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Portuguese Family Visas - A Complete Guide

Family members of Portugal residents and citizens can apply for Portuguese Family Visas if they live in another country.

For more information on Portuguese Family Visas, including eligibility criteria, documents needed for an application, fees and processing times, reach out to one of our friendly immigration advisers on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online today.

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    Overview Of Portuguese Family Visas

    A Portuguese Family Visa (family reunification visa) allows non-European Union family members, such as US citizens, of Portuguese residents or citizens to stay and work in Portugal for a limited period of time.

    Family reunification visas are divided into two main types: Portuguese Temporary Residence Visas and Portuguese Permanent Residence Visas.

    The temporary visa is valid for a maximum of two years, while the permanent residence visa can be renewed indefinitely.

    These visas are granted on a case-by-case basis, and applicants must prove that they have a genuine relationship with a Portuguese citizen or resident.

    In addition, applicants must show that they have adequate financial resources to support themselves during their stay in Portugal.

    The application process for this visa can be completed online, and it typically takes around six weeks to receive a decision.

    If approved, the visa will allow the holder to live and work in Portugal for up to two years with their family members. After this time, the visa can be renewed for an additional two years.

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    What Are The Eligibility Criteria For Portuguese Family Reunion Visas?

    To be eligible for Portuguese Family Visas, applicants must meet certain criteria.

    The applicant must be:

    • A family member of Portuguese residents or citizens (e.g. spouse, child, sibling, parent).
    • 18 years old or over.
    • Able to prove a genuine relationship with their Portuguese family member.
    • Have sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their stay in Portugal.

    To be eligible for a Portuguese family visa, family member has to be:

    • Spouse of Portuguese resident/citizen.
    • Parent or guardian of Portuguese citizen/resident.
    • Child under 18 years of age of Portuguese resident/citizen.
    • Civil partner in a Portuguese-registered partnership.
    • Children who are under your care and not Portuguese citizens.
    • Brother/sister of Portuguese resident/citizen.
    • Adult son/daughter of Portuguese resident/citizen.

    The sponsor must:

    • Be a Portuguese resident/citizen.
    • Have a Portuguese identity card or Portuguese passport.
    • Be able to show evidence that they have sufficient financial resources to support the applicant during their stay in Portugal.
    • Show family members proof of accommodation.
    • Be electronically registered with SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras).
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    What Are The Minimum Visa Requirements?

    To apply for a Portuguese Family Visa, US applicants must provide proof that they meet the minimum requirements. These include:

    • A valid passport or another travel document.
    • Proof of Portuguese family relationship (marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.).
    • Proof of Portuguese sponsor’s identity.
    • Proof of Portuguese sponsor’s financial resources.
    • Proof of Portuguese sponsor’s accommodation for all members.
    • Documents showing that the Portuguese sponsor is electronically registered with Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).

    What Are The Language Requirements?

    Applicants for the visa must demonstrate a basic knowledge of the Portuguese language. This is typically done by proving that the applicant has passed the Portuguese language proficiency test or completed Portuguese language classes.

    If this requirement is not met, the visa application may be denied. The CELPE-Bras test and the TEIPE test are both accepted Portuguese language tests. The tests can be taken at Portuguese universities or institutions.

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      How Do I Apply For The Family Reunification Visa?

      Overview

      Once applicants have ensured that they meet the Portuguese Family Visa requirements, they must submit their application.

      Applications can be submitted either through SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) or at Portuguese embassies and consulates abroad.

      Application Through SEF

      Applications for Portuguese Family Visas can be made online through SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras).

      To apply, the sponsor must first register electronically on the Portuguese government website. Once registered, they can complete an application form and attach the necessary documents.

      The documents should include proof of Portuguese family relationship, Portuguese sponsor’s identity and financial resources, Portuguese sponsor’s accommodation for all members and Portuguese sponsorship documents.

      After which, the Portuguese sponsor can submit the application to SEF and pay the visa fee.

      Application Through Portuguese Embassy/Consulate Abroad

      Portuguese family visa applications can also be made at Portuguese embassies or consulates abroad.

      The Portuguese sponsor must book an appointment and provide proof of their Portuguese family relationship, identity, financial resources, accommodation and sponsorship documents.

      Here are the steps in applying for a Portuguese Family Visa:

      1. Make an appointment with the Portuguese embassy or consulate abroad in your country of residence.
      2. Book a Portuguese language proficiency test or Portuguese language classes, if necessary.
      3. Gather all the required documents for your application, including proof of Portuguese family relationship, Portuguese sponsor’s identity and financial resources, Portuguese sponsor’s accommodation for all members and Portuguese sponsorship documents.
      4. Submit your application at the Portuguese embassy or consulate.
      5. Pay the Portuguese Family Visa fee.

      What Documents Are Needed For US Applicants?

      When applying for a Portuguese Family Visa, US applicants and sponsors must provide the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MNE) with valid documents proving the Portuguese family relationship, the Portuguese sponsor’s identity and financial resources, the Portuguese sponsor’s accommodation for all members and Portuguese sponsorship documents.

      The required documents for the applicant and Portuguese sponsor include the following:

      • Valid passport or other travel documents for all applicants.
      • Proof of Portuguese family relationship (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.).
      • Proof of Portuguese sponsor’s identity and financial resources (tax returns, bank statements, pay slips).
      • Proof of Portuguese sponsor’s accommodation for all members. These documents include bank statements, utility bills and tax returns.
      • Certificate proving that the residency type of the applicant allows family reunification.
      • Parental consent for minors, if applicable.
      • Criminal record certificate(s) of a family member(s).
      • Proof of educational enrolment in Portugal if Portuguese Family Visas are issued for studies or research.
      • Certified copy of the custody decision.
      • Documents showing that the Portuguese sponsor is legally allowed to stay in Portugal.
      • Portuguese sponsorship documents such as a Portuguese sponsor affidavit or Portuguese family reunion form.
      • Circumstantial evidence of Unmarried Partnership, as provided for in Article 2-A of Acordo CE/UE, if applicable.
      • Certified copy of adoption decision for adopted children.

