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Faster procedures for visas and residence permits to work in Portugal



​​Changes to the legal framework for the entry, permanence, exit and removal of foreigners into and out of the national territory​, published by Act no. 18/2022, of 25 August [PT]​, enter into force on 24 September. 

Generally speaking, we should highlight the creation of visas and residence permits for foreigners seeking work in Portugal or who carry out their professional activity, remotely, in national territory for employers abroad, the so-called digital nomads.

Also of note are the special conditions for granting visas to citizens of member states of the CPLP (Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries), in response to the objectives of the Agreement on Mobility signed between them.

The creation of the limited duration visa for seeking work allows the entry and stay of foreigners, only in national territory, to seek work. With a duration of 120 days, extendable for a further 60 days, this visa also allows for the exercise of dependent employment, until the expiry of the visa or the granting of the residence permit, as well as the application for a temporary residence permit.

The temporary stay visa, which allows the entry and stay in national territory for a period of less than one year, as well as the residence visa, may now be issued to digital nomads, i.e. foreigners who exercise a subordinate or independent professional activity, rendered remotely to a natural or collective person with domicile or head office outside national territory, and who demonstrate the employment link or the rendering of services.

The procedure for issuing visas for nationals of the Member States of the CPLP in which the Agreement on Mobility concluded between them is in force is also streamlined, with the waiver of the prior opinion of the SEF (Immigration and Borders Service), direct and immediate consultation of the Schengen Information System (SIS) databases, and the refusal to issue a visa will only apply if the SIS indicates that entry and stay is prohibited.

The permission to work while the residence permit application is pending for reasons not attributable to the applicant, the permission to exercise a complementary subordinate or independent work activity for holders of a residence permit for research, study, professional traineeship or volunteering, the extension of the duration of residence permits for trainees and the extension of the duration of the EU Blue Card (granted to nationals of a third state for the exercise of highly qualified activity), are also amendments of Law no. 18/2022.

As a simplification measure, the Social Security identification number, tax identification number and national health user number will be automatically assigned to foreigners applying for a visa to work in Portugal, as well as any other title that regularises their situation in Portugal, once that procedure is communicated by the competent services to Social Security, the Tax and Customs Authority and the Serviços Partilhados do Ministério da Saúde, E.P.E. (Shared Services of the Ministry of Health), as well as the Instituto de Emprego e da Formação Profissional, I.P. (Institute for Employment and Vocational Training), for the purposes of registration.

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