Upon learning that you have been accepted for your new job in Portugal, you realize that you need to get a visa (Verified International Stay Approval) in order to legally work in the country. Preliminary research shows that the process is confusing and complicated. Fortunately, we have collected the information and have made the process considerably easier to understand by laying out exactly which items you will need to have and what is involved to get a work visa in Portugal.

Do I Need a Work Visa For Portugal?

Portugal is a member of the European Union (EU) and as such, any resident of Union countries is allowed to work there without a visa, provided that after six months the person applies for a residency visa. For any period less than that, work and travel are allowed without those restrictions.

There are currently twenty-seven countries that are members of the European Union.

What Are the Requirements To Apply For a Work Visa In Portugal?

The very first item on your agenda is to complete the visa application through your country’s Portuguese Consulate. There are a series of documents and informational items that you must be ready to provide to ensure that the process continues smoothly with no costly time delays. Here is what you will need:

  • A letter of invitation from the employer and employment contract
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal
  • Documented flight reservations
  • Tax documentation
  • Health and accident insurance
  • Criminal background checks
  • Proof of registration with Social Security
  • Biometric data such as fingerprints and facial recognition photos
  • Two color passport photos
  • A valid passport with two blank pages

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Steps For Applying For a Work Visa in Portugal

Here is everything you need to know, step-by-step:

1. Check Country Pandemic Regulations

Many countries have precautions in place to prevent the spread of pandemic. It is in your best interest to check beforehand to make sure that Portugal is presently accepting work visa applications and/or whether there are any special precautions in place. You can check here for an update on all information in regards to this situation.

2. Download the Application Form

Once you’ve verified that Portugal is accepting work visas, the next step is to download the visa application. There will be a series of fees to complete this task, so make sure to keep receipts to prove you have paid them.

Throughout this process of application, you must provide a lot of personal information about yourself, your family, your job, and your financial situation. This will necessitate a lot of documentation to serve as verification of the information that you provide. The following items are explanations of requirements that will complete your application process.

3. Letter of Invitation

This letter from your employer verifies your job status and provides the basic information as to the purpose of your trip. Any other documents that will clarify your job responsibilities, salary, and other integral information should be included along with this to ensure that you are able to satisfactorily answer all questions pertaining to your impending employment.

4. Proof of Portuguese Accommodation

A hotel reservation or residential address is required to verify that you have scheduled accommodations for your entire stay in the country. This is part of a series of Portugal work visa requirements to make sure that you are able to fully sustain yourself while working in Portugal.

5. Documented Flight Reservations

The consulate will want to see your booked flight reservations both to the country and for your return flight. Since there’s the possibility your visa could be denied, it is highly recommended that you find a manner to provide this information without actually purchasing the ticket, or if possible, buy one that has a free cancellation option. Often, you can acquire a flight itinerary that provides all of the tentative information you need in advance, which you can later confirm upon the approval of your work visa for Portugal.

6. Tax Documentation

Have your tax documents handy along with bank statements and other information showing that you are financially sound to support yourself while working during your stay. Like the accommodation information, this shows that you have the funds required to live comfortably without suffering financial strain.

7. Insurance

30,000 Euros worth of travel insurance is required for all Schengen countries, so you will need documentation to verify that you have it, as well as health/accident insurance. In the event of a medical emergency, the insurance will guarantee that you are able to maintain stability while working abroad and that you will be properly cared for in the event of an accident.

8. Criminal Background Checks and Biometric Data

A criminal background check will confirm whether you are a citizen in good standing or if there are issues that will need to be addressed or extra precautions are taken before you are allowed entry into Portugal. Having a blemish on your background check is not a guarantee that your visa will be denied, there are a lot of variables to be taken into account, which the officials can do once they understand the specific situation.

Additionally, you need to do electronic fingerprinting and provide facial recognition photos as a part of this process. For more information on the photo requirements, see the next section on identification.

9. Identification

Your social security registration, passport, and photographs will all be necessary as part of your Portugal work visa application process. There are a set of guidelines that need to be followed for all photographs in order to fulfil requirements.

  • Your passport must be valid for at least three months after your return trip and have two blank pages, which is where the visa stamp will go.
  • Identification photos must:
    • Contain your unobstructed face filling 75% off the photo
    • Have a neutral background, typically gray
    • Show your straight-on face clearly with a neutral expression
    • Be size 35 X 45 mm
    • Be in color
    • Show your eyes clearly and do not wear glasses, hats, or extra clothes that can be a distraction in the photograph.

Once you have all of these documents and have completed your application, you will just need to await approval or possibly perform a revision if necessary to provide more information. Once you are approved, you will be ready to begin your new job in Portugal.


We hope this article on how to get a work visa in Portugal was informative and insightful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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