Portugal Residence Permit For Canadian Citizens

If you intend to stay in Portugal for work or study that would last more than 90 days, then you have to apply for a Portugal residence permit. To get more information about the Portugal residence permit, including eligibility requirements, how to apply and associated fees, reach out to us on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.

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    Portugal Residence Permit For Canadians: Introduction

    Portugal Residence permit allows Canadians to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days. The type of residence permit you need depends on why you are going to Portugal and the length of your stay.

    Generally, Portugal issues 2 kinds of residence permits: the residency visas and the residence permits.

    When you apply for a long-term Portuguese visa, you are issued a residency visa in Canada. This permits you to enter the country and stay for 4 months. Within these 4 months, you must schedule a meeting with SEF to get a residence permit.

    On the other hand, a residence permit (also known as a Portugal temporary residence permit) covers you for much longer. It is typically valid for 1 year and has to be renewed depending on the length of stay.

    With the residence permit, you can also bring your family to stay with you in Portugal.

    After a cumulative 5 years in Portugal with the residence permit, you can then apply for permanent residence, which authorizes you to stay in Portugal indefinitely.

    If you do not want to settle in Portugal indefinitely, you can keep renewing your temporary residence permit in Portugal for non-EU citizens.

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    Types of Portugal Residence Permits

    Here are the different types of Portugal residence permits:

    Student Residence Permit

    If you want to study a program in Portugal that will last more than 90 days, you must apply for a study visa. The study visa is valid for 1 year. At the expiration of the 1 year, you can renew.

    Student Visa Requirements

    Before applying for the study visa, you must meet Portugal TRC card requirements. You also have to submit the following supporting document:

    • Admission Letter from a Portuguese school.
    • Evidence of school fees payment. You can also submit proof you have a scholarship or sponsorship letter showing someone else will be responsible for your tuition fee.
    • Recent digital passport photographs.
    • Valid Canadian passport.
    • Application form for a student visa. You can either get this at the Embassy or online.
    • Criminal history certificate from Canada, from any other country you have spent at least 3 months in the last 5 years.
    • Evidence of financial means. You can show this by presenting a statement of account from a bank, sponsorship letter, proof of scholarship or any other financial aid.
    • Medical insurance policy. Note that the policy must be worth at least €30,000.
    • Evidence you have somewhere to stay in Portugal. You can prove this by showing you will stay in the school’s dormitory, an invitation letter from a friend or family or a rental contract between you and a Portuguese landlord.
    • Evidence of visa fee payment.

    Work Residence Permit

    You can move to Portugal if you have a valid job offer. Your employer will have to prove that no EU national is available or willing to do the job you are being employed to do.

    Unlike other residence permits, the work residence permit application process is started by your employer. They must first get approval from the labor authorities in Portugal. Only after that can you proceed to apply for a work residence permit.

    If your application is successful, you get a Portugal residency visa that authorizes you to enter Portugal. On getting there, you must apply for a residence permit within 4 months.

    This permit is valid for 1 year and can be renewed based on the terms of your job contract.

    This is a route for Portugal immigration with zero investment.

    The kind of work you are coming to do in Portugal determines the kind of Portuguese work permit you will get.

    • You get a skilled worker visa if you are a professional like an engineer, lawyer or doctor.
    • You get a tech visa if your scope of work is technology.
    • You get a teaching visa if you are coming to teach.
    • You get a highly-skilled worker visa if you are coming to do highly specialized work in Portugal.
    • You get the D7 visa if you are self-employed, freelancing, remote working or on passive income.
    • You get a cultural work visa if you are coming to make a film or any other artistic project.

