To enter Portugal as a highly-qualified worker for a period of less than a year, you must have a valid temporary stay visa.
For longer periods you must obtain a residence visa. The residence visa does not automatically grant you a right of residence. Once in Portugal, you must apply for a residence permit.
Where to apply
Temporary stay visa
A temporary stay visa allows to you work as a highly-qualified worker for a period of less than 12 months.
The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for approving the granting of visas to highly-qualified workers whenever questions arise in relation to the classification of the activity requiring highly-qualified work.
You must possess an adequate consignment, a work contract, a written proposal or a contract for services supply.
You must prove sufficient means of subsistence, travel insurance and a return ticket. Proof of means of subsistence can be produced through a statement of responsibility issued by the worker's hosting entity.
You must not have been the subject of an order to leave Portugal or an entry ban, nor of an alert under the Schengen Information System or on the SEF's Integrated Information System for the purpose of refusing entry.
Duration of validity of permits
The visa is generally valid for multiple entries to Portugal.
It is valid for the duration of the contract. You may apply for an extension of the stay, for up to one year.
If you stay in Portugal with the temporary visa after the granted period of one year, you can apply for a residence permit.
Where to apply
Residence visa for exercising an employment activity as a highly-qualified worker
For long-term employment, you must obtain a residence visa. A residence visa does not automatically grant you a right of residence but allows you to enter Portugal for the purpose of applying for a residence permit, if the requirements are met.
The General Secretariatof the Ministry of Education and Science (SGMEC) is responsible for approving the granting of visas to highly-qualified workers whenever questions arise in relation to the classification of the activity requiring highly-qualified work.
You must prove that you have an adequate consignment, a work contract, a written proposal or a contract for services supply
You must prove sufficient means of subsistence, travel insurance and a return ticket.
The residence visa will be refused if you have been the subject of an order to leave Portugal and you are applying while the period of prohibition to enter is still running or if you are listed in the Schengen Information System or in the SEF's Integrated Information System has been issued.
Duration of validity of permits
The residence visa allows you to stay in Portugal for four months so that you can submit an application for a residence permit at the SEF.
Where to apply
Temporary residence permit
A temporary residence permit is an official document issued by the SEF which allows you to live in Portugal for a specific period of time. You must submit the application to the SEF.
You must have a work contract or a contract for services that includes either teaching at a higher education institution or developing a highly-qualified activity.
There must be no fact in existence that would have prevented the grant of the visa, if it had been known by the authorities before the visa was issued.
Duration of validity of permit
As a general rule, a temporary residence permit is valid for one year, renewable for successive periods of two years.
For 2020 and 2021, by a provisional measure, a temporary residence permit is valid for two years, renewable for successive periods of three years.
Online renewal of Residence Permits: in 2020, SEF provided a new functionality for online renewal of the residence permit for third-country nationals, residing in Portugal.
The residence permit will be refused if you have been the subject of an order to leave and you are applying while the prohibition period is still running or if you are listed in the Schengen Information System or in the SEF's Integrated Information System. It may also be refused for reasons related to public order, public safety or public health.
The residence visa is cancelled if the application for a residence permit is refused.
If your application for a residence permit is refused, you may challenge the decision before the administrative court. You will be notified of the refusal decision as well as the reasons for the decision, the right to appeal and the deadline for making an appeal.
More on residence permit for highly-qualified activity and residence permit for highly-qualified activity in certified companies "Tech Visa"
Change of status
If you hold a temporary residence permit for exercising a professional activity, you may be authorised to perform a self-employed activity provided you obtain the necessary permission from the relevant Portuguese authorities.
If you lose your job, you will need to prove sufficient means of subsistence in order to renew your residence permit, without prejudice to access to social protection for reasons of unemployment or other legally provided grants.
Two types of permanent status can be obtained in Portugal - a national permanent residence permit or an EC long-term residence permit:
Permanent residence permit
The national permanent residence status can be obtained at the SEF after at least five years of legal temporary residence, if during this period you have not been convicted of a prison sentence exceeding one year.
You must prove that you have basic knowledge of Portuguese, sufficient means of subsistence and accommodation.
The national permanent residence permit must be renewed every five years. The status is valid for an unlimited period of time.
Long-term residence permit
The EC long-term residence status can be granted by the SEF after five years of continuous and legal residence. In order to obtain this status you must prove that you have:
The long-term resident status gives the same rights as Portuguese nationals in terms of:
The EC long-term residence permit is valid for five years and is automatically renewed upon application.
An application may be refused on grounds of public order, public security and the risk that may result from that person remaining on the Portuguese territory.
All decisions may be appealed before the administrative courts.
No information available at the moment.
- More information on the EU Blue Card in Portugal
- Immigration and Borders Service (SEF)
- Institute for Employment and Professional Training (IEFP)
- Authority for Labour Conditions (ACT)
- High Commission for Migration (ACM)
- Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MNE)
- Portuguese embassies and consulates abroad
- Ministry of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security (MSESS)
- Ministry of Justice (MJ)
- Ministry of Education and Science (MEC)
- Minister for Economy (ME)