Ana Mendes Godinho, Portugal’s Minister of Labor, has called digital nomads “fundamental” and emphasized the crucial role they play in the nation’s development, especially in inland regions and areas such as the Algarve, one of the country’s main destinations for digital nomads.
Godinho, stressed the significance of luring digital nomads to the nation in a recent interview with RTP3, especially to settle in rural areas that, she said, have been “rediscovered by new forms of work”
The minister advocated that the country “needs to invest to attract people to Portugal” and reiterated that Portugal has already positioned itself to have ” the capacity to attract digital nomads.”
Godinho said that there are 650,000 foreigners employed in Portugal, a six-fold increase from 2015. Foreign workers currently account for 10% of the labor force and contribute 1.8 billion euros to social security, according to the minister.
The minister emphasizes the significance of “having open systems for new forms of work” and refers specifically to the regime that allows digital nomads to “actively contribute to Social Security, even if they work for companies in the US or anywhere in the world.”
Portugal has granted “around 550 visas” for digital nomads, the ministry claimed.
Portugal’s Algarve has emerged as one of the top locations for digital nomads, and some of its municipalities have even developed their own communities.
Lagos has also distinguished itself as a place where digital nomads choose to settle, currently holding the top spot in Europe on www.nomadlist.com, a popular website for remote workers.
The Lagos Digital Nomads initiative was founded in 2020 by Joana Glória. She reports that as of mid-September to mid-may, there are 6,500 members in the community, with the majority of them coming from Germany and the Netherlands.
A digital startup in Loulé, further east, developed a new platform to draw digital nomads to the borough’s interior areas.
“Rural Digital Nomads was developed to promote the settlement of remote workers in the mountain parishes of the Loulé municipality”, the promoter said.
“There are many digital nomadic communities on the Portuguese coast, but very few inland. The project comes to fill this gap. That is, we intend to create digital nomadic communities in the interior to solve this gap and attract people inland,” said startup founder Fábio Jesuíno.