Portugal Visa

The ultimate guide

Table of Contents

Type of Portugal Visa

Long-stay visas can be either temporary or for residency authorization purposes, in accordance with the existing domestic law. This distinction is made based on the duration of the stay and grants the holder of the visa permission to remain in the country for a variety of reasons, including work, study, internships, and medical treatment, among others. Additionally, there is a brand-new kind of visa that enables people from other countries to visit Portugal in order to hunt for job there.

Visas for a temporary stay in Portugal allow for entry into the country as well as a stay of up to one year. Visas for temporary stays are valid for the entirety of the stay and permit repeated entry into the country.

The validity of residency visas is for a period of four months, during which time applicants are permitted two entries. During that period, the person who is currently in possession of a resident visa is obligated to submit an application for a residency permit to the Immigration and Border Services. (SEF).

The job seeker visa permits its holder to enter and remain exclusively in Portugal for the purpose of seeking for work; authorizes its holder to carry out a subordinated work activity, until the visa expires or until the residence permit is granted. However, the bearer of the job seeker visa cannot legally work in Portugal until the residence permit is granted.

How can I determine which visa best suits my needs, taking into account both the purpose of my trip and the length of my stay?

Portugal visa for Residency

Subordinate workResidency visa for subordinate work purposes
Remote Work / Digital NomadResidency visa for the exercise of a professional activity done remotely – “digital nomads”
Independent workResidency visa for independent work purposes or entrepreneurs
Highly qualified activityResidency visa for higher education teaching purposes, highly qualified activity or cultural purposes, as well as, highly qualified subordinate activity.
Higher education teaching / Professorial activity
Highly qualified subordinate activity
Sports activitiesResidency visa for subordinate work purposes.

Portugal visa for Temporary Stay

Subordinate seasonal workTemporary stay visa for seasonal work for a duration of over 90 days.
Independent work Temporary stay visa for independent work.
Highly qualified activityTemporary stay visa for scientific research, higher education professorial activity or highly qualified activity purposes for a period of less than a year.

Remote Work / Digital Nomad

Temporary stay visa for the exercise of a professional activity done remotely – “digital nomads”
Professorial activityTemporary stay visa for scientific research, higher education professorial activity or highly qualified activity purposes for a period of less than a year.
Amateur sports activityTemporary stay visa for amateur sports purposes.
Transfer of workers or service providers when the applicant has been working for over one yearTemporary stay visa for transfer of workers purposes for state parties to the WTO, for provision of services or professional training.
Investigation Temporary stay visa for scientific research, higher education professorial activity or highly qualified activity purposes for a period of less than a year.

Job Seeker Visa

The job seeker visa allows its bearer to come and stay in Portugal to search for employment and do subsidiary labor until the visa expires or the residence permit is granted.

This 120-day, 60-day-renewable visa enables one entrance into Portugal.

This visa requires a date of scheduling in the competent services within the visa’s 120-day validity, and it allows the applicant to apply for a residence permit after formalizing the employment contract. Article 77 of the Law requires you to meet the general requirements for a temporary residence permit.

The visa holder must depart the country if the visa for seeking for work has expired without an employment connection or a resident permit request.

You may only apply for a new visa for this reason one year after the prior visa expires.

Job seeker visa holders must submit proof of registration with the IEFP, I.P., and a declaration that the conditions of the planned stay are maintained to request a visa extension. The reasons for issuance will be considered.

Family reunification visa

Foreign nationals with a valid residence permit have the right to family reunion for family members who live outside the national boundaries.

To that end, a foreign person with the right to family reunification should get a concession from the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) in favor of his or her family members before heading to a consular post to request a residence visa for family reunification reasons.

Referred family members may file their visa application for residence as soon as a favorable decision is made.

The following are considered family members of a residing foreign national:

  • Spouse;
  • Minor children; or any dependent to one of the spouses;
  • Minors adopted by a non-married applicant, by the applicant himself or the spouse, following a decision by the competent authority from the country of origin, as long as the law of the country recognizes adopted children the same rights and duties as to natural children, and as the decision is recognized by Portugal. Non-minor children, dependent to the couple or one of the spouses, single and studying in a Portuguese institution, when the residency permit has been granted in compliance with article 90 A;
  • First-degree lineal ascendants, dependents of either the resident or his/her spouse;
  • Minor brothers or sisters, as long as under the guardianship of the resident, when in harmony with a decision issued by the competent authority from the country of origin, and as long as such a decision is recognized in Portugal.

Deadlines for Portuguese visa

It is recommended to submit visa applications well in advance to provide enough processing time.

Except in exceptional cases, the legislation sets a 60-day limit for making a decision on a resident visa application.

A decision on a visa for temporary stay must be made within 30 days.

Who needs a Portugal visa?

A long stay visa is necessary for visitors from outside the European Union who want to remain in Portugal for more than 90 days.

The following residents are excused from doing such duty:

Family members of Portugal citizens or foreign nationals named above who are citizens of a European Union Member State, a State Party to the European Economic Area Agreement, or a third-country with which the EU has signed freedom of movement accords.

Youth Mobility

In order to promote youth mobility, Portugal has signed Memoranda of Understanding with a number of countries, thereby improving the conditions for the circulation of young people.

These enable visits of up to 12 months in Portugal, without the possibility of extension. All signed instruments provide the opportunity to labor or enroll in training or study programs on a secondary basis. None of the activities conducted will violate the essence of the Memoranda.

The following Memoranda are valid at present:


The memorandum, which was signed on 13 June 2017, is valid as of the date of its signature. The primary purpose of the memorandum is to promote youth mobility for those between the ages of 18 and 30 (inclusive) by means of an extended holiday with permission to work or study culture or languages.

The memorandum stipulates that no more than one hundred (100) visas/entry permits may be issued for periods of up to twelve (12) months.


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Family reunification
Visa Portugal