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Portugal Creates New Work Visa by Bridget Ryder

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Portugal Creates New Work Visa

Portugal announced on June 16th that it was changing its visa scheme to address the labour shortage in the country.

Euractiv reports: “for the promotion of orderly and regulated safe migration, and in the fight against the shortage of manpower, a new type of visa has been created, specifically a visa for those looking for work. This allows foreign nationals to enter Portuguese territory who have come looking for work for a period of 120 days, extended to another 60 days, for a total of 180 days,” Ana Catarina Mendes, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said.

She also announced that the government had “definitely” eliminated the quota regime for subordinate work, which she called “an anachronism.”

The country lacks not only low-skill workers, such as restaurant workers and desk clerks, but also doctors. 

The Portugal News reports that Minister of Health, Marta Temido, said on June 17th that the government was looking at both increasing the country’s training capacity for doctors and hiring medical professionals from abroad.

“We are making some contacts—it’s no secret, it’s no reservation—with some countries in order to understand how we can face problems that are system problems with external resources. In the past this has already been done in specific, concrete situations,” she said.

As in many other countries, in Portugal, many restaurant workers simply didn’t return to the industry following the COVID-19 pandemic, citing the industry’s low-wages, irregular working hours, and precariousness. 

The Algarve’s Trade Union of Hotel, Tourism, Restaurant and Similar Industry said in a press conference that “the sector’s employers are once again complaining about the difficulty in hiring the workers they need,” and that “they insist that the solution to the problem is for the government to facilitate the recruitment of workers abroad.”

Bridget Ryder is Spain-based writer. She has written on politics, environment, and culture for American and international publications. She holds degrees in Spanish and Catholic Studies.