Chinese Immigrant Communities in Portugal

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:21
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Sofia GASPAR, CIES-IUL, Portugal
For the last two decades, Chinese immigrants have been consistently growing in Portugal. The 2000’s represent a period of time when immigration to Portugal has suffered an important increase, due to the implementation of some legal reforms devoted to migrant communities (Law nº25/94 from 19 August and Law nº4/2001 from 10 January), the political passage of Macau to China in 1999, and the economic reforms developed by China and their consequent impact on Chinese migration flows all over the world. According to data from SEF (Service of Foreigners and Borders) in 2014, there were around 21.402 Chinese citizens legally registered in Portugal that year.  

However, Chinese Diaspora is relatively diverse in the country, reflecting the historical and economical context between Portugal and China. As such, economic migrants originating from Zhejiang (Eastern coast of China) are the most numerous group, followed by migrants from Macau (former Portuguese political region) and Mozambique (former Portuguese African colony). Moreover, in the context of the educational globalization occurred during the last years, a growing number of Chinese students are also marking presence in the country.

Having this in mind, the aim of this paper is to analyze the socio-demographic characteristics of Chinese migrant communities in Portugal using some the statistical data compiled by the Census 2011, and qualitative information (life stories) driven by in-depth interviews. This approach wishes to describe not only the different profiles of these four social groups according to their social, educational and professional characteristics, but also to frame the diversity of the Chinese community resident in the country on new emerging policies and new transnational mobility flows constrained by a wider European context.