Schengen Visa

Thousands of Ukrainian Refugees Have Left Portugal in Recent Months

The Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) has revealed that over the past two months, the number of refugees from Ukraine has begun to decline, with approximately 4,000 individuals having already left.

The agency’s data also show that a total of 56,528 Ukrainian citizens in Portugal have been granted temporary protection, of which 33,949 are women, and 22,579 are men, reports.

Approximately 2,000 Ukrainians had requested the cancellation of their applications for temporary protection. At the time, there were 58,191 pending permits for temporary protection. The latest numbers reveal that there are now 1,663 fewer permits, resulting in a total of 56,528 existing permits for temporary protection.

Last month, the president of the Association of Ukrainians in Portugal, Pavlo Sadokha, made statements regarding why some Ukrainian refugees chose to leave Portugal.

In this regard, he noted that women and children were returning to Ukraine because they couldn’t be separated from their families and felt more confident about their situation. Additionally, there were cases of individuals leaving Portugal due to challenges in finding accommodation or high rental costs.

Sadokha also emphasised that some people also preferred to go to other countries, such as Germany and Switzerland, in search of better living conditions than what they believed Portugal offered.

Based on data provided by SEF, the distribution of residents with temporary protection permits in Portugal is as follows:

  • Lisbon – 11,096 residents with temporary protection permits
  • Cascais – 3,845
  • Porto – 2,683
  • Sintra – 1,952
  • Albufeira – 1,465

Regarding minors, SEF states that out of the total 56,528 temporary protection permits, 14,249 of them are accounted for by minors. This means that a significant proportion of the individuals holding temporary protection permits are under 18.

Moreover, SEF has communicated to the Office of public prosecutions the situation of 739 minors from Ukraine who arrived in Portugal without a parent or legal guardian.

The same authority declared the situation of 15 minors from Ukraine to the Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People. In these cases, the minors arrived in Portugal not accompanied by a parent or guardian but with someone else. However, these cases represented a current or imminent danger to the child.

In March of this year, the Portuguese authorities decided to extend the validity of temporary protection for Ukrainian refugees up to six months. Meanwhile, figures provided by SEF for this month revealed that Portugal had granted 58,043 temporary protection to Ukrainian citizens since the start of the war in Ukraine.