The announcement was made by the Minister for Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, in the Portuguese Parliament.
Foreigners living in Portugal passed the 500,000 mark last year "for the first time in the history" of the country, according to information released by the Minister for Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, in the Portuguese Parliament. According to the MP, foreign investment has increased and approximately 580,000 foreign citizens were living in Portugal at the end of 2019, compared to 2018 when that number was 490,000.
"Preliminary data has lead us to say that in 2019, for the first time in our history, the barrier of half a million foreign citizens residing in Portugal has been overcome," said the minister, quoted by the Portuguese news agency, Lusa, as part of the discussion on the Portuguese state budget for the year 2020 (OE2020).
Eduardo Cabrita also stressed that the Foreigner and Border Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) has increased the number of new residence permits from 35,000 to 135,000, comparing 2015 to 2019, and intends to develop more legal immigration agreements, which include expanding the Foreigners and Border Service network.
In the state budget, plans to increase the validity of residence permits from one to two years and renewals from two to three years have also been laid out.