Immigrate to Portugal from Ireland
Portugal has some of the best weather all year-round and about 790-mile beaches, as well as work, study, and retirement opportunities, which is among the reasons many people move from Ireland to Portugal.
The recent modification of the Portuguese Golden visa means applicants have one less route to move to Portugal. You will need a registration certificate to stay for about 5 years in Portugal as your Irish passport will only be able to grant you entry into Portugal for 90 days within 180 days as an Irish citizen.
- Immigrate to Portugal from Ireland
- Residence Options for Ireland Citizens to Portugal Relocation
- The Portugal Golden Visa Programme
- Family Reunification in Portugal
- Applying for Portugal Residence From Ireland
- Post-Arrival Steps And Advice
- Long-Term Residency and Citizenship in Portugal
- Healthcare and Education in Portugal
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Irish citizens can enter Portugal without the Portuguese visa and stay for up to 90 days. Additionally, Irish citizens who want to stay for more than 90 days in Portugal would need to apply for a registration certificate at the local council.
The registration certificate allows Irish citizens and other European Union member countries’ citizens to stay in Portugal for up to 5 years. However, the Irish applicants must apply for the registration certificate within 30 days of their first 3 months stay in Portugal.
But if you’re a foreign national in Ireland, then you can apply for other kinds of Portuguese visas like a Portugal Tourist visa from Ireland and a Residency visa (valid for 4 months) which can allow you to have two entries in Portugal.
The following are the purposes of travel that the Portuguese Residency visa may allow:
Higher Education Teaching
If you are a highly qualified professional or intend to engage in higher education teaching for highly qualified cultural purposes, then this residency visa is for you. It allows you to teach in Portugal for 2 years and it can be renewed for 3 more years. You must provide an invitation letter or a contract of employment issued to you by a research centre or an educational or vocational training establishment.
Study in Portugal
This is a Residency visa for study, research, volunteer, or school exchange purposes (for bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD studies). Applicants that are accepted to Portuguese universities can obtain a residence permit that will be valid throughout their study period. The student permit will last for 1 year, thereafter, applicants need to renew their student permits annually during their studies.
Working in Portugal
You can stay in Portugal based on your Residency visa provided you perform an independent business activity or you’re employed. As an employee, your employer has to apply for a work permit at the Portuguese Labour Authorities. Thereafter, you will be issued a work permit depending on the type of work you do in Portugal.
Investment in Portugal
This type of Residency permit has different regulations and is granted to investors who will conduct investment activity through a Portuguese company. These investors engage in capital investment worth €500,000 in total value.
Digital Nomad in Portugal
The Portugal Digital Nomad visa is a Residence visa designed for remote workers and freelancers in Portugal. It’s of two types (temporary stay and residence visa). Remote workers who want to stay in Portugal for a year can apply for a temporary stay and may apply for a residency permit which can be extended for up to 5 years if they want to stay for a longer period of time in Portugal.
Retirement in Portugal
The temporary stay allows you to live in Portugal for up to 1 year, while the Residence visa allows you to stay in Portugal for up to 5 years with a renewal option or exchange for permanent residency. You will also be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship after living in Portugal for 5 years.
Requirements for Residency Visa for Moving from Ireland to Portugal
You need to meet the following criteria to qualify:
- You have the financial ability and intention to start a business in Portugal
- You’re an educator or highly skilled professional with employment in Portugal
- You have secured enrollment in a volunteer, higher education institution, or research and have a student visa
- You have retired and you’re with someone who can support you
- Your Portuguese relatives live in Portugal and are citizens or permanent residents
- You have independent wealth and can support yourself on royalties, savings or investment income.
As an applicant for Residence visas, you:
- Must not have any criminal record or convictions
- Should have travel insurance
- Must provide proof of accommodation such as a deed or lease
- Must have proof of financial independence such as an investment account or bank statements or an employment letter from a licensed Portuguese employer.
However, if a Portuguese citizen states that you will be supported financially and signs a certificate of responsibility, you may not be required to provide proof of financial independence.
To ensure that you prepare the necessary documents and that your visa application is accepted, reach out to one of our immigration advisers at IAS. We can give you comprehensive information about the requirements for visa applications. Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.
The Portugal Golden visa Programme is a resident-by-investment programme designed for non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss nationals. Therefore, if you have enough funds to invest in Portuguese businesses as an Irish resident without an Irish passport (non-EU/EEA/Swiss national) then the Portugal Golden visa Programme is for you.
