Portugal announces plan to toughen immigration policy News
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Portugal announces plan to toughen immigration policy

Portugal announced a plan to toughen its immigration policies on Monday known as the “Action Plan for Migration.” The country’s Council of Ministers approved the new plan which seeks to regulate migration, attract foreign talent, and foster human integration and institutional reorganization.

According to the Portuguese government, the plan aims “to correct the serious problems in the rules for entry into Portugal, resolve the operational incapacity of [the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum] and ensure the operability of border control systems.” Despite seeking to impose 41 measures as part of the new plan, Minister of the Presidency António Leitão Amaro says Portugal will welcome more migrants but do so in a regulated manner.

The Action Plan for Migration eliminates the expression of interests procedure, which allowed non-EU nationals already in Portugal to work in the country. Besides this, the plan seeks to give priority to “family reunifications, young students and qualified professionals.”

The plan connects to the general wish to implement the EU Migration and Asylum Pact, approved by the Council of the EU on May 14. This pact aims at “strengthening and integrating key EU policies on migration, asylum, border management and integration.” Moreover, it proposes strong and secure external borders with an efficient procedural system. These are among the objectives of the Portuguese proposal, trying to achieve new border control systems and mitigate high levels of congestion in airports such as Lisbon and Faro.