Tuesday 26 Sep 2023

If Brexit stings, Portugal set to welcome Goans

‘Golden visa’ on cards as Country Faces workforce crunch

| SEPTEMBER 01, 2019, 02:42 AM IST

the goan I network


It may not be game over after all for thousands of Goans in London and its suburbs even if Britain under Prime Minister Boris Johnson eventually embraces a most likely no-deal Brexit affecting their residence status there.   

Portugal, whose citizenship Goans opt for mostly to gain access to England and other EU countries may hold out the red carpet as the country is facing a serious shortfall in the job market and its workforce.   

A “golden visa” programme which gives investors and white-collar emigrant employees residence rights and tax sops, is being doubled up by the Portuguese government to embrace emigrants even if they aren’t highly skilled or highly paid. Several other sops are also being contemplated to lure more people, especially those who once lived in the country but left to work elsewhere for better prospects.   

According to British newspaper The Guardian, a programme to lure former Portuguese residents who worked overseas for at least three years are being lured back and promised 50% off on income tax.   

Also, to help with costs of relocation, including travel and moving house hold possessions, besides registration of qualifications, up to $7,200 is being offered. Job hunters still living outside Portugal are also being incentivised by being allowed to register online with Portuguese employment office. Confusing reports are emerging as to how a no-deal brexit would affect the droves of Goans who have set base in London and surounding areas. The curbing of rights for not being a local citizen in a post-Brexit scenario is a real fear among most Goans there and the move by Portugal to welcome skilled as well as unskilled workforce couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.   

According to The Guardian article, Portugal’s unemployment rate dropped from 17 per-cent in 2013 to seven per-cent currently and Corporates already operating there are complaining they do not get enough workforce approaching for jobs.   

In 2017, pop singer Madonna, had quit the United States and relocated to Portugal, blaming the American politicians and admonishing the politics of America. Set has set up a home in Lisbon and lives 

there since.   

What however may not be much of an incentive are the average pay packages in Portugal where average monthly salaries hover around the one-thousand euro mark. But should Brexit overnight eject thousands from Britain, many may opt to relocate in Portugal instead of returning to a hopeless employment scenario back home in Goa.

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