    Work Visa Requirements

    You need to meet the following requirements when applying for a work visa:

    • Recent digital passport.
    • Criminal history certificate from Canada and any other country you have lived in for at least 3 months.
    • Filled consent form authorizing SEF to run a background check on you.
    • Evidence you have enough money to survive in Portugal without the government’s intervention.
    • Evidence you have medical insurance that is worth at least €30,000.
    • Evidence of legal occupancy like a visa, permanent residence card or passport if you are applying from a country other than Canada.
    • Job offer from the Portuguese employer.
    • Evidence you have somewhere to stay in Portugal. You can present a rental agreement, an accommodation offer from your employer or an invitation letter from someone in Portugal.
    • Evidence of legal occupancy in Portugal if you are on another kind of visa.
    • Birth certificate if you are going with your children.
    • Marriage certificate if you are going with your spouse.
    • Evidence of application approval from Portuguese labor authority.
    • Evidence of visa fee payment.

    Residence Permit via Investment

    Another type of residence permit is one gotten via investment in Portugal. The Golden visa is how to get residency in Portugal. With the Golden visa, you can invest between €200,000 to €500,000 in any eligible investment route and obtain your residence permit. The eligible investment pathways for the Golden visa are:

    • Investing between €200,000 to €400,000 in Portugal to maintain or repair a historic piece of art.
    • Investing €500,000 in a business and creating at least 8 new permanent roles.
    • Starting a business in Portugal with €500,000 and creating a minimum of 10 permanent roles.
    • Investing in a scientific or tech project to be done in Portugal.

    Golden Visa Requirements

    You must present the following documents to prove your eligibility for the Golden Visa program:

    • Evidence you have medical insurance worth at least €30000.
    • Valid Canadian passport. Your passport should be valid for 3 months after your residence permit expires.
    • Criminal history certificate issued within the last 3 months. You must submit one from Canada and any other country you have spent at least 3 months in the past 5 years.
    • Recent digital passport.
    • Evidence of visa fee payment.
    • Affidavit showing you will dedicate 5 years to maintaining your investment in Portugal.
    • Printed form from the ARI (Residence Permit for Investment Activity) portal.
    • Proof of investment. This could be a certificate of incorporation showing you opened a business in Portugal, a statement from the Strategy, Planning and Cultural Assessment Office in Portugal proving you invested in cultural heritage, a statement from the Portuguese research facility proving you invested in tech or science, a bank statement showing you invested in a business.
    • Marriage certificate, if applicable.
    • Birth certificates, if applicable.

    Family Reunification Residence Permit

    You can also get a residence permit if you live in Canada while a family member has a Portuguese residence permit. What you and your family need to do is prove to the SEF that you are related.

    Not all family members qualify for the Portuguese family visa. Below are those who are considered family according to SEF:

    • Married Spouse or de facto partner.
    • Children under 18.
    • Adopted children or legal ward under 18.
    • Children above 28 but are dependent on their parents for financial needs and enrolled in a Portuguese educational institution.
    • Siblings under 18 who are legal wards.
    • Parents or Parents-in-law above 65 and dependent on the principal applicant.

    If you are in Portugal with a student visa or doing voluntary services, you can only help your spouse and children move to Portugal.

    Family Reunification Visa Requirements

    To prove eligibility under this category, here are the documents you have to present:

    • Visa application form gotten either online or from the Embassy.
    • Evidence of accommodation in Portugal.
    • Evidence that there is enough money to cater for the family members already in Portugal and those coming to join.
    • Certificate that shows a genuine relationship between the person in Portugal and the one looking to join. This can be proven by submitting marriage, birth or adoption certificates.
    • Passport of each family member for a minimum of 6 months.
    • Recent digital passport of each family member.
    • Proof the family member in Portugal is on a visa eligible for family reunification.
    • Evidence the family members intending to come to Portugal have a legal residence where they are currently.
    • Evidence the dependent child over 18 has a valid admission in a school in Portugal.
    • Evidence of a family member over 65 depends on the person in Portugal.
    • Evidence of a sibling is the legal ward of the family member in Portugal.

