- What is a Portuguese Work Visa
- Who Needs A Portuguese Work Visa
- Eligibility Requirements for Obtaining a Portuguese Work Visa
- Types of Portuguese Work Visa
- Portuguese Work Visa Application Process
- Portuguese Work Permit
- Documents Required For a Portugal Work Permit
- Applying for a Portuguese Work Visa
- Documents Needed for a Portuguese Work Visa Application
- Portuguese Residence Permit
- Types of Portuguese Residence Permits
- How to Apply for Residence Permit in Portugal
- Documents Required For a Residence Permit Application in Portugal
- Cost of Applying for a Portugal Work Visa
- Portugal Work Visa Processing Time
- How Can IAS Help?
What is a Portuguese Work Visa
A Portuguese work visa is an official permit that allows you to work legally in Portugal. It could be a short-term visa that allows you to work or conduct business in Portugal for less than six months or a long-term visa/resident permit allowing you to work in Portugal for longer durations.
Portuguese visas are typically valid for four months, so obtaining one only permits you to work in Portugal for three months (90 days).
You’ll have to get either a resident permit (for Non-EU nationals) or Residence Certificate (for EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals) upon arrival in Portugal if you intend to remain in the country longer than three months.
Who Needs A Portuguese Work Visa
Portugal is a part of the Schengen region; EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens do not require visas to travel to Portugal. They only need a valid ID or Passport. However, EU citizens will have to register with the City Hall within their locality if they intend to stay more than three months.
They’ll be given a Residence Certificate (Certificado de Registo) which permits them to live and work in Portugal.
Non-EU nationals need a Portuguese visa to travel to Portugal. Only citizens of countries whose governments are in a bilateral agreement with the Portuguese government (such as Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and the USA) can apply for a visa upon arrival. All other non-EU nationals must obtain their visas before they can be granted entry into Portugal.
A Portugal work visa is only issued to a non-EU national who has a valid job offer from a Portuguese company or is married to a Portuguese citizen.
Foreign nationals coming to Portugal for employment are expected to apply for and obtain their temporary residence permit upon entry.
A Portuguese visa is valid for four months giving sufficient time to apply for a residence permit with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service, SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras).
You can apply for Portuguese permanent residency after holding a temporary residence permit for five years. You will no longer need a work visa to work in the country once you have a permanent residence permit.
Eligibility Requirements for Obtaining a Portuguese Work Visa
When it comes to granting work visas, Portugal gives preference to European Union nationals over non-EU nationals. Non-EU citizens must meet the following criteria to be eligible for a Portuguese work visa:
- Have a work permit (obtained by your employer on your behalf).
- Have no criminal convictions.
- Have the required professional qualification and experience.
- In cases of transfer, you must have worked for the organisation in your current country of residence for at least 12 months.
- Earn a salary above Portugal’s national minimum wage.
- Must not have been prohibited from entering Portuguese territory.
- Must have no admission restrictions in the Schengen information system.
- Must have no admission restrictions in SEF’s information system.
You may need an immigration expert to help analyse your situation and ensure that you meet the legal requirements before applying.
IAS lawyers are immigration experts and will walk you through the Portuguese visa application process. Call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to speak with one of our lawyers and get immediate help with your situation.
Short-Term Work Visa
The short-term work visa allows you into Portugal for short-term employment or a contract of less than one year. It is valid for the duration of your contract but can be extended for up to 1 year where necessary. You need a Portuguese temporary stay visa if you’ll be undertaking any of the following in Portugal for a year or less:
- Seasonal work.
- Amateur sports activity.
- Performing arts or show business.
- Professional training.
- Religious training in a religious congregation.
Long-Term Residency Visa
Non-EU nationals taking up employment in Portugal or transferring to a Portuguese branch of a multinational must apply for a long-term visa and resident permit.
Before travelling to Portugal, you’ll have to apply for a work visa from your home country or country of residence. Once you enter Portugal, you’ll apply for a residence permit with SEF.
You need a long-term residency visa if you’re travelling to Portugal for any of the following:
- Long-term employment in a Portuguese company.
- Long-term transfer to the Portuguese branch of a multinational.
- Self-employed work.
- Investment purposes.
The visa is valid for four months and allows for two entries, giving you enough time to obtain a residence permit.
Portuguese Work Visa Application Process
Although applying for a Portugal work visa takes several processes, it is easy if you understand the system.
The application process for a Portuguese work visa is in three phases.
- Getting your work permit: This is the first step in getting a Portuguese work visa after securing a job with a Portuguese employer. Your employer is to make the application for a work permit to the Portuguese Labour Authority on your behalf. Once the application is successful, your employer will issue you the work permit, which you’ll use to apply for a Portuguese work visa.
