Immigrate to Portugal from USA

Updated on Thursday 28th May 2020

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Portugal can be a great choice for many Americans looking to move to a European country. In order to immigrate to Portugal from the USA, an individual or a family will need to comply with the current requirements for obtaining long-stay visas, the documents that allow them to legally stay in the country in order to be able to request their residency authorization.
Moving to Portugal is a multi-step process that starts with a visa application at a Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in the US city of residence.
Our team of immigration lawyers in Portugal is ready to assist applicants who wish to take this step and could use specialized legal aid. Talking to a specialist is usually recommended because the visa application should be successful the first time it is submitted. This way, the applicant can start planning the trip to Portugal, purchase airplane tickets and handle the accommodation matters, apart from handling the last details for employment, if this is the case.

Long-term visa application for Portugal immigration

Visas for residency purposes are the ones required for U.S. citizens who wish to move to Portugal. The visa application will consist of providing additional support documentation according to the purpose of the stay. Below, our team of immigration lawyers in Portugal lists the main purpose of stay categories:
  • employment: when the applicant is pursuing a career in Portugal, has a work agreement and can prove that he/she has the required means of subsistence. 
  • highly qualified experts: those individuals who are highly qualified and have an employment agreement or an invitation letter for a cultural activity; can also apply to highly qualified teachers.
  • independent professional: for those individuals involved in liberal professions who can certify their competence with the Portuguese authorities.
  • study: for research or higher education purposes, if the applicant had been enrolled or accepted by a research center or university.
  • investment: the Golden Visa Program is a visa for investors who are allowed to apply for residency and can also later apply for becoming Portuguese nationals; conditioned by substantial investments in real estate or in businesses.
Other two cases in which individuals can apply for residency purposes include family reunification or retirement purposes. Religious purposes are also an option.

General visa application in Portugal

Once the purpose of stay has been established, the applicant can begin to gather the needed documents and fill in the forms in order to start the first stages needed to immigrate to Portugal from the USA. The general list of documents includes the following:
  • filled in application form, according to the purpose of stay;
  • valid passport and copies thereof plus a set of updated passport-size photographs;
  • proof of valid travel insurance;
  • criminal record certificate;
  • proof of accommodation as well as means of subsistence. 
Our team of Portugal immigration agents can assist all U.S. citizens who are submitting their visa applications. We can help answer questions about the current policies set forth by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and can also guide you so that your visa application stands adequate acceptance chances.

Steps for residency application upon arrival to Portugal

If the visa application is approved, U.S. immigrants to Portugal will need to handle the second stage once they arrive in the country. The residency permit is to be applied for with the local Foreigners and Borders Service, the authority tasked with handling immigration applications according to the Government and Constitution. 
Our team of agents who specialize in matters concerning immigration to Portugal can help you set the appointment with the Foreigners and Borders Service. Each individual is required to schedule this appointment, which is not a long one but will require a comprehensive set of documents and one of our immigration specialists can help you prepare yourself for this appointment. 
Another subsequent step after arriving in Portugal is obtaining the fiscal identification number (it can sometimes be applied fore before the appointment with the Foreigners and Borders Service). Our Portugal immigration agents can also help you get in contact with the local financial office from which you will obtain this number.
The application for a residence permit for an investment activity will differ because of the requirements to prove the actual investment. An immigration lawyer in Portugal from our team can help you submit this application, one that also allows the applicant family reunification options. 
For more detailed information about moving to Portugal from the USA, please feel free to contact our team.


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