Professionals looking to advance their careers and live well are increasingly choosing Portugal, a country renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. As a result, Portugal provides a desirable environment for both professional and personal growth for doctors who are considering emigrating there. This blog aims to give you a general understanding of “how to work and immigrate to Portugal as a doctor?”, immigration procedure, and the opportunities available to doctors who want to move to Portugal.

Are Doctors in Demand in Portugal?

Yes, there is a need for doctors in Portugal because of things like the aging population, the need for specialized medical care, the need for remote areas and islands, medical tourism, and the emigration of Portuguese medical professionals. This opens doors for medical professionals seeking employment in Portugal.

In light of these aspects, there is a high demand for doctors in Portugal, especially those with specializations, a willingness to practice in rural areas, and a dedication to offering top-notch medical care.

What are the Eligibility Criteria to Immigrate to Portugal as a Doctor?

You must fulfill certain requirements to immigrate to Portugal as a doctor. The following are the general prerequisites for doctor immigration to Portugal, though specific requirements may differ:

  • Degree in medicine. You must have a legitimate medical degree from an accredited university. The degree must be on a level with a medical degree from Portugal. The immigration process will involve a thorough evaluation of your educational background.
  • Medical license. You must obtain a medical license. You’ll have to go through a licensing procedure handled by the Order of Physicians (Ordem dos Médicos). This procedure typically entails assessing your qualifications, supplying the required paperwork, and meeting particular requirements established by the regulatory body.
  • Language ability. To communicate with patients and coworkers effectively, Portuguese language proficiency is essential. You must prove your language proficiency by passing standardized language exams like the Portuguese Language Proficiency Exam for Health Professionals or the Test of Portuguese for Foreigners (Celpe-Bras).
  • Professional experience. When moving to Portugal, having relevant professional experience is highly valued. Depending on the particular position and the demands of the healthcare system, different levels of experience may be needed. Your experience will be assessed during the licensing process and could impact your employability.
  • Specialization. Specializing in a particular medical field can improve your chances of getting a job in Portugal. Specializations are in high demand and may lead to opportunities in the healthcare industries, both public and private. A specialization demonstrates in-depth knowledge and proficiency in a particular field of medicine.
  • References and good standing. Having references from reputable medical professionals who can attest to your abilities, knowledge, and character is crucial, as is upholding a good professional reputation. Positive references can greatly strengthen your application and raise your chances of becoming a physician immigrant to Portugal.

Medical Diplomas to Immigrate to Portugal as a Doctor

You must get the Portuguese government to recognize your medical degree to immigrate to Portugal as a doctor. Your credentials must meet the standards established by the Portuguese healthcare system to be recognized. The general requirements for medical degrees to immigrate to Portugal are as follows:

  • Recognized medical degree. Your medical degree must have been earned from an institution in your home country that is reputable and accredited. The appropriate educational or medical authorities should acknowledge the institution and have a reputable medical program.
  • Equivalence assessment. Once you have it, you must have your medical degree evaluated to determine whether it is equivalent to a Portuguese medical degree. This assessment determines whether your education and training meet the requirements and curriculum of Portuguese medical programs. The Ordem dos Médicos (Order of Physicians) or other recognized bodies perform the evaluation process.
  • Documentation. You must submit the required documentation to support your application for diploma recognition. Your original medical degree, your transcripts, and any additional certificates or documents that the evaluation authorities may require are usually included in this. These records might require official Portuguese translations.
  • Obtaining a license. After your diploma has been acknowledged and deemed equivalent, you will still need to go through the Ordem dos Médicos’ licensing procedure. This process entails submitting your supporting documentation, completing an application, and possibly going through interviews or assessments to ensure you meet the required professional standards.

How to Immigrate to Portugal as a Doctor?

You can adhere to the general steps listed below to become a physician in Portugal:

Step 1. Investigate and Plan

Learn about Portugal’s requirements and policies for immigration. Learn about the requirements for becoming a doctor, such as licensing procedures, language requirements, and employment opportunities. Ensure your medical credentials adhere to the requirements of the Portuguese healthcare system.

