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An opinion piece by Eloisa Fagundes, Business Manager at Decode

Immigrating to the country planted by the sea: myths and truths

There are currently many foreigners interested in entering the Information Technology (IT) market in Portugal, while companies have also opened up the possibility of hiring for these same vacancies. However, there are still many barriers between companies and professionals that need to be resolved for the market to evolve even further.

The IT market has been growing, and for the past 6 years we have seen a significant increase in business in this area in the country, which is so small geographically, grows exponentially in national and international projects, and even offers incentives to companies and events that promote such dynamics.

This growth brings a fundamental need for highly qualified labor and, fortunately for foreigners, the country does not have the capacity to respond in terms of volume, that is, there are many opportunities for few professionals.

In this way, the Portuguese government has created several mechanisms to facilitate the hiring of foreign technology professionals, such as the well-known D3 visas, which refer to highly qualified professionals, the Tech Visa aimed at this profile and, recently, visas for job search and for Digital Nomads. For this reason, the volume of processes for applying for visas and residence permits has overloaded the bodies responsible for authorizing these documents. It is necessary to have patience.

In any case, the Portuguese market is very demanding, and needs professionals with academic training and certifications from Universities and Institutions of national and global relevance.

If we compare the Portuguese situation with Brazil, which is the country with the largest number of IT professionals in Portugal, we identify very experienced profiles, but with academic training up to post-graduation only, (sometimes not even that) and a level of Beginner English. On the other hand, professionals in Portugal (whether they have Portuguese nationality or not) have fewer years of experience, but with a minimum academic training of a master's degree, as well as greater fluency in English and some other important languages for the market, such as French and Spanish, for example.

It is important to highlight that companies and professionals need to be more flexible and adapt in order to evolve together. Companies should make the most of the Human Resources area, to become aware that professionals are not born ready, but can, in the work environment, practice and develop skills that they do not have, as well as that they can, with information security, meet the immediacy of the business and starting a remote job in the home country. On the side of foreign professionals, preparation is necessary, whether in terms of qualifications or planning to live in another country and thus realize that life is different here. This is an important purpose for immigrating.

To resolve these differences, we must focus on the solution, and that's what we see here at Decode. Clients want experienced professionals, with relevant qualifications, who are in Portugal and with the lowest salary possible. We present several suitable profiles and position ourselves on the current reality and how we work. Thus, we guarantee the engagement of customers and employees, building a solid company that grows visibly due to transparency and dialogue.