Visas for Portugal 

Before expats make their move to Portugal, it is important to make sure they have the correct paperwork and have obtained the correct visa, if necessary.

As Portugal is an EU-member state, citizens of other EU states can travel to the country with only their passport. Non-EU citizens travelling to Portugal for a short stay or holiday, however, may need to apply for a Schengen visa. If non-EU citizens plan on settling down or working in Portugal, they will need to take the necessary steps to obtain either a business, work or residency permit before their arrival.

Before venturing to another country, make sure you have a health insurance plan you can rely on. Our international health insurance plans offer comprehensive health cover for when you are in your home country and abroad.

Portugal is part of the Schengen area, so nationals of other Schengen countries do not need to apply for a tourist visa prior to arrival. Citizens of some countries such as the US, Australia and New Zealand, among others, are also entitled to stay in Portugal for up to 90 days without a visa.

Visitors from other countries will be required to apply for a short-stay Schengen visa before arriving in Portugal. It is best to apply well ahead of the intended travel date to account for any delays in processing the visa. 


EU nationals can live and work in Portugal without a residence permit. They are granted a 90-day period to live in the country and find work without any restrictions. Once this period is up, they have a further 30 days to register with local authorities and obtain a Registration Certificate (Certificado de Registo). The certificate is valid for five years.

Non-EU nationals will need to make an application from within Portugal for a residence permit (Autorização de Residência). The resident permit is valid for a year and is renewable.

Both EU and non-EU nationals are eligible to apply for permanent residence after living in Portugal continuously for five years.

Work permits for Portugal are granted differently according to an expat's country of origin.

Expats who are nationals of an EU-member state do not need a work permit for Portugal. However, those moving to Portugal from outside the EU will need to secure a job offer in order to apply for a work permit.

Non-EU nationals will need a job offer from a Portuguese company to apply for a work permit. As there are regulations in place that encourage companies to hire either locals or citizens of other EU countries before looking for foreigners, it can be difficult to solidify a job offer and get the ball rolling.

If an expat does manage to find a job, the hiring company must start the process in Portugal by applying to the local labour authorities for the work permit. The permit is generally valid for the length of the contract.