Step 2. Have Language Abilities.

Portuguese language proficiency is essential for effective interaction with patients and colleagues. Enroll in Portuguese language classes to hone your language skills, or test your language knowledge by taking the Test of Portuguese for Foreigners (Celpe-Bras).

Step 3. Get Medical Registration

To learn more about the precise licensing requirements for doctors in Portugal, contact the Ordem dos Médicos (Order of Physicians). Typically, this entails submitting your medical credentials, academic transcripts, employment verification documents, and application forms. Your qualifications will be evaluated by the regulatory body, which will also decide whether you are qualified to practice medicine in Portugal.

Step 4. Get Your Qualifications Recognized

Have Portugal recognize your medical credentials. Your education and training will be evaluated to ensure that they adhere to the standards set by the Portuguese healthcare system. The Ordem dos Médicos or other authorized organizations will evaluate and verify your credentials. Get ready with the necessary paperwork, including your medical degree, transcripts, and other certificates or training.

Step 5. Perform Employment and Job Search

Start looking for employment opportunities in Portugal’s healthcare industry. Look into open positions at medical facilities, clinics, universities, or research institutions. Use professional networks, online job portals, and recruitment firms focusing on healthcare placements. Connecting with Portuguese healthcare professionals can be advantageous as well.

Step 6. Get a Work Permit and a Visa

Once you’ve received a job offer, you must apply for the right visa and work permit to live and work legally in Portugal.

Step 7. Relocate to Portugal

Plan your move to Portugal, including where you’ll live, get health insurance, and how the local medical system operates. Consider establishing contacts with Portuguese doctors and other healthcare professionals as you adjust to the cultural and professional environment.

How to Get Medical Registration in Portugal as a Foreign Doctor?

Get in touch with the Ordem dos Médicos

Contact the Ordem dos Médicos (Order of Physicians) in Portugal to learn more about the precise licensing requirements for physicians. They will inform you of the application process, the necessary paperwork, and any fees related to the licensing process.

Application and Documentation

Create the required paperwork for the license application. This usually consists of your medical degree or diploma, transcripts, evidence of employment history, and identification papers. Ensure all necessary information is accurate and complete when completing the Ordem dos Médicos application form.

Language Proficiency

Show that you can speak Portuguese fluently. The Test of Portuguese for Foreigners (Celpe-Bras), which measures your proficiency in speaking Portuguese, may be required by the Ordem dos Médicos to determine your ability to interact effectively with patients and coworkers.

Assessment and Evaluation

Your credentials will be evaluated by the Ordem dos Médicos, which will determine whether they are equivalent to Portuguese medical standards. They might consider your course of study, length of time spent in school, clinical experience, and any postgraduate training you may have received.

Registration Decision

The Ordem dos Médicos will decide whether or not to grant your medical license based on their assessment. If accepted, you will be given a license to practice medicine in Portugal. You must have this license to work as a doctor in this nation.

How to Get Your Qualifications Recognized in Portugal as a Foreign Doctor?

Research Recognition Process

Recognize how your medical credentials will be accepted in Portugal. Obtain information from the Ordem dos Médicos or other recognized organizations in charge of evaluating and validating foreign medical degrees.

Application Submission

Apply to have your medical credentials recognized. Your medical degree or diploma, transcripts, and any additional certifications or specialization certificates are among the necessary documents you must submit. In addition, some documents might need to be translated and notarized.

Assessment and Validation

The regulatory body will evaluate Your medical credentials to see if they are equivalent to Portuguese standards. In addition, they will look over your academic history, clinical experience, and any specialized training you have had.

Decision and Equivalence

The regulatory body will decide whether your medical credentials are equivalent based on the assessment. You will receive a certificate or statement attesting to Portugal’s recognition of your medical degree if your credentials are equivalent.

Note: There may be differences in the precise specifications and procedures for medical licensing and qualification recognition.