Because of the Portuguese government’s proposal to stop the real estate golden visa, five routes to Portugal golden visa remain open to investors. The routes that are still available to investors cost between €250,000 and €500,000.
For the €250,000 route, as an investor, you could decide to contribute to nationally recognised research institutions. Another option is that you can decide to contribute to any projects of artistic or cultural significance or preservation of natural cultural heritage.
For the €500,000 route, it looks out for foreigners who wish to invest in venture capital funds provided that the investment would mature at the earliest in 5 years. Additionally, you can also invest directly in a commercial enterprise that creates a minimum of 5 permanent jobs for locals for at least 3 years.
The final route is designed for investments that create a minimum of 10 jobs for locals.
What Are Portugal Golden Visa Requirements?
There are certain requirements you need to meet in order to qualify for the Portugal Golden visa. They include:
- You must invest a small amount of money in your specific investment category
- You must spend at least 7 days yearly in Portugal
- You must maintain your investment throughout your residency in Portugal under the Golden visa
It should be noted that once you become either a Portuguese citizen or a permanent resident, you won’t need to maintain this investment any longer as the investment can even be liquidated.
Process of Obtaining Portugal Golden Visa
Portugal Golden visa takes about 8 to 10 months to process. Here are the steps to get Portugual Golden visa:
Step 1. Decide on Your Investment Type
This first step requires that you analyse the available investment opportunities in Portugal and then choose the one you can embark on.
Step 2. Gather All Necessary Documents
You must assemble all the needed documents required of you as an applicant and that of your dependents (if any). This step might be a bit complicated because of translations of documents needed (if your documents are not in Portuguese or English language), notarising, and certifications needed.
Step 3. NIF and Bank Account
Getting a NIF and opening a bank account in Portugal doesn’t take much time as you can do both of them in a day. You may even delegate it to your lawyer to do that even without your presence in Portugal.
Step 4. Finalise the Investment
Now that you have chosen your preferred investment option and have gotten a NIF and bank account. Then proceed to pay for the investment.
Step 5. Submit Your Pre-Application
You will have to submit your pre-application online to the SEF immediately you have made the investment and gotten your documents.
In most cases, your legal representatives would submit your pre-application on your behalf and keep you updated in the process. Typically, it takes about 2 months to get your appointment date after your documents have been submitted.
Step 6. Schedule and Attend Your SEF Appointment
SEF will give you a set of dates that are available for your biometrics appointment after they have analysed your pre-application. Once you choose an appointment date, you and your dependents (if any) need to be present at the corresponding SEF office for your fingerprints to be taken and officially make your application.
Step 7. Get Your Golden Visa and Renew
After your biometrics appointment, you will receive your Golden visa residence card typically 4 months from your biometrics appointment. Your legal representatives will collect and send you the Golden visa residence card. Then you will need to renew your Golden visa card after 2 years.
Step 8. Become a Portuguese Citizen
Once you renew your Portugal Golden visa two times and have stayed for 5 years in Portugal, you will become eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship or permanent residency.
The application for citizenship takes about 6 months to 1 year. If you’re granted citizenship or permanent residence in Portugal, you will no longer be required to maintain your investment.
What Are the Benefits of Portugal Golden Visa?
The benefits that come from Portugal Golden visa include:
Opportunities to Work and Study
You and your family members will be permitted to live, work, and study in Portugal if you have a Portugal Golden Visa. Whether you choose a public school, a private school, or an international school, your children will gain from the educational system with outstanding opportunities for learning from primary to higher education.
Includes Family Members
Family members can be added to your Golden visa application. This can apply to your partner and minor children. Children under the age of 18 who are financially dependent on their parents or full-time students older than 18 can both submit applications.
Less Living Expenses
Portugal has significantly lower living expenses than Ireland. Lisbon’s consumer prices, excluding rent, are around 46.4% lower than Ottawa’s, according to statistics which were most recently updated in July 2023.
Rental costs are 51.8% less expensive in Lisbon when rent is factored in, while grocery costs are 71.5% less expensive. In order to save money, consider a high-quality yet economical lifestyle in Portugal.
EU Citizenship After Five Years
As long as you’ve held your investment for 5 years, you can then apply for citizenship. This is one of the reasons behind the popularity of the Golden visa. Once you obtain European Union (EU) citizenship, with your Portuguese passport you may be able to reside, study and work in any EU nation.
Travel Easily within Europe
Living in Portugal will make it simple for you to explore European countries and their diverse range of cultures. You can take advantage of numerous weekend European city breaks with Portugal’s excellent connections and reasonably priced flights for a quick trip.
