Residence Visas for Portugal

Residence visas for Portugal are a must for third-country nationals who choose to move to Portugal - an increasingly attractive choice for many people in search of new opportunities and quality of life.

To ensure a legal and organized transition, it is crucial to understand the process of obtaining a visa and then a residence permit in Portugal, their requirements, and the respective formalities.

NEWCO can support you in obtaining any residence visa for Portugal and throughout your moving process.

What is the difference between a residence visa and a residence permit?

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country (or one who has similar EU status such as Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Switzerland) and you will be seeking entry into Portugal for the purpose of establishing residence for a period longer than one year, you will usually have to obtain a residence visa beforehand.

This type of residence visa must be requested in your country of origin and is valid for four months because its only purpose is to enable the holder to enter Portugal to obtain a residence permit.

It is important to note that the granting of a residence visa to enter Portugal does not in itself guarantee the granting of a residence permit. Once you have entered Portugal, you will have to prove that you meet the required conditions for a residence permit to be granted.

Temporary Residence vs Permanent Residence

Currently, a temporary residence permit in Portugal is valid for two years, starting from the document’s date of issue. Thereafter, it can be renewed for successive periods of three years. You must apply to renew your temporary residence permit no later than 30 days before its expiry date.

After five years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit or long-term resident status in the European Union.

Your permanent residence permit has no expiry date; however, the actual document must be renewed every five years or whenever any changes are made to your identification details (e.g. if you move to a new address).

What type of residence visas are available for Portugal?

Portugal offers different visas depending on the intended purpose of establishing residence. In addition to the specific documentation required for each purpose, all applications for residence visas must include some basic documentation, namely:

  • Duly completed form;
  • Passport or other travel document;
  • Criminal record certificate issued by the authority of the applicant's country of origin or the country where the applicant has resided for more than one year, duly legalized;
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal;
  • Valid travel insurance to cover necessary health expenses, including urgent medical care and repatriation;
  • Proof of means of subsistence;
  • Copy of transport tickets (outbound and return trip);
  • Proof of family ties, in the case of a visa for family reunification.

Below are the residence visas currently most sought after by people who want to take up residence in Portugal:

Residence visa for employment (D1 Visa)

The residence visa for the exercising of a professional activity as an employee is intended for those who have an employment contract or a promise of an employment contract from an entity resident in Portugal. 
In addition to the general documentation mentioned above, applicants must prove that they are qualified to practice the profession, if it is regulated in Portugal.

Residence visa for entrepreneurship (D2 Visa) 

This residence visa is intended for people who wish to take up residence in Portugal to carry out an independent professional activity or conduct investment operations. 
Applicants must submit the articles of association or service provider contract agreed with an entity in Portugal, as applicable, and demonstrate the economic or social relevance of the project they intend to develop in Portugal. 

Residence visa for highly qualified professionals (D3 Visa)

The D3 visa is intended for people who wish to teach at an academic or vocational training facility or carry out a highly qualified or cultural activity in Portugal. 
“Highly qualified” is deemed to mean professionals who carry out an activity requiring specialized technical skills, of an exceptional nature, or who have an appropriate qualification to do so. 
If in someone else’s employ, the minimum term of the employment contract or promised contract is six months and the salary must be at least 1.5 times the national average gross annual wage.

Residence visa for retirement or passive income (D7 Visa)

Applicants who receive a pension or have passive income, such as property rents, dividends, royalties, or financial investments, must apply for a D7 residence visa. 

Residence visa for remote workers (D8 Visa)

To attract workers and qualified service providers who carry out their activities remotely, Portugal created a residence visa precisely for people who do so. 
Applicants must prove that they have an employment relationship, or a service provider contract agreed with one or more entities resident outside Portugal and that, in the last three months, at least, prior to submitting their application, they earned a monthly income equal to or greater than four times the minimum wage in Portugal (€3,400 in 2024).  

Residence visa for family reunification

Citizens with a valid residence permit in Portugal have the right to family reunification.
Family members are considered to be the spouse or partner in a common-law marriage; minor or incapacitated dependent children; adult children, provided they are single and studying; and the ancestors of the resident or their spouse, provided that they are in their care. 
The application for a residence visa for family reunification can be applied for simultaneously with that of the main applicant.

Rights inherent to a Residence Permit in Portugal

Holders of a residence permit in Portugal are entitled to equal treatment in matters of social security, tax benefits, recognition of professional diplomas and titles, and access to public goods and services. They also have the right to:

  • Education, teaching, and vocational training;
  • Exercise a professional activity as an employee;
  • Exercise an independent professional activity;
  • Access healthcare, the law, and the courts;
  • Professional guidance, training, improvement, and retraining. 

Renewal of Residence Permits in Portugal

Applications to renew residence permits must be made no later than 30 days before the permit expires, and proof of means of subsistence, accommodation, and compliance with tax and contribution obligations in Portugal must be presented. 

It should be noted that renewal of a temporary residence permit may be denied or the permit may even be canceled for various reasons, including the holder being absent from the country, without an acceptable reason, for six consecutive months or eight non-consecutive months.

Permanent Residence in Portugal

Foreigners who have held a residence permit for at least five years can apply for a permanent residence permit, provided that they have means of subsistence, accommodation and can prove they have a basic knowledge of the Portuguese language. 

As in the case of temporary residence permits, a permanent residence permit can also be canceled, namely for reasons of public order or health, if it is determined that false or misleading statements were made, or even if the foreign citizen is found to have been absent from the country for 24 consecutive months or 30 non-consecutive months over a period of three years.

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