If you seek to get a job in Portugal and experience living in Europe, you might need a Portugal work visa. It is up to your nationality and the duration of your stay.
This article explains who needs a Portugal work visa, the requirements, the application process, and FAQs.
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Portugal Work Visa
Who Needs a Portugal Work visa?
Whether you need a Portugal work visa or not is a matter of your nationality. The EU and EEA nationals don’t need a work visa as Portugal is part of the EU. However, EU nationals have to apply for a Residence Certificate if they will be working longer than six months.
To apply for the Residence Certificate, you need to provide the following:
- A valid travel ID or passport
- A written affirmation of self-employment or employment that proves you have enough funds to cover your expenses.
- Valid health insurance in Portugal
You need to register with the local city council you live in to formalize your residence.
Most non-EU nationals need a work visa. They need to apply for a work visa before entering Portugal. The prerequisite of the work visa is a job offer that has led to a formal job contract.
Providing that you are married to a Portuguese citizen, you also can apply for a work visa.
Types of Portugal work visa
There are two types of Portugal work visas. They vary by the length of stay, and you have to choose them by this factor.
Portugal short-term work visa
If you have a job offer in Portugal for less than six months, you need a short-term work visa. In case you take part in the following fields, you can extend your short-term work visa for up to one year:
- Scientific research
- Academic teaching
- Highly qualified professional job or projects
Portugal long-term work visa
You need Portugal’s long-term work if you will be working longer than six months. You have to apply for a visa before you enter Portugal. However, if you are from one of the following countries, you can apply from inside the country:
- New Zealand
When you receive the work visa and move there, you have to apply for a Residence Permit. Everyone who wants to work for the long term has to apply for a Residence Permit.
How to apply for a Portugal work visa?
The application process for a Portugal work visa might be different based on the country you live in. As explained, a few countries can apply for a work visa from inside the country, like the US. Yet, the nationals of most other countries have to apply from abroad.
A general process to apply for a Portugal work visa could be as follows:
1. Do you need a visa?
Before you apply for the Portugal work visa, determine the duration of your stay and your nationality. As explained, EU nationals don’t need a work visa for Portugal. They can even travel to the country and find a job.
Bear in mind that if you are an EU national and will be working for longer than 90 days, you need a Residence Certificate. You have to apply to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, SEF)
A few other EU countries, like the US, also don’t need a visa. They can enter the country and apply for a Residence permit directly.
If your stay’s duration is less than six months, you need a short-term work visa.
2. Job offer
Most non-EU countries need a job offer to work in Portugal. The Portuguese employer often has to advertise the job in the country and the EU for one month. If the employer didn’t find any appropriate employee, he/she could offer the job to a non-EU resident. However, due to Portugal’s unemployment rate, getting a job in the country has become more difficult.
Bear in mind that the job offer must lead to a work contract. You need the contract to apply for a work visa in your home country.
Now that you have the job offer, you can begin the application process. Find the nearest Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country. You might have to apply to a visa center authorized by the Portuguese government. Finding them on the internet is easy.
Download the application form from their website. Remember that if you stay longer than three months, the form must be a long-stay one (D).
Complete the form with the true form of your information, then print, date, and sign it.
Keep the application form, as you have to submit it to the officials at your interview.
4. Schedule a visa meeting
When you find the Portuguese embassy or visa center, schedule a visa meeting with them. The way you can set the meeting depends on the center. You could do it through a phone call or their website.
Often you have to print a receipt that verifies your meeting with the embassy. If so, keep it to enter the center.
See the section below to get familiar with the requirements for the Portugal work visa. You have to gather all of them as the details.
This step could take a bit longer than others. So you could begin it before the previous ones. But the officials could ask for specific documents based on your nationality and case. Visit the Portuguese embassy website in your home country of the visa center to make sure of everything. Remember that an incomplete list of requirements won’t have a good impact on your application. In case the authorities require further documents, the process could take longer.
6. Attend the visa appointment
Visit the Portuguese embassy or visa center on the scheduled date and bring all the requirements. Try to arrive a bit early, at least half an hour. It could take a bit of time to enter the embassy, like going through security.
