Residence permits and work visas

In general, permission to enter and stay in Portuguese territory for work reasons is only possible under certain conditions and in accordance with well-described methods.

However, should an employer in Portugal want to hire a foreign citizen, it is important to ensure that differentiation is recognised between EU citizens and non-EU citizens based on the citizenship of the employee.   

Methods of recruitment by an employer

EU citizens who want to work in Portugal

The entry and stay procedure for EU citizens wishing to work in Portugal is identical for all EU Member States, no visa or work permit is required.  There is freedom of movement for all EU citizens to live, work and be educated in all countries across the EU due to the status of European citizenship which is additional to the citizenship bestowed by an individual’s country of origin. 

However, there are some requirements that are needed before working in Portugal applicable to an EU citizen.   A Certificado de Register must be obtained if you plan to stay for work reasons and for a period of time exceeding three months. The certificate is obtained upon application to the Câmara Municipal, and must be supported by a valid identity document, a declaration certifying that you are employed in Portugal or a declaration confirming that the applicant's financial resources are sufficient to support his stay and his family. Health insurance, on the other hand, is necessary if the applicant's country of origin has different requirements from that of Portugal.

Non-EU citizens who want to work in Portugal 

Citizens of countries outside the EU who intend to enter and stay in Portugal for work purposes is more complicated and it will be necessary to apply for a Portuguese work permit. Generally speaking, this work permit is granted mostly to non-EU workers who have already been offered a certain employment contract or, alternatively, if they have entered with a Portuguese citizen.

In these cases, the employer will have to make an application for a Autorização de Trabalho to be issued by the Portuguese labour authorities. Once this has been issued, the worker then has to apply for a Portuguese visa (applicable for work reasons) - if the worker's nationality requires a visa to enter Portugal and/or the employment obtained is less than six months - or, alternatively, a Portuguese residence permit for work purposes – if the period of time in Portugal is to be long-term. In the latter case, the residence permit will vary according to the type of employment of the worker.

The procedures related to the issue of a Portuguese entry visa for the purpose of work and for the residence permit also for work reasons in Portugal can often prove to be difficult and confusing.  Furthermore, the bureaucratic procedures are frequently long and drawn-out.  Errors and omissions in the documentation can also present a problem, it may be prudent to use the expertise of the highly experienced lawyers in the immigration team of Giambrone, an International law firm.  The advice and guidance that a specialist lawyer can provide to applicants will prevent any avoidable delays or the rejection of an application for minor or technical reasons.