      What Are The Fees And Processing Times?

      The Portuguese Family Visa fees and processing times vary depending on the Portuguese embassy or consulate where the application is submitted.

      Generally, the usual fee is around €84. Also, you have to pay the fee for the temporary national visa as well, which is about €75. So, in total, the fees for a family reunion visa will be around €159.

      The processing time for a family reunification visa also varies depending on the Portuguese embassy or consulate. However, it usually takes around two to three months to process the application.

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        What Happens After I Apply?

        After submitting the application, the Portuguese embassy or consulate will review all the documents and may request additional information or documentation from the applicant and the Portuguese sponsor.

        If all the documents are in order, the Portuguese embassy or consulate will then forward the application to SEF for processing. The processing time is around 60 days.

        If the Portuguese Family Visa application is approved, the Portuguese embassy or consulate will issue a Portuguese Residence Card (“Cartão de Residência”) to the applicant and Portuguese family members. This card will be valid for two years and can be renewed every two years.

        What Happens After My Application Is Approved?

        Once the family reunification visa is approved, the US applicant must then travel to Portugal and register with the Portuguese authorities within 90 days of arrival.

        After registering with the authorities, the applicant will then be able to apply for a Residence Card, popularly known as the temporary residence permit, with a duration of one year. After that, they can apply for a portugal residence permit.

        How Long Is The Portugal Family Visa Valid?

        The Portuguese Family Visa is valid for two years and can be renewed every two years.

        The renewal process must be done through the Portuguese Immigration Office (SEF) and requires the Portuguese sponsor to provide proof of Portuguese identity, Portuguese residence and Portuguese financial resources.

        The renewal will only be approved if the applicant is able to demonstrate that they have lived in Portugal continuously for two years and that they have followed Portuguese immigration laws during this time.

        Can I Extend The Visas?

        Yes, family reunification visa can be extended for an additional two-year period. The Portuguese sponsor will need to apply for the extension through SEF and provide proof of Portuguese identity, Portuguese residence and Portuguese financial resources in order to get it approved.

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          Can I Get Permanent Residence In Portugal With A Family Visa?

          Yes, Portuguese Family Visas can be used to apply for a Portuguese permanent residence permit.

          To do this, the US applicant must have lived in Portugal continuously for five years with a family reunification visa and must demonstrate that they have followed Portuguese immigration laws during this time.

          Also, Portuguese citizens or residents who have held a Portuguese permanent residence permit for at least one year can obtain Portuguese residence permits.

          Can I Get Portuguese Citizenship With A Portuguese Family Visa?

          Yes, Portuguese Family Visas can be used to apply for Portuguese citizenship. To do this, the applicant must have lived in Portugal continuously for six years with a family reunification visa and must demonstrate that they have followed Portuguese immigration laws during this time.

          Portuguese citizenship grants the Portuguese applicant nationality, as well as the right to vote in Portugal and the European Union. If the applicant is eligible, they can then apply for Portuguese citizenship through the Portuguese government.

          What Is An Independent Residence Permit And Who Needs It?

          An Independent Residence Permit is a document that authorizes a foreigner to reside in Portugal without the need for a work permit.

          This type of permit is granted to individuals who can demonstrate financial independence, typically through proof of employment, pension income, or investment funds.

          Independent Residence Permits are valid for one year and can be renewed indefinitely. Individuals who wish to apply for an Independent Residence Permit must do so at a Portuguese consulate or embassy in their country of residence.

          The application process typically takes several weeks to complete. Once approved, the applicant will be required to submit fingerprints and undergo a medical exam before the permit can be issued.

          Independent Residence Permits are generally only granted to individuals who have no criminal history and who pose no threat to public safety.

          How Can IAS Help?

          At Immigration Advice Service, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best Portuguese Family Visa advice and assistance.

          Our team of Portuguese immigration experts can help you understand the visa process and determine what type of Portuguese visa is best for your circumstances.

          We can also provide guidance on how to apply for a family reunification visa as a US citizen, including gathering important documents and navigating the Portuguese visa application process.

          Our Portuguese immigration advisors can help you evaluate your Portuguese Family Visa options and provide tailored advice to ensure a successful Portuguese visa application.

          Some of our services include:

          • Visa application assistance.
          • Visa eligibility assessment.
          • Visa application guidance.
          • Portuguese embassy or consulate support.
          • Portuguese residency permit applications.
          • Portuguese permanent residence permit applications.

          Contact us today on +1 844 290 6312 or online for more information.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to apply for the visa through the Portuguese Immigration Service (SEF) or by applying directly at a Portuguese embassy or consulate.

                    Yes, if you meet the Portuguese Family Visa requirements and can demonstrate financial independence.

                    An EU Family Visa allows citizens of non-EU countries to bring their family members to Portugal. To be eligible, the applicant must have a Portuguese residence permit and must meet certain criteria.

                    The Portuguese D6 visa is a type of Portuguese Family Visa that allows family members of Portuguese citizens and other Portuguese residents to enter Portugal. The applicant must demonstrate their connection to the Portuguese citizen or resident, as well as meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for the visa.

                    The processing time for visa depends on which type of Portuguese visa you are applying for. Applications made through SEF can take up to 6 months, while applications made through Portuguese embassies or consulates abroad can take up to 2 months.

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