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In an attempt to address the labor shortage, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Suda approved on Thursday The Portuguese news agency Publico reported on August 4 to reform the country's immigration laws to make it easier to hire foreign workers.
The reform proposed by Parliament in July was supported by a majority on July 21, especially from the Socialists and leftist parties. The new law will come into force in the coming days.
The reform provides foreigners seeking employment opportunities in Portugal with a temporary visa for 120 days, renewable for 60 days, and simplifies administrative procedures, Portuguese news agency Publico reported on August 4.
Law also simplifies procedures for “digital nomads” – people who work remotely, traveling to new places, and not physically present at the company's headquarters.
The new immigration law aims to address labor shortages in key sectors, especially construction and tourism. Like other European countries, Portugal's hospitality industry has been hardest hit by labor shortages.
Rita Marks, Portugal's secretary of state for tourism, said on Tuesday her country would need about 50 000 additional employees for economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Portugal is one of the European countries whose economy is most dependent on tourism. Before the pandemic, this industry provided the country with more than 15% of national GDP.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 2020 report, Portugal's tourism sector is the third most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the world. 19.
Earlier this week, Spain's Council of Ministers agreed to reform its immigration laws and make it easier to recruit foreign workers to address labor shortages in several sectors, including transport, construction and tourism.