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Brazil residents can now apply for assistance to live and work in Portugal’s interior

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilians who want to work in the interior of Portugal can apply from Brazil for Portuguese government aid of up to €4,827 (R$29,800) for the move.

Last weekend, the ‘Emprego Interior MAIS’ program – (Supported Mobility for a Sustainable Interior) was extended. The main innovation is the opening of applications to people residing abroad.

Previously, only residents of Portugal’s coastal cities, such as Lisbon and Porto, were eligible for financial assistance if they wanted to work and live in inland municipalities with smaller populations and labor force. The most desirable districts (administrative regions) are Castelo Branco, Évora, Guarda, Bragança and Portalegre.

Portugal's interior is becoming more and more depopulated although the beauty of the villages and regions leaves nothing to be desired.
Portugal’s interior is becoming more and more depopulated although the beauty of the villages and regions leaves nothing to be desired. (Photo internet reproduction)

“In the case of citizens residing abroad, the move can now be made directly from abroad to these areas,” the joint statement from the Ministries of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security and Territorial Cohesion reads.

The direct subsidy is €2,633 (R$16,300), with a 20% increase for each family member up to a maximum of €1,316 (R$8,100). The state also contributes to relocation costs up to a maximum of €878.

The Rural Repopulation Program started in August 2020 by addressing the desire to move to rural towns triggered by quarantines to contain the Covid 19 pandemic.

For Ana Abrunhosa, Minister of Territorial Cohesion, the extension of the measure will increase competitiveness. However, the biggest challenge, not only for Portugal but for all of Europe, is to address the labor shortage that is hampering economic recovery on the continent.

“The pandemic has shown many citizens and businesses that it is possible to achieve a higher quality of life and a better work-life balance by working at home. Extending this support to foreign citizens is another way to contribute to the attractiveness and competitiveness of these areas,” said Abrunhosa

Brazilians living in Portugal were pioneers of the first version of the program from the beginning. Of the 560 applications submitted, 30 are for Brazilian citizens. 18 are already confirmed, and 12 are still under consideration. These figures do not include Brazilians with European citizenship.

Most of those admitted are under 34 years old, and 63% have a university degree. In total, nearly a thousand people (including family members) have benefited from the program.

Others rely on the creation of technology companies, on the recruitment of autonomous professionals or professionals hired by companies that allow remote work, the digital nomads.

“With this expansion, we are taking an important step in positioning Portugal internationally as a destination from which to work anywhere in the world,” said Labor Minister Ana Mendes Godinho.

The border with Portugal will remain closed for non-essential flights from Brazil. This means that emigration with the support of the program requires a contract with a company, self-employment, or a structure to open a business in the country’s interior with up to ten jobs.

These conditions can open the doors to residence visas for those who do not have citizenship. However, it is necessary to follow the step-by-step rules for foreigners, which can be found on the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) site, where the applications are submitted.

For more information, click here.

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