Immigration to Portugal
|Source: INE 2011|
|Parts of this article (those related to immigrants returning to their countries and emigration of nationals in past 2 years due to financial crisis) are outdated. (February 2012)|
Portugal, long a country of emigration, has now become a country of net immigration, and not just from the last Portuguese overseas territories in India (until 1961), Africa (until 1975), and Far East Asia (until 1999). Since the 1990s, along with a boom in construction, several new waves of Ukrainian, Brazilian, people from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa and other Africans have settled in the country. Those communities currently make up the largest groups of immigrants in Portugal. Romanians, Moldovans and Chinese also have chosen Portugal as a destination. A number of EU citizens from the United Kingdom, Spain and other EU member states, have also chosen Portugal as a destination, with a major part of the British, Spanish, Dutch, German, and Scandinavian communities being mostly composed of persons looking for quality of life, including an increasing number of pensioners.
|Legal foreign residents in Portugal|
|country of origin||2002 ||2004 ||2006 |
Immigration to Portugal has grown since the 1990s. Some immigrant communities, like those arrived from Africa and South America, grew as a result of economic emigration - foreigners looking for better economic conditions abroad. Other immigrant communities, like most of those arrived from other EU member states, are a result of the attractiveness of the country for high income foreign citizens looking for a better quality of life, a warmer sunny weather, security and exquisite cuisine.
|The 20 largest legal immigrant communities in 2007 compared with their numbers in 1999
* : European Union citizenship
P : Portuguese speaking
|Legal foreign residents||Number in 1999||Number in 2007||Growth in percentage|
While many earlier immigrants have now become naturalised citizens, there are still substantial numbers of foreign citizens resident in Portugal.
According to Statistics Portugal http://www.ine.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=INE&xpgid=ine_indicadores&indOcorrCod=0001236&contexto=pi&selTab=tab0 there were 10,636,979 persons resident in Portugal in 2010, of whom 103,230 (0.97%) were citizens of other EU countries, and 344,853 (3.24%) were citizens of non EU countries.
Brazilians are the most prevalent foreign nationality. The 119,552 resident Brazilians are 1.12% of the total population. Other significant nationalities are the Ukrainians (0.47%), people from Cape Verde (0.42%), Romanians (0.35%), Angolans (0.22%), people from Guinea-Bissau (0.19%) and citizens of the United Kingdom (0.18%). There are also Chinese and Moldovans (0.15% each), people from São Tomé and Príncipe (0.10%), Germans, Spaniards and Bulgarians (0.08% each), Indians, Russians, French and Italians (0.05% each) as well as citizens of the Netherlands (0.04%) and Mozambicans (0.03%). The numbers of Pakistanis, Americans, Venezuelans, Moroccans, Belgians and Senegalese (0.02% each) are also not insignificant. There are numerous additional nationalities present but communities of less than 1,500 persons are not listed here.
In 2006 the Portuguese government made it easier for second generation immigrants to gain citizenship in order to prevent illegal immigration.  There are now estimated to be 260,000 immigrants from Russia, Ukraine and Moldova in Portugal, half of these illegal. Most work in prostitution or agriculture.
- INE, Statistics Portugal
- Estatísticas da Imigração (PDF) (in Portuguese), Alto Comissariado para a Imigração e Minorias Étnicas, 2003, retrieved 2007-12-14
- Estatísticas da Imigração (PDF) (in Portuguese), Alto Comissariado para a Imigração e Minorias Étnicas, 2005, retrieved 2007-12-14
- População Estrangeira em Portugal - 2006 (PDF) (in Portuguese), Instituto Nacional de Estatística, December 13, 2007, retrieved 2007-12-14
- "Portugal approves new immigration law". People's Daily Online. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Portugal sees integration progress". BBC. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Russian immigrants in Portugal – miracles and nightmares". Pravda. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Deportation of illegal immigrants up 53%". The Portugal News. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Jail terms for employers of illegal immigrants". The Portugal News. Retrieved 2012-07-13.