Portugal Work Visa For Turkish Citizens

Portugal is a country with a rich history, thriving culture, and easy travel access to the rest of the EU. As a result, it is an increasingly popular work destination with Turkish citizens. For Turkish citizens, work visas are generally the quickest route to being able to legally work in Portugal.

Total Law can help you on your journey to getting your Portuguese work visa. Contact us today either online or at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to get bespoke advice and guidance from our experienced immigration advisors.

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    An Introduction to Portugal Work Visas For Turkish Citizens

    If you are not a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you will need a work visa in order to legally work in Portugal. If you are a Turkish citizen, you will therefore most likely need to obtain a work visa if you plan to work in Portugal.

    Portugal’s work visas are intended to attract high-quality workers from outside of the EU. They are therefore popular choices amongst Turkish citizens who wish to pursue employment within Portugal.

    However, a Portuguese work visa will not qualify you to work in the rest of the EU. For this, you will need to apply for Portuguese citizenship, which you can apply for after legally residing in Portugal for at least 5 years.

    Note that, if you are a citizen of either the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you will not need a work visa in order to work in Portugal, but you will still require a Residence Certificate in order to live in Portugal for over 3 months.

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      Portugal Work Visa: Eligibility

      In order to be eligible for a Portuguese work visa, you must satisfy the following conditions:

      • You must have received a job offer by a Portuguese employer. Note that the job must already have been posted for at least a month at the point at which the offer is made, in order to ensure that the role could not otherwise have been filled by a citizen of either the EU or Portugal.
      • You will first need to obtain a work permit, which your employer must apply for on your behalf.
      • You will need to have a clean criminal record. You are very unlikely to be granted a work visa if you have previously been convicted of a crime in either your home country or any country in which you have previously resided.

      Portugal Work Visa And Work Permit: Required Documents

      When applying for a Portuguese work permit and work visa, there are a number of documents which will need to be included with your application. These documents will generally be required for all visa types, and are listed below:

      • A Valid Passport
      • Passport photos (to the Portuguese passport photo standard)
      • Employment Contract (note that this will not be necessary in the case of the Job Seeker visa, the details of which are outlined in the next section)
      • Documentation of your Health Insurance
      • A background check for your country of residence. Note that you will also have to provide your criminal record for any other country which you have resided in for over a year. As noted previously, you are very unlikely to be granted a work visa in the event that you have a criminal record
      • Proof of Portuguese accommodation
      • Proof that you have the financial means to support yourself
      • Documented permission for the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) to check your criminal record in Portugal

      Note that it is your employer who will need to apply for the work permit, on your behalf. Once this has been granted, you will then need to apply for a work visa. This is discussed in more detail in the next section.

      How to Get a Work Visa In Portugal: The Application Process For Citizens of Turkey

      As a Turkish citizen, you are likely to need both a work permit and a work visa in order to legally work in Portugal.

      The first step in applying for a Portuguese work visa is accepting a job offer from a Portuguese company and signing a contract. After this, your employer will need to contact the Portuguese Labour Authorities and apply for a work permit on your behalf. You will need this work permit in order to then apply for your work visa. The work visa for which you apply will depend on the nature of your job. The different types of work visas are outlined in the next section.

      You can start the visa application process on the website of your local Portuguese consulate or embassy. From here, you will need to book an in-person meeting with your local consulate. For Turkey in particular, there is an Embassy and Consular Section in Ankara, in addition to Honorary Consulates in Istanbul, Antalya, and Izmir.

      At your visa meeting, you will be required both to provide your documents and to attend an interview. If your interview is successful and your documents are all present and deemed acceptable, your work visa will then be granted.

      Note that, when completing your application, you will need to provide original versions of all of the necessary documents. These can be in either Portuguese or English. Where the documents are not already in one of these languages, they should be translated by a certified translator.

      Once you have your work visa, you are then able to enter Portugal. Once you actually arrive in Portugal, you will then need to apply for a residence permit.

      There are 2 main steps to applying for your residence permit:

      • You will need to register for social security. You will then be provided with a tax number, which will allow you to fulfil your tax obligations when working in Portugal. This can be done at the Portuguese Social Security Office. Whilst you do not need to apply for this from within Portugal, you will require a Portuguese bank account in order to complete the application, and so it is often easier to complete this step once you arrive in Portugal.
      • When you arrive in Portugal, you must book an appointment with the SEF. This appointment will involve a further interview. If you successfully pass this interview, you will be asked to provide your biometric data and will then be granted a residence permit.

      Note that this SEF appointment is made for you when you attend your embassy visa appointment.

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        Working In Portugal As A Turkish Citizen: The Visa Options

        There are a number of Portuguese work visa options for Turkish citizens seeking to obtain legal employment in Portugal. The main categories of Portuguese work visa are outlined below:

        Portugal Work Visa 

        This is the most common work visa for non-EU citizens seeking work in Portugal. It is valid for 1 year and can be renewed for up to 5 years. It is the most common choice for individuals whose work contract is longer than 1 year. This may include those working for educational institutions or research and cultural centres.

        The Independent Work Visa

        This is a temporary stay visa for those who wish to work independently when in Portugal. This is also known as a Digital Nomad visa or a Temporary visa.

        Note that this visa does not allow you to work for a company or employer- you must be self employed. This visa is therefore perfect for Turkish citizens who wish to work for up to a year in Portugal whilst remaining self-employed.

        The Highly Qualified Work Visa

        This is a temporary stay visa for those who wish to conduct work in Portugal which requires a high level of qualification, such as scientific research or working as a medical professional. This is therefore a good choice for Turkish citizens who work in a highly qualified field of employment,

        If you wish to apply for this type of visa, you should do so via the Ministry of Education and Science.

