Migrants: Visa and permits to enter and live in Portugal

Para informações relacionadas com a situação de conflito na Ucrânia, consulte a página "Ucrânia: Informações e apoios disponíveis em Portugal".

Entry and stay in Portugal of third country nationals

Conditions you must meet to enter Portugal

To enter Portugal for residence purposes, you must meet the following conditions:

Find out in advance all the necessary requirements for entering national territory, according to the purpose of the stay, by contacting Portugal's diplomatic representation in your country of origin.

If you receive a job offer for Portugal, always confirm the veracity of the offer with the competent authorities and inform yourself of the necessary requirements to formalise the entry and employment relationship in Portugal, in order to avoid potential illegal immigration/human trafficking networks. 

Obtaining visas to enter Portugal

A Visa is an authorization issued by a State which enables its holder to present himself/herself at a border point and request entry into that country, but does not automatically grant him/her that right. The visa can be requested online, or at the Portuguese Embassies or Consulates, located in your country of residence. 

There are different types of visas to enter and stay in Portugal. These visas can be:

National visas 

  • Temporary entry visa: allows to stay in Portugal for a period under one year. The document is valid for the duration of the stay and allows multiple entries into national territory
  • Visa for residence permit: valid for two entries and for four months, allows to apply for a residence permit already in national territory

Schengen visa 

  • Schengen visa: provides for short stays of up to 90 days per period of 180 days. It is essentially for tourism, family visits, business and similar purposes.

Find out which type of visa is most suitable according to the reason and duration of your stay

Notifying SEF of entry into Portugal

The declaration of entry into Portugal is compulsory for all foreign nationals of third countries, who enter the country through a border not subject to control, coming from another Member State, and who stay in places that are not communicated to the SEF.

The communication is made by filling in the Declaration of Entry form, available on the SEF portal, in the "Online Forms" area. The completed document must be delivered in person at a SEF desk, by appointment, accompanied by passport, visa - if applicable - or entry stamp of another Schengen State. 

Failure to notify the presence in Portugal within the stipulated period results in the application of a fine ranging from 60 to 160 euros. 

Residence permit for foreign citizens

Different reasons for applying for a residence permit

The visa to obtain a residence permit enables the holder to request a residence permit from SEF. This document authorises its holder to remain in national territory for four months, a period which, as a general rule, coincides with the deadline for the decision on the application for a residence visa. 

Depending on the purpose, there are different types of residence permits, find out what they are and what documents are needed to apply for the permit

Temporary and permanent residence

The temporary residence permit is valid for a period of two years counted from the date of issue of the respective title and is renewable for successive periods of three years. The permanent residence permit is issued for a period of five years and has no limit of validity. The residence title must, however, be renewed every five years or whenever a change occurs with its holder.

You can renew your residence permit in Portugal online through the personal area of the SEF portal, where you must be registered. Once logged in or registered, you must access the area Requests > Automatic Renewal. You must then follow all the steps indicated in the portal and submit the request for automatic renewal of the residence permit. 

Find out what documents are required to apply for the automatic renewal of the residence permit

If you are not eligible to access the automatic renewal feature, you should make an appointment at a SEF desk.

Rights and duties of the holder of a residence permit 

Holders of a residence permit in Portugal are guaranteed the application of all conditions that ensure equal treatment of foreign citizens, namely in terms of social security, tax benefits, trade union membership, recognition of diplomas, certificates and other professional titles or access to goods and services available to the public. 

However, there are some duties that the holders of a residence permit must comply with, such as the duty to communicate any change in the holder's situation, the duty to enter legally and remain legally, as well as the duty to respect public order, public security and public health.

Find out in detail about the rights and duties of the holder of a residence permit

Legal support for migrants

When choosing Portugal to stay or reside in, you can find the support you need at the Legal Support Office (GAJ) of the Alto Comissariado para as Migrações (ACM), focused on the integration of immigrants and ethnic groups, in particular the Roma communities, and on managing and valuing diversity among cultures, ethnicities and religions.

The GAJ is a specialised service office of the National Centre for Support to the Integration of Migrants (CNAIM), which provides information, advice, referrals, mediation and support to migrant citizens in the defence of their rights and empowerment for their duties.

Its intervention is limited to cases, which are outside the judicial context, related to foreigners' law (family reunification), labour law, nationality, social security, access to the law and to the courts, consumption, renting, family and minors, taxation, misdemeanour and criminal law. 

There are three GAJs across the country:

You can also contact CNAIM by telephone on 218 106 191 or 808 257 257 (on business days, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.) or through the general email informacoes@acm.gov.pt