Many International Schools
There are so many international schools in Portugal if you are thinking about moving there with your spouse and children who are of school age. Holders of Golden visas can take advantage of Portugal’s excellent education system, which extends from the primary level all the way up to post-secondary education.
Improve Your Quality of Life
Recently, Global Citizen Solutions unveiled its innovative Global Passport Index. The Quality of Life Index is one of the metrics used to determine how valuable a passport is. The Portuguese passport is currently at 13th position.
The nation boasts a welcoming atmosphere, a low cost of living, first-rate healthcare, and kind citizens. High levels of personal freedom, mouthwatering Mediterranean food, breathtaking scenery, a climate envied by most European nations, and immaculate beaches are also present.
Family Reunification in Portugal
Some of your family members are entitled to join you if you want to immigrate to Portugal. The following individuals can join you through the family reunification process:
- Your spouse
- Your underage children under your guardianship or that of your spouse
- Minors adopted by you whether you’re married or unmarried. This comes with a relevant decision from the Irish authorities, which must comply with the duties and rights of natural affiliation and which must be acknowledged in Portugal
- First-degree ascendants in the direct line
- Your children who attend a Portuguese educational institution while being looked after by you or your spouse
- Your underage siblings under your custody. The relevant authority in Ireland must have granted this custody and the decision acknowledged by Portugal
- Your children that are of age and under your charge or that of your spouse. They can only join you if you have already been granted a residence permit.
Civil partners can also leverage family reunification in the following cases:
- Where underage children (including legal partners’ adopted children) are under your legal guardianship or that of your partner
- Where you do not have a marital legally recognised partner within or outside the national territory.
Required Documents for Family Relationship
If you wish to apply for family reunification purposes, you must prove the family relationship through:
- Authenticated proof of familial ties and the family member’s identification documents
- Certified copy of the children’s adoption decision
- Proof of economic dependence in a direct ascending line for a first-degree relative who is under the age of 65
- Certified copy of custody decision
- Circumstantial proof of unmarried partnership.
Note that you may need to provide other documents depending on your particular case.
All documents that a foreign authority sends must be accompanied by a sworn Portuguese translation if such documents are written in a foreign language. The Portuguese Consulate or Portuguese Notary in the foreign country where such documents were issued has to certify the translation.
Applying for Portugal Residence From Ireland
You must submit the required documents for your Portugal visa application from Ireland to the Consulate General of Portugal in Dublin, Ireland, regardless of the purpose of your trip or the type of visa you are applying for.
You can get all the specifics about the requirements for applying for a visa at the consulate offices. The Portuguese Residency visa allows for double entry and it is valid for 4 months with 60 days processing time.
However, before submitting your Residency visa at a Portugal embassy or consulate in Ireland, you need to schedule an appointment with the embassy or consulate. To schedule the appointment, you may visit the embassy in person or write an email.
Ensure you arrange your visa application form and all the required documents before submitting your application. Additionally, you may be required to sit for an interview at the embassy or consulate.
If you want to apply for a residence permit based on family reunification or employment, your employer and a member of your family need to have submitted an application at SEF or the Portuguese Labour Authorities initially on your behalf. If you want to apply for either a Portuguese Family visa or a Work visa, the requirements will change.
Thereafter, you need to get ready all documents required for your visa application to migrate from Ireland to Portugal. Ensure you’re ready to meet the financial obligations for your visa application process.
The general requirements you may be asked to meet in relocating from Ireland to Portugal under a Residency visa include:
- A passport and two passport-sized photographs that conform with Portugal visa photo requirements
- Duly completed official visa application form
- Valid travel insurance
- Proof of funds to take care of yourself in Portugal
- Employment contract
- Certificate of criminal records
- Family certificate (if required)
- Parental consent (if required)
- Acceptance letter from a University (for students)
- Paid tuition fees (for students).
Request a Residency Permit
Once you arrive in Portugal based on the visa you have applied for, you will need to request a residence permit and the fiscal identification number from the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) which is Portugal’s immigration and border service agency.
Apply for Health Care in Portugal
You can qualify for Portugal’s long-established healthcare services that are regulated by the Serviço Nacional de Saude (SNS). You simply need to obtain a health card to get started.
You will need to bring your residence permit, and your social security card when you want to register at the local health centre. Thereafter, you’ll be able to access Portuguese healthcare services after getting your healthcare card.
