Residence permit in Portugal; How does it work, how much is it worth? - job guide (2023)

Contrary to what many people think, it is not mandatory to have European citizenship to apply for a residence permit in Portugal. However, those who hold this citizenship have an advantage in this process.

Portugal has become a popular destination for many Brazilians looking for new opportunities in a new country. Living in this corner of Europe has been the desire of many foreigners who come to Portugal with the aim of building a family, a career and a new life.

This country has been especially sought after for its excellent quality of life, in addition to the ease of understanding and communication provided by the language.

During this moving process, it is common for questions to arise about how to proceed to obtain a legal residence permit in the country.

Those wishing to live in Portugal need to go to the immigration services and apply for a residence permit.

And yes, Brazilians and people of any nationality can live on Portuguese soil, as long as they are able to present all the necessary documents.

But what is the residence permit?

The residence permit in Portugal differs from a visa. In addition, there are two categories of authorizations that can be requested from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF). Are they:

  1. Temporary residence permit.
  2. Permanent residence permit.

Both types have specific start and expiration dates.

Temporary residence permit

The temporary residence permit has an initial validity of one year, which begins to be counted from the date of issue. Furthermore, it can be renewed for successive periods of two years.

However, whenever there is any important information about the applicant that changes, such as address, it is necessary to immediately update the data related to this authorization.

After residing for five years with the temporary authorization, the individual can apply for the permanent residence authorization in Portugal.

Permanent authorization in Portugal

The permanent residence permit in Portugal does not have a specific expiry date.

Please be aware, however, that the applicant's residence permit needs to be renewed every five years or when personal information changes.

When requesting renewal, the holder does not need to present again the documents that were previously provided to the SEF.

Who needs authorization to stay longer in Portugal?

Some people need to apply for a residence permit in Portugal in order to stay in the country for a longer period than expected.

This authorization can be requested by tourists who wish to extend their stay, students, salaried workers, self-employed workers or pensioners.

However, to fulfill the dream of living in Portugal, the applicant must be in possession of the appropriate documents and follow some specific steps.

The first step is to go to the Foreigners and Borders Service to start the application process.

Student and authorization to stay in Portugal

Even people who have European citizenship need to obtain an authorization to reside in the country, although the procedure is a little different from the other categories.

After the application, it is necessary to obtain a registration certificate, which confirms the applicant's right to live in Portugal. This certificate is issued instantly and does not need to be renewed, having unlimited validity.

Failure to register does not prevent someone from living in Portugal, but it can result in fines.

The documents required for this request are:

  1. Proof of enrollment in an educational institution.
  2. Document proving sufficient financial resources to remain in Portugal.
  3. Document proving medical coverage.

Students who do not have European citizenship can also apply for a residence permit in Portugal. However, this will depend on the student's situation at the time of application and the visa used to enter the country.

Students who applied for a visa while still in Brazil can stay on Portuguese soil for up to 4 months. Therefore, it is important that the application for a residence permit is made as soon as the student arrives in the country. This can be done online or over the phone.

The documents required for this request are:

  1. Completed form.
  2. Bank statement.
  3. Personal identification number.
  4. Proof of address.
  5. Valid passport with visa.
  6. Authorization to consult the Portuguese criminal record.
  7. Enrollment check.
  8. Proof of payment of academic fees.
  9. The fee for issuing the residence permit is €37.50.

Wage work and residence

Even salaried workers with European citizenship need to apply for a residence permit in Portugal.

For this, it is necessary to present the following documents:

  1. Valid identity document or passport.
  2. Employment contract or promise of employment contract.

Employees without European citizenship must comply with all requirements of the Aliens and Borders Service.

The request can be made by mail, telephone or internet.

The documents required for this request are:

  1. Completed form.
  2. Two photos in passport format.
  3. Proof of regular entry into Portuguese territory.
  4. Passport or other valid travel document.
  5. Document proving sufficient financial resources to remain in Portugal.
  6. Proof of address.
  7. Authorization to consult the criminal record.
  8. Employment contract.
  9. Social Security Registration Number (NISS).
  10. Document proving social security contributions.

be autonomous

Self-employed workers with European citizenship only need to present a valid identity document or passport and a document proving that they are self-employed.

If he does not have such citizenship, the documents required to apply for a residence permit in Portugal are:

  • Valid passport or other valid travel document;
  • Proof of regular entry into Portuguese territory;
  • Document proving that the applicant has the financial means to stay in Portugal;
  • Criminal record from the country of origin;
  • Criminal record in Portugal, if you reside for more than one year;
  • Proof of address;
  • Proof of enrollment in social security and regularized situation, except in the case of promise of employment contract;
  • Proof of registration with the Tax Administration (NIF);
  • Document proving the incorporation of the company under the terms of the law, declaring the start of activity with the Tax Administration and Social Security as a natural person; or
  • Contract for the provision of services for the exercise of a liberal profession and declaration of the professional order proving the respective registration (when applicable).

be a pensioner

Pensioners who wish to apply for a residence permit in Portugal must provide the following documents:

  1. Valid travel document or passport.
  2. Document proving medical coverage.
  3. Document proving the pension received.

being a tourist

Even those who enter the country as tourists have the option of applying for a residence permit in Portugal. Regardless of the reason, the country's legislation allows those who find themselves in this situation to regularize their stay.

