By Richard Mann, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A favorite destination of immigrants in recent years, Portugal has never denied as many Brazilians from entering as it had in 2018. A record 2,856 people were sent back to Brazil.
The number is more than double of the amount barred from entry in 2017 (1,336).
In 2016, when the new wave of immigration began to increase substantially, 968 were denied entry at airports.
In all, in 2018, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) prevented the entry of 3,758 immigrants.
Of these, 76 percent were Brazilian. These are people who arrive at airport immigration counters without proper visas and without presenting a valid reason for entry or proof that they are, in fact, tourists.
The most common occurrence in this new wave of immigration has been Brazilians presenting themselves as tourists.
Under this condition, the stay is 90 days, extendable for another 90 without the need for a visa (extension of temporary stay).
During this time, the “tourist” can look for work and receive the promise of a contract, which would give him the right to a work visa.
But the promise may not materialize, and there are cases of people remaining illegally in the country after the full 180 days.
The figures were published in this Tuesday’s headline of the Jornal de Notícias, Porto’s daily newspaper.
The report states that Brazilians have been kept in temporary accommodation centers.
Despite complaints and allegations from Casa do Brasil, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) says that it follows European legislation guidelines in these cases.
The return of those blocked from entry to their place of origin is the responsibility of the airlines.
After six years of decline, the Brazilian population residing in Portugal once again increased in 2017: the number of Brazilians in the country increased by 5.1 percent compared to 2016, rising from 81,251 to 85,426.
This number represents 20.3 percent of the total 421,711 immigrants living in Portugal.
This year, the SEF has already acknowledged that there was a significant increase of Brazilians in Portugal.
The annual data is still planned to be released in the second half of the year, but it is estimated that the official resident population will approach 100,000, which would be a record.
The demand forced the Consulate General of Portugal in São Paulo to open a visa request center, a post run by a private company to ease the demand for consular services.
In October 2018, the consulate even stopped receiving citizenship applications due to an inability to account for the number of requests. The consulates of Brazil in Faro, Lisbon, and Porto are always full.
With regard to refugees, who are also referred to temporary accommodation centers, the annual report The Asylum Information Database (AIDA), managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), reveals that “citizens who have entered Portugal from Brazil represent more than 83 percent of South American immigrants and more than one third of the foreign population that was retained in 2016 in temporary accommodation centers or similar spaces.”
The newspaper Público recently reported that 74 children were held at the border and sent to the centers, which is contrary to UN rules.
(Source: O Globo)