Under regular conditions, in order to immigrate to Portugal from Ukraine, an individual is required to apply for and obtain a residence permit that will the purpose of stay and will allow them to remain in the country for long-term purposes, such as employment.
Ukrainian nationals who are fleeing their country as a result of the Russian invasion can enter Portugal under a special regime for acquiring refugee status.
In this article, our Portugal immigration agents describe both the route for acquiring refugee status, as well as the other available routes for obtaining a residence permit.
We invite you to reach out to our immigration specialists as soon as you are able to if you have any questions about how we can assist you during the application phase or once you have safely departed from Ukraine and are looking to enter Portugal.
Acquiring refugee status in Portugal
As a response to the crisis in Ukraine, the Portuguese authorities are offering a temporary protection permit.
The permit is valid for one year, it allows the Ukrainian holder to access basic services as well as access the labour market.
Applicants should keep in mind that this is an exceptional procedure that applies to:
- Ukrainian national citizens;
- Relatives of Ukrainian national citizens;
- Foreign or stateless individuals with a Ukrainian residence permit who cannot return to their country of origin.
In order to apply, any means of identification is accepted, such as an identification document issued in Ukraine or, in some cases, a testimonial. There is no special need to prove that the applicant is in danger, given the situation in Ukraine.
The residence permit issued as a result of this waiver is valid for one year.
Our team or Portugal immigration agents can help you submit the application for temporary protection with the authorities.
Long-term residence permits for those who immigrate to Portugal from Ukraine
Under regular conditions, the following types of long-term residence permits are available to Ukrainian nationals who wish to move to Portugal from Ukraine:
- Employment: for those who have already secured a job with a Portuguese employer; those looking for a job can also do so under certain conditions;
- Study: for Ukrainian students who have been accepted at a Portuguese University or another educational institution;
- Business: for those who wish to open a company that will create at least 10 new jobs (and observe other conditions) or those who can make other types of investments;
- Family reunification: for the spouse of a Ukrainian national already residing in the country, their minor children, and other family members (subject to conditions).
Freelance Ukrainian citizens are welcomed to Portugal and can qualify for a Portuguese nomad visa. This is intended for those who can continue to engage in their professional activity remotely, as long as they offer services to entities or clients outside of Portugal. This can be a suitable solution for applicants who comply with the minimum income requirement. Contact us for more details.
If you are interested in obtaining Portuguese nationality, you can do so after five years in the country. During this time, your stay will need to have been a lawful one, based on a temporary residence permit, according to your purpose of stay (employment, business, etc.). Moreover, for citizenship in Portugal, you will also need to have sufficient Portuguese language knowledge and meet other criteria.
Immigrants in Portugal
The number of foreign nationals who have entered Portugal for family reunification or other reasons is highlighted in the reports issued by the Foreigners and Borders Service as well as Statistics Portugal. Our team presents some of these below:
- in 2020 the number of resident foreign nationals increased by 12.2% compared to 2019;
- there were 662,095 foreign nationals who had a residence permit in 2020;
- Brazilian citizens are the most numerous, accounting for 27.8% of the foreign citizens living in Portugal;
- UK nationals are the second most numerous foreign nationals in Portugal, accounting for 7% of the foreign citizens in the country;
- in 2020, there were 28,629 Ukrainians living in Portugal, or 4.3% of the resident foreign population.
Contact our immigration lawyer in Portugal if you wish to relocate here or wish to apply for refugee status.
Our team assists Ukrainians who have entered the country starting in February 2022. You can reach out to us if you want to find out more about your lawful permanent stay, the renewal of the residence permit for Portugal, as well as other important information. We can also give you details on how you can reunite with your family. You can rely on our prompt answers if you need assistance.
If you have a family member already living in Portugal, our team can help you with all of the needed formalities so that your transition can be as easy as possible.