Infographic How to Work and Immigrate to Portugal as a Doctor

How Do I Register as a Doctor in Portugal?

Follow the steps below to become a doctor in Portugal:

Ensure you meet the prerequisites of Portugal’s Ordem dos Médicos (Order of Physicians). This typically entails holding a degree in medicine from an accredited institution and meeting the country’s licensing requirements for practicing medicine.

Get in touch with the Ordem dos Médicos. They will give you comprehensive information and instructions regarding the necessary paperwork, application forms, and any fees related to registration.

Next, gather the required paperwork, which typically consists of your medical degree or diploma, transcripts, evidence of clinical training, identification documents, and any additional certifications or licenses you may hold. Make sure your documents are translated and, if necessary, notarized.

Next, you must submit your application. Give accurate and thorough information on the application form provided by the Ordem dos Médicos. Include all necessary supporting documentation, such as transcripts from your education and clinical training, certificates of language proficiency, and photo identification.

The Ordem dos Médicos will evaluate your credentials and determine whether they are equivalent to Portuguese medical standards. In addition, they will examine your educational history, clinical experience, and any specialized education or training you may have.

The Ordem dos Médicos will decide whether or not to register you as a physician in Portugal based on their evaluation. If accepted, you will be given a registration number, enabling you to practice medicine in the nation legally.

Is There a Difference Between Foreign Doctors and EU Doctors Immigrating to Portugal?

Yes, there is a distinction between physicians from outside the EU and those who move to Portugal. The distinction is brought about by laws and guidelines governing the acceptance of medical credentials and the freedom of movement within the European Union (EU).

The idea of free movement within the EU benefits doctors. According to EU law, physicians who hold medical degrees from one EU member state can automatically have those degrees recognized in another EU member state, including Portugal. In general, EU doctors do not need to undergo additional evaluation or licensing processes to practice medicine in Portugal.

To have their credentials recognized in Portugal, foreign doctors who are non-EU citizens or EU citizens with medical degrees obtained outside the EU must follow specific procedures. To determine whether their medical education and training are equivalent to Portuguese standards, the Ordem dos Médicos (Order of Physicians) typically evaluates them. In addition, foreign doctors may need to pass language tests and meet additional requirements to obtain a medical license in Portugal.

While foreign doctors may face a more rigorous evaluation process, EU doctors may benefit from streamlined recognition procedures. However, once they have obtained the necessary credentials and licenses, doctors from the EU and abroad can practice in Portugal.

How to Find Doctor Jobs in Portugal?

To find doctor jobs in Portugal:

  • Use websites that offer jobs, such as Sapo Emprego and Indeed Portugal.
  • Make connections with other medical professionals.
  • Register with Portugal-specific medical staffing firms.
  • Check the websites of hospitals and other healthcare facilities for job openings.
  • Join organizations and societies for professionals in your field of medicine.
  • Look through medical publications and journals for job postings.
  • Speak with medical departments and hospitals directly.

Working Culture Conditions for Doctors in Portugal

In Portugal, doctors typically work in a structured, professional environment under specific cultural constraints. The following are some crucial elements of the working environment for doctors in Portugal:

  • Working hours. In Portugal, doctors typically work a full-time schedule of 35 to 40 hours per week. However, doctors might have to work after normal business hours if required to be on call or in an emergency.
  • Work-life balance. Portugal places a high value on work-life balance and tries to guarantee that doctors have appropriate working hours and free time for personal and family life. The nation has laws to safeguard workers’ rights and preserve a good work-life balance.
  • Medical education continuum. Portugal’s medical industry promotes ongoing professional development. Doctors must stay current on recent medical developments to advance their knowledge and abilities and participate in pertinent training sessions, conferences, and workshops.
  • Group effort and cooperation. In Portuguese medicine, cooperation and teamwork are crucial. Doctors frequently collaborate closely with other healthcare providers like nurses, specialists, and support personnel to provide thorough patient care. On-team cooperation and effective communication are highly valued.
  • Multidisciplinary approach. Doctors are used to working in interdisciplinary healthcare settings in Portugal. They work with experts from various medical specialties, exchanging knowledge and skills to ensure thorough and well-coordinated patient care.
  • Care that is patient-centered. Portugal’s healthcare system strongly emphasizes patient-centered care, paying close attention to patients’ needs and well-being. Doctors are expected to give patients compassionate, individualized care while honoring their autonomy and involving them in decision-making.
  • Staff shortages. Like many other nations, Portugal faces issues with a lack of qualified healthcare workers, particularly in rural areas and some medical specialties. This might make it more difficult to access medical services and increase the workload for doctors.

