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Move to Portugal

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Planning to move to Portugal from a non-European country? Our step-by-step guide simplifies the process, detailing everything from obtaining a visa to settling into your new home in Portugal. Discover essential information on visa options, residency requirements, and cultural integration. We provide clear insights into establishing yourself in Portugal and what to expect as you embark on this journey.

Key Takaways
  • Non-Eu citizens must choose the appropriate visa based on stay duration: a Schengen Visa for short stays up to 90 days, or a Portuguese National Visa for long-term residency, with each having specific requirements and application processes.

  • The Portugal Golden Visa offers a path to permanent residency or citizenship through investment options such as real estate, capital transfer, or job creation, requiring a minimal stay and a five-year investment retention period.

  • Expats need to follow steps for visa acquisition, register with AIMA upon arrival, ensure financial stability, and obtain health insurance to access medical services, with options for both short-term stays and pathways to permanent residence.

Exploring Visa Options for Non Eu Citizens

The first step in planning your move to Portugal is understanding the available visa options for non-EU citizens. For short stays up to 90 days, the Schengen visa is recommended, while the Portuguese National Visa is suitable for longer stays. The Portuguese National Visa caters to various purposes such as work, study, family reunification, or retirement.

When applying for a Schengen visa, it's advisable to submit your application at least 15 days before your intended trip, with the option to apply up to six months in advance. Typically, you can expect a decision within 15 calendar days. For the Portuguese National Visa, processing times can take up to 10 working days. It's important to be aware that each visa type has specific requirements and procedures.

Here's a comparison of the visa options available for Portugal:

Visa Type



Key Advantages

Key Disadvantages

D7 Visa (Passive Income)

Passive income generation

Income from sources outside Portugal

Low minimum income requirement, path to permanent residency and citizenship

Income must be generated from passive sources, such as investments or pensions

D8 Visa (Freelance and Remote Work)

Freelance and remote work

Self-employed individuals or remote workers with clients outside Portugal Opportunity to live and work in Portugal while serving 

Opportunity to live and work in Portugal while serving international clients

Requires proof of income and clients outside Portugal

Golden Visa


Investment of €280,000 or more in real estate or other approved investments

Fast-track to permanent residency and citizenship, no physical residency requirement

High investment threshold, potential for property market fluctuations

Startup Visa (D2)


Innovative business idea and minimum investment of €50,000

Support for entrepreneurs and potential for high returns, path to permanent residency

Competitive application process, risk of business failure

Tech Visa

Highly skilled workers

Employment in a qualified tech sector company

Access to Portugal's growing tech industry, streamlined application process

Dependent on securing employment with a qualifying company

Studnet Visa


Enrollment in a Portuguese educational institution

Access to Portugal's education system, potential for post-graduation employment

Requires full-time study, may not lead to permanent residency

Family Reunion Visa (D6)

Family reunification

Close family members of Portuguese citizens or residents

Allows family members to live in Portugal with their loved ones

Dependent on the status of the family member in Portugal

Jobseeker Visa

Job search

Proof of job search in Portugal and sufficient financial means

Opportunity to explore job opportunities in Portugal, potential to obtain a work visa

Limited duration, no guarantee of finding employment

Short-term Stays: The Schengen Visa

The Schengen Visa, or the Short Stay Visa, allows non-Eu citizens to stay up to 90 days in any 180 days in Portugal or other Schengen Area countries. This visa is ideal for short-term visits, tourism, and business trips. The application process requires Pakistani citizens to apply at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in their home country.

One of the significant advantages of the Schengen Visa is its validity for multiple entries, allowing stays of up to 90 days within every 180 days. Also, the visa fee is fairly reasonable. The fee is €80 for adults, while children from 6 to 12 years old pay €40. And for children under six years of age visiting family, the visa is free.

Long-term Residency: The Portuguese National Visa

If you’re planning to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days, the Portuguese National Visa is your best bet. This visa is designed for various purposes, such as:

  • work

  • study

  • family reunification

  • retirement

When applying for this visa, You must provide detailed information about the purpose of your visa request and attach supporting documents.

The Portuguese National Visa is a stepping stone to longer-term residency. With this visa, you can apply for a Portugal residence visa or temporary stay permit, opening up a world of opportunities and benefits. It’s important to remember that, like the Schengen visa, the Portuguese National Visa has its own specific requirements and procedures.

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