To enter Portugal for self-employed work for a period of less than a year, you must have a valid temporary stay visa.
For longer periods, you must obtain a residence visa. The residence visa does not automatically grant you a right of residence. Once in Portugal, you must apply for a residence permit.
|Where to apply|
Temporary stay visa
You must apply for a temporary stay visa at the embassySearch for available translations of the preceding link or consulateSearch for available translations of the preceding link in the country of origin or residence.
Duration of validity of permits
The temporary visa is valid for the period of the professional activities, limited to one year.
If the stay in Portugal with this visa exceeds one year you can apply for a residence permit.
If the initial stay exceeds one year you must not apply for a temporary visa stay, but for a residence visa.
Where and how to apply
Residence visa for exercising a professional activity as a self-employed worker
For long-term activities, you must obtain a residence visa at the embassySearch for available translations of the preceding link or consulateSearch for available translations of the preceding link in your country of origin or residence. A residence visa does not automatically grant a right of residence but allows you to enter Portugal for the purpose of applying for a residence permit, if the requirements are met.
The visa request will be evaluated taking into account the economic, social, scientific, technological and/or cultural importance of the investment.
If you are already in Portugal you may be exempted from the obligation to hold a valid residence visa.
You must hold a partnership agreement or a contract for services or a written proposal for such a contract and must hold a declaration from the relevant authority that certifies compliance with any special criteria required for practice of that activity (where applicable).
If you want to make an investment in Portugal you must make a declaration that you have conducted or intend to conduct investment activities in Portugal specifying the nature, value and duration of those activities. You must prove that you have conducted investment activities in the past or that you have the necessary financial means, including the necessary funds obtained from a Portuguese financial institution. You must also sufficiently identify and describe those activities.
You must prove sufficient means of subsistence, travel insurance and a return ticket.
The residence visa will be refused if you have been subjected to an order to leave Portugal and you are applying while the prohibition period is still running or if you are listed in Schengen Information System or in the SEF’s Integrated Information System.
Duration of validity of Visa
The residence visa allows you to stay in Portugal for four months so that you can submit an application for a residence permit at the SEFSearch for available translations of the preceding link.
Where to apply
Temporary residence permit
A temporary residence permit is an official document issued by the SEFSearch for available translations of the preceding link which allows you to live in Portugal for a specific period of time. You must submit the application to the SEFSearch for available translations of the preceding link.
There must be no fact in existence that would have prevented the grant of the visa, if it had been known by the authorities before the visa was issued.
Granting of the residence permit to non-EU citizens for the purpose of conducting investment activities
The granting takes place on the basis of compliance with certain requirements according to Order no. 1661-A/2013, January 28 (Article 90-A of Act no. 23/2007 of July 4, as amended by Act no. 29/2012 of August 9, Act n.Âº 56/2015, June 23, Act n.Âº 63/2015, June 30, Act n.Âº 59/2017, July 31, Act n.Âº 102/2017 August 28, Act 26/2018 July 5, Act n.Âº 28/2019, March 29).
This Order sets out the requirements for applying the specific legal mechanism of granting and renewing residence permit, with exemption of a residence visa, for the purpose of performing investment activities in National Territory (ARI), specifically with regards minimum quantitative requirements, minimum periods of permanence, and means of evidence.
Also entitled to apply for ARI, are all the non-EU citizens who hold share capital of a company with head office in Portugal, or in another Member-State of the European Union with firm establishment in Portugal.
According to Article no. 3 of this Order, for the purposes of obtaining ARI, the minimum quantitative requirements imply, at least, one of the following investments in national territories:
The applicant should also:
Validity of duration of permit
As a general rule, a temporary residence permit is valid for one year, renewable for successive periods of two years. With the amendment introduced to article 75 of the Aliens Act, by article 192 of Act n.Âº 75-B/2020 of 31 December — State Budget to 2021 in force since 01/01/2021 and to 2021 —, some of the above-mentioned temporary residence permits are valid for two years [and not just one] from the date of issue of the corresponding title and renewable for successive periods of three years [and not just for two].
The residence permit will be refused if you have been the subject of an order to leave and you are applying while the prohibition period is still running or if you are listed in the Schengen Information System or in the SEF’s Integrated Information System. It may also be refused for reasons related to public order, public safety or public health.
The residence visa is cancelled if the application for a residence permit is refused.
If your application for a residence permit is refused, you may challenge the decision before the administrative court. You will be notified of the refusal decision as well as the reasons for the decision, the right to appeal and the deadline for making an appeal.
Two types of permanent status can be obtained in Portugal – a national permanent residence permit or an EC long-term residence permit:
Permanent residence permit
The national permanent residence status can be obtained at the SEFSearch for available translations of the preceding link of your area of residence after at least five years of legal temporary residence, if during this period you have not been convicted of a prison sentence exceeding one year.
You must prove that you have basic knowledge of Portuguese, sufficient means of subsistence and accommodation.
The national permanent residence permit must be renewed every five years. The status is valid for an unlimited period of time.
Long-term residence permit
The EC long-term residence status can be granted by the SEFSearch for available translations of the preceding link after five years of continuous and legal residence.
In order to obtain this status you must prove that you have:
The long-term resident status gives the same rights as Portuguese nationals in terms of:
The EC long-term residence permit is valid for five years and is automatically renewed upon application.
An application may be refused on grounds of public order, public security and the risk that may result from that person remaining on the Portuguese territory.
All decisions may be appealed before the administrative courts.
Change of status
As a self-employed worker, you may work as an employee provided that:
No information available
- Immigration and Borders Service (SEF)
- Institute for Employment and Professional Training (IEFP)
- Authority for Labour Conditions (ACT)
- High Commission for Migration (ACM)
- Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MNE)
- Portuguese embassies and consulates abroad
- Ministry of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security (MSESS)
- Ministry of Justice (MJ)
- Ministry of Education and Science
- Ministry of Economy (ME)