USA and the UK
- Who needs a Residence Permit in Portugal?
- What are the different types of residence permits available in Portugal?
- Portuguese Residence Permits for Work
- Portuguese Residence Permits for Study
- Family Reunification Portuguese Residence Permits
- Residence permits for highly skilled migrants and researchers
- Residence permits for EU Blue Card holders
- Residence permits for the self-employed
- Training and volunteer residence permits
- Portuguese Special Residence Permits
- Residency by Investment
- What are the requirements for a Portuguese Residence Permit?
- What are the documents required for a Portugal residence permit?
- What services does IAS offer?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs a Residence Permit in Portugal?
Since Portugal is part of the European Union, citizens of the EU are allowed to stay in Portugal for a period of up to 90 days without needing a registration certificate.
If an EU citizen becomes employed or enrolls in a course of full-time study during this time, they will be granted the same benefits and privileges as a Portuguese national.
After 5 years of residence in Portugal, EU citizens are eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit.
However, non-EU nationals who would like to stay in Portugal will need a visa unless their country of nationality has a visa-free travel agreement with Portugal. Most agreements for visa-free travel with Portugal only allow for a stay of up to 90 days.
If the stay is more extended, the foreign national must obtain a long-term visa before entry into Portugal.
Once in the country, the foreign national will then need to get a Portuguese residency permit after arrival in the country. This residence permit is valid for a length of stay between 1-3 years.
Residence permits allow foreign nationals to obtain a NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) which is an individual tax identification number needed for those who live and work in Portugal.
In addition, foreign citizens can open a bank account, apply for social security, obtain or exchange their driver’s license, and much more.
What are the different types of residence permits available in Portugal?
At the present moment, there are two types of residence permits available to non-Portuguese citizens and they are as follows:
- Portuguese Residency Visa
- Temporary Residence Permit
Portuguese Residency visas are short-term visas issued to foreign nationals who are not allowed visa-free access to Portugal. These visas are usually issued for stays of up to 3-4 months at a time. Once in the country, foreign nationals are given 4 months to register at the Portuguese Immigration and Border Services (SEF) where they will receive a residence permit.
Once you have been granted a residence permit, you will be able to legally stay in Portugal for an extended amount of time. Initially, the residence permit will be issued for 2 years after which it can be renewed for an additional 3 years. After 5 years of residence in Portugal, you will be able to apply for permanent residency.
Portuguese Residence Permits for Work
Individuals who are planning to stay long-term in Portugal for work will need to apply for an employment-based residence permit.
To receive this type of Portuguese residence permit, foreign nationals must have been offered a job position that has not been filled by an EU citizen within the last month.
Portuguese employers who are looking to hire foreign nationals will need to sponsor the work permit application at the Portuguese Labor Authorities.
If approved for their application, the foreign national will then be able to apply for a long-term Portuguese work visa at the nearest Portuguese Embassy in their country of residence.
If the work visa is approved, the foreign national can then travel to Portugal where they will then need to apply for a residence permit at the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).
This residence permit will be issued for 1 year and can be extended if the foreign national is still working in Portugal.
Portuguese Residence Permits for Study
Non-EU international students who would like to come to Portugal to study at an educational institution may apply for a Portuguese Study visa.
Once approved and in Portugal, the student will then need to apply for a residence permit. This permit will be valid for 1 year and can be renewed for as long as the student is engaged in a study program.
After the study program ends, international students can stay in Portugal if they have been offered an eligible job position which can lead them to a Portuguese work visa.
Family Reunification Portuguese Residence Permits
Non-EU nationals who would like to be reunited with an immediate family member who is either a current resident in Portugal or a Portuguese citizen may apply for a family reunification visa.
Once in the country, family members will need to apply for a residence permit. This permit will be issued for the same amount of time as the permit of the Portuguese resident.
Eligible family members include the following:
- Civil partners and spouses
- Children under the age of 18
- Children over the age of 18 who are dependent on their parents who reside in Portugal
- Direct descendants who are dependent on the sponsor
It should be noted that spouses/partners who have been married for 5 years will be given a residence permit that is valid for 2 years. This permit can be renewed every three years as long as the couple is still together and living in Portugal.
All family reunification residence permit holders can study and work freely in Portugal without the need for additional visa sponsorship. After 5 years of legal residency in Portugal, permit holders are eligible to apply for permanent residence.
Residence permits for highly skilled migrants and researchers
Non-EU citizens who are researchers, academic teachers, or work in other highly-skilled and qualified fields may receive a residence permit for highly skilled migrants and researchers.
Like other residence permits, these permits are initially valid for 1 year. However, these permits can only be renewed for up to 5 years after which, the non-EU national will need to apply for permanent residency if they wish to continue living in Portugal.
Residence permits for EU Blue Card holders
Non-EU citizens who have the qualifications and skills to work in highly-skilled fields may be able to apply for an EU Blue Card.
The EU Blue Card is similar to the United State’s green card in that it allows these highly-skilled workers to live and work in the EU counties (with the exception of Denmark and Ireland which are not a part of the scheme).
Those living in Portugal with an EU Blue Card for at least 18 months are eligible to apply for a residence permit for researchers or highly-skilled migrants.
