By Leo Byrne, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANERIO, BRAZIL – New data from the National Immigration Council concerning the number of foreigners working in Brazil showed an increase of 3.5 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year. The rise brings the total number of visas issued to 73,022.
The figures regarding permanent employment visas for (those lasting two or more years) showed an even more dramatic 26 percent increase to 5,835.
The oil sector created the most permanent work visas, followed by engineering, business consulting, car manufacture and then construction.
There was also data on which nationalities were requesting work visas. Europe’s continuing sovereign debt crises no doubt influenced the number of Portuguese migrants being issued visas as they topped the list with 848. Chinese, American and Spanish citizens were also approved to work in Brazil in significant numbers.
According to the National Immigration Council’s President Paulo Sérgio de Almeida, the majority of the foreign workers were employed in Sao Paolo where 2891 visas were issued. This was followed by Rio de Janeiro, with 1446 and Minas Gerais with 361 immigrants.
Almeida also stated that the total figure of 73,022 was a very approximate one as it covered everything from short term specialized maintenance personnel, to professionals coming to work for Brazilian companies and bringing their families.
Most of the jobs were in managerial sectors while the number of directorial positions being given to foreigners increased by 22 percent. Almeida took this as a positive sign that more foreign funded business were being created in Brazil. Almeida continued on to say that value of investments generated by foreign workers starting business in the country was R$284.6 million.
Spurred by a need for greater numbers of skilled professionals, the new data comes at a time when Brazil is looking to somewhat soften its stance on visas and remove layers of red tape that make it difficult for foreigners to work here.
A recent report also found that the number of requests for a Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas (CPF) by foreigners after they have obtained legal residence in the country has increased ten percent since 2011. In October of 2011 the number of foreigners residing in Brazil has increased by 52.4 percent over six months, and among legal immigrants, the largest groups are of Portuguese origin, Bolivian, Paraguayan and Chinese, in that order.
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