Opening a Bank Account in Portugal
You need to provide four things in order to open a Portuguese bank account. They include an active phone number, a valid ID number, proof of residency in Portugal, and your tax identification number (NIF).
Some banks in Portugal allow the remote opening of accounts through video call, while others would require you to come in person.
Apply for Your Drivers License
Your Irish driver’s license will last throughout its validity in Portugal because Ireland is a member state of the EU. However, if you need to replace it with a Portuguese driver’s license.
If you never had a driver’s license, then you need to apply for the Portuguese driver’s license.
You need to obtain a driving record from your prior residence in Ireland in order to do this. Additionally, you need to provide a doctor’s certificate stating your fitness to drive.
Long-Term Residency and Citizenship in Portugal
If you have legally resided in Portugal for 5 years, you are eligible to apply to become a Portuguese citizen by naturalisation. In order to qualify for this status, you will also need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family (if applicable) without depending on social security.
Additionally, you must have housing and health insurance in Portugal. Furthermore, it’s critical to provide evidence of your proficiency in Portuguese and your level of societal integration.
You have to submit your long-term residency application in person to the Foreigners and Borders Service after duly filling out a special form. Here are documents you will also provide:
- A valid passport
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of income such as a payslip or job contract
- A certificate of qualifications issued by an authorised centre approving the level of Portuguese language proficiency
- Proof of tax payments and social security (if required)
If you have a long-term residency in Portugal, you can enjoy the same treatment as Portuguese nationals. You can equally access jobs and other benefits like in Portugal just like every other Portuguese.
You can reach out to one of our immigration lawyers at IAS for expert advice about more information on the benefits you can get by having a long-term residency in Portugal. Call our UK office today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.
Healthcare and Education in Portugal
While interested in moving to Portugal from Ireland, you need to know how Portuguese healthcare and education work.
Healthcare in Portugal
Public and private healthcare are both available in Portugal for everyone regardless of country. The most common healthcare (public healthcare) is better known as Sistema Nacional de Saúde (SNS).
You should be appointed a family doctor upon registering with your local centre. But if your local health centre can’t do that, they will place you on a waiting list where you will have to see whichever doctor is available in busier centres.
Additionally, you can get medication at any pharmacy all around the country if you need it. Some medicines can only be bought with a doctor’s prescription. These may be state-subsidised, in which case you would only be responsible for a percentage of the total price.
To obtain Portuguese medical services, you need to be registered with your local council in Portugal (junta de freguesia). You must present evidence of address here in Portugal to register with the nearby healthcare centre.
You must come with your work visa and your residence card. A healthcare number will be assigned to you once you’re done registering with the healthcare. Therefore, whenever you need to access public healthcare services, you’ll need to show your healthcare number.
Education in Portugal
Portugal provides various opportunities for higher education for adults and fresh high school graduates. And more than 90 post-secondary institutions are in Portugal.
Portugal’s robust educational system was recognised as the 25th best in the world by U.S. News & World Report. The public school system, which provides free education for kids from preschool through high school, is governed by the Ministry of Education.
Everyone in the nation, from age 6 to age 18, must attend either a private or public school. In Portugal, 92% of children attend preschool, despite the fact that it is not required.
Despite Portugal’s extensive public school system, some expats opt to enroll their kids in private international schools because English is a second language.
Irish citizens can enter Portugal without a visa. You just need your Irish passport to enter Portugal and stay for 90 days within a 180 days period.
Additionally, if you wish to stay for more than 90 days or even stay permanently in Portugal, you must obtain a registration certificate which grants you a Portugal residence permit allowing you to live and work in Portugal for 5 years.
We recommend you reach out to one of our friendly immigration advisers at IAS for expert guidance. We will help you assemble all the required documents needed for your application and give you tips for your Portugal visa appointment in Ireland.
Besides that, we will help you to ensure that you meet the requirements and apply for the specific residency visa type that suits your needs.
For more information about how to apply for Portugal visa from Ireland or any other immigration-related questions, get in touch with one of our friendly immigration advisers at IAS today. Call our UK office on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.
Last modified on October 9th, 2023 at 11:37 am
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Yes, Irish citizens can live, study and even work in Portugal. Even so, Irish citizens and their spouses do not need a visa or work permit to enter and work in Portugal.
Yes, it is cheaper to live in Portugal than in Ireland. Currently, the average cost of living in Ireland is more expensive than in Portugal with about 105%.
Yes, Portugal is a good country to live in as it has a high quality of life, an excellent climate, and is the 4th safest country in the world.