        The Portugal Job Seeker Visa

        This work visa is slightly different to the other types of work visa which have been discussed. The Job Seeker visa is for those wishing to search for a job from within Portugal itself. As such, you do not already need to be in possession of a Portuguese job offer in order to be eligible for this visa, meaning the eligibility requirements for this visa type differ from the other Portuguese work visas. This visa type is therefore a good choice for Turkish citizens who wish to seek Portuguese employment from within Portugal or feel more comfortable with the Portuguese language.

        The visa is initially valid for 120 days but can be renewed by another 60 days. Note that, unlike some other temporary stay visas, this visa type will only allow you one entry into Portugal.

        Assuming you find a job within this period, you will then be able to apply for a residence permit. If you do not find a role within this period, however, you will be required to leave Portugal immediately. You will otherwise be subject to a fine and deportation, which will in turn jeopardise your ability to apply for further Portuguese work visas in the future.

        When applying for this visa, you will need to first register with the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP), using the form on their website. This form will ask you to provide your personal details and information on the type of work which you will be seeking.

        If you successfully pass this preliminary stage, you will then receive an email from IEFP. This is not a guarantee that you will ultimately obtain a visa; it simply allows you to apply for the visa in the first place. You will now be able to start your visa application online, using the website of your local consulate. You will then need to schedule an in-person appointment with your chosen consulate or embassy.

        EU Blue Card: Who Is It For?

        The EU Blue Card is for non-EU citizens who have skills which are highly sought-after within the EU. When applying for this visa type, you will need to provide evidence that you have the education, skills, and professional background necessary to be granted an EU Blue Card.

        Once you have been granted an EU Blue Card, you will be able to enter and re-enter Portugal. You will also be entitled to free movement within the EU.

        The Fees Associated With The Portugal Work Visa Applications

        There are a number of fees associated with applying for a Portuguese work visa. As such, it is difficult to provide an exact figure. However, you should expect to pay the following fees:

        • €90 for a temporary stay visa (such as the Independent and Highly Qualified work visas)
        • Around €70- 80 when applying for a temporary residence permit

        Note that these fees may vary depending on the exact nature and location of your application.

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          Processing Times: The Typical Time It Takes To Get Results

          Processing time for each stage of the application varies according to a number of factors, including whether all the required documents have been submitted successfully and how many other applications are also being processed. Generally, your work permit should be processed within 1 to 2 months. Your work visa should then be issued within 2 to 3 months.

          In order to ensure that your visa is granted as soon as possible, make sure that you submit all of the required documents at the point of application. Incorrectly submitted documents can cause delays in your application.

          What Is The Validity Period Of The Portugal Work Visa?

          The Portuguese work visa itself is generally only valid for 4 months. It must also be supplemented by a temporary residence permit, which allows you to work in Portugal for longer than this initial 4 month period. This can be renewed after 2 years for three extra years, after which point you will be eligible to apply for permanent residence and citizenship.

          Once permanent residence or citizenship have been granted, you will no longer require a visa in order to legally work in Portugal.

          In the event that you are caught overstaying your work visa, you will be subject to deportation and to a fine. You are also likely to be denied entry to Portugal in the future, and to to be ineligible for further Portuguese work visas in the future.

          Work Visa To Citizenship

          Once you have legally resided in Portugal for at least 5 years, you may then be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. If you successfully obtain Portuguese citizenship, you will gain the right to work, study, and live in all of the other member states of the EU.  You will no longer be limited to working in Portugal exclusively. You will also no longer require a work visa in order to legally work within the EU.

          How can Total Law Help?

          Portugal is a favourite choice of non-EU citizens looking to work in the EU. It has much to offer professionally and culturally and is increasingly popular amongst Turkish citizens. However, the application process has multiple stages and can often be complex. It is not a simple matter of acquiring the work visa itself; you will generally also require a work permit and a temporary residence permit.

          Here at Total Law, we have many years of experience in working on these kinds of applications. Our immigration advisors can provide you with a range of services, such as providing bespoke advice on which visa route is best for you and helping you with every step of the application.

          Contact Total Law today either using our online application form or calling us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 and get started on your own path to working in Portugal.

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                    Related pages for your continued reading.


                    Getting a work visa in Portugal has a number of steps and requires satisfying a number of conditions. Additionally, there is also the work permit and the residence permit to consider. However, with the right support, the process can be made far simpler.

                    In ensuring the smoothest route possible, it is important to make sure that you satisfy all the eligibility criteria outlined in this article and that you have all the required documents when starting your application.

                    It is not possible to convert a visit visa into a work permit or visa. In order to obtain a Portuguese work permit, you must have an offer of employment and your employer must submit a separate application, satisfying the eligibility criteria outlined in this article. You will then need to submit a separate application for your visa.

                    Yes, international students can indeed legally work in Portugal. However, the restrictions on their ability to work will depend on whether or not they are citizens of the EU.

                    If you are a EU citizen, you can work without any restriction on the number of hours which you work each week when in Portugal. If you are a non-EU citizen, on the other hand, you can only work for up to 20 hours. Students who are Turkish citizens, as non-EU citizens, can therefore only work for up to 20 hours a week when studying in Portugal.

                    In most cases, you must already have an offer of Portuguese employment when applying for a Portuguese work visa. However, this is not true of the Job Seeker visa. With this visa type, you may seek employment when already in Portugal. The details of this type of visa are provided in the article.

                    It is not strictly necessary to speak Portuguese in order to obtain permission to work in Portugal. However, as you will generally require an offer of employment in order to receive a Portuguese work visa, this may prove easier to obtain if you have some Portuguese language ability.

                    Note that when applying for Portuguese citizenship, however, it is generally necessary to demonstrate proficiency in the Portuguese language. This proficiency must be to the A2 level.