• published on 4/10/2024
  • 3min

Guide to Portugal Work Visas

Portugal has proven popular with foreign nationals, coming 10th in the best places to live for expats in Internation's Expat Insider Survey 2023.[1] With its beautiful Atlantic coast, diverse architecture and its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there is plenty on offer here for expats.

Guide to Portugal Work Visas

Table of contents

1. Do I need a visa for Portugal?

2. Types of Portugal work visas

3. Short stay visa

4. Temporary (national) visa

5. Portugal residency visa

6. Applying for a Portugal work visa

7. Portugal residency permits

It’s important to be prepared when relocating to a new country for move, as it is a big step to take. One of the things you will need to think about if you’re a non-EU/EEA citizen is a visa; this can take time to process so is something you should do as early as possible.

In this guide, we provide an overview of the work visas for Portugal to help you with the process.

Do I need a visa for Portugal?

Whether you need a visa to work in Portugal depends on your nationality. For example, citizens of EU/EEA countries do not require a work visa to work here; however, they will still need to get a registration certificate should they wish to stay in Portugal for longer than three months.

If you’re a non-EU citizen, then you will need to have a visa before you can work in Portugal in many circumstances. There is certain eligibility criteria to meet first though, which can include already having a job offer in place and the not already taken by an EU national after 30 days.

There are also many things to take into consideration when moving abroad, including living costs, securing, and accessing the healthcare system. For more information about Portugal’s public system, click here.

Types of Portugal work visas

The type of visa you need for working in Portugal can be contingent on factors like how long you’re going to be in the country for, the kind of role you will be undertaking, and your nationality.

Below are the main types of visas that available for those looking to work in Portugal.

Short-stay visa

The short-stay visa, also known as a Schengen visa, allows the holder to work in the country multiple times for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. It must also be granted before you have arrived in your country.

One of the main reasons why you would take out a short-term visa for work typically are for seasonal work in sectors such as tourism, hospitality or agriculture.

Temporary (national) visa

The long-term residency visa enables the holder to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days, and is valid for a period of less than a year. With this visa, you can enter the country multiple times.

It can also be extended for a period of 1 year and is valid for the length of your time here. The temporary work visa can be applied for various job types, which includes:

  • Digital nomads: introduced in October 2022, this allows remote workers to stay in Portugal for a period of up to 12 months.

  • Highly qualified activity: could be for scientific research, for higher educational professionals or other highly qualified activity and lasts for less than a year.

  • For independent work: suitable for self-employed persons or temporary work roles that are staying in Portugal for less than a year. For this, you will need evidence such as proof of funds or a job contract.

Portugal residency visa

The residency visa is valid for up to 4 months and provides you with two entries into the country. It's intended to give you time to obtain a residence permit from Portugal’s Immigration and Border Forces (SEF).

Again, the visa type you require will be contingent on various factors. Below are some examples of the different types of residency visa available for those looking to work in Portugal:

  • D1 visa: for individuals who have a work offer in Portugal will last for a minimum of 12 months.

  • D8 visa: designed for remote workers and is valid for up to one year, but can be renewed.

  • D2 visa: made for entrepreneurs or self-employed persons and permits you to stay in Portugal for 4 months.

Applying for a Portugal work visa

In most cases, the visa application is submitted on your behalf by your employer and usually take 15 days to be processed by the Portuguese authorities, though this can go up to 60 days.

As part of this, you will have to attend a Portuguese visa appointment at an embassy or consulate before your move. In order to be eligible for this visa, preparing documentation for the authorities will be necessary. This includes:

  • Proof of health insurance: must provide a minimum cover of €30,000 and be valid for the length of your stay in the country.

  • Valid passport: needs to be valid for 3 months when you’re due to leave Portugal and be not over 10 years old.

  • Completed application form

  • Evidence of financial means: should show proof of your monthly income for the past three month period.

  • Passport photos: you must submit two photos of you that have been taken in the last six months.

Portugal residency permits

As well as acquiring a visa for Portugal, non-EU/EEA citizens will need a residence permit for remaining in the country more than 90 days. .

Your employer will submit the application for a residence permit on your behalf to the Portuguese Labour Authorities for processing. If this is accepted, the residence permit is granted for a period of between one year, but is renewable.

Expats who have been working here on a longer term basis may wish to apply for a permanent residency permit. To be eligible for this, you must meet criteria like have been living in Portugal for a minimum of five years and have a basic knowledge of Portuguese.

Another factor to consider when moving to a new country is that having good knowledge of the local language is beneficial and can help you settle in. Check out our blog for some tips about learning a different dialect so you can develop your language skills.