In this blog post we will talk about everything of Portugal Immigration Guide.

In recent years, Portugal has become increasingly popular among expatriates, with nearly 800,000 foreigners living in the country. However, before you consider making the move, it’s crucial to determine whether you need a visa or a residence permit to stay in Portugal. Immigration rules vary based on factors such as your nationality, the purpose of your stay, and the duration of your intended stay in Portugal.

Portugal Immigration Guide

Portuguese immigration regulations vary based on whether you hold EU/EFTA citizenship or are a third-country national.

EU/EFTA citizens

Portugal provides visa-free entry to all EU/EFTA citizens. EU nationals are permit to stay in the country for up to three months, but if they plan to extend their stay, they must request a registration certificate. After residing in Portugal for five years, they become eligible to apply for permanent residency. 

Given Portugal’s membership in the Schengen Area, EU citizens can enjoy unrestricted travel across the 27 member countries, using only their ID card without the need for a passport (become optional).

You can check here our Guide: How to Get Residency in Portugal for EU Citizens.

Non-EU/EFTA citizens

Non-EU/EFTA nationals planning to stay in Portugal for less than three months will typically require a visa, unless their country has a specific agreement with Portugal. Notably, citizens from Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States are exempt from the three-month visa requirement.

For non-EU/EFTA nationals intending to stay in Portugal for more than three months, a long-term national visa application is necessary before their arrival in Portugal, followed by the application for a residence permit upon their arrival. 

If you are an UK citizen you can read our article about British moving to Portugal after Brexit.

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Portugal Immigration Visa Types

Portuguese visas are classified into three main categories: Schengen visas, which allow stays of up to 90 days; Temporary Stay National visas, designed for stays of up to one year; and Residency visas, intended for stays exceeding one year.

Short Stay Visas

A short stay visa, also known as a Schengen visa, is a travel document that grants non-European Union (EU) or non-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) citizens the opportunity to visit Portugal and other Schengen Area countries for short-term stays. This visa allows individuals to stay for typically up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

Portugal, being a member of the Schengen Area, facilitates seamless travel within the entire zone with a single visa. This makes it convenient for tourists, business travelers, and those visiting family or friends in Portugal to explore the country and move freely across Schengen borders without the hassle of obtaining multiple visas.

Temporary Stay Visas

Temporary Stay visas in Portugal enable you to remain in the country for a maximum duration of one year, and they offer the flexibility of multiple entries, permitting brief departures from Portugal. 

It’s worth noting that all non-European Union (EU) or non-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) citizens planning to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days but less than a year are required to obtain a Temporary Stay visa.

The temporary stay visa can be granted for different purposes

  • Medical treatment or accompany a family member undergoing treatment
  • Transfer of nationals to state parties to the World Trade Organization (WTO), for service providing or professional training purposes
  • Independent work purposes
  • Scientific research purposes, academic teaching purposes
  • Amateur sports purposes
  • Seasonal work purposes for a period of over 90 days (up to 270 days)
  • Academic or professional training purposes

Long Stay Visas

If you are a non-EU/EFTA citizen planning long-term residency in Portugal you need to apply for a long stay visas at (AIMA) also known as the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum. Depending on your specific circumstances and the purpose of your stay there are several options:

  • Employed Working
  • Entrepreneur purposes
  • Highly Qualified activities
  • Pensioners and holders of passive income
  • Family reunification
  • Independent providers and remote working 
  • Investment reasons 
Portuguese Citizenship Vs. Permanent Residency in Portugal

Portugal Residency for Non-EU Nationals

Portugal D7 Visa

The D7 Visa Portugal, also known as the Retirement Visa or Passive Income Visa, was introduced in 2007 by the Portuguese government, allowing non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens to apply for temporary residency in Portugal.

Retirees and individuals with reasonable passive income can apply for the Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa. This income can include pensions, real estate, royalties, dividends, financial investment, or intellectual property.

The minimum required amount to be eligible for this visa is €9,840 of yearly income, plus you need to add 50% of this amount for your partner and 30% for each dependent child.

This Visa is valid for a period of two years and can be renewed for additional three-year period. After 5 years you have the option to apply for a permanent residence permit or Citizenship.

