Work: Step-by-Step

Work Visa

If you want to start working, and you are not a citizen of the EU and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, you will need to apply for a visa, which must be made with the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in the area of residence.

To obtain your visa, the following documents may be requested:
Passport or other travel document that has a validity of at least 3 months longer than the visa;
Passport-type photos;
Criminal record;
International health insurance;
Proof of accommodation;
Vaccination records;
Proof of admission to a higher education institution / employment contract / invitation;
Proof of means of subsistence.

There are visas with several specificities, so we highlight two types:

Research Visa:
Or Employment contract, or equivalent, of a research center or higher education institution;
Or proof of acceptance at a research center or higher education institution and having an advanced training grant or research grant;
Or a term of responsibility signed by the research center or higher education institution that guarantees admission, also ensuring accommodation costs.
Visa for Highly qualified or cultural education, additional documentation is required, namely:
Employment contract or pre-contract or service provision contract;
Invitation letter issued by an educational or vocational training institution;
Term of responsibility of a certified company, as defined by a ministerial order of the members of the Government responsible for internal affairs and the economy;
Invitation letter issued by a company or entity that develops cultural activity in national territory, recognized by the Government member responsible for culture, as an activity of interest to the country or as defined by law;
Invitation letter issued by a research center.

Note also that citizens of other countries who stay in Portugal for periods longer than 90 days must, upon arrival, apply for a Residence Permit in the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).

On the SEF website you can find information complementary to the one mentioned here.

Tax Identification Number

The request for the attribution of a Tax Identification Number (NIF) is a service that allows the registration of a citizen, resident or not in the national territory, in the database of the Tax Administration.

The NIF is assigned at the time of the request, through a verbal declaration, resulting immediately with a provisional identification document, with the mention of the NIF, until the issue of the Taxpayer Card.**

The assignment of the NIF has as main objectives:
Identify the natural person expeditiously and for tax purposes, assigning him a number constructed using an algorithm.
Provide the Tax Administration with an essential means of combating tax fraud and evasion.
Thus, obtaining the NIF from the Portuguese Tax Authority (AT) is one of the essential first steps when moving to Portugal. Foreign citizens wishing to request the attribution of the tax identification number (NIF), can do so in any financial service or citizen’s store.
As a resident, you must present to any citizen’s finance service / store, identification document or Passport and residence permit title (if you are a citizen of the European Union you will be exempted from the residence permit, the Citizen’s Registration Certificate being sufficient). European Union, issued by the City Council of the area of residence).
If the citizen declares residence abroad, in a third country (i.e. not belonging to the European Union (EU) or to the following countries of the European Economic Area: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), they must designate a tax representative with a tax domicile in Portugal (natural or legal person).

NOTE: Due to the exceptional situation caused by COVID-19, foreign citizens no longer need to go to a finance service to make their TIN application. Thus, while the exceptional situation is in force, requests for TINs by foreign citizens are made through e-Balcão, by a tax representative (citizen residing in Portugal).

Social Security

The Social Security System in Portugal is a very broad system, similar to other European systems, and is complemented by multiple instruments.

It applies to all individuals working in Portugal, either as employees or self-employed.

Access here to know your rights and obligations in relation to Social Security.