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Portuguese Work Visas

US citizens and non-EEA citizens who want to come to Portugal to work must apply for a Portuguese Work Visa. Find out more about the requirements and the different types of Portugal Work Visas.

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    Who Needs A Visa To Work In Portugal?

    Citizens of EU/EEA countries, as well as citizens of Switzerland, can come to Portugal to work without having to apply for a visa. This means that they do not have to meet any specific requirements to be able to seek employment in Portugal, and they do not have to hold a job offer at the time of arriving.

    However, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must get a Residence Certificate (Certificado de Registo) if they plan to spend more than 3 months in Portugal. To obtain it, they must go to their local city council and provide the following documents:

    • Valid passport or national ID
    • Proof of employment or self-employment, or evidence showing that they have enough funds to keep living in Portugal and support themselves and their family
    • Proof of having private health insurance

    The certificate is valid for 5 years. After that, EU/EEA citizens can apply for Portuguese permanent residency.

    On the other hand, citizens of non-EU/EEA countries such as US citizens must apply for a Portuguese Work Visa to be able to work in Portuguese territory. There are several types of Portuguese Work Visas they can choose from depending on their profession.

    US citizens who successfully obtain the Work Visa to Portugal receive a temporary residence permit allowing them to stay in Portugal for 1 to 2 years. They can renew their residence permits provided that they continue to work in Portugal. Then, after 5 years of residing and working in Portugal, they can apply for Portuguese permanent residency.

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    What Are The Eligibility Requirements For The Portuguese Work Visa?

    Non-EU/EEA nationals such as US citizens who want to apply for the Portuguese Work Visa must meet the following eligibility requirements:

    • Have received a job offer from a Portuguese employer
    • Have enough funds to support themselves after arriving in Portugal
    • Have private health insurance
    • Have adequate accommodation in Portugal
    • Have a valid passport
    • Have not been prohibited to enter Portugal

    In addition to that, the employer in Portugal must have agreed to apply for the Work Permit from the Portuguese labor authorities on behalf of the US citizen, and the job opening in Portugal must have been posted for at least one month to ensure that it could not have been filled by Portuguese or EU citizens.

    Unfortunately, US or non-EU/EEA nationals cannot apply for the Portuguese Work Visa if they do not have a job offer in Portugal.

    If you want to come to Portugal to work but you are not sure whether you are eligible to apply for the Work Visa, get in touch with our lawyers. They can analyse your circumstances and help you determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria. Call us today on: +1 844 290 6312

    What Types Of Portuguese Work Visas Are There?

    Portugal offers both short-term and long-term Work Visas. US citizens coming to Portugal to complete a temporary work contract lasting less than 6 months should apply for a Short-term Portuguese Work Visa.

    This type of visa can be extended up to one year if the holder can prove that they engage in scientific research or academic teaching in Portugal.

    US citizens who plan to stay and work in Portugal long-term should apply for a Long-term Portuguese Work Visa instead.

    Depending on their profession, US or non-EEA citizens can choose from the following Portuguese Work Visas:

    Our lawyers can assess your qualifications and help you determine which of the different Portuguese Work Visas is the right choice for you. Call our legal experts today on: +1 844 290 6312

    How To Apply For A Work Visa To Portugal As A US Citizen?

    The application process for the Portuguese Work Visa begins with the employer applying for a Work Permit on behalf of the foreign worker. To get the Work Permit, they need to provide the following documents:

    • Employment contract they offered to the foreign worker
    • Company tax statements
    • Proof of having registered with Social Security
    • Proof that they were not able to fill the job opening with an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen

    Once the US worker receives confirmation that their employer’s application for the Work Permit has been granted they can continue the application process and submit their Work Visa applications at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in the US.

    As part of the application process, US citizens need to provide the following supporting documents:

    • Employment contract
    • Passport photo
    • Valid passport
    • Copies of any previous Portuguese visas
    • Proof of having private medical insurance
    • Proof of accommodation

    The processing of applications for Portuguese Work Visas typically takes around two weeks.

    Most American nationals must apply for their Work Visa in advance but there are certain exceptions. Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Israel can apply for a Long-term Work Visa from within Portugal, within 90 days of arrival. This is due to the agreements Portugal has with these countries.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist you with your Portuguese Work Visa application. Contact Us

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      How Can Independent Workers Apply For A Portuguese Work Visa?