Residence permits for the self-employed
Non-EU citizens who would like to start a new business or pursue other freelance opportunities in Portugal may receive a self-employed residence permit.
This permit requires providing extensive documentation and evidence relating to the self-employed business activities. Those who are self-employed in Portugal will need to register for self-employment with the local tax office.
Training and volunteer residence permits
If you are a non-EU citizen who is in Portugal to receive unpaid training or pursue volunteer work, you may receive a training and volunteer residence permit.
Students who are pursuing unpaid training opportunities in Portugal may continue to live in Portugal if they receive a valid job offer and change their residence permit status to one that is employment-based.
Residence permits for volunteers are valid for up to a year. If the volunteering program lasts longer than this amount of time, the residence permit can be extended. It should be noted that volunteer-based residence permits can not be renewed. In addition, volunteers are not permitted to engage in unpaid work while on this permit.
Portuguese Special Residence Permits
There are special circumstances in which non-EU nationals can apply for residence permits in Portugal. Residence permits can be granted based on special situations which may include the following:
- Individuals who are suffering from health conditions that require prolonged medical care who can’t or should not leave the country
- Individuals who have served in the Portuguese Armed Forces and wish to stay in Portugal
- Minor children who were born in national territory to foreign national parents who are residence permit holders
- Residence permit children of Portuguese resident permit holders who have reached the age of majority (these children must have resided in a Portuguese national territory since the age of 10)
- Individuals who have reached the age of majority but were born in Portuguese national territory and have never left the territory (or who have resided in Portugal since before the age of 10)
Residency by Investment
Wealthy individuals who would like to reside in Portugal may be eligible for the ‘Portugal Golden Visa‘. With this visa, non-EU citizens who invest a certain amount of money in Portugal can in return gain residency in Portugal.
This amount of money that needs to be invested will vary depending on the investment being made. Those who wish to invest in real estate will need to pay at least €500,000 in order to be eligible for the Golden Visa scheme.
Once the non-EU national is approved for a Golden Visa, he/she will then receive a residence permit. This permit is initially valid for 1 year. After that, it can be renewed every 2 years. After 5 years of legal residence in Portugal, Golden Visa holders will then be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
What are the requirements for a Portuguese Residence Permit?
To apply for a Portuguese residence permit, foreign nationals will need to have first received a Residency Visa. Once in the country, the visa holder will then need to secure accommodation for the entire duration of their stay.
Applications for residency permits can be made at SEF within 4 months of entering Portugal.
What are the documents required for a Portugal residence permit?
To apply for a Portugal residence permit, applicants will need to submit the following documents:
- A valid passport
- 2 photographs taken recently
- A valid Portuguese residence visa
- Any documents proving that the applicant has sufficient to finance their stay in Portugal
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal
- Prove that the applicant has health insurance or is covered by the National Health Service
- Employment contract (if the applicant is in Portugal under an employment-based visa)
- A letter of acceptance from a university in Portugal (if the applicant is in Portugal under a study visa)
- Proof that the tuition fees have been paid (for a study visa)
- Any documents proving a family relationship (if the applicant is in Portugal under a family reunification visa or is applying to bring dependent family members with them)
- Criminal/Police certificate
- Parental consent (if applicable)
All documents submitted must be in English or Portuguese. If not, they may need to be accompanied by certified translations. For more information regarding what documents will be accepted, contact your nearest Portuguese Embassy for more information.
What services does IAS offer?
If you have a dream of relocating to beautiful Portugal, our team of immigration attorneys is here to help you pursue that endeavor. We are happy to help you navigate the ins and outs of the Portuguese immigration system with premium services tailored to meet your needs.
Our immigration lawyers can help with the following legal services:
- Assessing your eligibility for Portuguese visas
- Guidance and assistance with the application process of applying for a Portuguese residence permit
- Checking your documents to make sure that your application is submitted with the necessary and relevant supporting documents
- Help with applying for permanent residence in Portugal or Portuguese citizenship
- Liaising on your behalf with the appropriate immigration authorities
For more information regarding the services, we can provide to you, contact us today at +1 844 290 6312 or leave us a message in the chat.
Last modified on August 16th, 2023 at 9:23 am
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To obtain a Portuguese residence permit, each applicant will need to pay the appropriate fee. Most residence permits cost around €84. This fee will need to be paid each and every time it is renewed.
The D7 Visa (Retirement Visa or Passive Income Visa) is a Portuguese visa that grants temporary residency to non-EU citizens. This visa is often used when applying for the Golden Visa Program. Any individual can apply for a D7 Visa if they can meet the minimum passive income requirements.
This visa is valid for 2 years and can be renewed for an additional 5 years. After 5 years of residence in Portugal, visa holders will then be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
If you have been living in Portugal for an extended period of time under a valid residence permit, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit. Normally, you can apply for permanent residence after 5 years of living in Portugal. Once you have obtained permanent residency, you may then apply to become a Portuguese citizen after a year or two of living in Portugal as a permanent resident.
EU citizens or non-EU citizens who are close family members of Portuguese citizens will not need a visa to come to Portugal.
Depending on the specifics of your Portuguese visa, you may be able to sponsor close family members to come with you to Portugal. For more information regarding family-dependent visas, get in touch with an experienced immigration attorney today.