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Digital Nomad Visa

The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa, was introduced in October 2022 by the Portuguese government, allowing non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens to apply for temporary residency in Portugal while working remotely from Portugal

As a financial requirement for the Portugal Remote Worker Visa, you must demonstrate an average monthly income of € 3,280 from your professional activity in the previous three months. The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa has two different routes:

Temporary Stay Visa: The Temporary Stay Visa is perfect if you don’t want to apply for permanent residency, but you would like to stay in Portugal up to one year.

Residence Permit: The Residency Visa is a good solution if you want to stay in Portugal for more than one year. Please note that your Temporary Resident Visa it is only valid for four months and within this period you need apply for a Permanent Residency Permit.

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D2 Visa Portugal

The Portugal D2 Visa is a type of long-stay visa for Portugal that is specifically designed for entrepreneurs who want to start or buy a business in Portugal. 

The visa allows non-European Union citizens to stay in Portugal for up to 4 months and after applying for the resident permit. The D2 visa is also known as the “Entrepreneur Visa”.

The D2 visa is issued to individuals who wish to invest in a Portuguese company or start their own business in Portugal. 

The Portuguese government launched this visa in 2018 as part of its efforts to attract foreign investment and promote entrepreneurship in the country. 

The main requirements for the business visa are quite soft because you can open your company in any sector and you don’t need to get any approval form a Portuguese incubator.

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Portugal Golden Visa

The Golden Visa program in Portugal, also known as the Residence Permit Program, is an investment immigration program that grants residency and citizenship rights to foreign investors who make a significant economic contribution to the country.  

Here you can find the most popular Golden visa investment options:

Investment Funds: Contribution of €500,000 or higher, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital fund of funds under the Portuguese legislation.

Cultural HeritageDonation of a minimum of €250,000 for investing in artistic output or supporting the arts, for reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage, through the local and central authorities, public institutions or, private foundations of public interest

Scientific Research: Capital transfer valued at €500,000 or higher for investing in research activities.

Job Creation: Creation of at least ten job positions.

Business Investment: A minimum investment of €500,000 for incorporating a company in Portugal and creating five permanent working jobs.

Lisbon building

Family Reunion Visa Portugal

Non-EU/EEA individuals who has a residence permit in Portugal are entitled to bring their family members who are already in Portugal or who will be joining in Portugal. 

Family reunification visa can be requested at the same time as the main visa application at the Consulate in your home country, or at AIMA (former SEF) in Portugal after receiving your residency permit. The following is the list of family members that may qualify for family reunification visa:

  • Spouse or partner.
  • Children under 18 years of age or incapacitated children of the couple or of one of their spouses/partners.
  • Children over 18 years of age who are dependent on you or your spouse which means that they are single and studying.
  • Parents or your spouse/partner’s parents if they are dependent on you.
  • Minor siblings.
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Portugal Residency Visa Benefits Of Portugal Immigration Guide

The resident permit in Portugal offers a multitude of advantages, providing a gateway to a fulfilling life in this picturesque European country.

Mobility: visa-free entry and circulation through the Schengen Area.

Live, Work, Study: Once you become a resident in Portugal you are entitled to conduct any professional activity as an independent professional and you gain access to the National Education Service, schools, and vocational training.

Healthcare in Portugal: Being a resident in Portugal you gain access to National Healthcare, also called SNS (Serviço Nacional de Saúde) and covers primary and secondary healthcare needs.

Path to Citizenship: After five years of legal residency, you may apply for permanent residency or to citizenship. However, in this case you’ll have to pass a Portuguese language test.

Family Reunion: You are entitled to bring your family members who are already in Portugal or who will be joining you in Portugal. The following is the list of family members that may qualify for family reunification:

  • Your spouse or partner.
  • Your children under 18 years of age or incapacitated children of the couple or of one of their spouses/partners.
  • Children over 18 years of age who are dependent on you or your spouse which means that they are single and studying.
  • Your parents or your spouse/partner’s parents if they are dependent on you.
  • You minor siblings.
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Portugal Residency Visa Requirements

Irrespective of the type of visa you are applying for, the application process remains largely consistent. You are required to submit your visa application at the Portuguese embassy or consulate located in your home country. 

It’s important to note that the processing time may vary, but in most cases, you can anticipate a decision within a period of up to 60 days from the date of submission. 

