Portugal Work Visa From Pakistan: An Overview
There are two options for a Portugal work visa.
The first is a Schengen visa, which applies to those who hold citizenship or dual citizenship in a European Union state or Switzerland. Pakistan does allow dual citizenship and so if an individual holds this with an EU country, they may be able to apply for a Schengen visa and work in Portugal under one.
The second option, and more prevalent, is a Portuguese National Long-Term Visa. These visas allow either residence in Portugal or temporary stays. If an individual wishes to hold employment or start a business in Portugal under this visa type, they must first obtain a Portuguese work permit. A work permit must be applied for by an employer on behalf of an employee.
- Portugal Work Visa From Pakistan: An Overview
- Requirements for Portugal Work Visa for Pakistani Citizens
- Document requirements for Portugal Work Visa
- Portugal Work Visa Fees
- The Application Process for Portugal Work Visa from Pakistan
- Validity of Portugal Work Visa for Pakistani citizens
- Upgrading a Work Visa to Permanent Residency in Portugal
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
There are three types of National Long-Term Vias for Portugal, each one of which can have a work permit added to provide the right to work within the country. These are:
- Type 1 – a permanent residency visa
- Type 2 – a resettlement visa for relatives of Portuguese citizens
- Type 3 – a resettlement visa for relatives of permanent but non-citizen residents of Portugal.
To qualify for a type 2 visa, the applicant must be able to prove that:
- They have a spouse or live with a Portuguese citizen in a de facto union, and have done for at least two years
- They have descendents (including stepchildren if they are part of the household) who are Portuguese citizens
- They have ascendant dependents (including in-laws if they are part of the household) who are Portuguese citizens.
To quality for a type 3 visa, the applicant must be able to prove that:
- They have a spouse or live with a non-citizen Portuguese resident in a de facto union, and have done for at least two years
- They have descendents (including stepchildren if they are part of the household) who are non-citizen Portuguese residents
- They have ascendant dependents (including in-laws if they are part of the household) who are non-citizen Portuguese residents.
If an applicant does not have any of these associations to Portuguese citizens or residents, they may apply for a Type 1 visa.
There are two types of each visa class:
- A temporary stay visa – which when complemented with a Portuguese work permit allows for a stay of up to one year in the country for the purposes of:
- Work transfers for the provision of services or professional training
- Independent professional activity
- Highly qualified activity/scientific research/academic teaching
- Seasonal work purposes for a period of over 90 days
- Professional training.
- A residence visa – which when complemented with a Portuguese work permit allows for a stay of longer than one year in the country for the purposes of:
- Subordinate work activity
- Independent professional activity/entrepreneurship/the launch of a start-up
- Scientific or highly qualified research activity.
Which visa type is applied for depends on the circumstances of the individual. However, what remains consistent across all working visa types is that the employer must apply for the work permit on behalf of their employee – in order to demonstrate that a genuine job offer has been made and that the applicant is the appropriate person for the role.
There are no specific requirements for Pakistani applicants to meet to be successfully granted a Portuguese work permit. However, it is noted that non-EU residents are more likely to be successful in their work permit application if they have specialised skills for a job role that’s situated in Portugal.
In order to apply for a Portuguese National Long-Term Visa, be it for a temporary stay or residency, there are several documents that must be submitted along with the necessary application. These are:
- A fully completed and signed visa application form
- Two recent passport-sized photographs, meeting passport photo standards
- A copy of the applicant’s passport. The expiry date on the passport must be set at least three months after the date of the applicant’s intended return
- (If the applicant lives in a county other than that of their nationality) Formal proof of the applicant’s current living/working situation
- Original documentation of valid travel insurance
- A criminal record certificate detailing no criminal history
- A copy of the applicant’s return ticket to leave Portugal
- Proof of the applicant’s current financial resources – in order to demonstrate that they will be able to support themselves while in Portugal.
When the work permit is applied for, the employer will submit several different documents pertaining to the role that applicant will be taking up.
As this application is processed, the Portuguese immigration services may request further documentation from the applicant, too – and the exact requirements will vary by circumstance.
Where the visa is being applied for to conduct scientific research or highly qualified activity, the applicant must supply:
- promise or a contract of employment; proposal of a service agreement; fellowship of scientific research (for scientific research)
- the promise of an employment contract or a written proposal or service contract (for academic teaching)
- a statement issued by the competent authority (for highly qualified activity).
Where the visa is being applied for independent work purposes, the applicant must supply:
- a contract or a promise of a service contract
- a statement issued by the competent institution.
Where the visa is being applied for subordinate work, the applicant must supply:
- work contract, work promise or demonstration of interest
- professional certificate (for the regulated profession).
All documents submitted must be translated into Portuguese or English, with the translations authorised by the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Portugal Work Visa Fees
Pakistani citizens applying for a visa to live and work in Portugal are only responsible for the application of and payment of fees associated with the National Long-Term Visa and not the work permit. The latter is to be managed by the employer offering a role and so any costs incurred with that application are to be covered by them.
For each visa application, a fee is payable by the applicant. This amount covers the administrative processing of the application and does not imply that the application will definitely be successful. The fee must be paid in order for the visa application to be processed.
As of September 2023, the current costs of applying for a Portuguese National Long-Term Visa are:
- Residence visa (for stays over one year) – €90 (PKR 27,810)
- Temporary stay visa (for stays up to one year) – €75 (PKR 23,175).
This fee is non-refundable if the visa application is unsuccessful.
If an applicant will be working in Portugal for scientific research or in another role that counts as a ‘highly qualified activity’, they may be able to have their visa fee waived.
