Portugal: Eligibility and Guidelines for Students and Recent Graduates

Open the Pathway to Your Ideal Internship in Portugal

Are you considering an internship in Portugal but unsure if you meet the eligibility requirements? Navigating the complex world of internships can be daunting, especially in a foreign country. But don’t worry, Piktalent is here to help. As experts in internship arrangements, we can guide you through the process, no matter your nationality or personal situation.

To ensure you’re fully prepared for this exciting opportunity, we’ve put together a guide outlining the eligibility requirements and guidelines for internships in Portugal.

Curricular Internships

a mandatory part of certain university degrees or vocational training. Curricular internships are usually unpaid, but they contribute to the student's academic credits

Voluntary Internships

undertaken voluntarily by individuals who want to gain work experience in a specific field. Usually arranged directly between the intern and the company or organization, and they can vary in duration and remuneration

IEFP Internships

in Portugal, the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) plays a significant role in providing internships. They are often targeted towards specific groups, such as recent graduates, unemployed individuals, or individuals seeking to gain work experience

International Internships

for individuals from other countries who wish to gain work experience in a Portuguese company or organization. These internships can be part of exchange programs, bilateral agreements, or specific initiatives targeting international students

2023 Updates on Internship Laws

Portugal is stepping up for its young workforce. With new laws in place, there’s a reduced emphasis on short-term contracts and a guaranteed minimum pay for interns. Plus, expect better overtime and redundancy packages.

Internships in Portugal are diverse, each with unique benefits. While specifics might vary, one thing’s for sure: At Piktalent, we’re here to guide you through Portugal’s evolving job market, ensuring you find the perfect fit.

Eligibility Requirements for Internships in Portugal

To secure an internship in Portugal, it’s crucial to be well-versed with the latest requirements and processes. Here’s a comprehensive guide on eligibility and documentation for internships in Portugal:

Educational Enrollment or Recent Graduation: To be considered for an internship, you should either be currently enrolled in an educational institution or have graduated within the past 12 months.

Health Insurance Coverage: Ensure you have health insurance coverage that remains valid throughout your stay in Portugal.

Valid Passport and Visa/Work Permit: For non-EU citizens, a valid passport is essential, and depending on your country of citizenship, you may need to obtain a specific visa or work permit to legally intern in Portugal.

Language Proficiency: A good command of the Portuguese language is usually a prerequisite. Ensure you have the necessary language skills to fulfill your internship duties effectively.

For Portuguese Citizens and Residents:

If you’re a Portuguese resident aiming for an internship in Portugal, you’ll need to adhere to specific laws and regulations. This includes having a signed agreement with the host company detailing the internship’s duration, tasks, and compensation (if any). This agreement, coupled with other necessary documents like proof of enrollment or recent graduation, should be presented to Portuguese authorities.

Legislation and Norms:

Internships in Portugal are regulated by specific legislation to safeguard interns’ rights and ensure equitable working conditions. The pivotal legislations are:

  • Labor Code (Código do Trabalho): This code delineates the general rules governing employment relationships in Portugal, encompassing internships. It sets the standards for working hours, minimum wage, vacation entitlements, and other employment-related aspects.

  • Decree-Law No. 66/2011: This decree-law is tailored for internships in Portugal. It elucidates the legal framework for internships, highlighting the duration, rights and obligations of both interns and host companies, and payment conditions.

  • IEFP Regulations: The IEFP has set regulations for internships offered through its programs. These regulations delve into eligibility criteria, application processes, and specific requirements for IEFP internships.

In line with the Decent Work Agenda, the new Labor Code, Law n. º 13/2023 of April 3, has introduced several changes:

  • For Companies: Collective dismissal compensations have become costlier, additional work beyond 100 hours annually now has double its value, and there’s an increase in compensation for the expiration of fixed-term employment contracts. Notably, after terminating contracts, companies can’t use outsourcing services for 12 months due to redundancies. Moreover, work on platforms is now regulated, and temporary employment contracts have a maximum limit of 4 renewals.

  • For Workers: There’s a tax exemption for telework expenses, an extension of the father’s parental leave period to 28 days, and the right to telework has been extended to parents with children having chronic illnesses, disabilities, or undergoing oncology treatments. Importantly, professional internships must now be compensated with a minimum of 80% of the National Minimum Wage.

For European citizens, the process of interning in Portugal remains relatively straightforward. Depending on your educational institution’s stipulations, you can undertake a mandatory or voluntary internship. The former necessitates a training agreement signed by all parties, while the latter only requires a company acceptance letter and proof of financial support.