You need to submit the following documentation:

  • Application Form
  • Your Valid Passport
  • Two recent passport-size photos
  • Criminal Record certificate
  • Transport documentation (return ticket)
  • Valid travel insurance, including medical coverage and repatriation
  • Documentary evidence of having accommodation in Portugal
  • Proof of sufficient means during your stay
  • Declaration with the reasons for traveling to Portugal

Portugal Immigration Visa Rejection

To increase your chances of a successful visa application and avoid rejection when applying for a visa to Portugal, it’s crucial to prepare your documentation meticulously and meet all the requirements. 

Here are some essential tips to help you with the process:

Review Visa Requirements: Start by carefully reviewing the visa requirements specific to your intended destination and purpose of travel. Different visa types have distinct criteria.

Complete Application Accurately: Ensure that your visa application is filled out accurately and honestly. Any inconsistencies or inaccuracies can raise suspicions and lead to rejection.

Provide Required Documentation: Gather all necessary supporting documents, such as financial statements, travel itineraries, and letters of invitation, and ensure they meet the consulate’s guidelines.

Prove Strong Ties to Home Country: Demonstrate strong ties to your home country, which could include stable employment, property ownership, family connections, or other commitments. This shows that you have reasons to return after your trip.

Sufficient Financial Means: Ensure that you can prove your ability to financially support your stay in the destination country. Bank statements and sponsorship letters can help establish this.

Clear Travel Reasons: Clearly state your travel purpose and itinerary. Make sure your travel plans align with the type of visa you’re applying for, whether it’s tourism, business, study, or another purpose.

Take Travel Insurance: Obtain comprehensive travel insurance that meets the visa requirements, including coverage for medical emergencies and repatriation.

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Portuguese Citizenship

If you are a non-EU citizen and are considering legal residence in Portugal for five years, you should know that after this period, you have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship. However, in the case of a citizenship application, the process is a bit more complex, and you need to pass a Portuguese language test.

On the other hand, there are also other ways to obtain Portuguese citizenship. If you have at least one parent who is a citizen of Portugal, you may be eligible to claim Portuguese citizenship by virtue of your lineage. You can read our article about Portuguese Citizenship by descent.

After the five-year period and as soon as you obtain Portuguese citizenship, you can also apply for a Portuguese passport.

Why choose us for immigration to Portugal?

Local Expertise

We know Portugal. Due to our extensive local knowledge, we believe that concentrating our services in a single country destination is the best way to give you the most thorough and useful information. 

Holistic Approach

One single channel of communication for the entire process. We provide you with a comprehensive service that covers all aspects of your move, from identifying the ideal residency visa to finding your new home or helping you to settle. 

Transparent Service

We recommend what’s best for you based on an extensive process experience that saves time and money to clients. Our pricing is clear and competitive, and we don’t sell services that make us more money.

Simple Process

Technology plays a very important role in our company. We minimize our clients’ involvement in paperwork. We are customers ourselves and we know how to serve you.

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Frequently asked questions about Portugal Immigration

How to get permanent residency in Portugal?

After five years of legal residence in Portugal, non-EU citizens can apply for permanent residency. This status grants them the right to reside in Portugal indefinitely, with the ability to work and access social benefits, much like Portuguese citizens.

What Is the Golden Visa Program?

Portugal offers a Golden Visa program for investors who make qualifying investments, such as venture capital funds or through job creation. This program provides a pathway to residency and citizenship.

Do I need a visa to enter Portugal as a tourist?

You will need a visa to enter Portugal if you are a non-EU/EFTA citizen. EU passport holders do not need a visa to enter Portugal.

Can I Bring My Family to Portugal?

Yes, family reunification is possible. If you hold a valid residence permit in Portugal, you can apply for family members to join you, depending on the specific rules and requirements.

How many visa types are in Portugal?

Visas for visiting Portugal are categorized into three main types: Short Stay visas, commonly known as Schengen visas, allow stays of up to 90 days; Temporary Stay National visas are intended for stays of up to one year, while Long Stay National visas, often referred to as Residency visas, are designed for those planning stays exceeding one year.

How is the process to get residency in Portugal?

To obtain residency in Portugal you first need to apply for an entry visa at the Portuguese consulate or embassy in your home country, which aligns with your intended residency type (such as work, study, or family reunion). Once you enter Portugal, you must apply for a residency permit through the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA).

How Can I Get a Portuguese Passport?

After legally reside in Portugal for five years you can apply for a Portuguese passport through the Portuguese Civil Identification Service (IRN).

Are There Opportunities for Employment in Portugal for Foreigners?

