Non-EU citizens might think it’s hard to move to Portugal and get residency there. This article shows you different ways to become a resident and makes the process easier to handle. Setting up residency in Portugal will always go more smoothly if you get help from a professional. Because of this, we suggest talking to professionals you can trust, such as real estate agents, immigration lawyers, and accountants.
What is a Portuguese residency?
Portugal has become the most popular place in Europe to move to. This is mostly due to the great weather and the relatively low prices of homes in Portugal. Many people from other countries have moved to Portugal because of the government’s visa programs. This boosted the Portuguese economy by getting foreign investors into the country. For example, the Golden Visa Program has brought many people outside the EU to Portugal.
Who is eligible to apply for Portuguese residency?
If you are not a citizen of the EU, you will need a residence visa to study, live, or work in Portugal. How long do you schedule to stay in Portugal, and why will you determine what kind of residence visa you need? You can apply for a residence permit to Portugal with your residence visa.
This visa is the very first step toward becoming a permanent resident. The Service de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras is the name of the department in charge of processing and giving out residence visas (SEF). The second part of the process starts as soon as you get to Portugal. You’ll need to go to SEF to apply for your residence permit, which is different from your residence visa.
As we’ve already said, people from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland can live in Portugal without a residence visa. You don’t need a visa to work and live in Portugal. Then, you must sign up with the Portuguese tax office and your local city hall. They will provide you with a document of residence for five years.
How to get Portuguese citizenship
Residence by investment
One of the most successful residency-by-investment programs in Europe is in Portugal. People who invest in Portugal can get residency permits through the Golden Visa Program. There are several ways to invest with a Golden Visa, but the most common way is through real estate. Depending on your investment type, you may need different things. Usually, you need about €500,000 to invest in real estate, but there are times when you can invest less.
Here are several other methods to get a Golden Visa investment:
- €350,000 was spent on research in science
- €250,000 was spent on arts and culture in Portugal
- €250,000 into starting a business that employs at least 10 people
- €500,000 in a small or medium business (SME) in Portugal
One benefit of getting residency in Portugal through investment is that you don’t have to move to Portugal permanently. As a holder of a Golden Visa, your residency requirements aren’t as strict as in other EU countries.
Residence by work
One way to live in Portugal is to get a job there. This means moving to Portugal and getting a work visa so that you can live and work there. Citizens of some non-EU countries that have bilateral agreements with Portugal can apply for this work residence visa in Portugal within 90 days of arriving in the country.
These nations include:
- New Zealand
Other people not from the EU must already have a job in Portugal before they can apply for a residence work visa in their home country. If you come to Portugal with such a Portuguese work visa, you will have to change it to a residence permit at some point.
Residence by family reunification
Portuguese law lets people with a residence permit bring their immediate family members or people who depend on them with them. The person with a valid residence permit in Portugal will relate to SEF for family reunification so that his family can come to Portugal and live there.
Some of the papers you’ll need to show SEF are:
- Authenticated duplicates of the applicant’s family members’ identification documents were used to show that they were related to the applicant.
- Proof of where to live; proof of how to live.
- A certificate of criminal history from the place of origin or the nation where the applicant has resided for more than a year
Residence through study
You can also become a resident of Portugal by going to school there.
However, this is a short-term result because you can’t get a residence permit in Portugal if you study for more than six months. Students with this residence permit can only work part-time jobs if SEF says they can.
But after the study period, students are given a one-year work permit that lets them look for paid work in Portugal. If you find a job, you can change your status to “worker,” which lets you live and work in Portugal.
Residence through retirement
You can also get Portuguese residency by retiring in Portugal if you are at that point in your life. You must apply for a visa to live in Portugal in the country where you live.
The standard conditions for this visa are as follows:
- a valid passport
- income proof
- proof that you have health care
- a check of your past crimes
It carries at least a month to obtain a visa. To get the residence permit, you must show a steady monthly income of at least €1,070. In this residency application, you can also list the people who depend on you.
A temporary residence permit is good for one year and can be renewed for two more years if you meet a resident’s requirements. One of the best things about this residency program is that you won’t have to pay taxes on pensions, dividends, royalties, and interest income outside the country for 10 years.
Residence by marriage
Marriage is another way to move to Portugal. By getting married to a Portuguese citizen, you can apply to live there and eventually become a citizen. The first step in this process is to get a temporary permit to live there for five years. After that, you can choose to stay there permanently. During these five years, you don’t have to live in the country all the time.
On the other hand, let’s say you want to become a citizen of Portugal. In that case, you and your partner must have been married for at least three years, know enough Portuguese, and have strong ties to the Portuguese community. See the website for the Consulado Geral de Portugal and the Diário da Repblica Eletrónico (DRE) again for the exact legal requirements for this type of residency.