For non-EU citizens, the process might seem intricate, but platforms like Piktalent are here to assist. With extensive experience in aiding international students and graduates, Piktalent ensures you meet all prerequisites for a fruitful internship experience in Portugal.

For a more detailed breakdown on visa and work permit requirements, please refer to our documentation section, located in the right-hand column.

Portuguese Student visas

Internship regulations for national and foreigner

Portuguese Working Visas

Job regulations for foreigners

Guidelines for Internships in Portugal

Below are a few pointers that can assist you in obtaining an internship in Portugal:

  1. Initiate your search in advance: Initiate your internship quest no less than six months prior to your intended start date.

  2. Utilize digital resources: Using Piktalent and job portals is an excellent method for discovering internship prospects.

  3. Network: Participate in job fairs and networking events as they provide opportunities to interact with potential employers and establish professional relationships

  4. Get your application ready: Ensure that your application comprises of a cover letter, CV, and all pertinent certificates or diplomas.

  5. Exercise patience: Be ready to wait as the internship application procedure in Portugal may take a considerable amount of time.

Captura de ecrã 2023-04-12, às 15.09.59

Portugal Cultural Considerations

Having an awareness and appreciation for the cultural customs and traditions of Portugal is crucial when undertaking an internship there. Here are a few key considerations to bear in mind:

Hierarchy and Formality

Portuguese business culture tends to be hierarchical and formal. It's important to use formal titles and language when appropriate.


Portuguese people value punctuality, so be sure to arrive on time for meetings and appointments.

Relationships Matter

In Portugal, building strong personal relationships is an important part of doing business. Take the time to get to know your colleagues and clients.

Piktalent Services for Portugal

We can provide a range of services to make your internship experience unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions

A training agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of an internship or training program between the intern/trainee and the host organization.

The agreement typically includes information such as the start and end date of the program, the duties and responsibilities of the intern/trainee, the duration of the working hours, the compensation or stipend offered (if any), the expectations and goals of the program, and any other relevant details regarding the internship/training.

The training agreement is usually signed by both parties to indicate their understanding and agreement of the terms outlined in the document.

The eligibility criteria for internships in Portugal can vary depending on the specific program, organization, or institution offering the internship. However, generally, the following individuals may be eligible for internships in Portugal:

  1. Students: Internships in Portugal are often available to students who are enrolled in an educational institution, either in Portugal or abroad. These internships may be integrated into academic programs or pursued during semester breaks.

  2. Recent Graduates: Individuals who have recently graduated from an educational institution, typically within the last 12 months, may also be eligible for internships in Portugal. These internships provide an opportunity for graduates to gain practical experience in their field of study and enhance their employability.

  3. Unemployed Individuals: Some internships in Portugal are specifically designed for unemployed individuals who are seeking to acquire new skills, gain work experience, or improve their chances of finding employment. These internships are often offered through government initiatives or employment agencies.

It’s important to note that specific internships may have additional requirements or preferences, such as certain fields of study, language proficiency, or specific skills. The eligibility criteria may also vary based on the type of internship (e.g., mandatory internships as part of a study program or voluntary internships).

To determine your eligibility for a specific internship in Portugal, it is recommended to review the internship posting or contact the organization offering the internship directly. They can provide detailed information regarding eligibility requirements, application procedures, and any specific criteria that need to be fulfilled.

If you are Portuguese, you can apply for a traineeship in Portugal through IEFP (Institute for Employment and Professional Training). To do so, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be a resident of Portugal
  • Be registered with the IEFP as a job seeker or participant in a training program
  • Have a valid Portuguese identification number (NIF) and social security number (NISS)
  • Meet any additional requirements specified by the employer offering the internship

It is important to note that eligibility requirements may vary for internships offered by other organizations or companies in Portugal.

It depends on your country of origin and the duration of your internship in Portugal.

If you are from the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), you do not need a visa to do an internship in Portugal.

If you are from outside the EU/EEA, you may need a visa to do an internship in Portugal. You should check with the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country to determine whether a visa is required for your specific situation. Additionally, some internship programs or companies may provide assistance with obtaining a visa if it is necessary.

The duration of an internship in Portugal can vary depending on various factors such as the specific program, the requirements of the host company or organization, and the individual’s circumstances. Internships in Portugal can range from a few weeks to several months or even up to a year.

In general, internships can be categorized into short-term and long-term internships. Short-term internships typically last a few weeks to a few months, providing interns with a brief but focused experience in their chosen field. Long-term internships, on the other hand, may extend for several months or up to a year, allowing interns to gain more in-depth knowledge and skills in their desired area.

