Government asks migrants to return to Portugal: “We need a lot”


The Secretary of State of the Portuguese Communities presented the status of non-habitual resident in Newark, in the United States, to the Portuguese and lusodescendentes.

The Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, José Luís Carneiro, encouraged the return of emigrants to Portugal during a meeting with the Portuguese community of Newark, United States, on Friday evening.

At a meeting held at the Newark Portuguese Sport Club and organized with the Consulate General of Portugal in Newark, where about 70 people attended, subjects related to different age groups and professional situations of the Portuguese community resident in the USA were discussed, such as the relationship of young Portuguese with Portuguese inheritance, teachers who give classes in Portuguese, people dedicated to art and the retired.

One of the main messages for the community is that Portugal “needs everyone” and wants to invest in the return of emigrants.

“As the prime minister said the day before yesterday, we are open arms for those who want to return to our country, and we need a lot to come back,” said José Luis Carneiro.

The Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities presented the status of non-habitual resident, which allows “Portuguese who are at retirement age and who live in Portugal to be exempt from taxes for ten years” and the Return Program, approved by the Government with incentives for tax incentives, incentives for mobility and investment for emigrants returning to Portugal in 2019 and 2020.

The session also focused on education and education, with a presentation by the Director-General of Higher Education, Ângela Noiva Gonçalves, who referred to Portugal’s “competitive advantages” for young people to study at Portuguese universities or polytechnics.

One of the main advantages for Americans is the value of annual tuition fees for public higher education, where the maximum € 856 per year represents only a small part of the costs in the United States, he said.

At the public clarification and participation session, a Portuguese teacher argued that opportunities are not being effectively presented to the target audience, young people in the USA, who show little interest in Portugal and have poor knowledge of the language.

The teacher added that there is a gap between the first or second generation emigrants with the third or fourth generation Lusodescendentes in the way they acquire and value Portuguese culture and language.

“There are people here who are interested, like me, I am one of them, because I have two daughters who do not speak Portuguese and I really liked that they learned,” explained the emigrant.

For his part, the secretary of state said that the Portuguese language has to be spoken at home and in the family so that people born in the United States know Portuguese and are interested in culture.

Responding to a question about opportunities for artists, José Luís Carneiro encouraged artists or people with personal projects to go to Portuguese clubs or associations in the USA to present the projects and to receive financial support from the Portuguese Government.

The community was invited to participate in the first World Congress of Diaspora Networks, held in Porto, on July 13 and 14.

Directed to leaders of Portuguese movements and associations, leaders of political, business or social media, the congress already has more than 200 participants from 35 countries and intends to be a platform for the representatives of emigrants to meet in Porto and to continue the their permanent locations.