Immigrate to Portugal from Canada

Updated on Monday 21st January 2019

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Portugal is a country with many advantages, with its warm, temperate Mediterranean climate being an important plus for Canadians looking to move to another country where they can work, study or even retire.
Those interested in the steps needed to immigrate to Portugal from Canada can read this article and reach out to our team of immigration lawyers in Portugal for more detailed information as well as advice based on their particular situation.
Foreign nationals have more than one option when moving to Portugal long-term for the purpose of obtaining permanent residence. The naturalization option is one of the most common as it implies lawfully living in the country for a certain amount of time, after which an individual can apply for permanent residency. This is different from citizenship and our immigration experts explain the main options further down in this article.

Ways to immigrate to Portugal from Canada

Canadians who wish to enter Portugal and stay for less than ninety days are not required to have a visa. The residency visa allows the holder to have two entries in the country and it is valid for a period of four months. There are several types of residency visas, according to the purpose of the stay: 
  1. Working in Portugal: Canadians can stay in Portugal based on  residency visa provided that they are employed or if they perform an independent business activity
  2. Higher education teaching:  a residency visa is granted for those highly qualified professionals or those who will engage in higher education teaching (including for highly qualified cultural purposes).
  3. Study: a residency visa for research, study, volunteer or school exchange purposes; for bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D., Post-Doc studies.
  4. Investment: this type of residency permit is subject to slightly different regulations and it is granted to those investors who will conduct an investment activity through a Portuguese company, who purchase real estate in a total value of approximately 500,000 euros or who engage in capital investments.
Canadians who are interested in knowing more about the residency via investment, or the golden visa program, can reach out to an immigration lawyer in Portugal from our team. We can provide complete details on the situations in which an investment can be a manner in which that entrepreneur can also obtain a temporary residence permit as well as the possibility to apply for family reunification purposes. the investment residency program also allows the applicant to apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization. The investment visa also grants the holder the ability to benefit from a visa exemption for traveling within the Schengen Area.
Regardless of the type of visa they decided to apply for, Canadians will need to submit the needed visa application documents with the Consulate General of Portugal in Montreal, the Consulate General of Portugal in Toronto or the Consulate General of Portugal in Vancouver. One of our Portugal immigration agents can provide you with complete details about the visa application requirements so that you may prepare the proper documentation and the visa application will be approved. A fee will apply for a residency visa. The general documents needed to apply for a residency visa in Portugal include the following:
  • the filled in official form
  • the passport and two recent passport photos,
  • valid travel insurance,
  • criminal record certificate,
  • proof of means of subsistence. 
When the applicant is moving to Portugal for the purpose of employment, the work contract needs to be provided as well as a professional certificate. When the Canadian applicant will perform an independent work or will come to the country as a migrant entrepreneur, he will need to either provide the contract or service provider proposal for liberal professions or bring the adequate proof that he has performed certain investment operations or that he has the intention and the ability to invest in Portugal. Specific documentation is also needed for professional activities, highly qualified activities, cultural activities as well as for those who wish to come to the country for higher education, volunteer or internship purposes.

Post-arrival steps and legal assistance for moving to Portugal 

Once they arrive in the country based on the visa they have applies for, Canadians will need to request a residence permit as well as the fiscal identification number from the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF). One of our Portugal immigration lawyers can help you with the necessary submissions as well as with handling all of the post-arrival steps.
Contact us for complete details about our services for Canadians moving to Portugal and our general expat services.