Immigrate to Portugal from India

Updated on Sunday 23rd May 2021

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In order to immigrate to Portugal from India, an Indian national will need to apply for and obtain a long-term visa. This can be issued for various purposes, such as a working (as an employee or independently), for study or training as well as scientific research or family reunification when applicable.
 
India residents who wish to travel to Portugal need to submit their application at a center in New Delhi or Mumbai. The Embassy of Portugal in New Delhi or the Consulate General of Portugal in Goa assesses the applications.
 
There are various conditions that apply according to the type of visa chosen to travel to Portugal for longer periods of time and we recommend that applicants get in touch with our Portugal immigration agents who can offer personalized information according to their situation. 
 
Below, we describe the main types of long-term visas which can be applied for by those Indian nationals who are interested in immigration to Portugal. We can also offer advice for those who are ready to apply for Portugal citizenship, after having lived in the country for a number of years.
 

Ways in which an Indian national can move to Portugal

 
The Portugal residency visa is the one suitable for foreign nationals who wish to move to the country. It can be granted according to the reason for the move, as follows:
  1. for employment: both employed work and self-employed work, it requires a previously concluded employment contract or proof thereof as well as a business plan or the presentation of the intended investment or the qualifications of those who offer self-employed services.
  2. for research purposes: scientific researchers who are part of a program or who have an agreement with a Portuguese university or another research purpose can apply for this visa.
  3. for study purposes: suitable for those Indian nationals who wish to move to Portugal to study or engage in subsequent training.
  4. family reunification: this is possible for those individuals who wish to join their spouse, parents or siblings.
 
The specific requirements differ according to the type of visa and we do recommend talking to one of our immigration lawyers in Portugal before traveling to the Embassy. Our immigration specialists are able to give you personalized information so that you can be prepared with all of the needed details before visiting the authorities for submitting the application.
 
The visa fees can vary according to the visa type, however, in general, most types of visas like those for employment or family reunification are approximately 90 euros, not including other taxes for the preparation of the documents that may also be required. The applicant should know that the visa fee is not refundable, another important reason to make sure that you have all of the documents in order before submitting the application so that you have higher changes for the visa to be approved. 
 

How to obtain a residence permit for employment in Portugal

 
The employment visa is one of the most popular types and it can be awarded to Indian nationals who have signed an employment agreement with a Portuguese employer, to those who wish to engage in a teaching activity as well as those who are highly qualified and those who are applying for intra-corporate transfers. A separate type of permit is also awarded to those who are accepted for a highly qualified activity in certified companies (the tech visa).
 
Understanding the employment conditions is essential when applying for a residence permit in Portugal for employment, self-employment or other types of remunerated work. For example, those who apply for a residence permit for self-employed individuals with a residence visa should note that they can become employed by a third party, provided that they apply for the relevant residence permit for this purpose. The application is to be submitted to the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).
 
One of our Portugal immigration agents can provide individuals with more information about the conditions for employment, self-employment as well as other types of work, such as highly qualified work. 
 

How to obtain a residence permit for investment purposes in Portugal

 
Indian investors who wish to move to Portugal can also consider the golden visa in Portugal program, based on a significant investment in Portuguese real estate. This type of visa is available for third-country citizens who wish to conduct an investment activity in real estate or for other purposes, as seen below:
 
  • 1 million euros: the visa is awarded for capital transfers of this amount or above.
  • 10 jobs: when the investor is able to create ten new job positions.
  • 500,000 euros investment: in real estate in Portugal.
  • 350,000 euros: for real estate investments in property with a construction date of more than 30 years or located in an area treated as an urban regeneration one.
  • 350,000 euros: capital transfer for investments in research activities undertaken by public or private institutions. 
  • 250,000 euros: capital transfer for investments in arts or for the reconstruction of national heritage.
You can find out more about this option in this article and you can always reach out to our immigration lawyer in Portugal for more details.

Indian investors who have the ability to make the aforementioned capital transfers of purchase property of the said amount can benefit from acquiring the investor visa as it also contains provisions for the family members. The applicant and the family members who comply with the requirements set forth by the legislation in force will be granted a permanent residence permit in Portugal that can be renewed. 

The holder is entitled to live and work in Portugal, provided that he/she stays in the country for 7 or more days in the first year and at least 14 days in the following years. Under this visa scheme, the holder may apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization, provided that all of the other conditions are met.

When applying for a startup visa or an investment visa with the creation of job positions, entrepreneurs should also be well aware of the current company formation regime and the requirements for social security contributions set forth by the Portuguese Government through its ministries.  
 

Applying for a Portuguese visa

 
The checklist below applies to a visa for employment or self-employment purposes. For other types of visas, you can talk to one of our Portugal immigration agents. The checklist for a work visa includes the following documents:
  • the filled-in application form;
  • two recent passport-size photographs, no older than six months;
  • a valid passport (valid for at least three months);
  • police clearance certificate issued by the Passport Office;
  • proof of sufficient income to cover the stay in Portugal;
  • proof of accommodation in Portugal (lease contract for example);
  • travel medical insurance;
  • copy of the work contract signed by the employer and the employee;
  • proof of independent work by means of a contract between the self-employed individual and the other party (for independent workers);
  • air ticket reservation.
 
