Immigrating from Canada to Portugal: An Overview
For many Canadians seeking warmer and more affordable destinations, Portugal is increasingly becoming a top choice.
With its pleasant year-round climate, relaxed culture, enchanting charm, Mediterranean allure, and lower cost of living compared to most of Canada, it’s no wonder that more people are considering moving here.
Beyond the breathtaking landscapes and rich history, Portugal offers enticing work, study, and retirement opportunities, making it an attractive choice for those seeking a new chapter overseas.
If you’re still considering moving from Canada to Portugal, think about the 790 miles of stunning beaches and vibrant city life you can enjoy. Portugal unquestionably presents an irresistible allure for anyone planning to settle in.
- Immigrating from Canada to Portugal: An Overview
- Various Options To Immigrate to Portugal from Canada
- The Portugal Golden Visa Program
- The Family Reunification Visa in Portugal
- Residency Visas for Employment
- D7 Visa in Portugal
- Residency Visas for Higher Education Study
- The Documents Required for a Visa Application from Canada
- How To Apply for Portugal Residence Visa from Canada
- Post-Arrival Steps In Portugal
- Long-Term Permanent Residency and Citizenship Options in Portugal
- Healthcare and Education in Portugal
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Portugal has extensive long-term visas for Canadians planning to move there. Some of the most common options include the following:
- Golden Visa
- D7 Visa
- Work visas
- Family reunification (D6) Visa
- Study visas
The particular visa you should apply for depends on the purpose of your stay.
Besides the visas, you will also need to apply for a residence permit when you enter the country. This permit authorises you to legally live, work, or study in the country throughout your stay. Depending on how long you stay in Portugal, you may become eligible for permanent residency and even citizenship.
It’s advisable to discuss your relocation plans with an immigration lawyer before you begin the application process. A lawyer will help you weigh your options and determine which immigration route is best for your circumstance. Call +44 (0)333 305 9375 to speak with an IAS immigration lawyer today.
The Portugal Golden Visa or D9 visa is one of the most common visa options for Canadians intending to relocate to Portugal. With this visa, you only need to reside in Portugal for seven days in your first year and 14 days each year afterwards.
To apply for the Golden Visa, you must be at least 18, have a clean criminal record, and make a significant investment in Portugal. The acceptable investments include the following:
- Creation of 10 permanent jobs
- A venture capital or investment fund worth €500,000
- An investment in a cultural heritage or artistic production worth at least €250,000
- A scientific research contribution of €500,000
Benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa
There are several benefits to relocating to Portugal with the Golden visa, and some of these include:
- A good investment in a market with sufficient ROI
- A short-stay requirement
- Travel access to countries within the Schengen area and the EU
- Opportunity to qualify for Portuguese and EU permanent residency and citizenship
- Ability to liquidate your investment when you become a permanent resident
- Ability to live, work, and study in Portugal
- You can add family members to your application to join you in Portugal.
The Portugal Family Reunification Visa is also called the D6 visa. It allows foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Portuguese citizens or permanent residents to join their relatives in Portugal.
To be eligible for the Family Reunification Visa, you must be a direct relative of the Portuguese citizen in any of the following ways:
- A spouse
- A dependent child under 18 (including adopted children)
- Dependent children enrolled in a Portuguese educational institution
- Minor siblings under the legal custody of the Portuguese citizen
- Family members that are dependent on the Portuguese citizen financially
Civil or unmarried partners are also eligible for Family Reunification Visa. Partners and their dependents can apply if they meet the following criteria:
- The partner is in a non-marital legally recognized relationship with the Portuguese resident, whether within Portugal or abroad
- The children of the legal partner (including adopted children) are under the lawful guardianship of the Portuguese resident
The D6 visa allows eligible family members to live, work, and study in the country. The duration of this visa is the same as the Portuguese family member’s residence permit.
Documents For the Family Reunification Application
When applying for the Family Reunification visa, you must prove a familial relationship with the Portuguese citizen applying on your behalf through the following document:
- Birth certificates for a dependent child
- Marriage certificates for a spouse
- Circumstantial evidence of unmarried partnership
Your relative will also need to provide the following documents:
- Proof of their legal residency in Portugal
- Proof of financial means to support you
- Valid passport
- Evidence of economic dependence for a first-degree relative in direct ascending. This relative must be under 65
Residency Visas for Employment
Portugal offers various work visa options for Canadians seeking to work in the country. The main types of work visas available are:
- D1 Visa: The D1 or Subordinate Worker Visa is for individuals who already secured a job in Portugal. This visa grants them the right to work and reside in the country for more than 12 months. It’s a great option if you have been offered a position in Portugal and wish to establish a long-term career there.