How Much is the Salary of Doctors in Portugal in 2023?

In Portugal, the average monthly salary for a doctor or physician is around 6,470 EUR. The range of salaries is 2,380 to 10,900 euros.

The experience level has the biggest impact on compensation.

  • Doctors with two to five years of experience earn, on average, 32% more than newcomers and juniors in all sectors and fields.
  • Doctors with more than five years of experience make 36% more money than doctors with five years or even less.
  • The salary rises by 21% as you hit the ten-year milestone and by an extra 14% once you reach the fifteen-year milestone.

Do Doctors Speak English in Portugal?

Portuguese doctors’ levels of English proficiency can vary. However, even though Portuguese is not an English-speaking nation, many medical professionals there, particularly those who work in large cities, academic institutions, or internationally focused healthcare settings, are fluent in the language.

You are more likely to find doctors who speak English in urban areas because more foreigners and tourists are there. Additionally, medical professionals who have studied or trained abroad, particularly in English-speaking nations, are more likely to be fluent in the language.

It’s important to remember that each doctor’s level of English proficiency may vary, and there may still be some medical professionals with limited English proficiency. In addition, there may not be as many doctors who speak English in some rural or remote areas.

Immigrate to Portugal as a Doctor: Let’s Recap

Moving to Portugal as a doctor can be a fulfilling and rewarding opportunity for medical professionals. Portugal offers a high standard of living, a desirable work-life balance, and an alluring healthcare system.

It is essential to fulfill the prerequisite requirements, such as having a recognized medical degree, obtaining a medical license from the Ordem dos Médicos, and meeting language requirements, to immigrate as a doctor successfully.

To ensure a smooth transition and compliance with all legal requirements, it is crucial to stay informed about current immigration procedures, consult with the appropriate regulatory bodies, or seek professional advice.


Can I work in Portugal as a doctor without a foreign medical degree?

Yes, a doctor with a foreign medical degree can work in Portugal. However, you must have the Ordem dos Médicos accept your degree, fulfill the prerequisites, and go through the required licensing procedures.

Can I work as a doctor in Portugal?

You must complete a medical program and pass the Portuguese Medical Association’s language proficiency test.

What is a doctor’s salary in Portugal?

The average yearly salary for a doctor or physician is around 6,470 EUR.

How useful was this article?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.1 / 5. Vote count: 7

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this article.


  1. Asim says:


    • Max says:

      Your qualifications and experience as a Pediatric specialist with 7.5 years’ experience, along with your wife’s background as a Gynecologist with 4 years’ experience, make you both strong candidates for working and immigrating to Portugal. Begin by researching healthcare institutions in Portugal that align with your specialties. For immigration, navigate the visa and work permit process specific to medical professionals, and ensure you meet language proficiency requirements. Validation of your qualifications and obtaining medical licensing will be important steps. Seek guidance from immigration experts and professionals experienced in assisting medical professionals. Your skills can contribute positively to Portugal’s healthcare sector.

  2. James says:

    Good luck finding people to guide you through this process! Everyone has an opinion and advice to offer. However, NO ONE knows how to navigate the legendary Portuguese bureaucracy. Seriously, I have been given different advice from doctors, lawyers, even the secretary of the ordem dos medicos… no one knows how to get this done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.