How to Apply for a Portugal Work Visa?


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.

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, the 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:

  • A valid travel ID pr 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.

Non-EU citizens

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 wok visa. 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 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 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:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Israel

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 the 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 of the 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, the 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 of the 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 the Portugal unemployment rate, getting a hob on 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.

3. Application

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.

5. Requirements

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 the 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, 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.

7. Processing

When you leave the embassy, the time of 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 the work visa from your home country and the Residence permit from inside Portugal. You must receive the visa and then apply for the Permit.

Visit the local town hall or 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:

  • Passport
  • Two passports sized colored photo
  • Proof to have enough funds
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Language proficiency certificate (if required)

Work Contract

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


Let’s sum up…

When you seek to work in Portugal, you might need a visa and Residence permit by your nationality and duration of your stay.

The article explained if you need a Portugal work visa or not, requirements, the application process, and FAQs.

To know about other types of Portugal visa, go through the menu of the website.

In case you have experience or knowledge with visas, let other candidates lit their ways by sharing them.

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