For companies seeking opportunities to expand in the global market, Portugal is one of many enticing options. If your company is planning to extend operations in Portugal, many of your employees will need to obtain visas and work permits.
Types of Work Visas in Portugal
Portugal is a member of the European Union (EU). Citizens of other EU member states are free to work in Portugal without a permit. They also do not need a visa, though they will need to apply for a residence card within six months of moving to Portugal for employment.
Non-EU citizens must obtain a visa from their country of origin to travel to Portugal. In Portugal, there are three types of residency visas:
- Type 1: Permanent residency visa
- Type 2: Resettlement visa for relatives of Portuguese citizens
- Type 3: Resettlement visa for relatives of permanent, non-citizen residents of Portugal
After obtaining the relevant visa, the employee can travel to Portugal. They will have four months to convert the visa into a residence permit. An additional permit is required to work in Portugal legally.
Requirements to Obtain Portugal Work Visas
Along with a completed visa application, the following documents must be submitted for someone to obtain a visa:
- A valid passport that has a minimum of two blank pages
- A letter of invitation from the employer or other documentation showing the purpose of the trip
- Proof of health insurance and accident insurance
- A passport photo in color
- Biometric data such as fingerprints and digital photos for facial recognition
- Documented flight reservations
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal, such as an address of residence or a hotel reservation
A visa will grant entrance to Portugal. There’s a separate process for obtaining a permit to work. To apply for a work permit, or Autorização de Trabalho, employees will need to provide the following documents:
- A valid Portuguese residence visa
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal
- A valid passport
- Two passport photos in color
- Pertinent tax documents
- Background checks for criminal record
- An employment contract
- Proof of registration with Social Security
To obtain a visa, your employees must submit an application through their country’s Portuguese Consulate. They will need to provide the documents listed above. It may take two to three months for Portuguese officials to process the application and issue a visa. This visa will grant entrance into Portugal.
After the visa has been issued, the employee will need to apply for a work permit as well. Employees from non-EU countries will have a better chance of obtaining a work permit if they have specialized skills.
The employee or employer may submit the work permit application. Either way, it will go through the regional directorate or the Delegation of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service, or Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF). The documents listed above must be submitted along with the application. The processing time for a work permit may take up to 60 days.
After obtaining a visa and work permit, the employee may travel to Portugal to begin working. They’ll need to get their Residency Card from the SEF, receive a tax code from their branch of the Director-General of Taxes (Direcçaõ-Geral dos Impostos), and register with Social Security.
Other Important Considerations
Employees should be aware that they are entitled to apply for permanent residency after five years of living in Portugal.
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