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Residency in Portugal

Residency in Portugal

Individuals who have been living for five uninterrupted years in Lisbon or another city can obtain permanent residency in Portugal, provided that they satisfy all of the ongoing conditions. Moving to Portugal is an attractive option for many EU and non-EU nationals and the formal procedures for working and living in the country are fairly easy.  One of our immigration lawyers in Portugal can offer legal advice and assistance. We are at your service if you want to apply for Portuguese residency in 2023.

Residency requirements in Portugal

An important condition for applying for permanent residency in Portugal is that the applicant has lived for five continuous years in the country. During this stay, he or she must have held a Registration Certificate, mandatory for all individuals who wish to stay in the country for more than three months, either if this stay is related to education, work, or business purposes. Third state residents, as well as those individuals from all other states who are not part of the EU (and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland), must first hold a residency visa before they can apply for permanent residency in Portugal.

 Quick Facts  
Temporary residence
permit types
Work, investment, study, family reunification
Time needed to obtain the temporary residence permit (approx.) 60 days

Temporary residence
permit validity

 1 year or more in some cases
Documents for obtaining temporary
residency in Portugal

Passport, recent photographs, evidence of means of subsistence, proof of adequate accommodation, criminal record, permit-specific documents (proof of investment, proof of employment or study acceptance letter, etc.)

Mandatory registrations with state authorities (i.e. with the population/municipality register) Yes
Dependents can join the temporary permit holder (Yes/No)

Yes, subject to certain additional requirements

Temporary or permanent residency for investment purposes

Start-up visa residence permit for entrepreneur immigrants
The residence permit for investment purposes
(real estate, substantial capital contributions)

Type of investments available for residency purposes

Capital transfer of at least 1 million Euros
The creation of at least 10 job positions in Portugal
The purchase of real estate property with a value of at least EUR 500,000 (less in some cases)

Capital transfers of EUR 250,000 or EUR 350,000 in artistic outputs, research activities, or investment fund acquisition, etc.

Minimum investment amount to obtain residency in Portugal

EUR 250,000 for investments in artistic outputs or supporting the arts, the reconstruction of national heritage
EUR 350,000 for real estate property located in urban regeneration areas in Portugal

Minimum temporary residence before applying for permanent residence 5 years
Residency for individuals married to a citizen of the country 3 years, subject to conditions

Documents for obtaining permanent residency in Portugal

Valid passport, recent photographs, proof of means of subsistence and accommodation, valid residence permit, proof of lawful, minimum and uninterrupted stay in the country
Naturalization requirements Legal resident for at least 5 years in Portugal (or less, if applicable), sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language, not convicted of a crime punishable by a  prison sentence of more than 3 years, etc. 
Citizenship after permanent residence After meeting the minimum lawful residence requirements and all of the naturalization requirements

Dual citizenship permitted for those who obtain residency in Portugal (Yes/No)


Those interested in immigration to Portugal in 2023 should submit their application for a permanent residence in Portugal with the Foreigners and Borders Service.

Another manner in which an individual can acquire permanent residencyin Portugal is through investment. This method of applying for residence is available for third-country citizens who engage in an investment activity in the country either as an individual trader or through a Portuguese company (or another company incorporated in an EU Member State that provides service in Portugal). The following investment options are available for those looking to obtain Portuguese residency:

  • real estate purchase of at least 500,000 Euros or the purchase of a property with a total value of at least 350,000 Euros when it is located in an urban regeneration area or it was constructed more than 30 years before;
  • capital transfer of at least 350,000 Euros in research activities or capital transfer of at least 250,000 Euros in artistic outputs;
  • capital transfer of at least 350,000 Euros for the incorporation of a company with its head office in Portugal, combined with creating at least 5 permanent jobs;
  • creating at least 10 new jobs;
  • capital transfer of at least 1 million Euros.

Please note that EU/EEA nationals are not eligible for the Golden Visa Scheme briefly described above. Our team of lawyers who specialize in immigration can provide you with details as to how you can prove these investments so that you may apply for the residence permit that is available in this manner.  One of our Portugal immigration agents can help you with detailed information about this special investment process. 

If you want to apply for Portuguese residency, we can guide you.

If you are looking to apply for citizenship in Portugal, this means that you meet not only the minimum lawful residence condition of at least five years, but that you also have sufficient Portuguese language knowledge, you have regular and sufficient income (through employment or other lawful means) and that you show good community integration in Portugal.