    Special Portugal Residence Permit

    There are some cases when a residence permit can be issued due to the applicant’s condition. These permits are approved on a case-by-case basis. Below are some special occasions where a residence permit can be given:

    • If the applicant served in the military and represented the Armed Forces of Portugal in warfare.
    • If an individual suffers from a severe health condition that needs special care, which can be obtained in Portugal.
    • If the applicant is a minor born abroad to foreign nationals with a Portuguese residence permit.
    • If the applicant was born in Portugal and spent their first 10 years in Portugal.
    • If the applicant was born to foreign nationals with a Portuguese resident permit and has been in Portugal since they turned 10.

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      General Portugal Residence Permit Requirements

      When applying for the Portugal residence permit, you must show the following documents to prove you meet the eligibility requirements:

      • Evidence you have a place to stay in Portugal.
      • Valid Canadian passport.
      • Valid Portuguese residency visa.
      • Recent digital passport.
      • Proof you have enough money to cater to your stay in Portugal. You do this by presenting a bank statement or a sponsorship letter.
      • National visa application form.
      • EU-standard medical insurance worth at least €30000.
      • Criminal history certificate from Canada and every other country you have spent at least 3 months in the past 5 years.
      • Proof of legal residency if you are not in Portugal while making your application. This can be a visa, passport or permanent residence card.
      • Employment letter if applicable.
      • Admission letter if applicable.
      • Proof of tuition fee payment, if applicable.
      • Birth certificate if applicable.
      • Marriage certificate if applicable.

      Fees Associated With The Residency Application

      To get a Portugal residence visa, you must pay an application fee of €90.

      On getting to Portugal, you will pay €72 for the residence permit.

      You will also pay €83 as a processing fee.

      Note that you must pay a fee again whenever you want to renew your visa. The amount you will pay upon renewal is dependent on the kind of residence permit that you have.

      Applying for a Portuguese Residence Permit

      There are usually two steps to the application of a residence permit. First, you must apply for the Portugal residence visa and then get to Portugal and apply for a residence permit.

      Step 1 – Apply for a Residency Visa

      If you have decided on the visa you want to apply for and gathered all supporting documents, you can apply for the residency visa. The validity of this visa is 4 months and grants you double entry into Portugal.

      Depending on the workload of the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in Canada, you will get a decision on your application within 60 days.

      Application for a residency visa will require you to visit the Embassy or Consulate, and this visit must be scheduled. You can schedule the appointment via mail or in person at the Embassy or consulate.

      In some cases, you may also be required to attend an interview. Ensure you go to the interview with all of your documents.

      If you are applying for a residence permit via the family reunification route, your family member has to kickstart the application. You cannot proceed to apply if you do not get an invitation from SEF.

      If you are applying via the work route, you must wait until the SEF invites you to apply after your employer successfully applies to Labour authorities in Portugal.

      Step 2 – Arrive in Portugal

      The residency visa allows you to enter Portugal and stay only for 4 months. You must schedule an appointment with SEF for your residence permit before that 4 months elapse. You may risk removal if you do not get a residence permit after 4 months.

      Step 3 – Apply for a Portugal Residence Permit

      The next step is to locate a SEF office and apply for a residence permit. Depending on the visa you are on, you may also be required to get a tax identification number (NIF) and open a Portuguese bank account. The former must be obtained before the latter.

      Upon approval of your residence permit, you can stay in Portugal for 1 to 3 years, depending on your kind of visa.

      Our team of legal experts can help you with the process of obtaining a Portuguese permit. Contact Us

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        Processing Time For The Application

        The initial application for the residence visa will take about 60 days for you to get a decision. The exact time depends on the workload of the Embassy or if there is a problem with your application.

        On getting to Portugal, you can expect the SEF to decide on your application for a residence permit after 14 working days.

        Benefits of the Portugal Residence Permit

        There are many benefits to getting a residence permit in Portugal. Here are some of them:

        Family Reunification

        If your permit allows for family reunification,  you can sponsor eligible family members to join you in Portugal. Thus, having your loved ones close to you in Portugal while you work, study or run a business.

