PORTUGAL: Amendments to Immigration Law Announced Through Law on Foreign Nationals

September 16, 2022

A new immigration law has come into effect in Portugal as of 26 August, known as the Law on Foreign Nationals.  The purpose is to introduce a number of amendments to existing immigration laws in Portugal, including expanding eligibility for key employment-based visas to remote workers employed or self-employed abroad, whilst also introducing a new jobseeker visa type, where jobseekers previously were not eligible for a tailored immigration status.  Additionally, a streamlined visa process has been announced for citizens from Portuguese speaking countries.

Key Changes

The main immigration law changes are:

  1. Jobseeker visa

A new specific visa has been created for anyone wishing to enter Portugal to find a job.  Foreign nationals can apply for a 120-day jobseeker visa, renewable for a further 60 days.  Holders of this visa type can start working immediately as soon as they have found employment and can apply for employment-based residence status in Portugal.  Previously, job seekers coming to Portugal were required to leave the country and apply for employment-based status from abroad after finding employment.

  1. Streamlined visa routes for citizens from the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP)

Citizens of Angola, Brazil, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe can now benefit from streamlined visa issuance under the Mobility Agreement for Portuguese Speaking Countries.  Granting short-stay, temporary or residence visas for citizens under the Agreement on Mobility between CPLP member states waives a prior decision from the Portuguese Borders and Immigration Agency, SEF.

  1. Operationalization of the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II)

The Borders and Immigration Agency is now required to input into the SIS II denials of entry and stay in Portugal when the denial is due to a concrete threat to the public order or security, or for national security reasons.  The prerogative to control exits from Portugal now includes national minors.  The scope of data to be included in the personal data records in SII/Borders and Immigration has therefore been widened, making it easier to implement refusals for travel, denial of entry and stay, or return, onto the SIS II.

  1. Temporary stay and residence visa for remote workers

Foreign nationals can apply for an employment-based visa based on remote work or self-employment abroad.      Automatic assignment of provisional taxpayer, social security and healthcare numbers under the residence visa.  Applicants can obtain a temporary stay visa for stays up to one year, or residency visa for longer stays.

Other changes announced:

  • When visas have been approved, an automatic notification is now being made to the Employment Services, Social Security, Tax Authority and the Health Ministry; allowing social security, tax and national health numbers to be issued more quickly.
  • The process for issuance and renewal of residence documents for British nationals who benefit from the Brexit Agreement has been streamlined.
  • EU Blue Cards can now be granted for two years, up from one; and renewed in three-year increments, up from two.

Newland Chase Insights

Although the law came into effect August 26, immigration officials continue to adapt to the recent amendments.  As such, there may be implementation issues during a transitional phase.  Newland Chase will continue to monitor any further updates from the Portuguese immigration authorities in relation to these changes.


This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.