Applying for permanent residency in Portugal in 2023

The list below contains the main documents needed to apply for permanent residence in Portugal:

  • identification documents: the valid residence visa or temporary residence permit, as applicable, as well as the passport and two photographs
  • proof of income: the applicant must be able to prove that he/she has a steady or sufficient income to live in the country.
  • proof of accommodation: it is also mandatory to prove that accommodation is ensured, through a property purchase/rent agreement.
  • proof of uninterrupted Portuguese residency: the applicant must show that he/she has been living in the country for the previous five years; an immigration lawyer in Portugal from our team can help you with information about the maximum absent periods during this time.
  • proof of healthcare and social security: valid health insurance as well as proof of enrollment for social security and tax status.
  • proof of knowledge: the applicant must prove that he/she has sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language through a language assessment certificate.

A residence permit is granted when the applicant is not subject to a prohibition to enter the country following an expulsion measure. The applicant cannot be convicted for a crime that is punishable in Portugal by a custodial sentence of more than one year.

Getting a temporary residence permit in Portugal

The temporary residence permit is issued for persons wanting to settle in Portugal and who make proof of monthly incomes of at least EUR 1,070. It is good to know that dependents will be part of the application and will receive the temporary residence permit. This status comes with varied benefits like no taxation on royalties, dividends, foreign-source pensions for 10 years. Here are other details you should consider about the temporary residence permit in Portugal:

  • It is available for one year, with the renewal possibility.
  • After 5 years of having a temporary permit, you can apply for a permanent residence permit.
  • A temporary residence permit can be renewed for two years.
  • EU and non-EU citizens can apply and obtain the temporary residence permit.

Our lawyers are at your service for assistance in applying for Portuguese residency.

Temporary residence permits for non-EU citizens

A temporary residence permit is needed for citizens staying more than just 3 months in Portugal. This comes with a long-term residence visa in Portugal and residence for one year with the possibility of renewing the permit and legally stay in Portugal for the next two years. As a mandatory requirement, foreign citizens wanting to relocate to Portugal must prove they have enough funds to support the living in this country, to apply for health insurance and a work permit. The temporary and permanent residence permits in Portugal are issued by the Portuguese Immigration service for citizens from EU and non-EU countries. Legal assistance should be considered by foreigners in Portugal who can rely on the support of our Portuguese attorneys.

Students and other applicants will need to present additional documents. If you are interested in obtaining residency in Portugal, you can request the special help provided by our immigration team if you have decided to apply for a residence permit.

Residency in portugal

Work permits in Portugal – what you need to know

Non-EU citizens need to pay attention to the requirements involving the work permits. Being a country part of the Schengen Area, Portugal solicits a short-term Portuguese Schengen Visa from persons wanting to work no more than three months. Besides that, the Portuguese residence permit needs to be obtained if you intend to work and live in this country. It is important to know that a work permit is issued only for persons who prove they have a job in Portugal by filing different documents from the employer. As it is known, citizens from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland don’t need to consider the issuance of a work permit, but a residence certificate showing they live in this country. Married persons to Portuguese citizens can easily obtain the work permit without having to consider harsh formalities. The rules in matters of employment in Portugal are quite strict due to the high number of unemployed persons. According to the legislation, all vacant jobs need to be advertised in Portugal and fulfilled by the local workforce before are offered to foreigners. All the requirements and bureaucracies linked to the permanent residence and work permits can be explained by our experts in obtaining residency in Portugal.

Non-EU/EEA nationals can initially enter the country with a Portuguese nomad visa, issued for freelance work purposes. The applicant will need to prove that he or she has sufficient income, as well as that the activities he or she engages in are offered outside the Portuguese territory, in a remote manner. If you are a digital nomad, our team can give you more details about this visa.

Is dual citizenship permitted in Portugal?

Yes, dual citizenship is recognized in Portugal, therefore, you don’t need to give up your original citizenship. The Police Clearance Certificate, bank statements showing you have enough funds to support the living, and the health insurance are among the necessary documents solicited for a Portugal citizenship application. The marriage and the birth certificate, plus the valid passport are also needed. Instead of dealing with complex formalities when applying for citizenship in Portugal, we recommend you talk to our experts in immigration to Portugal.

We invite you to watch a video on the residency requirements in Portugal:

What else you need to know about residence permits in Portugal

In the case of temporary residence permits in Portugal, the renewal needs to be made within 30 days before the expiry date. The authorities can verify if the citizen has a clear criminal record or not, if they pay the taxes and social contributions in the country, if they afford to continue to live in Portugal and if they aren’t subject to any restrictions. As for the permanent residence in Portugal, this normally has unlimited validity, however, it has to be renewed every 5 years, especially if changes took place this period. Having a basic knowledge of the Portuguese language, sufficient funds, and no criminal activities will have to be determined and verified by the authorities. We mention that persons living in Portugal and having a permanent or temporary residence permits have the right to study and work in Portugal, have several tax advantages, can access social services, and can operate under the recognized professional certificates. In other words, foreigners living in Portugal enjoy the same rights as nationals, having no restrictions or special conditions imposed by the law.