        Access to Schengen and EU Area

        With the residence permit, you can visit countries in the Schengen or European Union without applying for a visa. Your Portuguese residence permit can grant you entry and let you stay in these areas for 90 days.

        Route to Citizenship or Permanent Residence

        Only those with Portugal residence permits can eventually apply for permanent residence or citizenship after spending 5 years or more in Portugal.

        Access to Education

        With the residence permit, your family members can access education in Portugal.

        Access to the Portuguese Workforce

        If you have a Portuguese residence permit, your family members can get jobs in Portugal.

        Unemployment Benefits

        If anything happens and you lose your job while holding a residence permit, you are entitled to unemployment benefits.

        Access to the Healthcare System

        With your insurance, you can access healthcare, ensuring you and your family are in optimal health.

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          How Long is The Residence Permit for Portugal Valid?

          The residence permit for Portugal is valid for 1 year. Then you can renew. The number of years you can get during renewal is dependent on the kind of visa you are on.

          For example, a Golden visa residence permit is valid for 1 year, however could be renewed twice. Each renewal is valid for 2 years.

          The D7 residence permit is also valid for 1 year but can be renewed for 2 more years.

          A residence permit for study is valid for 1 year and renewed yearly until you finish your studies.

          Reunification residence permits and renewals are done in tandem with the principal applicant’s.

          Residence Permit to Portuguese Citizenship


          With the exemption of the study visa, all other residence permits are routes to Portuguese citizenship. After spending 5 years on your residence permit, you can go for Portuguese citizenship.

          As a Portuguese citizen, you have numerous benefits. Some of them are:

          Live, Study, Work or Do Business in the EU

          If you become a citizen of Portugal, you have the right to live, work, study or do business in any European country of choice without restriction.

          Right to Vote and Be Voted for

          If you get Portuguese citizenship, you not only have the right to vote in elections, you can also contest and be voted for.

          Portuguese Passport

          You can apply for a Portuguese passport if your citizenship application is successful. This passport gives you visa free access to over 180 countries. You will not be required to present a visa when visiting these countries.

          Dual Citizenship

          Portugal accepts dual citizenship; hence, you can enjoy the full rights of being a Canadian citizen and also a Portuguese citizen.

          To apply for Portuguese citizenship, you have to make an application to the Ministry of Justice. The ministry has only 3 ways it receives applications for naturalization:

          • You can submit your application in person by visiting any of the application centers in Portugal.
          • You can submit online by engaging the services of an immigration lawyer. At Total Law, we have expert lawyers who can help you make your application. Reach us on +1 844 290 6312 or send us a message online.
          • You can apply by post by mailing the application form and documents to Conservatória dos Registos Centrais, Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 202, 1099-033 Lisbon.

          How Can Total Law Help?

          Total Law is a team that has expert immigration lawyers with many years of experience under their belt. The team is conversant with Portuguese immigration rules. Reach out to our team for a thorough review and guide on your application. We can look through your documents and help you know the best ways to apply for a Portuguese residence permit.

          With our team overseeing your application, the chances of a visa rejection are significantly lower, thus saving you the stress and funds required for reapplication.

          We can help you put together a tight application.

          Whether you are making a new Portuguese visa application, reapplication or another Portuguese immigration route, Total Law can help.

          Do you need more information on how we can meet your immigration needs? Or would you love to speak with a team member? Reach us on +1 844 290 6312 or send us a message online.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    You can only live in Portugal without residency for 90 days. Canada has an agreement with Portugal that permits Canadians to spend a maximum of 90 days in Portugal without residency. If you want to spend more time in Portugal, you have to apply for a residency visa.

                    You cannot work in Germany with a Portugal residence permit. However, you can visit Germany for tourist purposes and stay for a maximum of 90 days with a residence permit from Portugal.

                    You can get permanent residence in Portugal through a residence permit. You can apply for permanent residence as long as you have spent 5 years in Portugal on a valid residence permit.