While most of the European countries are trying to reduce the influx of immigrants flocking up to their countries, Portugal is this one European nation that is actually trying to attract more migrants as it seeks ways to counter the declining population.

Countries saying “we need immigration” isn’t what one gets to hear – be it a developed or developing nation and about European countries, they are known for trying to reduce the influx of migrants as much as possible. However, Portugal is the one European Union nation seeking for migrants and even the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa says, “We need more immigration and we won’t tolerate any xenophobic rhetoric”. This European nation trying to buck the trend of immigration as a solution to counter the declining population in Portugal.

As of now, Portuguese government is taking steps to make Portugal an attractive destination for international migrants. As per government stats, Portugal needs at least 75,000 new residents each year just to maintain a balanced and stably working society – which is as small as just 10.4 million people. So to fight the continuously declining population rates, the Portuguese government adopted a regulatory draft which will simplify the process of receiving student visa and work visa for those planning for a new start-up. The draft also opened up ways to regularise the status of 30,000 foreigners residing in Portugal but are not allowed to work.

The tougher job for Portuguese government would be to maintain a balance – that is, there should not be much gap between the number of people leaving and those entering the country. Recession in recent years had left Portugal with more than 3,00,000 Portuguese nationals leaving the country for better life. However, thanks to the booming tourism industry that the country has railed back towards growth and the migrant balance factor seems to be stabilizing now.

1277