attract more foreign workers

Augusta street is pictured during partial lockdown as part of state of emergency to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Lisbon, Portugal March 30, 2020. — REUTERS/RAFAEL MARCHANTE/FILE PHOTO

LISBON — Portugal is speeding up the issuance of immigrant visas for foreign workers, members of Portuguese-speaking countries, university students and digital nomads to help tackle a labor shortage and revive the economy.

Minister for parliamentary affairs Ana Catarina Mendes said on Wednesday that a new type of visa has been created, the work-seeker visa, which allows entry into Portuguese territory of foreign nationals looking to work for up to 180 days.

“This diploma foresees the removal of bureaucratic barriers that prevented visas from being given quickly. New visas will be created, namely visas for seeking work, quotas for those seeking work will be eliminated and therefore it will be easier to find work opportunities in Portugal,” Ms. Mendes said.

“No tax incentive is foreseen.”

Digital nomads will be granted a residence or temporary stay visa and British citizens, through access to biometric data, now have access to all the rights “that every citizen here has” despite Brexit, the minister added.

Portugal has been facing labor shortages, especially in hospitality and tourism, one of the major drivers of the economy, but the minister declined to say how many people were expected to apply for visas.

The ruling Socialists have a majority in parliament, meaning the bill should be easily approved. — Reuters

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