Types of Visas in Portugal

Updated on Thursday 21st January 2021

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Foreign nationals are required to apply for the correct types of visas in Portugal when entering the country for longer periods, as well as for obtaining a residence permit in Portugal or gain the right to work.
Some categories of citizens are exempted from the requirement to apply for a visa. These are citizens of EU member states, those of the EEA states or other countries with which the EU or Portugal have signed agreements for the freedom of movement (for example the USA or Peru can be included in selected categories). The family members of these foreign nationals are also exempted from this requirement.
Third country nationals who are not included in these categories will need to obtain a visa for the purpose of moving to Portugal.
The visa request form is submitted in the applicant’s country of residence at and at the time of the submission, the individual is required to have all of the documents prepared. Identification details, the journey documentation, the type of visa and other details are included in the initial visa form.
In case you are interested in immigration to Portugal, an immigration lawyer from our team can give you comprehensive information about specific requirements, according to the visa type.
The main types of visas in Portugal are the following:
  1. the employment visa: a common manner to enter the country, awarded to those who have secured employment in the country.
  2. the self-employed visa: for those entrepreneurs who wish to provide services as a self-employed individual.
  3. the study visa: higher education students, as well as researchers or those enrolled in secondary school or qualification courses, can apply for this.
  4. the investment visa: for those making capital transfers, creating at least ten job positions or purchasing a property.
  5. the startup visa: this visa is awarded to those investors who have been included in a certified business incubator.
  6. the family reunification visa: for first-degree ascendants, the spouse, underage children, or in case of a recognized civil partnership.
Visas that broadly fall into the employment category are also those that are awarded to highly qualified workers or those involved in cultural activities as well as those who are subject to intra-company transfers. One of our agents who specialize in Portugal immigration can give you more details about these types of visas and the residence permit in Portugal for long-term stays.
Below, we highlight the main conditions for applying for some of the types of visas. Please remember that the visa application is to be accompanied by relevant documents, as per the selected type. Specialize assistance is available from one of our specialists.

Those who have already been living in the country with an adequate permit can choose to apply for Portugal citizenship after some time.

What are the conditions for working in Portugal?

The application is submitted by the individual in person and includes the standard form and the required documents. We mention the necessary documentation below:
  • two recent photographs;
  • the valid passport;
  • evidence or accommodation and sufficient means of subsistence;
  • labor contract;
  • criminal record and other supporting documentation for tax registration and social security registration.

How does one apply for a study visa in Portugal?

Individuals who were admitted or registered into a higher education institution in Portugal can apply for this type of visa. Alternatively, it can also be granted to trainees, volunteers, researchers, secondary school students or those enrolled in qualification courses or professional courses.
The required identification documents are largely the same, as in the case of the employment visa and the applicant also need to provide evidence of the tuition payment (some exemptions apply in case of some categories of students). Students are allowed to engage in a remunerated activity or an independent activity provided that they inform the Portuguese authorities. One of our immigration lawyers in Portugal can give you more information about the employment/work regime for students.

How is the investment visa obtained?

The investment visa is one that can be awarded for several different categories of investments as well as for those who wish to conduct business activities in the countries. Holders can live and work in the country provided that they stay for a period of seven or more days during the first year and for two weeks or more in the following years. Family reunification is also possible under this scheme.
The investment visa is awarded for:
  • Capital investments of 1 million euros or more
  • Creating at least ten jobs
  • Purchasing real estate with a value or at least 500.000 euros or 350.000 with refurbishing options.
  • Capital transfers of 250.000 euros or more for supporting arts, the refurbishment of national heritage, etc.
  • Capital transfer of 350.000 euros for creating a commercial company based in the country that creates five permanent jobs.
One of our Portugal immigration agents can give you more detailed information about these conditions and the other documents required when applying for this visa. We can also help answer the questions of investors who have been in the country lawfully for a number of years and are now interested in obtaining Portugal citizenship.

Below, we present some facts about immigration in Portugal:
  • the net migration rate is 2.5 migrants/1,000 of the population (2017)
  • the population is approximately 10,355,493 (estimate in July 2018)
  • in 2007, there were approximately 10,617,575 out of which 3.13% were legal immigrants 
  • in 2017, the country has 416,682 foreign immigrants, with slightly more female than male foreign nationals.

Contact us for more information on moving to Portugal.