The duration of the internship is often determined by the objectives of the program and the needs of the host company. Some internships may be structured to align with academic requirements, while others may be designed to provide extensive practical training and work experience.

Internships in Portugal may or may not be paid, depending on the company and the type of internship. However, according to Portuguese law, all internships lasting longer than two months are required to provide a financial compensation to cover expenses related to transportation, meals, and other necessary expenses. The amount of compensation is determined by the company and can vary depending on the sector, type of internship, and other factors. It’s important to discuss compensation with the company before accepting an internship offer.


The language requirements for an internship in Portugal may vary depending on the company and the specific role. While Portuguese is the official language, many companies in Portugal have a strong English-speaking culture and may require proficiency in English or even other languages. It’s important to check with the company or program offering the internship to confirm the language requirements. Some internships may also offer language training or immersion programs to help interns improve their language skills.

A wide range of companies in Portugal offer internships, providing diverse opportunities for students and young professionals. Some common types of companies that offer internships in Portugal include:

  1. Large Corporations: Many multinational companies and large corporations based in Portugal offer internships in various fields such as finance, marketing, human resources, technology, and more. These companies often have well-established internship programs and can provide valuable learning experiences.

  2. Startups: Portugal has a vibrant startup ecosystem, with numerous innovative and fast-growing startups across different industries. Startups often offer internships to students and young professionals who are looking to gain practical experience in a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment.

  3. Government and Public Institutions: Government agencies, public institutions, and non-profit organizations in Portugal also provide internship opportunities. These internships can be in areas such as public administration, policy research, social services, and international cooperation, among others.

  4. Research and Academic Institutions: Universities, research institutes, and academic organizations offer internships for students pursuing scientific research, engineering, or academic-related disciplines. These internships often involve working on research projects, assisting professors, or gaining practical experience in laboratories.

  5. Creative and Media Industries: Advertising agencies, media outlets, design studios, and entertainment companies in Portugal also offer internships in fields like graphic design, journalism, communications, film production, and digital media. These internships provide hands-on experience in creative industries.

  6. Tourism and Hospitality: Portugal is a popular tourist destination, and internships in the tourism and hospitality sector are common. Hotels, resorts, travel agencies, and event management companies offer internships in areas such as hotel management, tourism promotion, event planning, and customer service.

It’s important to note that the availability of internships can vary depending on the region, industry, and time of year.

The work culture for interns in Portugal can vary depending on the specific company, industry, and internship program. However, there are some general characteristics that can give you an idea of what to expect:

  1. Professionalism: Portuguese work culture values professionalism, respect, and punctuality. As an intern, you will be expected to adhere to professional standards and conduct yourself in a respectful and responsible manner.

  2. Teamwork: Collaboration and teamwork are highly valued in Portuguese workplaces. You are likely to work closely with colleagues and be involved in team projects or tasks. This offers opportunities to learn from others, contribute your skills, and build relationships.

  3. Structured Environment: Many companies in Portugal have well-established structures and hierarchies. As an intern, you will have a designated supervisor or mentor who will provide guidance and support throughout your internship.

  4. Learning Opportunities: Portuguese companies often view internships as a way to nurture talent and provide learning opportunities. They may offer training sessions, workshops, or mentorship programs to help interns develop their skills and gain valuable experience.

  5. Emphasis on Work-Life Balance: Portuguese work culture recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. While the specific work hours may vary, there is generally an emphasis on achieving a balance between work and personal life.

  6. Adaptability: Portuguese workplaces appreciate individuals who are adaptable and open to new challenges. Being flexible and willing to learn and contribute in various tasks or projects can enhance your internship experience.

It’s important to note that each company and industry may have its own unique work culture, so it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the specific expectations and norms of the organization you will be interning with.

The Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) in Portugal has specific guidelines and programs for internships, aimed at promoting employment and providing valuable training opportunities. Here are some key details regarding the IEFP guidelines for internships:

  1. Eligibility Criteria: The IEFP internships are typically available to various target groups, including unemployed individuals, recent graduates, and individuals seeking to acquire specific skills or experience in a particular field. The specific eligibility criteria may vary depending on the program or initiative offered by the IEFP.

  2. Duration: The duration of IEFP internships can vary depending on the program and the needs of the participant and the host company. In some cases, internships may last for a few months, while in others, they can extend up to one year or longer. The exact duration will be defined by the IEFP guidelines and the specific internship program.

