Portugal announced a significant shift in its immigration policy, requiring foreigners to obtain a visa before entering the country, not after. This stricter approach aims to tackle a backlog of over 400,000 residency applications and combat perceived abuses of the system.

Previously, foreigners could enter on a tourist visa and then seek residency after finding work. Prime Minister Luis Montenegro emphasized this change is crucial to streamline the process and prevent misuse. The announcement comes just ahead of European Parliament elections, fueling speculation of political motives behind the stricter stance.

This decision marks a notable shift for Portugal, traditionally known for its welcoming immigration policies. International media is closely following the story, as the new rules could significantly impact a large number of aspiring immigrants.

Critics argue it hinders Portugal’s appeal as a destination, while supporters see it as a necessary step towards managing immigration efficiently. The policy change reflects a broader trend across Europe, highlighting the ongoing challenge of balancing immigration with administrative effectiveness.

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