Regulations and Requirements for Portuguese Working Visas

A Comprehensive Guide to Working Abroad in Portugal

If you’re seeking to advance your career in Portugal, you’ll be joining a dynamic country with a thriving economy and ample opportunities for skilled professionals. However, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with job regulations before commencing work.

Regardless of whether you are an EU citizen or non-EU citizen, our guide offers valuable insights to navigate the Portuguese job market and achieve your career goals.

EU citizens

If you’re an EU citizen, Portugal welcomes you with open arms. You have the right to work and live in Portugal without the need for a visa or work permit. However, if you plan to stay in Portugal for more than three months, you’ll need to register with the Portuguese authorities and obtain a Residence Certificate.

Procedures After Securing Work in Portugal as an EU Citizen:

  1. Residence Certificate: If you intend to stay for more than three months, you should apply for a Residence Certificate (Certificado de Registo) at the local city council (Câmara Municipal) within 30 days of your arrival.

  2. Social Security and Tax Identification: Before starting your job, ensure you have a Portuguese Social Security number and tax identification number. Your employer will handle the registration with the Portuguese Social Security system and ensure the correct deductions from your salary.

  3. Healthcare: Register with the local health center (Centro de Saúde) to access the public healthcare system. As an EU citizen, you can also use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for temporary stays.

  4. Bank Account: Consider opening a local bank account. This will make it easier for salary deposits and managing finances in Portugal.

  5. Housing: If you haven’t already, find a permanent place to stay. Ensure you have a rental agreement or proof of residence, as it may be required for various administrative procedures.

  6. Driving: If you have an EU driving license, it’s valid in Portugal. However, if you become a resident, you might consider exchanging it for a Portuguese one after some time.

Healthcare is a priority in Portugal. It’s compulsory to have health insurance, and as an EU citizen, you can choose between the public health insurance system or opt for private health insurance.

In essence, working in Portugal as an EU national can be a fulfilling experience. By understanding and adhering to the core employment rules and post-employment procedures, you’re setting the stage for a prosperous career in this lively nation.

Non-EU citizens

For non-EU citizens, the journey to work in Portugal requires a bit more preparation. Here’s what you need to know:

Types of Work Visas: Portugal offers a variety of work visas tailored to different needs:

  • Temporary Stay Visa (Visto de Estada Temporária): Ideal for those seeking short-term employment or assignments in Portugal, typically up to one year. A specific job offer from a Portuguese employer is a must.

  • Highly Skilled Worker Visa (Visto para Trabalhadores Altamente Qualificados): Designed for professionals with specialized skills or qualifications in demand in Portugal. Evidence of expertise and a job offer or employment contract from a Portuguese employer is necessary.

  • Residence Visa for Employment Purposes (Visto para Residência para Exercício de Atividade Profissional): This visa caters to longer-term employment contracts and allows for residence and work in Portugal for a specified period. The employer may need to show that they couldn’t find a suitable EU candidate before hiring a non-EU national.

Additional Criteria for Non-EU Nationals:

  • Proof of Qualifications: Depending on the job, you might need to showcase your educational background, professional certifications, or relevant work experience.

  • Language Proficiency: Some roles might require a certain level of proficiency in the Portuguese language or the language relevant to the job.

  • Health Insurance: Ensure you have valid health insurance coverage for your stay in Portugal.

  • Financial Stability: Demonstrate that you have the means to support yourself during your stay.

  • Employer Sponsorship: A job offer from a Portuguese employer willing to sponsor your visa application is crucial.

Application Process: Begin by submitting an application to the Portuguese consulate or embassy in your home country. An interview or additional documentation might be required.

Legal Obligations: Upon arrival, register with the local authorities in your intended city or town of residence and work. Obtain a Tax Identification Number (NIF) from the local tax office. If your stay exceeds three months, apply for a residence permit from the Foreigners’ Office (SEF).

Navigating the work visa process as a non-EU citizen in Portugal can be challenging. That’s where Piktalent steps in. We specialize in assisting foreign talent in finding job opportunities in Portugal, offering invaluable advice on the visa application process and other essential requirements.

Portuguese Student visas

Internship regulations for national and foreigner
Don't let the visa process stress you out

Book a 30-minute call Premium VISA service

Piktalent Services for Portugal

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Non-EU citizens intending to work in Portugal typically need a working visa. This requirement does not apply to EU citizens, as they have the freedom to work and reside in the country without a visa. The specific type of working visa depends on the nature and duration of the employment.

Portugal offers different types of working visas for non-EU nationals, such as the Temporary Stay Visa, Highly Skilled Worker Visa, and Residence Visa for Employment Purposes. Each visa has specific requirements. 

Apart from the those, Portugal offers additional working visas, including the Entrepreneur Visa, Intra-Company Transfer Visa, Researcher Visa, and Seasonal Worker Visa. For detailed information, contact the Portuguese embassy or consulate.

The processing time for a Portuguese working visa varies, typically taking several weeks to a few months. It is advisable to apply well in advance of your intended start date. For precise information on processing times, contact the Portuguese embassy or consulate.