  3. Host Companies: The IEFP collaborates with different host companies and organizations to provide internship opportunities. These can include private companies, non-profit organizations, public institutions, and other entities. The host companies are responsible for offering suitable training environments and assigning meaningful tasks and responsibilities to interns.

  4. Training Plan: As part of the IEFP guidelines, a training plan is developed for each intern. The training plan outlines the objectives, tasks, and skills that the intern will focus on during the internship. This plan serves as a roadmap for the intern’s development and ensures that the experience aligns with their learning goals and the needs of the host company.

  5. Monitoring and Evaluation: The IEFP oversees the internship programs and conducts periodic monitoring and evaluation to ensure that both interns and host companies are fulfilling their respective obligations. This monitoring helps maintain the quality of the internship experience and addresses any issues or concerns that may arise during the internship period.

  6. Financial Support: In some cases, the IEFP may provide financial support to interns or offer incentives to host companies to participate in the internship programs. These financial aspects can vary depending on the specific program and the individual circumstances of the internship.

It is important to note that the specific guidelines and programs offered by the IEFP may evolve over time. Therefore, it is recommended to consult the official website of the IEFP or contact their offices directly to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information on their guidelines regarding internships. They can provide detailed information on eligibility criteria, application procedures, available programs, and any specific requirements or obligations for participating in the IEFP internships.

The IEFP internships in Portugal are designed to support various individuals who are seeking employment or further skill development. The eligibility criteria for IEFP internships are as follows:

  1. Unemployed Individuals: Individuals who are currently unemployed and registered with the IEFP as job seekers may be eligible for IEFP internships. These internships aim to provide practical work experience and enhance their employability.

  2. Recent Graduates: Recent graduates who have completed their education within the last 12 months can also be eligible for IEFP internships. These internships offer an opportunity to gain practical experience in their field of study and increase their chances of securing employment.

  3. Job Seekers with Specific Needs: IEFP internships may target specific groups with particular needs, such as individuals with disabilities or those at risk of social exclusion. These internships aim to provide tailored support and training to help them integrate into the workforce.

  4. Individuals Seeking Career Conversion: The IEFP also offers internships for individuals who are looking to switch careers or gain skills in a different field. These internships provide the necessary training and experience to facilitate career transition.

It is important to note that specific IEFP internship programs may have additional eligibility criteria based on their objectives and target audience. It is recommended to check the official IEFP website or consult with IEFP representatives to determine the specific eligibility requirements for each program.

IEFP internships can have varying durations depending on the specific program and individual circumstances. The length of IEFP internships typically ranges from a few months to one year or longer. The exact duration will be defined by the IEFP guidelines and the specific internship program in which the participant is enrolled. It is recommended to refer to the program details or contact the IEFP directly for accurate information on the duration of their internships.

IEFP internships involve a wide range of host companies from various sectors. These host companies can include private companies, both small and large, across industries such as technology, finance, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, tourism, and more. Non-profit organizations, public institutions, research centers, and educational institutions may also participate as host companies for IEFP internships. The goal is to provide interns with diverse opportunities and exposure to different work environments and sectors. The specific host companies involved may vary depending on the program, region, and availability of internship placements.

Yes, financial support is available for eligible IEFP interns. The specific financial assistance provided may vary depending on the program and individual circumstances. It can include stipends or allowances to help cover living expenses during the internship period. The amount and duration of financial support are determined by the IEFP guidelines and the particular internship program.

To obtain accurate and up-to-date information on the financial support available for IEFP interns, you can refer to the official website of the IEFP (Institute for Employment and Vocational Training) in Portugal.

Yes, IEFP internships include a structured training plan for participants. The training plan is designed to provide a clear outline of the objectives, tasks, and skills that interns will focus on during their internship period. It ensures that interns receive valuable learning experiences and acquire relevant skills in their chosen field.

The structured training plan is developed in collaboration between the intern, the host company, and the IEFP. It defines the specific activities and projects that the intern will be involved in, as well as any training sessions or workshops that may be part of the internship program.

The training plan helps interns understand their responsibilities, goals, and expectations during the internship. It also serves as a guideline for the host company, ensuring that they provide meaningful tasks and opportunities for the intern’s professional development.

Throughout the internship, regular monitoring and evaluation may take place to assess the intern’s progress and provide guidance if needed. The structured training plan enhances the overall quality of the internship experience and helps interns gain valuable skills and knowledge in their chosen field.

For specific details on the training plan and its implementation for IEFP internships, it is recommended to consult the official guidelines and resources provided by the IEFP.

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