- Overview of the Portugal Family Reunification Visa
- Who Can Apply for a Family Reunification Visa?
- How Do I Apply for a Family Reunification Visa?
- What Documents Do I Need to Apply?
- What Are the Fees and Processing Times?
- How Long Are Family Reunification Visas Valid For?
- Can I Apply for Citizenship With a Family Reunification Visa?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Overview of the Portugal Family Reunification Visa
The Portuguese family reunification visa (also known as the family visa, or family reunion visa) is one of Portugal’s residence permits.
It allows non-EU family members of Portuguese residents to travel to Portugal and join them to also become residents.
The non-EU national travelling to Portugal will normally receive a residence permit that’s valid for the same duration as their Portuguese family member’s.
To be eligible for the family reunification visa, both the Portuguese resident and the family member living outside of Portuguese national territory must fulfil a number of requirements.
Who Can Apply for a Family Reunification Visa?
Non-EU citizens who have a valid residence permit in Portugal may apply to bring the following family members to join them in Portugal:
- Married or registered partners
- Minor children, including adopted children
- Any children under the care of the applicant
- Dependent children who are of age and are enrolled in an established educational institution in Portugal
- First-degree relatives who are dependent on the applicant
- Minor siblings who are under the legal custody of the applicant
Note that those in Portugal with a student permit, on an unpaid traineeship or voluntary service may only bring their spouse, children, and adopted children to Portugal to join them.
How Do I Apply for a Family Reunification Visa?
The first step in applying for a family reunification visa involves the resident in Portugal submitting an application on the family member’s behalf.
This must be made to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, or SEF).
This initial application will be processed within 60 days and the resident, the family member and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be informed of the decision.
After the initial application has been processed and approved, the family member who wishes to travel to Portugal will then have to apply at a Portuguese embassy or consulate in their home country.
When applying to a local Portuguese embassy or consulate, you will need to ensure that you have all the required documents ready and prepared for your application. Note that any documents not in Portuguese need to be translated into Portuguese by an authorised translator and then certified by a notary.
You will then have to schedule an appointment with the embassy or consulate where you will present your documents.
If your application is approved, you can then travel to Portugal. You must make an appointment with SEF after your arrival in Portugal to register as a resident and receive your long-term residence permit.
What Documents Do I Need to Apply?
The applicants applying for a family reunion visas must submit the following documents visa application when applying:
- Proof of legal residency in Portugal (such as with a valid residence permit)
- Proof of relationship for family members, such as:
- Birth certificate
- Adoption certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Copies of valid passport, ID or travel documents
- Proof of viable accommodation for family members
- Proof of funds to financially support family members
- Criminal record certificate for family members
- Proof that the family members have been living legally in their current place of residence
- Proof of incapacity or economic dependency of any dependent relatives who are not minor children
- Birth certificate, proof of economic dependence and proof of educational enrolment in Portugal for children who are studying in Portugal
- Documents proving legal guardianship in the case of minor siblings
- Proof of de facto union for common-law partners
What Are the Fees and Processing Times?
A Portuguese family reunification visa costs around €84 to obtain.
Family reunification visas normally take around 60 days to process, although this may take longer depending on how busy SEF are and the volume of applications they have received at any one time.
How Long Are Family Reunification Visas Valid For?
If the Portuguese resident has a temporary residence permit, family members will receive a family reunification visa that is valid for the same duration as the temporary residence permit. However, the family reunification visa will be eligible to be renewed beyond its initial expiration date.
Portuguese temporary residence permits are normally valid for a period of up to five years.
If the Portuguese resident has a permanent residence permit, the family reunification permit issued will be valid for a period of time up to two years, although this can also be renewed and extended.
After the initial two year period, family members can obtain an independent residence permit if the family link is still present.
Can I Apply for Citizenship With a Family Reunification Visa?
After the family member has lived in Portugal continuously for five years, they will be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
If you manage to obtain permanent residency, you will then be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship after another one additional year (six years of residency in total).
Note that you will need to provide proof of a basic working knowledge of the Portuguese language to be eligible for citizenship, as well as proof that you have not been convicted of any crimes during your residency in Portugal.
How Can IAS Help?
The Portuguese family reunification visa is an excellent route to Portuguese residency for those who have close family members who already hold residence in Portugal.
If you’re interested in applying for the family reunification visa, or if you have any other questions, concerns or queries about emigrating to Portugal, IAS can help.
We are expert legal advisers specialising in immigration law and helping people emigrate around the globe. We can help you through every step of the application process, including coordinating with your family members, liaising with Portuguese officials and SEF, and helping you to assemble the required documents you need to successfully apply.
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
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With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
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With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
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Yes, you will be able to work or study in Portugal with a family reunification visa. However, you must get in contact with a local branch of SEF first before you do so in order to notify them of your intention to work or study.
If the family ties are severed, such as in exceptional cases like divorce or death, you may be eligible to apply for an independent residence permit within the first two year period of your family reunification visa.
Yes, Portugal allows dual citizenship, which means that Portuguese citizens are able to be citizens of other countries in addition to Portugal.
However, you must ensure that your home country also allows dual citizenship before applying to become a Portuguese citizen.