Foreign nationals can immigrate to Portugal from South Africa in order to seek employment opportunities, to reunite with family members already living here, or to pursue different investment options.
South African nationals who wish to enter Portugal require a mandatory visa for entry. However, for the purpose of immigration, they will follow the steps needed to apply for a residence permit that suits the purpose of their prolonged stay in the country.
Our Portugal immigration team can help you apply for a residence permit that will allow you to remain in the country. Read below to find out more about the conditions and reach out to us for complete and personalized application assistance.
How to immigrate to Portugal from South Africa
There are several options for south Africans who plan to travel to Portugal in order to remain here for more than three months. The common grounds for long-term stay are listed below by our immigration specialists:
- Employment: South African nationals who have signed an employment agreement with a Portuguese company or who are part of a corporate transfer to a Portuguese branch of their company;
- Study: students accepted to a Portuguese University, for the duration of their studies (can be subject to renewal);
- Investment: South African entrepreneurs who wish to open a company in Portugal or who are able to make another type of investment;
- Family reunification: the family members of an individual who is already a lawful resident in Portugal (included here are the spouse, children, parents, subject to certain conditions).
For each of these categories, the applicant will present a filled-in application form, along with documents that justify the stay (employment contract, letter of acceptance for study purposes, proof of family ties, proof of investment, etc.).
A set of documents are mandatory in all cases for those who move to Portugal from South Africa and these include the applicant’s passport, along with proof of accommodation or sufficient financial means in some cases.
Our team can help you submit your application by including all of the needed documents, according to the purposes of your stay.
South African citizens can apply for the visa called the residence visa for professional activities provided remotely outside the national territory. This is intended for freelancers and digital nomads and, in addition to the conditions for the type of activity, it is also subject to a minimum income requirement. Our team can give you more details about the nomad visa for Portugal.
Citizenship by naturalization is possible for South African citizens who live in Portugal for at least five years. The applicant is required to provide adequate documentation proving his or her lawful stay in the country (a valid temporary residence permit, among others), and show that he/she has sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language. Other requirements also apply for Portuguese citizenship.
Move to Portugal from South Africa for investment purposes
Portugal is one of the European countries that allow non-EU/EEA foreign nationals to gain residence by making an investment.
The available investment routes are the following:
- Substantial capital transfer with a value equal to or above EUR 1 million;
- Creating at least 10 new jobs;
- Buying real estate with a value of at least EUR 500,000 or EUR 350,000 for constructions dating back more than 30 years or located in an urban regeneration area;
- Capital transfer of EUR 350,000 or more for supporting research activities in the public or private sector.
Individuals who wish to immigrate to Portugal from South Africa can also make a capital transfer of at least EUR 250,000 in artistic projects or for the refurbishment of national heritage.
Certain conditions apply for these investments projects and our team specializing in Portugal immigration can give you details about how to obtain the residence permit by presenting evidence to support the investment.
The statistics issued by the Foreigners and Borders Service show the following:
- 4 residence permits for investment were issued to South African nationals in June 2021;
- in June 2020, 13 residence permits were issued to South African nationals for investment activities.
- between October 2012 and November 2021, a total of 422 residence permits were issued to South Africans;
- 10,170 residence permits were issued in total, during October 2021 and November 2021, to foreign citizens from China, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, and Russia.
If you are ready to apply for a residence permit for investment purposes, our team can help you. You can choose to immigrate to Portugal from South Africa with the help of this permit and, in addition to obtaining residence for yourself, you can also bring your family with you.
Part of the advantages offered by Portugal’s investment programme is that the applicant can also obtain a residence permit for his or her family members. In total, since October 2021, more than 17,100 families were reunited under the residence permit for investment activity in the country.
Seeking specialized counsel before applying for a visa that allows the holder to migrate to Portugal is advisable to all non-EU citizens. You can learn more about the conditions for residency in Portugal, as well as the available types of permits, the conditions for their renewal, and how to request a permanent residence permit if you reach out to our local team of specialists.
Contact us if you want to know more about how to immigrate to Portugal from South Africa. We can help you start the procedure, make the needed applications and handle any matters once you arrive in the country.