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Home » Portugal Work Visa – Eligibility, Requirements and Application

Portugal Work Visa – Eligibility, Requirements and Application

You may be eligible for a Portugal work visa if you meet the requirements to live and work there. Portugal belongs to the European Union (EU), which means citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland do not need a long-stay visa to visit the country.

If you are not a national of the above, you will need a Portugal work visa. When settling in the country, you must apply for your residence permit. That is the only way you can be allowed to live and work in Portugal.

However, you must meet specific criteria and provide certain documents. We will discuss them here, including how you can apply for your Portugal work visa. Dive in as we unfold the article.

What is a Portugal Work Visa?

The work visa to Portugal could be either a short-stay visa that allows you to work in Portugal for only three months or a temporary residence permit that permits you to work in the country for a time longer than 90 days.

You can renew your temporary residence permit after two years and for the next three years. Thus, your temporary residency status is valid for five years. After that, you apply for your permanent residence, which leads to obtaining your Portugal citizenship. With your permanent residency, you will enjoy the benefits of being a citizen of the country.

Do you need a Visa to work in Portugal?

Two categories of people can travel to Portugal for a job, and they are:

#1. European Union, European Economic Area, or Switzerland National

You may not apply for a Portugal work visa if you are a citizen o the above. But if you plan to remain there longer than 90 days, you will get a Cerificado de Registo (Residence Certificate).

#2. Non-EU/EEA or Swiss national

If you belong to this category, you must apply for a Portugal work visa to work in the country. However, to achieve that, you must be able to secure a job in Portugal. Once you have a job, you can start your visa application process.

How do you get a Job in Portugal?

According to Portugal law, your would-be employer must first advertise a job opening to Portuguese or EU/EFTA nationals. If, after 30 days and no one has been able to fill out the vacant, the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training in Portugal (IEFP) will categorize it among the jobs that non-EU citizens can apply for.                                  

What are some Essential Tips to help you before applying for a Portugal Work Visa?

These are a few things to guide you before applying for your visa to work in Portugal:

  1. You must get an employment offer: You must have a contract with your prospective employer in Portugal. The agreement must include your work type, place, and position.
  2. Your employer is to apply for your work permit: It is your employer’s duty to apply for a work permit at the Portuguese Labor Authorities. It will have the details of the kind of work you will do and your place of work. Hence, if you apply for new employment in Portugal, you must apply for a new work permit. Ensure your work permit equals your work position.
  3. After your work permit’s approval, you must apply for a Portugal work permit within six months of your employment. If you plan to work longer in the country, you need a residence permit.

How many Types of Portugal Work Visa are there?

As a member of the European Union, citizens of EU member states can live and work in Portugal with no permit. They also do not need a visa but must apply for a residence permit within six months of coming to Portugal. Non-EU nationals must get a visa from their home country before they can enter Portugal for a job.

In addition, they have three forms of residency visas available for them to apply and they are:

  1. Permanent residency visa or Type one visa: This could be a long-stay or short-stay visa, depending on your proposed number of days in Portugal.
  2. Resettlement visa for relatives of Portuguese citizens or Type two visa
  3. Resettlement visa for relatives of permanent, non-citizen Portuguese residents or type three visa.

With the proper visa, you can enter Portugal for work. However, you must convert the visa into a resident card before the end of four months. With the permit, you can eligibly work in Portugal. If not, no employer will want to work with you.

What are the criteria for getting a Portugal Work Visa?

You are to submit the following documents to qualify for a work visa to Portugal:

  • Completed application form
  • Valid passport with up to two empty pages
  • Letter of invitation from your employer or any records displaying the reason for your travel
  • Recent color passport photo
  • Biometric data like fingerprint
  • Proof of health and accident insurance
  • Document of flight bookings
  • Proof of housing in Portugal (residential address or hotel reservations)

Note that your documents must be in Portuguese or English. If otherwise, you must translate them using a licensed translator. Suppose there is a need for you to legalize your documents. In that case, you are to do that through an Apostille Stamp or Portuguese embassy in your country of origin. The stamp is stuck to your original document, proving the document authentic and legal.

What are the Documents for your Work Permit?

Although your work visa will grant you entrance to Portugal, you will need a different application process for a work permit. For your work permit, you need the following documents:

  • Valid residence visa
  • Proof of lodging in Portugal
  • Two recent color passport photos
  • Essential tax documents
  • Certificate of criminal record
  • An employment contract
  • Proof of registration with Social Security
  • Evidence that your position cannot be filled with anyone from the EU/EEA or Switzerland.

You must start gathering your documents as early as possible to enable you to meet up with time.

What is the Application Process for Portugal Work Visa?

To get your work visa for Portugal, you must first apply and get employment there. Then you are to submit your visa application through the Portuguese embassy or consulate. You must supply the documents above during your visa application. In addition, ensure you have the original and copies of the documents. If possible, you will undergo an interview on the same day. You will also need to pay the mandatory fee for your application.

 Besides, your application will take around two to three months to process. If you are successful, you will be notified by the visa officials. With your visa, you are qualified to enter Portugal.

Your Portugal work visa is only valid for four months. So, you must be in Portugal within this period. When you get there, you can start your residence permit application process.

You should register for your social security and get your tax number. But you can do that at the Portuguese Social Security Office. You may apply for your tax number while in your home country. Moreover, you will need to open a Portuguese bank account, which you can do in either country.

Further, you are to schedule your appointment at the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras). You will attend another interview here, and when you become successful, you can obtain your residence permit.

What is the Processing Time for a Portugal Work Visa?

It may take some months for your visa application to be settled. Hence, you can wait as long as 60 days for the embassy to issue you the entry visa. It may equally take a shorter period to complete. But doing the right thing will help to quicken the process.

Can you work in Portugal as an International Student?      

Yes, you can work as an international student in Portugal. However, you will need a Portugal student visa to qualify.

Can you work in Portugal with a Dependent Visa?

If you are to join your family member in Portugal, you are eligible to work and study. However, you must seek permission from the relevant authorities. So, you can contact the SEF for guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is my Portugal work visa valid?

With your Portugal work visa, you can work in the country for one to two years. If you plan to work longer, you must renew your permit for three extra years before applying for your permanent residency.

Can I gain citizenship with a Portugal work visa?

Technically, you can become a Portuguese citizen after some years of living and work in the country.

Do I need a Portugal work visa if I am not a Portuguese citizen?

No, that is no longer necessary once you become a citizen of Portugal.

Can I work in Portugal without a work visa?

Your country of origin will determine that. For instance, if you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national, you can work in Portugal for 90 days without a work visa. But if you are to stay longer, you will need to get a Residency Certificate.

That said, if you are not a citizen of the above, you must get a work visa to qualify.

How much can I pay for a work visa in Portugal?

You are to pay €90 for a temporary visa application, €83 for a residence permit application, and €72 for collecting your residence permit.


If you have read to this point, we guarantee you that the next thing to do is start your visa application process. Ensure to gather the relevant documents and pay your application fee when necessary.

Although the information here may not be all you need to know, you should contact the Portuguese embassy in your home country for more details. You may also check out Portugal Retirement Visa for your old folks and other types of Portugal visas.

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