"Today, as is well known, all countries seek to attract people and we have a lot of talent spread across different corners of the world and we have to do everything to attract those who left not by act of will, but because of circumstances of not finding the opportunities at the time in the job market they would like, and that today the country has a very low unemployment rate, that we have an economy that is growing and that we have projects where they can fit in", said Miguel Fontes.
The first stop of the Secretary of State for Labor in France is the Consulate General of Portugal in Paris, where a public clarification session is planned to talk about this programme, then at the weekend a new session at the event Estado Gerais da Lusodescendência in France, which is also taking place in the capital, with a team from the Secretariat of State leaving early next week for Lyon for another session with the community.
According to data provided by Miguel Fontes, since 2019, when the program was launched, the Portuguese authorities have already received 6,946 applications from emigrants around the world, corresponding to around 15,500 people, with 70% of this total having been approved, covering 11,200 people, although it is not known how many are actually living in Portugal.
The greatest number of requests have come from Switzerland, France and the UK, he said.
Currently, this program offers tax and financial advantages, assistance in looking for a job, support for the recognition of qualifications and even language improvement for Portuguese people who want to return to the country, including the children of emigrants, who, even though they have never lived in Portugal, want to settle in the parents' or grandparents' country of origin.
"The idea is to attract people who were born in the countries of emigration, even though the overwhelming majority of those who returned are people who left between 2011 and 2015. And that's why it's important to hold these sessions in France to publicise this program and show that even those who were born in other countries, who even have a desire to settle in Portugal, can do so", said Miguel Fontes.
Among the candidates for the Regressar program, around 40% have qualifications at higher education level, a characteristic that the government official emphasizes.