Portugal: Number of Migrants Voluntarily Returning to Their Home Countries Broke Records Last Year


Requests for the voluntary return of migrants from Portugal marked a new record last year.

According to a Portugal Resident report, a total of 1,051 migrants were urged to go to their home countries last year, while the majority of them were citizens of Brazil, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The head of the mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Vasco Malta, told Lusa that for Brazil there were a total of 913 requests, which according to Malta, is a significant record while noting that 350 have already returned.

Nationals from Est Timor also account for a large number of migrants who headed to Portugal.

Malta has considered that there are many factors that lead to these voluntary returns, among them unemployment, difficulties in finding any type of housing and difficulties in accessing the labour market.

The leader of the IOM noted that not only the number of applications for voluntary return that have surged but also cases of persons in situations of extreme vulnerability, living on the streets as well as victims of domestic violence.

“We are talking about a very significant number of people who reached us last year, at the end of the line: situations of domestic violence, homelessness, human trafficking…They constituted an abnormal number of situations of extreme vulnerability, which have always happened over the years, still never in such high numbers”, he noted.

Despite the fact that there are no statistics regarding nationals in these cases, Malta estimates that citizens of Brazil accounted for 90 per cent of people in “extreme vulnerability”.

In addition, IOM statistics revealed that a number of migrants urged to return to their origin countries last year involved over 30 per cent in their first year in Portugal, a total of 37 per cent in their second year, as well as over 30 per cent after over two years as an immigrant in this territory.

Malta has considered that there is a decision to migrate to this country that is not informed, not prepared and if it is not prepared by people, it leads to greater vulnerability.

Authorities in Portugal receive a large number of migrants from Brazil who wish to live in Portugal. Previously, it was reported that over 100,000 nationals from Brazil are residing illegally in Portugal after they still didn’t receive an answer from the Foreigners and Borders Office, responsible for issuing work and residence permits.

Brazilian authorities urged Portugal’s government to take the needed steps as soon as possible.

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