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Immigration to Portugal – Highly-qualified worker

Multiple Advantages of Moving to Portugal

Dr. Tausif Malik

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to work as a highly-skilled employee in Portugal? Portugal offers a comprehensive guide below on the conditions to fulfill and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

Advantages of Moving to Portugal:

  1. Quality of Life: Portugal boasts a high quality of life, with a pleasant climate, stunning landscapes, and a laid-back lifestyle. Enjoy a healthy work-life balance and access to excellent healthcare and education systems for you and your family.
  2. Affordable Living Costs: Compared to other European countries, Portugal offers relatively affordable living costs, including housing, transportation, and everyday expenses. Stretch your budget further while still enjoying a high standard of living.
  3. Thriving Job Market: Portugal’s economy is steadily growing, offering diverse employment opportunities across various sectors. Whether you’re in technology, tourism, finance, or healthcare, there’s a role for you in Portugal’s vibrant job market.
  4. Cultural Richness: Immerse yourself in Portugal’s rich history, culture, and traditions. From picturesque villages to vibrant cities, Portugal offers endless opportunities for exploration and cultural experiences.
  5. Gateway to Europe: Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal serves as a gateway to Europe, with easy access to neighboring countries. Explore Europe’s diverse landscapes, cultures, and cuisines during your time off.

Temporary Stay Visa: To work as a highly-qualified worker for less than 12 months, a temporary stay visa is necessary. The Ministry of Education and Science handles visa approvals, requiring applicants to demonstrate adequate means of subsistence, possession of a valid work contract, and proof of travel insurance and return ticket.

Residence Visa: For longer-term employment, a residence visa is required. This visa does not automatically grant the right of residence but allows entry into Portugal for the purpose of applying for a residence permit. Similar to the temporary stay visa, applicants must meet specific criteria regarding employment contracts and financial means.

Temporary Residence Permit: Upon arrival, individuals must apply for a temporary residence permit from the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF). This permit allows living in Portugal for a specified period, contingent upon employment contracts, accommodation, social security registration, and a clean criminal record.

The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for approving the granting of visas to highly-qualified workers whenever questions arise in relation to the classification of the activity requiring highly-qualified work.

You must not have been the subject of an order to leave Portugal or an entry ban, nor of an alert under the Schengen Information System or on the SEF‘s Integrated Information System for the purpose of refusing entry.

Required Documents and Fees: Applicants must submit various documents, including a valid passport, work contract, proof of accommodation, and evidence of sufficient financial means. Additionally, applicants may be required to pay processing fees for visa and residence permit applications. These fees typically range from €75 to €200, depending on the type of visa or permit.

Renewal and Long-Term Residency: Temporary residence permits are typically valid for one year, renewable for successive periods. However, during 2020 and 2021, permits were extended to two years, with subsequent renewals for three years. Long-term residency options include the national permanent residence permit or the EC long-term residence permit, each with specific criteria regarding financial stability, accommodation, and language proficiency.

Employment and Social Security: Workers in Portugal have access to social security benefits and protections, ensuring support in case of unemployment or other unforeseen circumstances. Portugal’s labor laws provide rights and safeguards for employees, including access to education, healthcare, and vocational training.

Government Application Website: To begin the application process for visas and residence permits, non-EU citizens can visit the official website of the The Official Website of Portuguese Immigration.

The General Secretariat of the Ministry of Education and Science (SGMEC) is responsible for approving the granting of visas to highly-qualified workers whenever questions arise in relation to the classification of the activity requiring highly-qualified work.

Restrictions: Applications for visas and residence permits may be refused on grounds of public order, safety, or health. Individuals with a history of criminal offenses may face difficulties in obtaining permits. Furthermore, individuals must adhere to Portuguese labor laws and regulations while employed in the country.

Change of Status: Temporary residence permit holders may be authorized to perform self-employed activities, subject to approval from Portuguese authorities. In case of unemployment, individuals must prove sufficient means of subsistence for residence permit renewal.

Appeals and Refusals: All decisions regarding visa and residence permit applications may be appealed before administrative courts. Applications may be refused on grounds of public order, safety, or health. Individuals have the right to challenge refusal decisions and will be notified of the reasons for refusal, along with appeal procedures.

Online renewal of Residence Permits: in 2020, SEF provided a new functionality for online renewal of the residence permit for third-country nationals, residing in Portugal. More info (in English) are available here

Further informationMore on working in PortugalMore on residence visas
More on temporary stay visas
More on residence permit for highly-qualified activity and residence permit for highly-qualified activity in certified companies “Tech Visa”

Portugal’s welcoming stance towards highly-skilled non-EU workers offers promising opportunities for employment and long-term residency. By understanding and adhering to the visa and residency requirements outlined by Portuguese authorities, individuals can embark on a fulfilling professional journey in this vibrant European nation.

About the Author

Dr. Tausif Malik is a dynamic social entrepreneur, publisher, and academician, renowned for his innovative ventures. He founded and publishes The Desi Buzz, GCC Startup News, Startup Berita, and Halal Biz News, amplifying entrepreneurship globally. Dr. Malik also spearheads AIMBSN, Halal Angels Network, and Startup Villages, fostering startup ecosystems. His groundbreaking initiative,, offers affordable edtech solutions, providing Indian university programs starting at $50 per month and professional IT courses priced at $250-$350. Through his diverse endeavors, Dr. Malik empowers individuals with access to education and opportunities.

Dr. Tausif Malik
Dr. Tausif Malik, a serial entrepreneur, academician, publisher, and editor, founder behind The Desi Buzz, GCCStartup.News, and Notably, he is the driving force behind, the world's first Affordable Education Platform (Edtech). is dedicated to fostering accessible University degrees (Undergraduate & Graduate/Masters) with starting fees as low as $60 per month, collaborating with accredited Indian Universities. Dr. Tausif Malik is a firm advocate of empowerment through education and fostering development through entrepreneurship.
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