There are several ways to do this. For example, a tourist can fall into one of the categories mentioned above, such as a student, pensioner or worker. In addition, it is also possible to establish a company or prove financial means to support yourself in the country, as is the case for people who have their own income.

However, authorization is only granted to those who meet all the requirements of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).

It is important to remember that the request made as a tourist must be made within 30 days after the end of the 90-day stay permit in the country.

When the request is made in this category, the procedure usually takes longer to complete.

Who can apply?

Just as there are some categories for people who necessarily need to apply for a residence permit in Portugal, there are other groups of people who do not have this obligation.

However, this does not mean that they can simply arrive and live in the country. That is, if they wish, they can also apply for such a request.

Below is the list of who can apply:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Principality of Andorra;
  • Spouses (husband or wife of such citizens);
  • Your descendants who are up to 21 years old;
  • Their descendants who are over 21 years old and who are under the responsibility of the holder.

Portugal Residence Card

Residence permit in Portugal; How does it work, how much is it worth? - job guide (1)

The residence card is the document granted to the applicant after approval of the residence permit in Portugal, guaranteeing permanent stay in the country. It works as an identification for the new resident, containing their personal data, photo and thumbprint.

Receiving the residence card means having successfully completed the application for a residence permit. It is extremely important that the cardholder renews his authorization a little before the expiry date to avoid problems in the future. Delaying renewal can result in fines.

That is, it is recommended that the cardholder is always aware of the expiration date, in order to avoid setbacks.

On the other hand, foreigners who apply for a temporary residence permit receive a residence permit. This document is valid for one year from the date of issue and can be renewed for successive periods of two years. The residence permit replaces an identification document for all legal purposes.

Holders of residence permits are entitled to various benefits, such as access to education, professional training, the exercise of dependent and independent professional activities, access to health, access to justice and courts. In addition, they enjoy equal treatment in matters related to Social Security, tax benefits, recognition of diplomas, union affiliation, certificates and any other professional titles.

Access to goods and services, as well as the application of special rights, are also included in the holder's list of rights.

What is the deadline for everything?

The procedure for analyzing an application for a residence permit in Portugal is carried out with meticulous attention, carefully examining all the documents presented.

The application for granting the temporary authorization may take up to 3 months to receive a positive or negative result.

In the case of a new application for a permanent residence permit, it is expected that an opinion will be issued within 2 months. The renewal of the document has a period of 30 days.

If there is no decision within the aforementioned deadlines, the request is considered approved and the document must be issued immediately.

What is the value of the document?

The cost of applying for a residence permit in Portugal is 15 euros for adults and 7.50 euros for children under 6 years old.

It is important to note that the residence card cannot be sent by post. Therefore, the applicant must appear in person at the Foreigners and Borders Service, where he filed the application, to complete the last step, which basically consists of registering his fingerprint on the card.

After this stage, the applicant is able to reside in the country and enjoy all the benefits and excellent quality of life that Portugal offers.

Were you already familiar with this information about the residence permit in Portugal? Do you have any questions or would you like to know more about it? Leave your comment below and keep following our publications.


Residence permit in Portugal; How does it work, how much is it worth? - job guide? ›

The minimum gross salary stated in your employment contract must be at least 1.5 times the average gross salary of the profession you want to work in Portugal. For 2022, the minimum salary threshold is 822 EUR per month.

What are the benefits of the Portugal residence permit? ›

Benefits of the Portugal Residence Permit
  • Visa-free access to the EEA/EU and Schengen Area.
  • Access to the workforce.
  • Unlimited access to education.
  • Access to the Portuguese healthcare system.
  • Unemployment benefits (in case you lose your job).
  • The option to bring over other family members.

What is the minimum salary for work permit in Portugal? ›

The minimum gross salary stated in your employment contract must be at least 1.5 times the average gross salary of the profession you want to work in Portugal. For 2022, the minimum salary threshold is 822 EUR per month.

How much money do I need to get residency in Portugal? ›

The visa process takes at least a month. To get the residence permit you will have to prove that you have a monthly regular income of at least €1,070. It is also possible to include your dependents in this kind of application for residency.

What happens after 5 years of residency in Portugal? ›

You can apply for Portuguese citizenship 5 years after receiving a residence permit. With a Portuguese passport, you can travel without visas to 188 countries around the world. USA, Canada, UK, Australia and Japan are on the list of visa-free countries for Portuguese citizens.


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