- Country Name: Portuguese Republic
- Capital: Lisbon
- Population: 10,427,301 (2014 estimate)
- Language: Portuguese
- Time Zone: WET (UTC)
- Dialing Code: +351
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
This FAQ has been created as an introductory guide to immigration procedures for Portugal. Since rules and requirements in every country are constantly changing and each case must be assessed on its own merits, for in-depth and up-to-date advice, please contact us.
Please note, we can only advise on matters relating to immigration and are unable support you with employment in a new region. We do however have a network of trusted partners that can support your move, so please visit Our Partners page for further information.
Although Portugal’s industries are largely manufacturers, Portugal is the world leader in the production of Renewable Energy which has attracted large amounts of foreign investment.
Manufacturers, textiles, iron and steel, shipbuilding, oil refining, chemical production, machinery, tourism, electronics, renewable energy and food and beverage.
There are two options for long term assignments in Portugal:
Residence Visa (Highly Qualified) – for highly skilled employees with local contracts in Portugal or for highly skilled service providers who will be in Portugal for at least one year.
Blue Card (Cartão Azul) – for highly skilled employees with three year graduate diploma or minimum of five years professional experience with a concrete job offer (local hire) from a Portugues company, a contract directly with the Portuguese company, and paid at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary. This is an EU-wide with some exceptions) immigration process for highly skilled employees with higher professional qualifications.
Processes and requirements will vary according to the labour market at the time of application, the type of work permit being applied for, the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants – particularly as in some instances the application can be done as either an in-country or consular application. We therefore recommend that you contact us for up-to-date information.
A Highly Skilled Residence Visa serves as both entry visa and work permit, and therefore once the Residence Visa Application submitted to the Portuguese diplomatic post overseas has been approved and issued, the assignee can enter Portugal and start work. In Portugal, the assignee must register with Social Security at the Local Town Hall and submit an application for a residence permit card.
For Blue Card applicants, residence permits for family members can then be applied for only after the main applicant has obtained his/her residence permit.
Processes and requirements will vary according to the labour market at the time of application, the type of work permit being applied for, the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants. We therefore recommend that you contact us for up-to-date information.
Applicants will be required to submit a variety of personal and corporate documents to support the application which include, but are not limited to: original passport and certified copies, up-to-date CV, Police Clearance Certificates, Medical certificate, employment contract, assignment letter, job description, medical insurance covering the whole Schengen area, recent payslips, travel insurance, degree certificate, and proof of accommodation in Portugal. Birth certificates and marriage certificates for family dependants will also be required.
Some personal documents will also need to be legalised and/or translated prior to submission. Newland Chase can assist with this.
Processing times will vary according to visa type, nationality, legalisations and translation requirements and country of application. However an indication of processing times is as follows:
Residence Visa (Highly Qualified) – typically takes 2 to 8 months until entry to Portugal, and a further 1 to 2 months before the whole process is completed.
Blue Card (Cartão Azul) – typically takes 3 to 8 months until entry to Portugal, and a further 3 to 4 months before the whole process is completed.
Residence Visa (Highly Qualified) – Granted for an initial 1 year period, renewable in increments of two years.
Blue Card (Cartão Azul) – Granted for an initial 1 year period and is renewable for successive periods of two years, provided that the holder continues to fulfil the conditions of entry and residence, that the circumstances that allowed the issuance of the card remain fully in force and that the holder has sufficient means of subsistence for the period of renewal.
Nationals from specified countries can enter Spain without a visa for tourism and business purposes, for short trips and restricted activities. Other nationals can enter Spain on a business visa, for a short trip, to carry out business activities. Check with Newland Chase before you travel to find out whether you need a work permit to undertake proposed activities.
It is strictly prohibited to carry out any work related activity on a Schengen visa or under the visa-waver agreement. Therefore, although you can look for jobs during a visit, you would not be able to commence any form of employment until you have received a work permit, which involves returning to your country of residence to initiate the application process as above. A foreign national employee cannot convert his/her immigration status from Visitor status to Work status while in Portugal.
Please note: If you are a national of a EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and you remain in Portugal for a period of more than three months, you must request a Registration Certificate (Certificado de Registo) from the City Council of your area of residence. This document formalises your right to reside in Portugal.
Residence Visa – EU nationals and non-EU nationals on Residence Visa status who have legally resided in Portugal for 5 years can apply for permanent residency. Permanent residence cards are granted for periods of 5 years and must be renewed every five years or whenever the person’s personal information changes.
The Blue Card will lead to permanent residency (EC long-term resident status) after five years, provided the Blue Card holder has spent the two years immediately prior to the application continuously residing in one EU member state (which would be the state where the permanent residency application would be submitted).
Requirements and procedures are subject to change, so please consult with your Newland Chase Immigration Advisor for current and detailed information.
Processing times can be quite long and if the authorities are in any doubt regarding the classification of the activity or the adequacy of the professional experience of the applicant, the opinions of the Ministries responsible for the areas of employment, education and science will be sought prior to granting the visa which will delay processing times.
Degree certificates, police clearance certificates and medical certificates as well as marriage and birth certificates for accompanying dependents will require Apostille or legalisation, which depending on the country of issuance can involve lengthy processing times.
As such, you would be advised to start the visa application process well in advance of the desired date of relocation.