- D2 Visa: Entrepreneurs looking to explore business opportunities in Portugal can benefit from the D2 Visa. It is for individuals who aim to start or expand their own business in the country. The D2 provides the opportunity to live in Portugal while actively working on their entrepreneurial venture, contributing to the country’s economic growth.
- D3 Visa: The D3 Visa is for highly qualified professionals with specialized skills or qualifications in scientific research, technical fields, or management positions. It allows talented individuals to work with national companies in Portugal, contributing their expertise and knowledge to various industries.
D7 Visa in Portugal
The Portugal D7 Visa, or the Retirement or Passive Income Visa, is for individuals who wish to relocate to Portugal and live off passive income sources. This visa is particularly appealing for retirees, remote workers, and digital nomads seeking a relaxed lifestyle in a country with a low cost of living.
To be eligible for the D7 visa, you will need to demonstrate sufficient passive income, including pensions, salaries, or income from real estate investments. Your annual income should be at least 8,460 euros or higher, depending on the number of dependents accompanying you.
Another requirement for the D7 visa is to spend at least 16 months in Portugal during your first two years of living in the country.
Residency Visas for Higher Education Study
Portugal also offers the D5 Visa, a long-term visa that allows you to live and study in the country. This visa has some flexibility, allowing you to work part-time to support yourself while studying.
To apply for the D5 visa, you must already have been accepted to study a program at a recognized higher institute of learning in Portugal.
The Documents Required for a Visa Application from Canada
The specific documents you need to apply for a Portugal long-term visa will depend on the type of visa you’re applying for. However, here are some general documents you should submit:
- A valid passport
- Visa application form
- Two passport photographs
- Bank statements
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal, such as a rental agreement or mortgage record
- A clean criminal record
- Evidence of health insurance
- Determine the visa type: Decide which visa type suits your purpose of travel, such as work, study, family reunification, or retirement. Each visa type has specific requirements and documents.
- Gather required documents: Collect all the necessary documents, including passport, photographs, application form, proof of accommodation, financial means, and other supporting documents based on the visa category.
- Schedule an appointment: Book an appointment with the Consulate General of Portugal in Canada for visa application submission. The Consulate locations are in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
- Attend the visa interview: Attend the scheduled appointment and submit your visa application and the required documents. Be prepared to answer questions related to your travel purpose and background.
- Pay the visa fee: Pay the applicable visa fee at the time of submission. The fee varies based on the visa type and is non-refundable.
- Wait for processing: After submitting your application, wait for the visa processing time, which can take several weeks, depending on the visa type and application volume at the Consulate.
- Receive the decision: You will be notified of the visa decision once the processing is complete. If approved, you will receive the visa stamped in your passport.
Obtain a Residence Permit
Your visa is only valid for three months. As such, you must apply for a residence permit within that duration when you arrive in Portugal. To obtain a residence permit, visit the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) and apply for the appropriate residence permit.
Ensure you have all necessary documents, such as proof of accommodation, proof of financial means, and health insurance.
Obtain a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF)
You will need a Portuguese tax identification number (Número de Identificação Fiscal or NIF) for various financial and legal transactions, such as opening a bank account, signing a rental contract, or obtaining employment.
Depending on the type of visa route you came in through, you may already have a tax number. For instance, the Golden Visa requires a tax number and bank account to make an investment.
Open a Bank Account
If you don’t already have a Portuguese bank account, you should open one to facilitate financial transactions and manage your finances in Portugal. Having a local bank account will also be necessary for some official processes.
Enrol in Social Security
If you are employed in Portugal, your employer will register you with the Social Security system. If you are self-employed or a freelancer, you must register independently.
While many Portuguese people speak English, learning the local language will enhance your integration and communication with the local community.
Keep Documents Safe
Ensure you keep all your important documents, such as your passport, residence permit, and health insurance, in a safe and accessible place.
