Changes to immigration rules come into force in November

  • Lusa
  • 30 September 2022

Among the new measures is the creation of a visa of limited duration that allows the legal entry of immigrants in Portugal with the purpose of looking for work.

The new regime for the entry of immigrants in Portugal comes into force at the beginning of November, with a six-month visa for a foreigner to seek work in the country, according to a decree published on Friday.

The alterations to the legal regime for the entry, stay, exit and expulsion of foreign citizens from Portugal were published today in the Diário da República (Official State Gazette) and establish “procedures to attract regulated and integrated immigration, for the development of the country, to change the way in which the public administration relates to immigrants and to guarantee conditions for the integration of immigrants”.

Among the new measures is the creation of a visa of limited duration that allows the legal entry of immigrants in Portugal with the purpose of looking for work.

This visa to seek work in Portugal is valid for 120 days and may be extended for a further 60 days, and is granted at Portuguese consular posts, which will immediately inform the country’s immigration and borders service (SEF) and the institute of employment and professional training (IEFP).

Citizens of the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries (CPLP) will also have a visa facilitation regime in Portugal under the agreement on mobility between CPLP member states.

According to the decree, CPLP citizens can obtain a visa to seek work or a CPLP residence visa.

“These applications shall be granted outright, unless the applicant is identified in the Schengen information system as being subject to an alert for the purposes of return or an alert for the purposes of refusing entry and stay. The consular authority shall immediately notify the SEF of the granting of such visas”, the decree-law states.

The new regime puts an end to the quota system for immigration, makes it easier for foreign students attending higher education in Portugal to obtain a residence visa and enables a residence or temporary stay visa to be granted to digital nomads.

The regulatory decree published today highlights the implementation of measures for the “simplification of procedures” and the “possibility of temporary stay or residence visas also having the purpose of providing remote work, as well as the accompaniment, from the country of origin, of the family member qualified with the respective visa, allowing the family to enter Portuguese territory, on a regular basis, among other measures to promote family reunions, increasing the limit of validity of documents.

Other changes are the “elimination of the existence of a global contingent of employment opportunities to be fixed by the Cabinet, for the purposes of granting a visa to obtain a residence permit for the exercise of subordinate professional activity” and “permission for the holder of a residence permit to exercise a professional activity for research, study, professional internship or volunteering, complementary to the activity that gave rise to the visa”.

The latest data from SEF indicated that the foreign population residing in Portugal exceeds 800,000 people, the largest being Brazilians, estimated at over 250,000 people.