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Residence permit in Portugal

Residence permit in Portugal is issued by SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) in two stages

  • The first stage is the obtaining of resident visa that is issued for a 6-month period. After 4 months of residence in the country application for residence permit can be made. The applicant must prove that he will be a productive member of society and that he has enough funds for staying in the country.  
  • The second stage is the submission of a required set of documents to SEF. Residence permit is issued within two weeks for a 1-year period with possibility for extension. Upon five years of living in the country on the basis of residence permit a person can apply for permanent residence, and the next year a request for citizenship can be made. 

Grounds for Portuguese residence permit:

  • Employment in the territory of the country;
  • Refugee status;
  • Marriage to Portuguese national or resident;
  • Education in Portugal;
  • Family reunification;
  • Business immigration;
  • Investments to the country’s economy;
  • High income of retirees;
  • Engagement in scientific activities;
  • Engagement in religious activities.

Entry into the country for employment reasons

The process of Portuguese work visa obtaining is quite standard:

  1. An alien must find an employer and sign an employment contract with him;
  2. An employer has to inform the Ministry of Labour of Portugal about his intention to hire a foreign national and provide a document that no Portuguese nationals are applying for this job. It is also required to submit the diploma, experience certificate and Portuguese language proficiency certificate of a foreign candidate;
  3. Upon the positive decision employer mails the set of documents, including employment contract, to foreigner in order for him to contact embassy for work visa issuance.

Higher education in Portugal

In the majority of higher educational institutions the teaching holds in Portuguese language, except business schools, were English can be a teaching language as well.

For student visa it is required:

  • Document confirming admission to higher educational institution;
  • International passport;
  • Filled application;
  • Document confirming availability of funds sufficient for study and dwelling;
  • Health insurance;
  • Clean criminal record.

In case a foreign national wishes to join master course, he ids required to submit the following documents:

  • Notarized translation of diploma and supplement;
  • International passport;
  • IELTS, TOEFL or CAPLE (A2) certificate;
  • For business school GMAT is required;
  • Motivation letter.

Business Immigration

Starting a business in Portugal is a great opportunity for residence permit obtaining.

  • The procedure of business registration takes up to 30 days.

  • The minimal statutory capital can be from € 100.

  • The founding shareholder is not necessary to be a Portuguee, but foreign national as well.

  • There is a possibility for launching virtual offices.

  • Upon processing of all necessary documents the business owner can apply for residence permit

Investments in the economy of the country (Golden Visa obtaining).

Portugal launched a programme in 2012 in order to attract funding to the country’s economy. It is called as Golden Residence Permit.

According to it an alien who made large investments in the country’s economy has the right to apply for residence permit, with the prospects for further permanent residence and citizenship.

Investments can be as follows:

  • Real estate acquisition for a sum from € 500 000
  • Deposit at least 1 million euro in any Portuguese bank for a 5-year period or purchase shares for the same sum.
  • Provide at least 10 job positions for Portuguese nationals;
  • Investments for a sum from € 350 000 in research projects of the country;
  • Investments in the fund for the restoration and preservation of the country’s cultural heritage in an amount not less than€ 250 000;
  • Investments in small and medium-sized Portuguese enterprises development funds in an amount not less than € 500 000.

Advantages provided by Golden Visa:

  • Lack of Portuguese language requirements;
  • It is not necessary to live in the country (only 7 days per year of staying inside the country is required);
  • Special status of the taxpayer;
  • Family members are eligible for a residence permit.

Well-off retirees

Retirees who wish to have a well-deserved vacation in Portugal, as well as get a residence permit, are required to fulfil a number of conditions:

  • Retiree’s income must be from foreign source;
  • Real estate purchasing in Portugal (house, apartment);
  • Reside in Portugal for at least 6 months per year.

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