D6 visa (Family Reunification Visa)

If you are residing in Portugal, your family members might be able to join you through the Family Reunification Visa. Find out more about the eligibility requirements and the application process.

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    What is the Family Reunification Visa?

    The Family Reunification Visa is intended for family members of holders of the Portugal residence permit. Individuals who can bring their families from South Africa to Portugal thanks to the Family Reunification Visa include EU/EEA citizens who live in Portugal, as well as other foreign permanent residents coming from non-EU/EEA countries.

    If your family member comes to Portugal on the Portuguese D6 Family Reunification Visa, they will be able to stay in the country for as long as you have the right to reside there. So, for example, if you are in Portugal on a two-year residence permit, they will also be allowed to remain in Portugal for two years.

    The situation is different if you have permanent residence permit in Portugal, which means that you have lived there for five years. Then, your family member joining you on the Portuguese D6 Visa will receive a two-year visa rather than their own permanent residence permit. After that, they will be able to renew their visa and stay in the country longer.

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    Who is eligible for the Family Reunification Visa?

    Foreign citizens who have the Portuguese residence permit might be able to bring the following South African family members to Portugal through the Family Reunification Visa:

    • Their spouse or partner
    • Their children, including adopted ones
    • Their partner’s children who are under 18
    • Their dependent parents
    • Their partner’s dependent parents
    • Their siblings who are younger than 18 years of age if they are their dependents.

    Keep in mind that those who are in Portugal on the Portuguese Student Visa can only bring their spouses/partners or their/their partner’s children younger than 18 years of age to Portugal.

    What is the application process for the Family Reunification Visa?

    The application for the Family Reunification Visa is submitted by the person who resides in Portugal on behalf of their family member. Applications have to be submitted to the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras).

    Submitting the application to SEF is the first part of the process but, after the initial application has been approved, the family member wanting to come to Portugal needs to continue the application at a Portuguese consulate or Portuguese embassy in their country of residence.

    First, they need to collect all the necessary documents and have them translated into Portuguese by an authorised translator. Then, they have to schedule an appointment at the Portuguese consulate or Portuguese embassy so that an immigration official can review their portfolio of evidence.

    While the Family Reunification Visa is being processed, the family member can travel to Portugal on another visa such as the Schengen Tourist Visa. Nevertheless, in such circumstances, the applicant has to provide proof confirming that their family member entered Portugal legally to proceed with the processing of the D6 Visa application.

    After the family member enters Portugal on the D6 Visa, they need to go to the SEF to register as a resident of Portugal and receive permission to stay there long-term.

    What supporting documents are required?

    As part of the application process, applicants have to submit the following documents:

    • Proof of their right to reside in Portugal
    • Proof of relationship to the family member
    • Copies of the family member’s passport
    • Photographs of the family member
    • Proof of having enough funds to be able to support the family member after they come to Portugal
    • Proof of having adequate accommodation where the family member can stay
    • Birth certificate of any children
    • Adoption certificate if applicable
    • Marriage certificate if applicable
    • Criminal record certificate for the applicant and the family member
    • Proof of economic dependency of any relatives who are not minor children.

    What are the cost and the waiting time?

    Those who want to apply for the Portuguese D6 Family Reunification Visa have to pay €90 for visa processing and €85 for registration of a residence permit. They might also have to cover additional fees for, for example, having certain documents issued.

    As for the waiting time, SEF reviews applications within 60 days. Once they make a decision, they send a written statement to the application and will notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Sometimes SEF might require an interview during the application process. They might decide to interview only the person living in Portugal or other family members as well. If the interview has to take place, the application process might take longer.

    If SEF needs more than 60 days to review the application, they will notify the applicant about it. If the processing takes more than 6 months, the application will automatically be considered valid and the family member will be issued the Family Reunification Visa. This happens very rarely, however.

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      What is the validity of the D6 Visa for South Africans?

      Initially, after the D6 Visa is issued it is valid only for 4 months. During this period, its holders have to schedule an appointment with the SEF to receive their residence permit allowing them to stay in Portugal longer.

      Once they do that, their D6 Family Reunification Visa will be valid for the same duration as the residence permit of the sponsor wanting to bring their family members to Portugal. This means that the validity of the Family Reunification Visa can vary.

      Nevertheless, in most cases, the D6 Visa allows family members of the holders of the Portuguese residence permit to stay in the country for two years.

      After the two-year period, holders of the D6 Visa have the right to extend it provided that the family tie persists. And, after living in Portugal for a continuous period of 5 years, they can apply for permanent residency.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      At Total Law, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who are committed to helping families avoid separation.

      We offer expert legal advice and professional assistance with completing application forms and gathering supporting documents.

      If you hire one of our lawyers, they will answer all your questions and provide you with detailed information regarding how you can bring your South African family members to Portugal.

      Our specialist lawyers have helped many clients successfully obtain various visas to Portugal, including the D6 Family Reunification Visa. By using our services, you can maximise the chances of your D6 Visa application being approved.

      Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375. We are ready to help you with your immigration issues.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                To be able to bring their family members to Portugal, foreign citizens who reside there have to prove that their relatives will not become a burden on the Portuguese state. This means that they have to demonstrate that they have enough money to support them after they arrive in the country. Typically, to meet this requirement, their income has to be greater than the Portuguese minimum wage.

                The short answer to this question is, yes.

                Those who successfully obtain the Portuguese D6 Visa have the right to work during their stay in Portugal. They do not need to apply for a work permit separately. However, if they want to work, they have to notify the SEF about it before they undertake employment. Once they do that, they will have the same rights to work as Portuguese nationals.

                Family reunification is the process allowing family members of residence permit holders to join them in Portugal and live there long-term. They can do that by applying for the D6 Visa, valid for as long as their relative in Portugal is allowed to remain there.

                Applications for the D6 Family Reunification Visa have to be submitted by the person living in Portugal. As part of the application process, they need to provide documents that confirm their family ties with the person they want to bring to Portugal. They also need to demonstrate that they have sufficient resources to support their loved ones after they relocate to Portugal.

                Holders of the D6 Visa have the right to work and study in Portugal.

                Only immediate family members of holders of the Portuguese residence permit can obtain the D6 Visa to Portugal. Individuals who fall under this category are:

                • Their spouse or partner
                • Their minor children, including adopted children
                • Their children who are older than 18 years of age but are dependent on them
                • Their parents if they are dependent on them
                • Their siblings if they are dependent on them.

                If you are a Portuguese resident and you are not sure whether you can bring your family members to Portugal through the process of family reunification, get in touch with our lawyers. They will assess your circumstances and help you find the answer.