Portugal - Work Permits

Work Permits for Portugal:

Portugal is a prosperous country located in the southwest of Europe. It enjoys a high standard of living due to an advanced economy based on the IT, agriculture, mining and fishing sectors, as well as having a peaceful culture.

  • Visa-free travel to all Europe & Schengen countries
  • Minimum stay needed
  • Full rights to live, work and study in Portugal fully extendible to family members
  • Access to all Portuguese public services, including health care and education
  • Eligible for passport/citizenship after 6 years, which allows holders to stay in entire EU block
  • Minimal documentation require
  • Can stay in UK, Germany, Italy France etc. (entire EU Block) after attaining Passport


Who needs a Portuguese work visa or permit?
  • Most non-EU nationals will need a Portuguese work permit before they can undertake employment in Portugal. In the majority of cases, a Portuguese work permit is only granted to non-EU nationals if a secure job has been offered or if the individual is married to a Portuguese citizen. If approved, they can continue the process of obtaining a Portuguese work visa or residence permit.
  • Work in Portugal for non-EU citizens, however, has been affected by Portugal's high unemployment in recent years. Portugal currently has quotas in place to limit the number of jobs that go to third-country nationals to improve employment opportunities for EU nationals. Most jobs need to be advertised to Portuguese and EU/EFTA citizens for 30 days before the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training in Portugal (IEFP) will classify them as jobs that can be freely filled by non-EU employees.
  • After five years of residence in Portugal you can claim Portuguese permanent residence, and after six years Portuguese citizenship. In either case, you will not require a work permit but are free on the employment market.


Work permits for non-EU nationals:
Non-EU nationals can usually only obtain a work permit for Portugal if married to a local, or if offered a secure job contract by a formal employer. As there are regulations in place that encourage companies to hire members of other EU countries before looking outside the sphere, it can be difficult to solidify a job offer and start the ball rolling. If an expat does manage to find a job offer, the hiring company starts the process by applying to the Portuguese Labour Authorities for the work permit with a copy of the contract. Once completed, the expat applicant must apply for a Portuguese work permit at their local Portuguese Embassy. The work permit application process in Portugal can take up to eight months. Permits are usually granted for six months and are renewable.

What documents do I need?
  • The documents needed will vary slightly depending on the exact visa you're applying for, and your country of residence. Details can be found on the immigration department website, but for a regular work permit you can expect to be asked for the following:
  • Completed application form
  • Two recent, identical photographs
  • Passport or other valid travel document
  • Valid residence visa
  • Evidence of the funds to support yourself
  • Proof of proposed accommodation
  • Permission for checking criminal records
  • Valid labour contract
  • Proof of your current tax situation


Document proving Social Security registration:
You should check the exact requirements for your visa, with the local embassy you're applying to, as there may be some variants you need to consider. For example, some embassies will require the application form to be signed with a member of staff acting as a witness.