The checklist can differ depending on the jurisdiction in India in which it is submitted. For example, the list of documents of the Consulate General of Goa can be different from that of the Embassy of Portugal in New Delhi. You can talk to our immigration lawyers in Portugal depending on the area in which you live. It is recommended to have all of the required documents in their original form when you have the interview with the Embassy or the Consulate General.
 
Once you arrive in Portugal, you will need to apply for a residence permit and request the fiscal identification number from the Immigration and Borders Service. Our agents can help you with these arrangements.

Requirements for Indian nationals living in Portugal

 
Living in Portugal is subject to a set of rules for the foreign national who has obtained a residence permit. The holder is entitled to fair and equal treatment, is entitled to social security and fiscal benefits, can participate in unions and may have his or her diplomas and/or a qualification recognized in Portugal.
 
As far as the duties of a residence permit holder are concerned, these relate to timely submissions and communications to the Foreigners and Borders Service as well as observing other rules. Our Portugal immigration agents list some of the most important duties below:
 
  • Duty to communicate: inform the Service within 60 days of the occurrence of any change in their place of residence or civil status as well as notify any absence from the country for more than six consecutive months or eight sequential months (the notification shall be made before leaving);
  • Duty to renew the permit: a temporary residence permit holder has the duty to renew the said permit thirty days before the end of its validity period;
  • Duty to observe the law: foreign nationals living in Portugal are to observe public order, public security and health.
 
Failure to comply with the requirements for entry as well as the duties to communicate with the Portuguese authorities results in administrative offences. Our immigration lawyer in Portugal can help you understand these requirements as soon as you arrive in the country so that you can avoid any applicable penalties.
 
Long-term residence in Portugal is the main goal for foreign nationals who arrive in the country relocation purposes, including Indian nationals. A permanent residence permit is applied for with the Foreigners and Borders Service and the application is delivered in person, signed by the applicant or the legal representative, as applicable. A number of documents are required for this process and, in order to acquire the permanent resident status, Indian nationals will need to provide proof that they have satisfactory Portuguese language knowledge. The other required documents include the following:
 
  • Passport photographs, with a blank background and in which the applicant can be easily identified;
  • A valid travel document;
  • Proof of regular income, sufficient for the applicant and/or the relatives, without the need to apply for welfare;
  • Evidence of accommodation and proof of authorization for accessing the criminal record;
  • Evidence of having met one’s tax obligations and those regarding social security;
  • Proof of having held a temporary residence permit at least for five years prior to the application date;
  • Proof of basic Portuguese language knowledge: by having completed an official Portuguese course with a private or public establishment recognized by law.
 
Our team can give you more details on the options that are currently in place for Indian nationals who wish to follow a recognized course that will allow them to present the needed documents that show compliance with the basic language knowledge requirements.
 
In order to be able to apply for a permanent residence permit in Portugal, the individual needs to not have been convicted of any custodian sentence that exceeds one year of imprisonment even if the enforcement of the sentence was suspended.
 
A permanent residence permit is issued for a period of five years and although it includes no inscribed validity period, it is renewed every five years or sooner, if any changes in the holder’s identification data occur prior to the five-year period.  The renewal application needs to be submitted within 90 and 30 days before the end of the five-year period. When the application is submitted after this date, the applicant needs to provide satisfactory proof that he has been abroad. The residence permit is not renewed if the holder was judged by default unless he or she can bring forward proof that this is no longer the case.  Once the application is successfully made, the holder receives a document that replaces the residence permit, which has a validity of 60 days, until the renewed one is issued.
 
If you are an Indian citizen living in Portugal, our team can help you with the application for the renewal of the permanent residence permit. Scheduling an appointment with the Foreigners and Borders Service is recommended in 2021. When possible, all or part of the needed documents will be submitted via an online application and our team can give you additional information, including the applicable fees and standard forms.

Indian nationals in Portugal

 
Portugal is a country that offers numerous opportunities to foreign nationals, whether it is for employment purposes or as a location that allows easier access to other European countries and markets. The quality of life is a strong factor for many immigrants and the climate, with warm summers and mild winters are also convenient for many. Indians will also find that they have access to quality education in Portugal and the general living costs are relatively low when compared to other EU countries. 
 
According to a report from the Foreigners and Borders Service, the following data applied to Indian nationals living in Portugal:
 
  • there was a strong growth in the Indian population numbers in 2018, 127.3%. 
  • also in 2018, there was a 10% increase of applications from Indian nationals through the automatic pre-scheduling residence permit program (the expression of the interest to apply for a residency permit for subordinate or independent professional activities).
  • 3,618 Indians have used the platform that facilitates contact between foreign citizens and the SEF service.
 
Indians who wish to arrive in Portugal and comply with the lawful staying requirements can reach out to our immigration specialists. We can provide the needed information pre-arrival so as immigrants can avoid any disagreeable situations once they arrive in the Portuguese city of choice.
 
Contact us for more information on the requirements for moving to Portugal as well as complete assistance pre and post arrival.