Residence applications can also be subject to certain special situations. Our Portugal immigration specialists list some of these below:

  • in case of minors born in national territory, when the parents are Portuguese residence permit holders;
  • children of Portuguese residence permit holders who have become of age and have remained in the country regularly from the age of 10;
  • minors who were placed under guardianship under a compulsory manner;
  • persons who are diagnosed with certain conditions that require prolonged medical care;
  • diplomatic or consular agents and their spouses or direct relatives, when they are in the care of the agent;
  • foreigners who have had a residence permit for study purposes and who intend to engage in professional activity in Portugal;
  • those who have had a residence permit for higher education or for research purposes, have completed the studies or the research and they wish to spend no more than one year to look for employment or open a company that will provide services according to their qualifications. 

Different requirements apply in each of the aforementioned cases. For example, for minors born in Portugal of foreign parents who are residence permit holders, the application for the minor must be submitted within six months after the registration of the birth. If you are interested in knowing more about these special situations, such as the fees, standard forms, and the legal framework/governing law, please reach out to our immigration lawyer in Portugal

Fees for residence permit applications in Portugal

When applying for a residence permit, as well as when renewing an existing one, the applicant is expected to pay a certain fee and provide the proof of payment together with the other required documents. Our Portugal immigration agents list some of these fees below:

  • 83,30 €: the fee for receiving and analyzing the application for granting a residence permit or renewing an existing one;
  • 72.20 €: the applicable fee for a temporary residence permit the renewal thereof;
  • 221.70 €: the fee applicable to applying for a permanent residence permit;
  • 194.20 €: the fee for each temporary residence permit granted without a consular visa;
  • 77.90 €: for the authorization to exercise the professional activity by a holder of a study residence permit;
  • a duplicate of a residence permit can be obtained upon paying a fee of 50% of the value of the respective type of permit.

The fees for those who apply for Portuguese residency through investment. Some examples include:

  • 533.90 €: the fee for receiving and analyzing the application for granting or renewing an investment residence permit;
  • 2,668.20 €: the renewal fee for a residence permit for investment activity and the fee for the renewal of a family member’s residence permit; 
  • 5,336.40 €: the residence permit for the family members who are reunited with the one who holds the permit for an investment activity; the fee is reduced by 50% when it applies to minor children.

Please keep in mind that these fees may be subject to change. It is always advisable to request updated information on the fees and the other requirements before you submit your application. Our team is here to answer your questions and you can reach out to our immigration lawyer in Portugal for more details.

Short facts about Golden Visas for Portugal

The Golden Visa Program for Portugal provides a series of benefits and it’s already seen as a successful scheme. The Portuguese visa and even citizenship can be gained with the help of specific investments that must be made by those interested. For at least EUR 350,000 as investments in the real estate sector, a foreigner can enter the program for obtaining a visa for Portugal. Such an investment grants the visa for Portugal which also allows the entrance to Schengen countries. One can work and live in Portugal if he or she obtained the golden visa in Portugal. The application for a golden visa for Portugal is quite simple if all the conditions are respected. A clear criminal record, evidence of health insurance, a valid passport, and a negative debt declaration are required for the application for a golden visa in Portugal. All these formalities can be properly handled by one of our immigration agents in Portugal, so feel free to discuss it with our team. One can also ask for more information about the Portuguese residency under this scheme.

Getting a second passport in Portugal

The application for permanent residency can be made after living 5 years in Portugal under the temporary status. The next step is to apply for Portugal citizenship and gain a second passport. This is an important document that comes with a series of benefits, like traveling to different countries without restrictions. The freedom of travel is offered by the second passport for Portugal which is considered one of the most important in the world. Please discuss with our immigration lawyers in Portugal for further details.

Healthcare for Portuguese residents

Individuals who are registered residents have access to the Portuguese National Health Service in the same manner as Portuguese citizens. As previously mentioned, registering for healthcare is a mandatory step and this should not be confused with registering with private healthcare – registration with the state service is required. those who have obtained residency can register with the health centre in the area where they live. This is when they will obtain their health number (upon presenting their residence certificate and for employees their social security number).

Healthcare services in Portugal are subject to standard fees, in most cases, this means a fixed amount that depends on the medical services you access. The general practitioner is the one to refer the patient to specialty medical care and the one who will inform individuals of the aforementioned costs (the ones for the medical specialty, in addition to his appointment). Unemployed individuals, children under the age of 12, and pregnant women are not subject to certain fees, treatments, or prescriptions.

