USA and the UK
- What is a Portugal Family Reunification Visa?
- Who is eligible for a Family Reunification Visa?
- Family Reunification with Temporary Residence Permit Holders
- Family Reunification with individuals who have Portuguese permanent residence or citizenship
- How to apply for a Portuguese Family Reunification Visa
- What documents are required for a Portugal Family Reunification Visa?
- Can a Family Reunification Visa lead to Portuguese Citizenship?
- Can IAS help me with my family visa?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Portugal Family Reunification Visa?
The Portugal Family Reunification Visa, also known as a Family Visa/Family Reunion Visa, allows non-EU immediate family members of Portuguese residents to join their loved ones in Portugal.
This visa is issued by Portugal’s Immigration and Borders Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras or SEF) and is available to eligible family members of relatives who are living in Portugal on long-term and temporary visas.
Who is eligible for a Family Reunification Visa?
To apply for a Portuguese Family-Reunification Visa, you must be a non-EU citizen who has a family member who holds a valid residence permit in Portugal. Family members who are eligible for the Portuguese Family Reunification Visa include the following:
- Spouses and registered civil partners
- Children under the age of 18 years old (this includes adopted children)
- Children who are under the care of the Portuguese residence permit holder
- Children over the age of 18 who are dependent on the Portuguese residence permit holder and are enrolled at an established Portuguese educational institution
- Siblings who are under the age of 18 and are in the custody/legal guardianship of the Portuguese residence permit holder
- Any other ‘first-degree’ family member who is dependent on the residence permit holder (ex. elderly parents)
It should be noted that if the Portuguese residence permit holder is in Portugal under a Student Visa, Unpaid traineeship Visa, or Volunteer Visa can only sponsor their spouse and children (including adopted children) to come with them to Portugal.
Family Reunification with Temporary Residence Permit Holders
Non-EU nationals who are in Portugal under a Temporary Residence Permit can apply for a Family Reunification Visa for their eligible family member. These visas and subsequent residence permits will be issued for the same amount of time as the principal family member.
To qualify for this visa. temporary residence permit holders will be required to prove that they can support themselves and their families financially while in Portugal and have adequate accommodation for everyone coming to Portugal.
Family Reunification with individuals who have Portuguese permanent residence or citizenship
Non-EU nationals who have permanent residence status in Portugal after 5 years of legal residency, can apply for their family members to come to Portugal with a Family Visa. Residence permits issued under family visas will be valid for 2 years at a time.
After 2 years, eligible family members can apply for an independent residence permit. Spouses and registered civil partners who have been married or in a civil partnership with their partner for more than five years will automatically be given an independent residence permit.
Dependent children of permanent residents who are under the age of 18 will usually receive individual residence permits within 2 years of residence in Portugal.
After the 2-year residence permit expires, family members can receive the same permanent residence permit as their relatives in Portugal.
With a permanent residence permit, family members will be able to seek employment and educational opportunities without the need for visa sponsorship. Furthermore, they will also be able to receive public healthcare, social security, and tax benefits.
Naturalized Portuguese citizens will have the same rights as other EU citizens and can therefore have their family members join them in Portugal without the need for a family visa.
How to apply for a Portuguese Family Reunification Visa
Applying for a Portuguese Family Reunification Visa is fairly easy and straightforward and is as follows:
- The Portuguese residence permit holder submits a Family Reunification visa sponsorship application to SEF on behalf of their family member who is outside Portugal
- Within 60 days, the Portuguese residence permit holder and their family member abroad will receive a decision on the sponsorship application from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Portugal.
- If approved, the family member being sponsored for a Family Reunification Visa will then need to apply for a Family Visa at the nearest Portuguese Embassy or Consulate.
- Gather all necessary documents for the visa application and pay any necessary fees
- Schedule and attend an interview at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate where the visa documents will be submitted
- If approved, the family member can then travel to Portugal. Once in the country, the family member will then have up to 4 months to register at SEF where they will then receive their long-term residence permit
What documents are required for a Portugal Family Reunification Visa?
All applicants applying for Portuguese Family Reunion Visas will need to submit the following documents to SEF:
- Proof that the family member in Portugal has the right to sponsor their family member for reunification (ex. a valid residence permit or EU Blue Card)
- Proof of relationship to sponsoring family member (ex. birth certificate, adoption certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificates, certificate of guardianship, proof of ‘de facto’ union, etc)
- A valid passport or another valid government-issued travel document
- Proof of accommodation for family members
- Proof that the family member in Portugal has adequate funds to support their family members
- A criminal record certificate for each family member who is coming to Portugal
- Any evidence proving the family members outside of Portugal have been living legally in their current place of residence
- Proof of incapacity or economic dependency (for family members who are over the age of 18 years old)
- Proof of enrollment at an educational institution in Portugal (for non-minor children who are joining their parents in Portugal to study)
Can a Family Reunification Visa lead to Portuguese Citizenship?
Family members who have been living continuously in Portugal under a Family Visa for 5 years or more will be eligible to apply for Portuguese permanent residency.
After 1 year of living in Portugal as permanent residents, family members will then be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
It should be noted that in order to become a Portuguese citizen, all foreign nationals will have a clean criminal record and prove that they have a basic knowledge of the Portuguese language.
Can IAS help me with my family visa?
At IAS, we know that navigating foreign immigration systems can be difficult. That’s why we strive to make the process as straightforward and easy as possible for you.
Our experienced immigration professionals can help provide you with guidance through the Portuguese family visa application process.
If you need help with your emigration journey to Portugal, we can help assess your eligibility for different immigration pathways that will lead to long-term residence in the country. Contact us today at +1 844 290 6312 to learn more about the legal services we can provide you and how you can make your dream of moving to Europe a reality!
Last modified on August 16th, 2023 at 9:35 am
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If you are approved for a Portuguese Family Visa, you can enjoy the opportunity to legally work and study in the country. As always, make sure you notify your local branch of SEF before enrolling at an educational institution or starting employment.
If the sponsored family member severs ties with the principal visa holder (ex. through divorce or death), the family member may be able to apply for an independent residence permit if they are within the first 2-year period of their Portuguese Family Visa. For more information, contact an immigration attorney who is experienced in Portuguese law.
Yes, both the United States and Portugal allow for dual citizenship.
To apply for a Portuguese Family Reunification Visa, applicants will need to pay the €84 application fee.