The Brazilian community in Portugal

13 November 2022
The Brazilian community in Portugal

The changes of the Brazilian community in Portugal

The first major wave of migration manifested itself around the 80s/90s of the last century, but the profile of those who arrive from Brazil to reside in Portugal has changed a lot over time. 

While, until now, the Brazilian community was employed in Portugal mainly in the service, construction and other similar areas, due to lack of training, we are currently witnessing a "qualified migration, but which later often finds no placement, as is the case of health professionals, information technologies, journalists, psychologists and engineers, for example, who then, in general, end up being inserted in the sectors of services, care for the elderly, in restoration and in civil construction".


How many Brazilians live in Portugal?


According to sef, Brazilians remain as the main foreign community resident in the country, representing last year 29.8% of the total, the highest value since 2012. The document states that, at the end of last year, 204,694 Brazilians lived in Portugal, and the community from Brazil also grew the most in 2021 (11.3%) compared to 2020.


The profile of the Brazilian community in Portugal

Although it is residual the number of large entrepreneurs who have come to Portugal to make investments, there are small entrepreneurs who come to bet on areas such as tourism and services, "and that now [2021], due to the pandemic, are quite distressed, given the loss of income, from large investors to small independents."


Where the Brazilian community lives in Portugal

The Brazilian community in Portugal began by focusing on Lisbon and the surrounding area, representing this city still the point where the community is most visible according to the SEF estimate.

After the capital, the most sought after city is Porto, Setúbal, Faro and Braga. 


Why is Portugal a point of interest for Brazil?


One of the factors that most brings Brazilian citizens to Portugal is, according to the president of Casa do Brasil de Lisboa, the search for a quieter life. "Since the 1980s/1990s, the migration of Brazilians to Portugal has been very significant and in this respect Portuguese migration policies play a very important role. We know that as long as the documents are delivered to ask for regularisation, we may have to wait two, three, sometimes four years, but we know that if we do our part, we will eventually be able to obtain a residence permit." 


The idea of having a common culture and a language that is close are factors of attraction. Teaching is also a determining factor. "We can say that 20 to 30% of students arrive from Brazil and come to invest in Portugal through the payment of school fees to carry out their studies in Europe." 


To a large extent, Portugal also seems to represent a place of continuity of life for the Brazilian community in Portugal. "Now many people arrive in their 35s, 40s, who come with their families. They are qualified and very informed professionals who seek a better quality of life, something more peaceful than they had in Brazil. They are people who have visited the country, who have come on holiday and decided to stay, as with students, who often prefer to stay with us after completing their studies." 


Incentives for older age groups are also a strong attraction. "Already in retirement age, many Brazilians come to Vacation to Portugal and decide to stay, often enjoying the best of here and the best in Brazil. In our summer they stay in Portugal and then head to Brazil to enjoy the hot season in their country of origin." 


The interest that the Brazilian community has for Portugal is no longer today. "For about 30 years Portugal has been a place that interests Brazilians and I think it will continue to be. There is, in fact, the idea that it can be a welcoming country, although there are still many prejudices and stereotypes, especially towards women, but the balance sheet turns out to be positive.


It is true that the Brazilian community in Portugal initially tends to live more with Brazilians themselves and with other foreigners than with the Portuguese due to the prejudices that still exist, but over the years it ends up establishing stronger relations with the Portuguese. The climate is also very desirable, access to culture is very democratic and the truth is that, for those who stay, the balance turns out to be frankly positive."


For more information:

Foreigners and Borders Service
Tel: +351 808 202 653/ +351 808 962 690

Lisbon House of Brazil
Tel: +351 213 400 000 / +351 935 141 813

Consulate General of Brazil in Lisbon
Tel: +351 211 358 587

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