Foreign nationals should know that dental care is not habitually covered by the national health service.

Depending on your country of origin, you may be entitled to healthcare funded by your home country. This can apply in the case of UK nationals who have become Portuguese residents and receive a UK State Pension. A special application form is required in this case and it is submitted to the social security system. Some advantages include the fact that the UK national who resides in Portugal can thus gain planned treatments in other EU countries as well as the healthcare cover abroad issued in the UK. If you wish to know your specific rights after Brexit, please reach out to one of our immigration specialists.

Other registrations and requirements for new Portuguese residents

Individuals who move to Portugal and obtain permanent residence here will wish to take care of several other issues, apart from housing, healthcare, and basic services. The list also includes exchanging the driving license issued by the home country with a Portuguese one. This is done with the Institute of Mobility and Transports (Instituto da Mobilidade e de Transportes (IMT) and it depends on the country of origin. Three situations are possible:

The license was issued by an EU/EEA country: the EU license can be used in Portugal until its expiration, however, the Portuguese address where the license holder lives is registered with the IMT within 60 days of settling in the country; a fee of 30 euros applies and the applicant will also need to submit biometric data;
The license was issued by a country with which Portugal has a bilateral agreement: the holder can drive in Portugal for 185 days after his entry in the situation in which he does not intend to settle in the country; upon obtaining residence, he can drive for a period of 90 days after the issuance of the residence document; when the foreign national makes a submission with the IMT two years after taking up residence he/she will need to pass a practical driving test in order to regain the driver’s license.
The license was issued by a country that has signed no international traffic agreements: the holder of such a license cannot drive in the country, meaning that he/she will need to pass a practical examination for each vehicle category; a medical examination is also needed.

The countries with which Portugal has a bilateral agreement for the reciprocal recognition and exchange of driver’s license include Andorra, Angola, Cape-Verde, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Mozambique, Saint Thomas, and Prince (São Tomé and Príncipe), Switzerland, Brazil.

The countries that have signed an international traffic convention are Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Congo, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus,
Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Vatican, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri
Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia,
Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland.

FAQ about residence in Portugal

1. How do I obtain permanent residency in Portugal?
The permanent residence in Portugal can be obtained after living in this country for at least 5 years without interruptions. A series of requirements must be respected, and one of our immigration lawyers in Portugal can help and explain.

2. What is the Registration Certificate?
The Registration Certificate is the type of document issued for foreign residents in Portugal. This is normally issued for persons who intend to live more than just 3 months in Portugal.

3. Do I need a residency visa before the application for permanent residence in Portugal?
The Portugal residency visa is required for third state citizens and the ones from non-EU countries. Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland make the exception in this case.

4. Can I obtain the residence in Portugal through investments?
Yes, foreigners can invest in Portugal and gain residence. This investment condition is applicable to citizens from third countries if they purchase a real estate property worth at least EUR 350,000 or make capital transfers of the same value.

5. How do I apply for Portugal’s permanent residence permit?
There are specific conditions to obtain a permanent residence permit, and among these, some of them relate to the necessary documents. The proof of income, proof of accommodation, and uninterrupted residency are solicited for the Portugal permanent residence permit. You can discuss our immigration lawyers in Portugal for more details.

6. What is the temporary residence permit in Portugal?
The temporary residence permit in Portugal can be obtained by foreign citizens with a monthly salary of at least EUR 1,070 and who intend to stay in this country for at least 3 months. This document is valid for one year, yet it can be renewed. For a Portugal residency visa, you can speak to our agents.

7. Does Portugal allow dual citizenship?
Yes, dual citizenship is possible in Portugal. Therefore, there is no need to give up your citizenship when gaining a new one. 

8. Do I need to renew the permanent residence in Portugal?
Yes, even though Portugal permanent residence has unlimited validity, it has to be renewed once every 5 years. This is normally required if citizens change the domicile or marital status.

9. Will the Portuguese authorities solicit other formalities for Portugal residence permit?
Yes, the authorities in Portugal will make some verifications and ask for a clear criminal record. It might be difficult for foreigners to obtain the Portugal residency visa if they have been part of criminal activities.

10. What are the benefits of a Portugal residence permit?
The residence permit in Portugal allows a foreigner to access the health services, enjoy the tax benefits, to work and study in Portugal without restrictions. Our immigration lawyers in Portugal can offer comprehensive legal advice and support in all the immigration matters.

Our immigration agents can help you with complete information about how to apply for residency in Portugal in 2023.