Work Permits for Portugal

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Work permits for Portugal are granted differently, according to an expat's country of origin.

Work permits for EU nationals

EU nationals are not restricted from finding employment in Portugal, and are granted a six month (180-day) period to live in the country, and find work without obtaining a visa. In order to be formally employed, though, it is necessary for these expats to obtain a residence card, a process that, albeit simple, inspires its own long queues and delays.

Neither a work permit nor a residence card is needed for EU citizens working over an employment period of three months or less.

Work permits for non-EU nationals

work permit for portugalNon-EU nationals can only obtain a work permit for Portugal if married to a local, or if offered a secure job contract by a formal employer. As there are regulations in place that encourage companies to hire members of other EU countries before looking outside the sphere, it can be difficult to solidify a job offer and start the ball rolling.

If an expat does manage to find a job offer, the hiring company starts the process by applying to the Portuguese Labour Authorities for the work permit with a copy of the contract. Once completed, the expat applicant must apply for a Portuguese work permit at their local Portuguese Embassy.

Supporting documents required to be submitted in addition to the work permit application:

  • Valid passport
  • Evidence of financial means
  • Work contract
  • Means of transport
  • Health insurance

The work permit application process can take up to eight months. Permits are usually granted for six months, and are renewable. 

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