Long-Term Permanent Residency and Citizenship Options in Portugal
You can obtain permanent residence in Portugal if you have lived there for five years and wish to settle here indefinitely. Permanent residency provides a sense of stability, security, and many benefits that come with being a long-term resident.
To be eligible for long-term residency status, you must:
- Have no criminal record
- Demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language
- Have adequate financial means to support yourself during your residency
As a permanent resident, you have the freedom to live and work in Portugal indefinitely without the need for a residence permit. You’ll have access to Portuguese healthcare, education, and social services on the same terms as Portuguese citizens.
Permanent residency status in Portugal allows visa-free travel within the Schengen Area for visits. After holding permanent residency for one year, you may be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization.
Healthcare and Education in Portugal
When relocating to Portugal, it is crucial to understand the nuances of the country’s healthcare system, which may differ significantly from the healthcare systems in Canada.
Portugal offers a national healthcare system known as the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), providing access to medical services for all residents. To avail of this benefit, you must register with a local health centre, commonly known as “Centro de saúde,” and obtain a health number, known as “número de utente de saúde.”
While the SNS provides access to medical services, the treatment is not entirely free of charge. However, the fees for medical services in the SNS are generally considered very affordable compared to healthcare costs in other countries.
If you need additional coverage or prefer private healthcare services, private health insurance is available in Portugal. However, having private health insurance is optional in the country, and many residents rely solely on the SNS for their medical needs.
Education in Portugal
The Portuguese Ministry of Education oversees the country’s education system and follows the guidelines set by the Bologna Process, ensuring compatibility with other European countries’ educational standards.
The Portuguese school system is divided into three main stages: Basic Education (Ensino Básico), Secondary Education (Ensino Secundário), and Higher Education (Ensino Superior).
Portugal’s universities and higher institutes offer various academic programs and are known for their research activities and international collaborations. Tuition fees vary depending on the student’s institution, course, and nationality.
It’s important to note that Portuguese is the primary language of instruction in most educational institutions in Portugal. However, many universities offer courses taught in English to attract international students.
Our team of experienced immigration lawyers at IAS offers comprehensive assistance with Portugal visa and residence permit applications. We provide expert guidance on eligibility, document preparation, and compliance, ensuring a smooth process.
If you choose IAS, we will review your case to determine which immigration route is best for you and help you prepare and submit your application. Your assigned lawyer will answer any questions you have regarding the process and follow up with the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate on your behalf.
We aim to make the immigration process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. With our team of skilled immigration lawyers, you can trust that we will handle your case professionally, ensuring the best chance of success in your visa or residence permit application.
Last modified on October 24th, 2023 at 11:32 am
Need help with an immigration issue? Book a one-to-one advice session with one of our legal caseworkers.
We can complete your visa application on your behalf, taking the stress and hassle out of the process.
Fast Track Package
Need to submit an application quickly? We can help you complete and send it off in as little as 24 hours.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal with our legal support and guidance.
The Advice Package
With our Advice Package, you can book a one-to-one session with one of our legal team and receive bespoke advice tailored for your situation. We will review your case and give you expert advice on how best to proceed with your immigration matter. Reach out to a member of our team and book your session today.
The Application Package
Our Application Package is designed to help relieve the stress of immigration applications. One of our legal caseworkers will help you throughout the entire process, including establishing your eligibility for your chosen route, completing your application form to the highest standards and organising your documents. We will then submit it and monitor its status on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our premium Fast Track Package is ideal if you need to submit an application quickly, such as if you need to meet a tight deadline. Our lawyers will work closely with you to see that your application is completed to the highest standards and ensure you get your application in on time, helping to take the stress and pressure off you.
The Appeal Package
Visa appeals can be a stressful process, especially if you’re relying on a specific visa to be approved. Our legal team can help you navigate the whole process and maximise your chances of a successful appeal, working alongside you to reach a favourable result. We can also represent you in immigration-related hearings and tribunals.
Your residence permit allows you to work in any sector of Portugal. However, the job opportunities in Portugal are fewer and pay less wages than those in Canada.
The cost of living in Portugal is lower than that of Canada. The average cost of living in Canada is over 50% more expensive than in Portugal.
Yes. Canadian citizens can drive with their foreign driver’s license for up to 185 days. You can exchange your Canadian license for a Portuguese one within 90 days of arrival in Portugal without taking a driving exam. However, you must be below 60 to make this request.