There are a number of additional costs that applicants may incur as they progress through the application process that are not covered by the application fee, and will need to be budgeted for. These include:
- Copying fees
- Translation service fees
- Lawyer fees for counter-signing and notarising.
The applicant is responsible for all such other costs and these too will be non-refundable.
The Application Process for Portugal Work Visa from Pakistan
Pakistani nationals looking to apply to work in Portugal must first have a job offer from an employer based in the country or one of its overseas territories. This will form the basis of the application for the work permit, and the individual can then complete the visa application.
All visa applications for Portugal in Pakistan are processed by an external service provider who works with the Portuguese Embassy in Islamabad. The application process is as follows:
- The Pakistani citizen must email the service provider at firstname.lastname@example.org including their full name (as shown on their Pakistani passport), address and telephone number
- When an appointment is available, the applicant will be contacted to schedule one
- The applicant must attend the Visa Application Centre on the date of the appointment
- All documents and copies of, as required, must be submitted in person at the Visa Application Centre during the appointment (if any further document requests are made, instructions on how to submit these will be made then)
- The application fee must be made
- The application process can be tracked online
- If successful, the applicant can collect their passport and visa documentation from the Visa Application Office
- If unsuccessful, the applicant can collect their passport from the Visa Application Office and instructions will be issued on any ‘next steps’ to take.
It must be noted that this process only forms that for the Portugal National Long-term Visa. The work permit application entails a separate process to happen thereafter and is managed by the employer – with the applicant only involving themselves if requested by immigration services (ie. to send in further documents or details).
While there is no set processing time for National Long-Term Visa applications, anecdotally, applicants suggest that it can take up to 60 working days for a visa to be granted. This is the same time frame as the Portuguese work permit.
Validity of Portugal Work Visa for Pakistani citizens
The duration of a Portuguese work visa’s validity is dependent on the type of visa granted; with temporary stay visas only applicable for up to a year and residence visas over that.
Those applying to work in Portugal on a self-employed or seasonal basis are less likely to be granted a residence visa, and the type achieved may depend on the workplace contract duration.
Immigration authorities may enforce additional conditions on any visa at their discretion, and it is worth noting that Pakistani citizens are no more likely to receive such restrictions than any other nationality.
In the case of a temporary stay visa being granted, the visa may be renewed providing the application is received prior to its original expiry date; and that the employer is able to provide a contract furthering the date of assignment.
In the case of a resident visa being granted, this can be upgraded to permanent residency in Portugal after a five year period. However, this does involve an entirely different application process and will require the applicant to prove they have continuing employment within the country.
Upgrading a Work Visa to Permanent Residency in Portugal
After a five year residency in Portugal, those living in the country under a work visa (either temporary stay or residency) are able to apply for permanent residency in Portugal.
If successful, permanent residency will grant the holder similar benefits and rights to Portuguese citizen and allows for other jobs within the country to be applied for.
Permanent residents of Portugal are considered Schengen residents and so may travel within all Schengen states without the requirement for any further visas. Holders may also be able to relocate Pakistani family members to Portugal under the Type 3 visa pertaining to non-citizen Portuguese residents. Such visas are not guaranteed and do entail a separate application process for every family member.
Holding permanent residency in Portugal does not impact on Pakistani citizenship unless the holder is eligible for dual citizenship status. Permanent residents are not citizens of Portugal and so are not granted a Portuguese passport.
How Can Total Law Help?
Total Law have a team of immigration specialists available with vast experience in Portuguese visas, work permits and residency permits. We’ve helped plenty of Pakistanis move to Portugal to take up their dream job and offered support and guidance through every step of the process. Contact the team today on +44 (0)333 305 9375, or reach out to us online and put your questions to us. The Total Law team will be able to advise on how best to hasten a successful application.
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A work permit forms the second requirement for a Pakistani citizen wishing to live and work in Portugal, after a visa has been granted. A Portuguese work permit is applied for by an employer and so it is critical that an individual has a valid offer of employment from a company or sole trader who are able to file such an application. No work permit can be granted until a job offer is made.
Pakistanis are able to apply to live and work in Portugal through following the non-EEA citizen process for a visa and work permit. After a period of five years of continual work and residency in Portugal, individuals may apply for permanent residency status. While this does not provide citizenship status, it does allow for indefinite residency in the country.
As of September 2023, the visa fees to be paid by Pakistanis are dependent on the type of visa being applied for. These are €90 for a residence visa and €75 for a temporary stay visa. These fees must be paid upon application and the processing of a visa’s application is dependent on the sum having cleared. There may be additional ‘hidden’ fees for the applicant to pay in the arrangement of their application, for which the individual is responsible. No fees are refunded in the event of a visa being declined.
A standard Portuguese work permit does not allow for the relocation of family. However, if a Pakistani national has lived and worked in Portugal for a period of five years and successfully upgraded their visa to a permanent residency, they may be able to apply for Type 3 visas on behalf of family members. A Type 3 visa allows for the relocation of family members of ‘non-citizen Portuguese residents’.
There is one Embassy of Portugal in Pakistan is located at 7 Street 36, F-7/1 F 7/1 F-7, Islamabad.
There is no need for a work permit applicant to speak Portuguese to be successful in their application, but immigration authorities do favour a basic knowledge of the language. It is worth noting that life in Portugal is much easier with some understanding of Portuguese, and so it may be of interest for applicants to take lessons or undergo some learning before they travel.
If an individual is upgrading their visa and work permit to Portuguese permanent residency, they must prove a foundational knowledge of the language and will be required to take a test to demonstrate this. If this test cannot be passed, no permanent residency will be granted and instead only temporary residency will be permitted.