Results from an exploration of visas awarded by the Brazilian Consulate in Oporto

The current flow bringing Portuguese to Brazil is a hot topic on national media. However, little is known about its characteristics. In order to have a better grasp of one of the populations the project focuses on, we complemented research of statistical data produced by Portuguese and Brazilian entities (namely, the National Statistics Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estatística) in Portugal and the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística), with an exploration of visas awarded by the Brazilian Consulates in Portugal.

In Oporto, the main findings confirmed some perceptions suggested in the media as well as in previous studies. An analysis of a sample of visas (the same month throughout 2008 – 2013) revealed that, among the 377 granted visas, the most frequently awarded were Permanent Visas, Work Visas and Student Visas. Accordingly, the most common reasons to request a visa were, in order, work (35%), family reunification (32%), and studies (25%). Three clear tendencies emerge when circumscribing the 337 Portuguese nationals and excluding the student population, which is almost entirely single and concentrated in the 15-24 age group. Firstly, men not only outnumber women (218 men were awarded visas in contrast with 119 women) but also have been awarded more Visas overtime, in strike contrast with the decrease of Visas to their female counterparts. Secondly, 83% of people are 24 – 65 years old and are professionally active. Finally, 38% are highly qualified professionals.

Situated in decision-making positions in public administration and private companies or working in specialized intellectual and scientific jobs, they are engineers, architects, medical doctors, lawyers, financial directors, managers and artists among others. The sectors employing most Portuguese moving to Brazil are construction and real estate. Not surprisingly, people commonly do come from the biggest urban centres around Oporto (Oporto, Aveiro and Braga) and head to the large metropolitan areas of São Paulo (São Paulo), Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro) and Salvador (Bahia).

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The exceptions concern one of the two profiles that stand out. Indeed, men who are invited by their Brazilian wives to move to Brazil on a permanent basis often end up scattered throughout small localities in various Brazilian states. The second profile, men who leave to work in Brazil and bring spouses and children on their visas, prefer urban centres. In contrast, there are far less women leaving to Brazil, and, therefore, thereare less Work Visas granted to women. In tandem, Portuguese women are seldom married to Brazilian men and are rarely invited by them to move to Brazil. They mostly travel, like their children, on their husbands Permanent or Work Visas. A third residual profile concerns retirees who choose to enjoy the later age in a tropical country (3%).

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