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Brazil reviewing immigration policy and is looking for “brains and human capital”

Tuesday, April 2nd 2013 - 05:38 UTC
Full article 9 comments
Mining, oil and infrastructure are demanding many more engineers  Mining, oil and infrastructure are demanding many more engineers

Brazil is after “brains and human capital” and a special Strategic Actions Secretariat (SAE) which depends directly from the Executive is working on a strategy to attract selective quality immigration according Ricardo Paes de Barros head of SAE interviewed by the Miami Herald.

Historically immigrants helped to build Brazil. The great inflow was in the second half of the XIX century (1888 to 1929), excluding World War One, when the country received on average 100.000 immigrants per annum, mainly Italians, Portuguese, Spaniards, Germans, Middle East, Poles, Russians and Ukrainians.

They started working in the big coffee plantations and then when the industrial burst moved to manufacturing. In the 1920 and 1930, the Japanese arrived. However believing the Brazilian identity was at peril, immigration quotas were introduced.

A century ago 7.3% of the Brazilian population had been born overseas, but currently only 0.3% which is insignificant compared to the 13% of the US according to the 2010 census results. The SAE target is to reach 2%, or even 3% in the next few years, which means approximately six million immigrants.

Another factor to stimulate migratory policies has been the fall in Brazil’s fertility rate, and although still relatively young, the situation will begin to change in 2025 as the number of old age people keeps increasing as a percentage of the economically active population.

However it is not easy to reside in Brazil. To obtain a work permit in Brazil is a complex task which demands 19 different documents besides the fact there are many restrictive laws regarding foreigners working in the country.

But things should begin to change: extending work permits to members of foreign families; limiting the number of documents requested and the fact that many presentations can now be done on line.

“But the ideal would be for Congress to pass a bill creating an agency or commission with the specific purpose of promoting immigration, quality immigration” points out Paes de Barros.

For that purpose a task force that includes government agencies and universities are meeting regularly to review the migratory policy for coming decades with the focus on scarce trades, professions and specific demand for Brazil’s development such as mining and oil engineers as well as for the large infrastructure and communications projects the country has in the blueprint and are causing great bottlenecks to the economy.

In 2012 Brazil extended 73.022 work visas for foreigners but only 8.340 were permanent. Of that total 9.209 were for US residents followed by workers from the Philippines, Haiti, United Kingdom, India, Germany, China and Italy.

A pervious attempt by Brazil to attract qualified immigrants following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the nineties and the exodus of scientists from the former super power, never managed to take off.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    Brazil, you are going to be competing with countries that are much more successful economically and socially than you together with the fact that they encourage and make it easy to immigrate. And that doesn't even take into account the language hurdle with Brazil the only major country speaking Portuguese.

    To have only 7.3% of your population born overseas when you were in your great immigration period is telling when Australia currently has a figure almost double the US figure mentioned, at 25%, and had 250,000 more people arrive than leave during 2012.

    Indeed, currently it estimated that almost 50% of Australia's population is either an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

    Brazil you will have to do something pretty amazing to attract long term permanent immigrants instead of short term workers.

    Apr 02nd, 2013 - 06:50 am 0
  • Stevie

    There's a whole continent called “Europe” just waiting for the word “GO”. I'm sure Brazil will get their share of brains.

    Apr 02nd, 2013 - 11:34 am 0
  • Anglotino

    @2 Stevie

    You inability to even get my name right shows your paucity of intelligence.

    Why, pray tell, would most Europeans emigrate to Brazil?

    It doesn't have high growth.
    It doesn't have low crime rates.
    It is a developing country.
    It's largest cities are examples of the worst in urban planning.
    About 3% of the EU speaks or can understand Portuguese.
    About 51% of the EU speaks or understands English.

    But honesty dude, the proof is in the pudding. 0.3% of Brazil's 193 million population is foreign born whereas 27% of Australia's 23 million is.

    That's 6 million versus 0.6 million.

    TEN TIMES the difference!

    Europeans aren't waiting for a “GO” from Brazil, they are already moving to Australia and to New Zealand and Canada and the US. All of them are doing economically better than Brazil at the moment.

    I'm sure there are plenty of unemployed Portuguese that would probably move to Brazil as their first choice but I doubt it is first on many other nationalities lists.

    But please prove me wrong with more than.... sentiment, it's pathetic.

    Apr 02nd, 2013 - 12:05 pm 0
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