How to get a work visa in Portugal? A quick guide for everyone

To get a work visa in Portugal, you can apply at your closest Portuguese consulate. You can apply for a work visa for Portugal with a job offer in Portugal. Since August 2022, you can also apply for a new work visa that let you come to Portugal to look for a job. Ask your closest Portuguese consulate for details.

In summer 2022, Portugal again changed its immigration policy. Portugal doesn’t limit anymore the number of work visas available for foreigners. And it made it easier to get a work visa for citizens of countries that speak Portuguese.

How to get a work visa in Portugal? 

You can get a work visa in Portugal when you have a job offer in Portugal. Since August 2022, you can also apply for a new work visa that let you come to Portugal to look for a job. Ask your closest Portuguese consulate for details.

If you don’t a job offer, first you need to find a job in Portugal. You can search for a job and you can apply with a recruitment agency in Portugal or in your own country.

With the job offer in hand, you should start applying for a visa. VFS Global makes the application process for your local consulate of Portugal. That is for most consulate of Portugal in the world. Find the unit responsible for your area.

When you have a work visa, you can travel to Portugal. Then you can apply for a residence permit.

Find a list of available residence permits in Portugal at the Service for Foreigners and Borders (or SEF). SEF website is available in Portuguese and English.

What documents do I need to work in Portugal?

For a work visa application, you may need some of the following documentation:

a completed application form;

a passport or a valid travel document;

a Passport photograph;

a return ticket, depending on the visa you are applying for;

valid travel insurance, including necessary medical expenses, medical emergency, and medical repatriation;

certificate of being in a regular situation. That is if you apply from a consulate that is not in your country of nationality;

Proof of means of subsistence. Proof can be some bank statements. This also depends on the type of work visa;

Work contract or valid work offer. That is with a temporary work company or an employer established in Portugal. You need to tell the location, dates, type of work, as well as duration, salary, and paid vacation. This should be necessary with the new work visa;


In the case of regulated professions, compliance with national legal requirements for that profession is mandatory;

Adequate medical protection, in similar terms to national citizens, or medical insurance for the periods that may not be covered by medical protection; as well as work accidents insurance provided for the employer;

A proper accommodation, through a rental lease or equivalent. Accommodation can also be provided by the employer, in compliance with existing legal requirements.

Where to apply for a work visa for Portugal?

You apply for a visa at the Consulate General of Portugal covering your area of ​​residence.

You can seek legal advice and information if you need it. You can avoid mistakes and you can get a visa faster.

It is also necessary to know that the visa is always issued before arriving in Portugal and will be attached to your passport. However, upon arriving in the country, it will be necessary to process your residence permit with SEF. Thus, before traveling you will receive your work visa for Portugal and upon arrival, you will process your residence permit.

How long does it take to get a Portuguese work visa?

The processing time for the work visa for Portugal takes, on average, between 30 and 45 days.

But, it is not advisable to buy a ticket to Portugal before the Consulate’s response, which may be negative, depending on each case.

However, if you have an estimate of when your trip to Portugal will take place, you can indicate this to your consulate.

In this way, the agency itself will be able to schedule your interview at the SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service). After that, you can apply for your residence permit when in Portugal.

But, if you have family members to be regrouped, their interview is not scheduled by the consulate. This prerogative is for visa holders only. So, if your family members are going to accompany you, remember to make this appointment too.

Can I apply for a residence permit in Portugal?

You can get a job directly when already in Portugal. You can come with a tourist visa or a student visa or any other visa you can get. For example, many Brazilians arrive in Portugal as tourists and then get a job. In this case, it is possible to process the residence permit directly in Portugal. But, your regular stay in Portugal may expire before you can get a job offer. And therefore your new employer might not be able to employ you with a regular contract. You can become vulnerable to exploitative working conditions.

To request a residence permit for any work, you need to apply at the SEF.

Do I need a visa to work in Portugal?

A work visa in Portugal is not necessary for citizens of the EUEEA, Andorra, or Switzerland. Every other nationality needs a work visa. And if you want to stay in Portugal to work for more than six months, you need a residence permit.


Nacionalida de Portuguesa

Photo by Rui Silvestre on Unsplash