- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Portugal Guide (PDF)
Work permits for Portugal are granted differently according to an expat's country of origin.
Expats who are nationals of an EU-member state don't need a work permit for Portugal for their first six months in the country. After this period, they will be required to apply for a residence permit to live in Portugal. This is more of a formality and simply makes life easier when it comes to applying for a bank account in Portugal and also serves as proof of address.
Those moving to Portugal from outside the EU will need to have a secure job offer in order to apply for a work permit.
Work permits for EU nationals
EU nationals aren't restricted from finding employment in Portugal and are granted a 90-day period to live in the country and find work without obtaining an EU registration certificate.
Some expats may need to apply for a residence card. This is a process that, albeit simple, results in its own long queues and delays. The residence card can only be obtained from the Portuguese immigration office.
Neither a work permit nor a residence card is needed for EU citizens working for an employment period of three months or less.
Work permits for non-EU nationals
Non-EU nationals can obtain a work permit for Portugal 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.
If an expat does manage to find a job, a work permit is needed before employment can commence. Either the employee or the employer can apply for the permit. In addition to the permit, a residence visa, also known as a long-stay visa, should be obtained. This allows the holder to enter the country for a stay of a year or longer.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
Are you an expat living in Portugal?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Portugal. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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