- Applying for your work visa: After receiving your work permit, the next step is applying for a Portuguese work visa at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate nearest you.
- Resident Permit Application: You’ll have to make an appointment with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) for your residence permit when you enter Portugal.
Portuguese Work Permit
A Portuguese work permit is a document that proves you have genuine employment in Portugal and that the job meets all the requirements for a Portuguese work visa and residence permit.
Employers are to apply for work permits (Autorização de Trabalho) with the Portuguese Labour Authorities on behalf of their non-EU employees coming to work in Portugal.
Due to high unemployment rates in Portugals, the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training allows employers to offer non-EU citizens only roles that Portuguese, EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens cannot fill.
Employers have to advertise their openings to EU and EFTA nationals for at least one month.
Once your Portuguese employer obtains a work permit for you, you can then apply for a Portuguese work visa using the work permit.
With professional help, you can accelerate the process of getting a work permit and applying for your visa. IAS lawyers can help you and your employer sort through the required documentation, apply on time and follow up on the application so that you can get your visa and resume work at the earliest possible time.
Documents Required For a Portugal Work Permit
To obtain a Portuguese work permit, employers have to provide the following documents:
- The employment contract.
- Company tax records.
- Proof of Social Security registration.
- Evidence that the role could not be filled by an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen.
- Other employee details, such as passport number and recent passport photos.
Note that your current work permit will no longer be valid if you change jobs in Portugal. You’ll have to get another work permit from your new employer. Failure to do so will result in Problems with the Portuguese Authorities.
Applying for a Portuguese Work Visa
Once you’ve received your work permit from your employer, you can apply for a work visa at the Portuguese Consulate nearest you. The process of applying for a Portuguese work visa is as follows:
- Complete the application form: You’re to fill out all required details in the application form. An incomplete application form will render your visa application invalid. Once you’re done with this, you’ll need to call or email the Portuguese Embassy to book an appointment.
- Collect relevant supporting documents: As part of the application process, you’ll need to provide specific documentation during your appointment at the embassy. Getting all the required documents together might take time, but it’s best to start early, so you’ll have them ready before your appointment date.
- Go for your visa appointment: This appointment often includes a visa interview during which you’ll submit your supporting documents.
Documents Needed for a Portuguese Work Visa Application
To complete your visa application, you’ll need to provide certain documents to prove your identity, and that you need a Portuguese work visa. You’ll be required to provide some or all of the following documents in addition to your visa application form:
- A valid passport or another relevant travel document.
- Your employment contract with your employer.
- Your Portuguese work permit.
- Recent passport photographs.
- Proof of financial ability to fund your trip.
- Travel and flight details.
- Proof of accommodation -rental contract or hotel reservations.
- Criminal record from your home country or country of residence (for the last 12 months).
- Permission for SEF to check your criminal records.
- Proof of health insurance or valid travel insurance covering your stay in Portugal to the tune of EUR 30,000.
- Proof of legal residence if you’re not applying from your country of origin.
All required documents must be in Portuguese or English. You’ll need to provide notarised translations (from a certified translator) for documents in other languages.
You may also need to legalise some documents as proof of authenticity. You can do this through the Portuguese Embassy or Apostille Stamp in your country of residence.
Portuguese Residence Permit
A residence permit is a legal document allowing you to stay and work in Portugal for over three months.
Your work visa grants you entry into Portugal but does not automatically grant you residency. You’ll have to apply for a temporary residence permit with SEF once you enter Portugal.
A resident permit is usually valid for one year or two, depending on the type of permit, and can be renewed for two years at a time.
After five years of holding a Portuguese temporary resident permit, you can apply for a permanent residence permit with SEF. Once you’ve got a permanent residence permit, you’ll no longer need a work visa to work in Portugal.
Portugal Skilled Worker Visa
It is the standard residence permit for immigrants coming to work in Portugal. It is also known as a residence permit for subordinate activity and is usually valid for one year. It can be renewed for up to five years.
You’ll have to apply for a permanent residence permit if you wish to continue working in Portugal after five years. It is the best residence permit if you have a work contract or employment in Portugal that’ll last over a year.
Self Employment Visa
This residence permit is for foreign nationals who want to run their own business(es) in Portugal. It’s generally the same application process as the standard work visa. Still, you’ll be required to submit additional documentation, such as business registration with the tax office and details of business activities.
A self-employment visa, also known as Independent Worker Visa, is ideal for freelancers and digital nomads. Holders of this visa are not permitted to take on employment in Portugal. If they wish to do so, they’ll have to apply for a skilled worker residency visa.
High-Skilled Worker Visa
Portugal issues this type of permit to persons coming in to carry out highly qualified or highly rated professional activities as experts in their fields. Hence, it is also known as a highly qualified activity residence permit.