The specific requirements for obtaining a Portuguese working visa can vary depending on the type of visa, but generally, the following documents and information will be required:

  1. A valid passport
  2. A job offer or employment contract from a Portuguese employer
  3. Proof of qualifications and skills related to the job, such as diplomas, certificates, or work experience
  4. Proof of financial means to support yourself during your stay in Portugal, such as bank statements or a letter from your employer
  5. A criminal record certificate from your country of origin or the country where you have resided for the past year
  6. A health certificate proving that you do not have any infectious diseases or conditions that could endanger public health
  7. Proof of accommodation in Portugal, such as a lease agreement or hotel reservation
  8. A completed visa application form and fee payment.

Again, the requirements may vary depending on the type of visa and other factors. It’s important to consult the relevant Portuguese consulate or embassy for specific information on the requirements for your situation.

According to Portuguese immigration regulations, individuals are not allowed to work in Portugal while their working visa application is being processed. It is necessary to wait for the approval of the visa and obtain the appropriate documentation before commencing any work activities in the country. Engaging in employment without the proper authorization can result in legal consequences and jeopardize your immigration status. It is recommended to strictly adhere to the immigration rules and wait for the visa approval before starting any work in Portugal.

The duration of stay on a Portuguese working visa depends on the type of visa obtained. Generally, working visas are granted for the duration of the employment contract or a specific period determined by the Portuguese authorities. It is important to note that working visas are typically temporary and do not automatically grant long-term residency in Portugal. If you wish to extend your stay or explore residency options, it is recommended to consult with the Portuguese immigration authorities or a legal professional for guidance specific to your situation.

Proficiency in the Portuguese language is not generally a requirement for obtaining a working visa in Portugal. However, depending on the nature of the job and the employer’s preferences, knowledge of the Portuguese language may be beneficial or even required. It is advisable to check the specific job requirements and consult with the employer or relevant authorities for accurate information regarding language requirements for the particular position you are applying for.


If your Portuguese working visa application is denied, you will be notified in writing of the reasons for the refusal. The reasons for denial can vary, but common reasons include insufficient documentation, failure to meet the eligibility requirements, or concerns related to public security or health.

If your visa application is denied, you may be able to appeal the decision or submit a new application with additional or corrected information. The specific procedures and deadlines for appealing or reapplying will depend on the circumstances of your case and the type of visa you applied for.

It’s important to note that in some cases, there may be no further recourse for appealing or reapplying, and you may need to leave Portugal once your visa application has been denied. If you are in Portugal when your visa application is denied, you may be required to leave the country within a specific timeframe. It’s always best to consult with an immigration lawyer or the relevant Portuguese consulate or embassy for guidance on your specific situation.

Yes, it is possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship while you are in Portugal on a working visa. However, obtaining citizenship is a separate process that typically requires meeting specific eligibility criteria, such as having resided in Portugal for a certain period of time, demonstrating knowledge of the Portuguese language and culture, and fulfilling other requirements outlined in the Portuguese Nationality Law. It is advisable to consult with the Portuguese authorities or seek legal advice to understand the detailed requirements and procedures for acquiring Portuguese citizenship while on a working visa.

The educational requirements for obtaining a Portuguese working visa can vary depending on the specific type of visa and the nature of the employment. In some cases, having a certain level of education or specific qualifications may be a requirement. For example, highly skilled worker visas often require a university degree or specialized skills and experience in a particular field. However, the educational requirements can differ based on the visa category and individual circumstances. It is advisable to consult with the Portuguese embassy or consulate or seek professional advice to determine the specific educational requirements for the working visa you are applying for.

No, EU citizens have the freedom to work and reside in Portugal without requiring a work visa or permit. However, they may need to obtain a registration certificate or a residence card.

Non-EU nationals generally need a work visa or permit to work in Portugal. The specific type of visa depends on factors such as the nature and duration of the employment, and it includes the Temporary Stay Visa, Highly Skilled Worker Visa, and Residence Visa for Employment Purposes.

Non-EU nationals may need to provide proof of qualifications, demonstrate language proficiency, have valid health insurance coverage, and show sufficient financial means to support themselves during their stay in Portugal.

It is recommended to consult with the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country or visit the official website of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) for the most current information on work visa requirements in Portugal.

The key updates include the extension of residence permits until 31st December 2023, automatic extension for certain permit categories, streamlining of immigration processes, updates to work permit categories, and enhanced integration measures.

What changes have been made to work permit categories?

Work permit categories in Portugal have been updated to align with the current labor market needs. These changes aim to attract highly skilled workers and professionals in strategic sectors, promoting economic growth and talent acquisition.

How are immigration processes being streamlined?

Portugal is implementing measures to streamline and simplify immigration processes. This includes the digitalization of application procedures, enabling online submissions and document uploads for greater convenience and efficiency.

What integration measures are being enhanced?

Portugal continues to prioritize the integration of immigrants through language training, cultural awareness programs, and social integration initiatives. These measures aim to facilitate a smooth transition and successful integration into Portuguese society.

Where can I find more information about the immigration law updates in Portugal for 2023?

For more detailed information about the specific updates to immigration law in Portugal for 2023, it is recommended to refer to official government sources such as the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) website at www.sef.pt. Additionally, you can consult the legal sources mentioned in the following articles: source1 and source2. These sources provide detailed information on the latest updates to immigration law in Portugal.

If you are interested in finding a job or internship in Portugal

Be sure to check out our board of vacancies.

Available vacancies in Portugal

Board of vacancies