How Can I Get Work Permit In Portugal

Do you really want to work in Portugal? Great! You can find a great job in Portugal if you know where to look. Let’s see how you can get a work permit in Portugal. You might also be interested in our  Portugal FAQs   if you’re thinking of moving to Portugal.A lot of expats want to know how can I get work permit in Portugal, and especially since the recent recession that turned Portugal from a sought-after destination for migrant workers and those looking for international quality of life or retiring in a sunny place with a nice climate, cheap beer and wine, great healthcare and other quality of life features – into something less appealing. Still, Portugal remains relatively easy to reside in – as long as you find a job. However, finding employment in Portugal remains a challenge as the work visas system is notoriously complicated , especially if you haven’t already secured an employer prior to arrival. This article aims to provide some insight on how to gain employment in this country – hopefully enabling those new expats who are seeking employment there (or considering it) to move into Portugal with more security, less financial risk and greater confidence that they will succeed while they settle into their new surroundings.

How Can I Get Work Permit In Portugal

If you will be coming to Portugal for the purpose of working or establishing a business, you will need to obtain a work or residence permit. The first step on this path is to submit a petition to get your residence visa. However, if your specific circumstances allow you to do so, it might be easier (and cheaper) to apply directly for a work permit.  If you’re a non-European Union citizen who likes the idea of living and working in Portugal, you may have come across this question: How can I get work permit in Portugal? If that’s your situation, here’s what you need to know about getting a work permit in Portugal — from both a Portuguese and a British perspective.

Portugal Work Visas & Permits

For companies seeking opportunities to expand in the global market, Portugal is one of many enticing options. If your company is planning to extend operations in Portugal, many of your employees will need to obtain visas and work permits.


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For companies seeking opportunities to expand in the global market, Portugal is one of many enticing options. If your company is planning to extend operations in Portugal, many of your employees will need to obtain visas and work permits.

Types of Work Visas in Portugal

Portugal is a member of the European Union (EU). Citizens of other EU member states are free to work in Portugal without a permit. They also do not need a visa, though they will need to apply for a residence card within six months of moving to Portugal for employment.

Non-EU citizens must obtain a visa from their country of origin to travel to Portugal. In Portugal, there are three types of residency visas:

  • Type 1: Permanent residency visa
  • Type 2: Resettlement visa for relatives of Portuguese citizens
  • Type 3: Resettlement visa for relatives of permanent, non-citizen residents of Portugal

After obtaining the relevant visa, the employee can travel to Portugal. They will have four months to convert the visa into a residence permit. An additional permit is required to work in Portugal legally.

Requirements to Obtain Portugal Work Visas

Along with a completed visa application, the following documents must be submitted for someone to obtain a visa:

  • A valid passport that has a minimum of two blank pages
  • A letter of invitation from the employer or other documentation showing the purpose of the trip
  • Proof of health insurance and accident insurance
  • A passport photo in color
  • Biometric data such as fingerprints and digital photos for facial recognition
  • Documented flight reservations
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal, such as an address of residence or a hotel reservation

A visa will grant entrance to Portugal. There’s a separate process for obtaining a permit to work. To apply for a work permit, or Autorização de Trabalho, employees will need to provide the following documents:

  • A valid Portuguese residence visa
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal
  • A valid passport
  • Two passport photos in color
  • Pertinent tax documents
  • Background checks for criminal record
  • An employment contract
  • Proof of registration with Social Security

Application Process

To obtain a visa, your employees must submit an application through their country’s Portuguese Consulate. They will need to provide the documents listed above. It may take two to three months for Portuguese officials to process the application and issue a visa. This visa will grant entrance into Portugal.

After the visa has been issued, the employee will need to apply for a work permit as well. Employees from non-EU countries will have a better chance of obtaining a work permit if they have specialized skills.

The employee or employer may submit the work permit application. Either way, it will go through the regional directorate or the Delegation of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service, or Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF). The documents listed above must be submitted along with the application. The processing time for a work permit may take up to 60 days.

After obtaining a visa and work permit, the employee may travel to Portugal to begin working. They’ll need to get their Residency Card from the SEF, receive a tax code from their branch of the Director-General of Taxes (Direcçaõ-Geral dos Impostos), and register with Social Security.

Other Important Considerations

Employees should be aware that they are entitled to apply for permanent residency after five years of living in Portugal.

Learn More About Globalization Partners

Need to onboard international employees right now? We can help with your global hiring needs. Contact us and request a proposal.

For this particular location, Globalization Partners may offer support processing certain work visas and permits. Contact us today to assess your specific needs.

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