Currently, in the VFS Global Visa Center building, visas are received and processed not only for Portugal, but for other countries, which will change at the end of February, since Portugal will have "its own and exclusive facilities", said Francisco Alegre Duarte.
Migratory flows remain intense between the two countries, despite the fact that the number of Portuguese who chose Angola to emigrate has been decreasing since 2015. However, in the opposite direction, there are more and more Angolans looking for Portugal to reside, increasing pressure on services consular offices and complaints by Angolan citizens.
"The Consulate of Luanda is the largest issuer of visas in the entire Portuguese diplomatic network", underlined the Portuguese diplomat, adding that, last year, there was a 300 percent increase in the issue of visas compared to 2021, due to the need to recover the delays due to the pandemic, as well as an increase in orders.
"We are facing challenges in terms of strengthening human resources and technological tools to stop the hoarding of vacancies, there is a set of measures to be taken", said the ambassador, showing confidence that there will also be improvements in service to the Portuguese.
For Francisco Alegre Duarte, this flow of people also means a flow "of ideas, talent, opportunities", with mobility being central in the relationship with Portugal.
"The mobility agreement is a milestone in the history of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries", he stressed, adding that cultural and linguistic affinities with Portugal facilitate integration.
In addition, in view of the "demographic winter" that Portugal is facing, characterized by a sharp aging of the population and a shortage of manpower, they facilitate migratory opportunities and the search for work.
"One of the opportunities that this agreement offers is the facilitation of long-term, national visas [to which the Schengen rules do not apply], including work visas, since a contract is no longer required, only registration with the IEFP and some minimum conditions," said the diplomat.
However, he underlined, "mobility is not limited to visas", pointing out difficulties in terms of Social Security discounts that need to be resolved.
"I have received complaints that are a little transversal, not exclusive to a single sector", Francisco Alegre Duarte told Lusa.
"Nowadays, when a Portuguese company hires a Portuguese person, one of the issues that arise is discounts. Despite the fact that an agreement was signed between the two countries regarding social security, it has not yet entered into force and these discounts are not exportable in the end of the contributory career, forcing companies to seek other forms of compensation", stressed the ambassador, adding that this is "an aspect in which reciprocity should be fine-tuned".
Francisco Alegre Duarte has been ambassador to Angola since March 1, 2022.