Guide: How to obtain a permit to live in Portugal
To work, invest or simply to live, Portugal has become a destination of choice. Combined with the mild climate, it has pleasant cities, a modern network of infrastructures, a rich gastronomic offer, a great diversity of landscapes with special emphasis on the beaches and a very affordable cost of living comparing with other European countries.
In addition, Portugal is part of the European Union and also of the group of countries that share the single currency, the euro, which allows access not only to the country, but also to a much larger region and market.
But, then, how can a permit to live in the country be obtained? There are several alternatives and this guide indicates the steps to choose Portugal as destination country.
Normally, everything starts with a visa. In the case of people from outside the European Union, the reason for and length of the stay in Portugal are two key factors in determining the type of authorization required to obtain a long-term visa, that is, a visa that allows to stay in the country for more than 90 days.
In these cases, those who wish to extend their stay for more than three months must request one of two visas
Who does not need a long-term visa?
The citizens of countries that are part of the European Union, of the European Economic Area or from countries that have a free movement agreement with the European Union, do not need to apply for long-term visas. In these cases, it is sufficient to have a Schengen visa and to register with the Immigration and Borders Service.
Having a residence visa, you can enter Portugal and then apply for a residence permit. The request must be made to the Immigration and Borders Service. In this case you must present, among other documents, a passport or other valid travel document, a valid residence visa, a proof of the means of subsistence or proof that you have accommodation.
As in residence visas, residence permits may take various forms depending on the purpose: professional, training or research reasons, or even family reunification.
Residence permits may be of:
There is the possibility of obtaining a residence permit in Portugal without needing a residence visa to enter the country. This is the so-called Temporary Residence Permit for Investment Activities, or ARI. Better known as the Golden Visa, this authorization can only be granted to foreign citizens coming from countries outside the European Union or the European Economic Area. This regimen has existed since October 2012 and requires these citizens to fulfill some investment requirements in national territory:
What are the benefits?
Foreigners living in Portugal can obtain a Portuguese passport, but for this they must acquire Portuguese citizenship. The law allows for a number of possibilities, including foreigners who have resided in the national territory for at least six years, who are sufficiently knowledgeable in the Portuguese language and have not been convicted, with a final and unappealable judgment, for the practice of an offense punishable in Portugal with penalty involving deprivation of liberty of a maximum of three years or more.
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