When you meet the officials, submit all the supporting documents. Learning some Portugee would help to have a good impression on the interviewer.
You also have to pay a fee for visa processing. Portugal’s work visa cost depends on the type of visa, the duration of your stay, and the country you apply from.
The officials often ask you questions about the nature of your visit to Portugal. This is the interview part. You would better be honest and give true answers.
When you leave the embassy, the time for patience comes. You should wait until the officials process your visa. The processing time for a Portugal work visa could begin from two-three weeks to three months. You could track the processing stages by phone call or by visiting the embassy.
When your visa is prepared, the embassy will inform you or send it to you.
8. Residence Permit
When you get to Portugal, you need to apply for a Residence permit. Remember that you apply for a work visa from your home country and a Residence permit from inside Portugal. You must receive the visa and then apply for the Permit.
Visit the local town hall to know the requirements list and receive the application form. You also need to get a tax code from the Director-General of Taxes and register with social security.
What are the requirements for a Portugal work visa?
The required documents for a Portugal work visa are as follows:
- Two passports sized colored photo
- Proof of having enough funds
- Proof of accommodation
- Language proficiency certificate (if required)
If you are already in Portugal, bring documentation of lawful admission into the country, such as a visa.
Evidence of legal stay, including a residence permit or a visa, if applying from a nation other than your home country.
Your employment agreement.
Your criminal history from your home country. If you have resided in another nation for more than a year, you must also get criminal records from that country.
- A document permitting checking your Portuguese criminal records.
You and the Portuguese employer must also sign the work contract, and it must include the type of job, your rights as the employee, the rules of the company, your responsibilities or tasks, and the working hours.
All documentation must be submitted in English or Portuguese. If not, you must get them translated and notarized by a competent translator.
Diplomas and civil papers, for example, may need to be legalized. Documents can be legalized with an Apostille Stamp or by contacting the Portuguese Embassy in your country.
You and the Portuguese employer must sign the work contract, and it must include:
- The type of the job
- Your rights as the employee
- The rules of the company
- Your responsibilities or tasks
- The working hours
Note: The list of mentioned documents is not complete. The officials could ask for further documents. It is up to your case and their decision.
Volunteer work in Portugal
If you want to do volunteer work in Portugal, you need a visa and the right residence Permit. The application process is about the same as mentioned above.
The requirements could include:
- Proof to have enough funds to pay for your expenses in Portugal.
- Appropriate accommodation
- Clean record certificate
How much is Portugal’s work visa fee?
There are different fees you have to pay when you apply for a work visa.
The cost of the entry visa issued by the Portuguese embassy is about €90. The cost of submitting the application for a residence permit is about €83. The cost of receiving the residence permit for work is about €72.
How long is the Portugal work visa valid?
Your residency permit permits you to stay in Portugal for one to two years and work. You can renew this permission before it expires after 1-2 years if you still have a work offer from your company.
Then, for the period of the residence permit, you can keep living and working in Portugal.
Does a Portugal work visa lead to permanent residency?
Yes, after five years of living in Portugal on a temporary resident permit, you can file for permanent residency. When you obtain a permanent residency, you will be able to work and will not need to apply for a work permit.
Permanent resident licenses are also longer in tenure, easier to renew, and provide identical privileges to Portuguese citizens.
Does a Portugal work visa lead to citizenship?
Yes, you may seek Portuguese citizenship if you have resided in Portugal for at least six years. You must be fluent in Portuguese and have ties to the Portuguese community.
Can you work in Portugal as a student?
Yes, overseas students can work in Portugal. Working hours are determined by your nationality.
If you are from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you can work without time limits.
If you are not from those regions, you are only permitted to work 20 hours a week during the semester. The semester breaks or holidays are a time when you are allowed to work full-time.
Can you work in Portugal if you have a family visa?
Yes, if you are visiting a family member in Portugal, you are permitted to work and study. But you may need to obtain work authorization. Therefore you should contact the appropriate authorities.
Let’s sum up…
When you seek to work in Portugal, you might need a visa and Residence permit by your nationality and the duration of your stay.
The article explained if you need a Portugal work visa or not, the requirements, the application process, and FAQs.
To learn about other types of Portugal visas, go through the menu on the website.
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