This permit covers professionals such as scientific researchers, medical professionals, higher education teachers/professors, and engineers. Highly skilled workers in performing arts and show business are also eligible for this residence permit category. Tech Visas also fall within this category.
EU Blue Card
EU Blue Card is an EU residency visa issued to highly qualified non-EU professionals with highly sought skills and qualifications. It is valid for one to four years (depending on the work contract) and allows its holder to work in Portugal and 23 other EU countries.
To qualify for an EU Blue Card, you must:
- Have the highest possible qualification in your field.
- Have a binding work contract or job offer in Portugal or any other EU country for at least 12 months.
- Earn an annual gross salary at least 1.5 times higher than the Portuguese national average.
An EU Blue Card is valid for the duration of your contract or up to 2 years and is renewable for three years at a time. You can apply for a highly skilled worker visa after holding the Blue Card for 18 months.
Training and Volunteer Work Visa
Non-EU nationals taking on unpaid volunteer work and training placements in Portugal lie within this category.
This particular residence permit allows them to stay in Portugal only for one year except for situations where the training or volunteer contract is for longer than one year. An t is not renewable.
Trainees and volunteer work visa holders who want to take up employment after their training can submit a skilled work visa application to SEF once they get a job contract.
They’ll have to apply before their volunteer work visa expires. They’re permitted to start working while waiting for their subordinate work visas if they complete their training before the expiry of their volunteer visa.
How to Apply for Residence Permit in Portugal
You’ll need a tax number and social security registration to obtain a resident permit in Portugal. You can get the tax number before travelling to Portugal or when you arrive in the country.
However, you’ll need a Portuguese bank account to qualify for a tax number. So the first step will be to open a Portuguese bank account.
You can do your social security registration at the Portuguese Social Security Office closest to your residence in Portugal.
After completing your social security registration, you’ll attend an interview with SEF. Embassy authorities in your home country can help you book the appointment after your visa interview, or you can make the appointment once you arrive in Portugal.
During this interview, SEF will collect your biometric data, social security and tax information. You’ll receive your resident permit at the end of the interview. IAS lawyers are experts in Portuguese immigration law.
We will walk you through the details of applying for a residence permit so that you can regularise your documents before the expiry of your visa. Call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375, or contact us online today.
Documents Required For a Residence Permit Application in Portugal
You’ll be required to provide the following documents and the completed application form to get your Portuguese residence permit:
- Valid residence visa.
- Valid passport or any other government-issued travel document.
- Signed employment contract.
- Two recent passport photographs.
- Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself.
- Tax number.
- Proof of Portuguese social security registration.
- Proof that you meet the required Portuguese qualification for a regulated profession.
- Proof of accommodation.
- Police clearance from your former country of residence (where you’ve lived for the last 12 months before moving to Portugal).
- Permission for SEF to check your criminal records.
- Proof of travel health insurance.
- Proof that you founded a company or business (for self employment residence permit).
Cost of Applying for a Portugal Work Visa
Application fees differ for the different Portugal work visas. Also, because the visa application process involves several steps, you’ll have to pay more than one fee. The main fees to be paid are:
- €90 for the temporary visa that will allow you to enter Portugal.
- €83 to submit your work residence permit application to SEF.
- €72 to collect your work residence permit from SEF.
Altogether, obtaining a Portuguese residence work visa will cost you €245. There might also be other minor costs, such as making copies and mailing documents.
Portugal Work Visa Processing Time
There’s no fixed processing time for a work visa application in Portugal. The application time is individual application specific and depends on many factors.
It can take up to 60 days to get a Portuguese work permit. After getting the work permit, It will take the Portuguese Embassy another two to three months to issue you an entry visa.
How can IAS help?
Obtaining a Portuguese work visa requires multiple applications and takes time. Pursuing a work visa without professional help can be very stressful, especially when you’re unfamiliar with Portuguese immigration laws.
IAS lawyers can help you scale through the hurdle of getting a Portugal work visa with ease. We are experts in Portuguese immigration policies and have helped many people get their Portuguese work. We are willing and available to help you too.
Call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or reach us via the online contact form for immediate assistance.
Last modified on August 17th, 2023 at 1:58 pm
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Yes, foreigners can work in Portugal. They’ll first have to get an employment offer, receive a work permit from their employer, and then apply for a Portugal work visa.
The total cost for a skilled work visa in Portugal is about €245: €90 for your entry visa application, €83 for your temporary residence application, and €72 for receiving your resident permit from SEF.
You can work in Portugal without a work visa if you’re an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen. But you’ll need to get a residency Certificate to work in Portugal for over three months.
Yes, you can gain Portuguese citizenship with a work visa, but you must have held a permanent resident permit for at least five years. After holding a temporary permit for five years, you qualify for a permanent residence permit.