Obtaining a Work Permit in Portugal

Obtaining a Work Permit in Portugal

Updated on Monday 24th August 2020

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The requirements for legally working in Portugal vary according to the nationality of the employee. Obtaining a work permit in Portugal is a preliminary and mandatory step and it can also be discussed with the employer before the relocation is complete. Our lawyers in Portugal can explain the main aspects each foreign employee needs to take into consideration before deciding to apply for a job in the country. All foreigners who wish to find out more details about the relevant employment laws can talk to one of our experts.

Do I need a work permit if I’m an EU/EEA or Swiss resident?

EU/EEA and Swiss residents do not need a work permit in order to be able to have a job in Lisbon or any other Portuguese city. Non-EU nationals, however, need to apply for a Portuguese work permit before they may begin employment. The application for this permit is subject to an evaluation from the relevant labor force authority in the area where the individual will work or reside. In almost all cases, the applicant must bring forward proof of employment or, in other situations, proof of marriage in Portugal to a national. 
Our team of lawyers in Portugal who specialize in immigration matters can give you more details on the policy for those foreign nationals who want to work in Portugal for longer periods. Here is an infographic that explains more:
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Short-term work visa in Portugal

Persons accepting jobs on a short-term in Portugal will have to apply for a specific visa in this matter. This is the Portuguese short-term visa which is issued for no more than 6 months. The labor authorities in Portugal will have to make verifications in this matter and evaluate the workers soliciting a short-term work visa. This kind of visa comes with a temporary residence in Portugal which can be prolonged alongside the visa validity in the case of persons involved in academic teaching or scientific research in this country.

Long-term visa in Portugal

The following information about the long-term visa for Portugal helps foreigners understand better the conditions imposed:
  1. This kind of visa is issued to foreigners wanting to work more than just 6 months in Portugal. 
  2. Being part of the Schengen Area, Portugal allows foreigners to travel within 26 countries with this kind of visa without any restrictions.  
  3. The bilateral agreements signed by Portugal with New Zealand, Canada, USA, Japan, Australia, and Israel allow the residents of these countries to apply for a long-term work visa within 90 days from the date of their arrival in the country. 
  4. The next thing to consider is to apply for a Portuguese residence permit, in order to legally work and live in Portugal.
The legal requirements for obtaining a short-term or a long-term visa for Portugal can be entirely explained by our team of lawyers in Portugal, so feel free to address your inquiries at any time.

Working in Portugal

Employment in Portugal is subject to a contractual agreement between the employer and the employee. Once the individual finds a suitable job, it is usually the task of the employer to begin the application process for a Portuguese work permit. EU/EEA and Swiss nationals do not need a special work visa/work permit, however, if they intend to work in the country for a long period of time they will need a residence permit.
You can talk to one of our attorneys in Portugal for in-depth information about all of the aspects of the Employment Law and other relevant legal requirements for foreigners. Our lawyers can help you if you are looking to become an employee in the country or if you wish to start your own business or register a sole trader.

What does an employment contract comprise?

An employment contract can be signed on a fixed term, for an indefinite period, part-time or on a short duration, depending on the job and requirements of the employer in Portugal. This kind of contract comprises information about the job, the rights of employees, the rules of the company, the working hours, the responsibilities, maternity leave, holiday breaks, remuneration and many more. All the details of an employment contract can be explained in legal terms by our Portuguese lawyers, so feel free to ask for our support at any time.

What is the EU blue card?

The authorities in Portugal implemented the Blue Card Scheme which acts as a work visa and residency permit in this country and which is available for highly qualified professionals. The validity of EU blue cards might prolong for 4 years, depending on the job contract of foreigners, mentioning that they can work in all Schengen Area countries except for UK, Ireland, and Denmark. In matters of documents for an EU blue card, evidence of proper accommodation, the permission for checking the criminal record, health insurance and the registration to the National Health Service in Portugal plus the valid passport are needed and requested by the Portuguese immigration authorities. The renewal of the EU blue card will also depend on the criminal record of the holder, if there was no criminal activity registered during the previous period.

Sole traders in Portugal – what are the main visa requirements?

Foreigners from non-EU or EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries can easily set up their freelance activities or small businesses, by applying for the same visas as employees in Portugal. The difference is that additional documents will be solicited for the type of activities you wish to develop in Portugal. The registration for tax purposes is mandatory for sole traders in Portugal, as part of the incorporation procedure.

Work visas for training and volunteers in Portugal

Foreigners wanting to perform volunteer work and unpaid training in Portugal will have to apply for special residence and work permits for which documents like the ones showing they have enough funds to support the living in the country, they have proper accommodation and no criminal records are needed. The work visa is issued for 6 months or for the time the training and/or volunteer work takes place in Portugal
In terms of business and investments, foreigners can choose Portugal from varied reasons, among which the ease of doing business, investment encouragements and so on. Below you can find some interesting information about business and investments in Portugal:
  • USD 143.6 billion was the FDI stock registered in 2018 in Portugal;
  • the FDI flow in 2018 represented around 70% of Portugal’s GDP;
  • investments of EUR 250,000 are necessary for revitalizing companies in Portugal;
  • Portugal ranks 34th out of 190 countries according to the Doing Business report for 2019.
We invite you to contact our law firm in Portugal for complete legal services and details information on immigration, employment, and other related issues.