      US non-EEA nationals who want to come to Portugal to work as freelancers or to set up their own businesses must meet all the standard requirements for the Portuguese Work Visa. In addition to that, they must provide the following:

      • Proof of owning a business entity, being a sole trader, or having a contract for providing services
      • Declaration from a competent authority proving that you have the qualifications allowing you to take up employment in your work field

      Another route for independent US workers to come to Portugal to work is to apply for the Portuguese Work Visa as entrepreneurs. To be able to do that, they must meet at least one of the following requirements:

      • Be able to provide proof that they have made investments in Portugal
      • Be able to prove that they have sufficient financial resources to make investments in Portugal and that they plan to do so
      • Have obtained a declaration by the IAPMEI stating that their business is in an incubator

      If you are a US independent worker and you want to come to Portugal to work, get in touch with our lawyers. They can explain to you in detail how you can obtain the Portuguese Work Visa. Call our experts today on: +1 844 290 6312 or contact us via the chat.

      What Is The EU Blue Card?

      The Blue Card is an EU-wide work permit intended for highly qualified workers from non-EU countries, such as the US. Getting the EU Blue Card is equivalent to holding a residence permit in the country that issued it.

      Holders of the EU Blue Card enjoy practically the same rights as nationals of the member state where they live. This means that they can live and work there without having to obtain any other permits.

      After living in one country with the EU Blue Card, the holder can move to another EU member state to work. However, they must notify the local authorities there about it within one month of their arrival.

      The EU Blue Card is recognized by almost all EU member states, with Denmark and Ireland being the only exceptions.

      There is a minimum salary requirement US foreign nationals must meet to be able to get the EU Blue Card. The required salary threshold differs depending on the country the applicant wants to settle in.

      For US citizens who want to get the EU Blue Card and come to Portugal to work, you must have an annual salary of at least 24,535 EUR.

      In addition to that, applicants for the EU Blue Card must meet the following requirements:

      • Have a Master’s Degree or equivalent
      • Have at least 5 years of work experience in their sector
      • Have a job offer for at least one year in the country where they wish to work

      The EU Blue Card is typically valid for 3 years but Americans whose work contract gets extended have the right to renew their card. Those who have a work contract for more than a year but less than 3 years receive the EU Blue Card for the duration of their contract.

      After their EU Blue Card expires, holders have additional 3 months to find another employment. If they manage to do so, they can extend their Blue Card and stay in the country. However, if they fail to secure another employment, they must leave the country.

      Similarly, those who lose their job before their EU Blue Card expires have 3 months to find another job. If they do not manage to do so, they must return to their home country.

      Find out how we can assist with your Portuguese Work Visa application. Contact Us

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        How Can IAS Help?

        The process of applying for Portuguese Work Visas can be complex as there are many different visas applicants can choose from. Our lawyers can help you choose a Work Visa that best matches your qualifications as a US citizen.

        If you hire one of our lawyers, they will explain to you what requirements you must meet and what documents to provide. Thanks to their help, you can be sure that your case is as strong as possible.

        Our lawyers can also answer all your questions and clear any doubts you might have. They have a thorough knowledge of the Portuguese immigration system and have helped many US clients successfully come to Portugal to work.

        Call our immigration lawyers on +1 844 290 6312 for immediate help and assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Holders of any of the Portuguese Work Visas have the right to bring their immediate family members, including their spouse and any children, to Portugal through the process of family reunification.

                  However, to be able to do that, they must prove that they have enough money to support themselves and their family members after they arrive in the country.

                  If your family members join you in Portugal through family reunification, they will have the right to work and study.

                  Foreign nationals can get permanent residence in Portugal after legally living in the country for at least 5 years.

                  This means that you need to first spend 5 years in Portugal on the Work Visa or another long-term visa. After that, you can submit your application for a permanent residence permit. Permanent residents have the right to live and work in Portugal indefinitely.

                  It is also possible to obtain permanent residency in Portugal through investment. To do that, foreign nationals must commit to investing a large sum of money in Portugal.  After that, you can then look into becoming a Portuguese citizen.

                  Unfortunately, non-EU citizens can only apply for the Portugal Work Visa if they have received a job offer in Portugal. The application process for the Work Visa begins with the employer in Portugal obtaining a Work Permit on behalf of the foreign employer.

                  The situation is different for EU/EEA nationals. They have the right to come to Portugal to work without a visa and they can look for employment after arriving.

                  Those who want to obtain a long-term Work Visa in Portugal must pay 83 EUR (91 USD) for the visa and 72 EUR (79 USD) for the residence permit.

                  Highly skilled foreign nationals who wish to apply for the EU Blue Card must pay 107 EUR (117 USD) for the card and an additional 100 EUR (110 USD) for the residence permit.

                  There might also be other costs applicants must cover, for example, for having their supporting documents issued or translated.

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