Luanda. Portugal to open its own facilities to handle visas
ANcurrently, in the VFS Global Visa Center building visas are received and processed not only for Portugal, but for other countries, which will change at the end of February, since Portugal will have “its own and exclusive facilities”, he indicated Francisco Alegre Duarte.
Migratory flows remain intense between the two countries, despite the number of Portuguese who chose Angola to emigrate to be decreasing since 2015. However, in the opposite direction, there are more and more Angolans looking for Portugal to reside, increasing the pressure on consular services and complaints from Angolan citizens.
“The Consulate of Luanda is the largest issuer of visas in the entire Portuguese diplomatic network”, underlined the Portuguese diplomat, adding that, last year, there was a 300% increase in the issue of visas compared to 2021, due to the need to recover the delays due to the pandemic, as well as an increase in orders.
“We are facing challenges in terms of strengthening human resources and technological tools to stop the hoarding of vacancies, there is a set of measures to be taken”, said the ambassador, showing confidence that it will also bring improvements in service to the Portuguese. .
For Francisco Alegre Duarte, this flow of people also means a flow “of ideas, talent, opportunities”, with mobility being central in the relationship with Portugal.
“The mobility agreement is a milestone in the history of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries”, he stressed, adding that cultural and linguistic expressions with Portugal facilitate integration.
In addition, given the “demographic winter” that Portugal is facing, characterized by a sharp increase in the population and a shortage of manpower, it facilitates migratory opportunities and the search for work.
“One of the opportunities that this agreement offers is the facilitation of long-term visas, national [aos quais não se aplicam as regras Schengen]including work, since a contract is no longer required, just enrolling in the IEFP and some minimum conditions,” said the diplomat.
However, he underlined, “mobility is not linked to visas”, he tried to find difficulties in terms of Social Security controls that need to be resolved
“I have received complaints that are a little transversal, not exclusive to a single sector”, Francisco Alegre Duarte told Lusa.
“Nowadays, when a Portuguese company hires a Portuguese one of the issues that are fulfilled are controls. Despite a protection agreement between the two countries regarding social security, it has not yet entered into force and these controls are not exportable at the end of the contributory career, forcing companies to seek other forms of compensation”, highlighted the ambassador, adding that this is “an aspect in which reciprocity should be fine-tuned”.
Francisco Alegre Duarte has been ambassador to Angola since March 1, 2022.
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