Yes, Portugal has a job market open to foreign workers. Some visas, such as work visas or the EU Blue Card, are available for foreign employees.

Do i need to learn Portuguese to immigrate to Portugal?

While learning Portuguese is not always a strict requirement for immigration to Portugal, it can significantly enhance your experience and integration into Portuguese society.

Do i need to pay taxes in Portugal?

Yes, individuals who immigrate to Portugal and become tax residents are generally subject to Portuguese taxation on their worldwide income. Portugal follows a residency-based taxation system, which means that if you spend more than 183 days in Portugal within a calendar year, you are considered a tax resident. 

What is the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime?

The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) in Portugal is no longer available for new applicants since end of 2023. Under the NHR program, some types of income, such as foreign pension income, certain investment income, and employment income earned abroad, were subject to a reduced or exempted tax rate in Portugal for a specified period, typically ten years.

It's hard to immigrate to Portugal?

For European Union (EU) citizens, immigrating to Portugal is relatively easy, thanks to the EU’s freedom of movement. EU citizens have the right to live and work in Portugal without needing a visa, just as they can in any other Schengen Area country.

Non-EU nationals also have several visa options to facilitate their immigration to Portugal. If you intend to work for a company in Portugal, the work visa is a viable choice. Digital nomads, working for companies outside Portugal, can opt for the digital nomad visa. Entrepreneurs looking to establish their businesses may consider the D2 visa Portugal. Additionally, for those interested in making investments in Portugal, the Golden Visa program offers a pathway to residency.

What is a C visa category in Portugal?

A Type C visa, also known as a Schengen visa, is a short-term visa that allows the holder to enter and stay in Portugal and other Schengen Area countries for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

These visas are typically issued for purposes such as tourism, business meetings, family visits, or short-term courses or conferences.

Type C visas are valid for the entire Schengen Area, allowing visa holders to travel freely within the member countries during their authorized stay.

What is the minimum age to immigrate to Portugal?

There is no specific minimum age requirement to immigrate to Portugal. However, the age requirements may vary depending on the type of visa or residence permit you are applying for and the specific circumstances of your immigration, such as family reunification or employment. 

For example, if you are applying for a student visa, you typically need to be of university age to pursue higher education in Portugal. Similarly, if you are seeking employment, you must meet the legal working age requirements in Portugal, which is typically 16 years old.

What is a D visa category in Portugal?

A Type D visa, often referred to as a National visa, is a long-term visa that permits the holder to stay in Portugal for longer durations, typically exceeding 90 days.

Type D visas are issued for specific purposes, such as work, study, family reunification, retirement, or other long-term stays.

Holders of Type D visas may need to apply for a residence permit upon arrival in Portugal to extend their stay beyond the initial visa validity period.

How much money do I need to immigrate to Portugal?

The financial requirements for immigrating to Portugal vary depending on the type of visa or residence permit you are applying for. Here are some examples of financial criteria for different visa categories:

If you plan to retire in Portugal and apply for the D7 Visa, you will generally need to demonstrate a minimum monthly passive income, such as a pension or rental income. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the minimum required monthly income was €820.

If you intend to work remotely from Portugal, some visa categories may require you to prove a minimum monthly income. The amount can vary, but, for example, a minimum monthly income of €3,280 is applicable for Remote workers.

For investors, the Golden Visa program offers several investment options, and the required investment amount varies. For example, if you are interested in the Cultural Golden Visa and plan to invest in a low-density area, the minimum investment amount can be as low as €200,000. Other investment options, such as real estate investment or job creation, have different minimum investment requirements.

What is the best city to immigrate to Portugal?

Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is a diverse metropolis that caters to a wide range of individuals, including expatriates, families, and students. It boasts a vibrant LGBT+ community and offers the best of both worlds: the excitement of a bustling city, a charming historic center, and proximity to stunning beaches.

Can you live in Portugal on €1,500 a month?

A single individual looking to live in Portugal, the estimated cost of living is around €1,500 per month, including rental expenses.  If you are considering relocating to Lisbon or Porto, you can expect these amounts to be higher.

Is Health Care Free in Portugal?

Portugal provides universal healthcare accessible to all citizens and legal residents, without any direct costs. Under this system, individuals can access a wide range of medical services, including preventive care, consultations with healthcare professionals, diagnostic tests, hospital treatment, and more, all without the burden of upfront charges or co-payments.