Portugal Immigration Guide: Portugal Visa Types and Resident Permits

Updated: 28 March 2023

Portugal offers different types of visas for those who want to live in the country. From student visas to qualified worker visas, the country offers several solutions for various needs. Portugal also offers a Golden Visa scheme that grants residency in return for an investment.

In this guide, you’ll get to know more about Portugal’s immigration, Portuguese visas, Portugal visa requirements and residency permit types.

The topics and Portuguese visa types included in this article are as follows:

Portuguese Visa Types

1. Portugal Self-Employment Visa

This visa might be ideal for you if you can prove that you’re going to work with Portuguese companies. A contract or a written proposal with a Portuguese company might suffice during the application process.

This type of Portugal work visa gives you the right to live and work in Portugal. With this visa, you’ll also get the right to travel within the Schengen countries.

This visa is issued for two years initially. When you renew it at the end of two years, you get the right to renew it for three years. At the end of five years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Portugal.

When you apply for a self-employment visa, you’ll also need to get a tax number in Portugal, known as NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal). This is important as becoming a full-time resident in Portugal also means paying taxes on your worldwide income.


  • You have a clean criminal record
  • You have the necessary documents related to your business in Portugal
  • You’ve registered with the tax authority

2. Portugal Golden Visa

If you’re looking to get European residency in return for an investment, Portugal Golden Visa might be the ideal solution for you. The main requirement for Portugal Golden Visa is that you make an investment in the country, either by real estate acquisition, fund subscription, or capital transfer. This option is highly favored by families as the scheme allows family inclusion. Another benefit is that you can travel within Schengen countries with your Golden Visa, without a need for further documentation. When you get your Portugal Golden Visa, you might be eligible to apply for citizenship after five years. 


  • You have a clean criminal record
  • You’ve made a qualifying investment
  • You’ve paid the required fees
  • You commit to the stay requirements 
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    3. Retiree Visa or Passive Income Holder Visa: D7 Visa

    Among Portugal visa types, D7 is one of the most popular ones. If you’re a retiree or a passive income holder, a D7 Visa in Portugal might be suitable for you. This visa allows you to stay in Portugal as long as you have the funds to support yourself as you live in Portugal. The main criteria for this type of Portuguese visa is having a monthly income that is equal to the minimum wage in Portugal. Another requirement is that you’re willing to spend a minimum of six consecutive or eight non-consecutive months in Portugal.


    • You have sufficient funds to support yourself
    • Your income is a passive one
    • You’re ready to spend most of the year in Portugal

    4. Portugal Qualified Worker Visa – D3 Visa

    If you have technical skills or an exceptional qualification, you may be eligible to apply for a D3 Visa in Portugal.


    • You have a one-year employment contract or an employment offer. Also, the annual compensation is required to be at least 1,5 times the national average gross annual salary.
    • You hold high professional qualifications in regulated professions, such as being an expert in intellectual and scientific activities or in management positions.
    • You hold high professional qualifications appropriate to the activity or sector, even if they’re in non-regulated professions.

    5. Portugal Startup Visa for Entrepreneurs – D2 Visa

    If you’re an entrepreneur, note that Portugal is one of the few European countries that will incentivize you to achieve your startup business goals. To get a Portuguese Startup Visa, make sure that your business plan is an innovative one. As Portugal is trying to attract innovators into the country, a plan for a traditional business may not work.


    • You can prove that either you have established a business that operates in Portugal or that you have the financial means to do so 
    • You have sufficient funds to support yourself
    • You have a solid business plan

    6. Portugal Tech Visa

    Companies with headquarters or permanent offices in Portugal might be eligible to get a certification, also known as Portugal Tech Visa. If you have a talent and want to apply for a tech company that holds this certificate, you can be eligible for this type of Portugal visa.


    • You have a job offer from a certified tech company in Portugal
    • Your salary meets the criteria

    Note that the Portugal visa requirements stated above are general requirements. For each residence permit or visa, additional paperwork might be required.

    Who Needs Portuguese Visas?

    Visa requirements for Portugal differ depending on whether you are an EU/EFTA citizen or a citizen of a third country.

    EU/EFTA Citizens

    Portugal is a member of the European Union and offers visa-free entrance to all EFTA and EU nationals, as well as to some family members and relatives, even if they are not EU nationals. EU citizens are permitted entry for a period of three months with the intention of starting a business or looking for employment. EU citizens have the same rights as Portuguese employees once they are employed.

    The Schengen Area, which consists of 26 nations in Europe without border controls, includes Portugal as well. Without a passport, citizens in the Schengen region can freely move between nations. All they require for entry into Portugal is an ID.

    While residents of the EU and EFTA are allowed to relocate to Portugal, if they intend to stay for more than three months, they must apply for a registration certificate. After five years, EU citizens may also apply for a permanent residency certificate.

    Non-EU/EFTA Citizens

    Unless their country has a bilateral agreement with Portugal, non-EU/EFTA nationals staying in Portugal for less than three months require a visa. 61 nations now have arrangements in place that exempt their nationals from requiring visas for short stays. These countries include Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK, and the US. 

    However, foreign citizens from outside the EU/EFTA who desire to stay for more than three months must first apply for a long-term national visa before traveling to Portugal and then for a Portuguese residence permit once they have arrived. Since Brexit, this includes citizens of the UK.

    How Long Are Foreigners Allowed To Stay in Portugal Without a Visa?

    Before entering Portugal or any other Schengen member state, citizens of nations that have not yet a visa-free travel pact with Portugal are required to obtain one of the Portugal visas.

    However, if you are an EU citizen, you are not required to get a visa or any other documentation before your trip and are free to enter and stay in Portugal for as long as you choose. However, you must register with the Portuguese municipal authorities if you want to stay for more than three months.

    If you are a citizen of a nation that does not require a visa, you may stay in Portugal for up to 90 days during a 180-day period. Depending on your nation of residence, you might need to get a residence permit.

    Portuguese Citizenship and Residence

    Any visitor from outside the EU/EFTA who intends to stay in Portugal for more than three months must apply for a residence permit. Initial Portuguese residency permits are one-year renewable temporary licenses. EU/EFTA nationals who intend to stay for more than three months must register with the SEF even though they do not require a residence visa.

    You can seek permanent residence in Portugal after five years of stay there. After five years, you may also petition for Portuguese citizenship. Applications for citizenship may be submitted early in some cases, such as if you are married to a Portuguese national.

    Frequently Asked Questions on Portugal Visas

    I’m American. Can I stay in Portugal as long as I want or do I need a visa?

    With your US passport, you can stay in Portugal for up to 90 days without a visa. However, if you’re planning to live in the country, you’re required to get one of the Portugal visas we’ve listed above. Also, if you’re going to work there, you’ll need a Portugal work visa.

    I’m from the UK. Do I need a visa to stay in Portugal?

    Before Brexit, Portugal visa types were no concern for British citizens. British citizens are now required to get a Portugal visa/residence permit to live in Portugal for more than 90 days.

    Is it possible to do Portugal visa online application?

    For some visa types, you can do your initial application online however for the biometrics and further procedures, you need to be present in Portugal.

    Is Portugal digital nomad visa available for non-EU citizens?

    If you’re a digital nomad who wants to live in Portugal, you can check out the other visa types as Portugal digital nomad visa isn’t available yet.

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