Portugal D1 Visa For South Africans

Starting a new career in Portugal is an exciting prospect for South Africans, and Total Law is here to make your journey smoother with our expert guidance on the Portugal D1 Visa.

Understanding the details of this visa, especially for professionals with a job offer in Portugal, can be challenging. Total Law’s experienced team is able to handle these complexities, ensuring a seamless application process. Contact us today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to start your journey towards a rewarding career in Portugal with Total Law’s expert assistance.

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    Introduction To The Portugal D1 Visa (Subordinate Worker Visa)

    The Portugal D1 Visa, also known as the Subordinate Worker Visa, is a crucial document for South Africans aiming to work in Portugal.

    This visa type is designed for individuals who have secured an employment contract in Portugal, enabling them to legally reside and work in the country. It’s a key facilitator for South Africans seeking to enter the European job market, offering a legitimate pathway to employment in various sectors such as technology, tourism, and traditional industries.

    The primary objective of the D1 Visa is to regulate the employment of foreign nationals in Portugal.

    This regulation ensures that the process of hiring international workers corresponds to the legal and labour standards of Portugal, safeguarding the rights of employees.

    It’s an essential tool for maintaining a structured employment environment, beneficial for both the employee and the employer.

    Portugal’s strategic position in Europe and its expanding economy make it an appealing destination for career growth and opportunities.

    To apply for this visa, applicants must have a valid job offer from a Portuguese employer and meet various administrative requirements, ensuring conformity to Portugal’s immigration policies.

    The application process, while straightforward, requires careful attention to detail to ensure all criteria are met for a successful visa grant.

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    What Are The Requirements for The D1 Subordinate Worker Visa?

    The following comprehensive guide outlines the detailed requirements and processes involved in applying for the D1 Visa.

    General Requirements for Applicants

    Applicants must secure a job offer from a Portuguese employer. The employment contract should be valid for a minimum of 12 months, ensuring a stable employment period.

    The annual salary offered must be at least 1.5 times the national minimum wage in Portugal. This requirement is set to ensure that the applicant can sustain a decent standard of living in the country.

    Applicants are required to provide documents that prove their qualifications for the specified occupation in the work contract. This ensures that the applicant possesses the necessary skills and knowledge for the job.

    Evidence of a place to stay in Portugal, such as a rental agreement or a letter from a host, is necessary. This requirement is to ensure that the applicant has a secure living arrangement upon arrival.

    Applicants must have health insurance coverage or proof of being covered by the National Health Service (NHS) in Portugal. This is crucial for accessing healthcare services during the stay.

    Proof of registration with Portugal’s Social Security is needed, which is part of integrating into the country’s social welfare system.

    A confirmed reservation may be required to demonstrate the applicant’s willingness to travel to Portugal.

    Applicants should provide evidence of family or economic ties with their home country. This could include property ownership, family relationships, or ongoing economic interests.

    Additional Requirements

    The application form must be completed accurately, with all personal details matching those in the applicant’s passport and other documents. It is crucial to ensure that all required fields are filled out correctly to avoid any delays or issues with the application process.

    The International Travel Insurance must be valid for at least the first four months of the stay in Portugal. This insurance should cover medical emergencies, repatriation, and emergency hospital treatment.

    A statement endorsed by the IEFP (Institute for Employment and Vocational Training) regarding the employment contract is required. This serves as a validation of the job offer and its compliance with local employment standards.

    Applicants need a Portuguese criminal record certification not older than 3 months. This is a standard security measure to ensure the safety and integrity of Portuguese society.

    A passport with validity covering the entire duration of the stay is essential. This is to ensure that the applicant has valid travel documents throughout their time in Portugal.

    Evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of the stay in Portugal is required. This could be in the form of bank statements or a letter from the employer.

    Application Process and Fees

    The visa application should be submitted to the nearest Portuguese consulate. The processing time can vary, typically taking 30 to 90 days.

    The processing fee for a D1 visa application is approximately €90. Additional expenses may include travel insurance and document presentation fees.

    The Interview For The Portugal D1 Visa

    When preparing for the Portugal D1 Visa interview, it’s essential to understand what to expect and how to adequately prepare. The D1 Visa, known as the subordinate worker visa, is designed for individuals who have received a job offer in Portugal, with the employment contract lasting at least 12 months.

    What to Expect During the Visa Interview

    The visa interview is usually the final stage of your application process and is conducted at the Portuguese Embassy, Consulate, or Visa Application Centre. Interviews typically do not last longer than 20 minutes.

    The primary purpose of the interview is to verify the information provided in your application and to assess your intentions for travelling to Portugal.

    Common Interview Questions

    During your Portugal D1 Visa interview, be ready to discuss your employment in Portugal, including job details and the duration of your contract.

    You should also provide information about your accommodation plans and how you intend to financially sustain yourself during your stay.

    Additionally, be prepared to talk about your plans after your contract ends, whether it involves returning to South Africa or pursuing other opportunities.

    Essential Documents to Bring

    • Your valid passport and any previous visas.
    • The employment contract detailing your role, salary, and contract duration.
    • Proof of accommodation in Portugal, like a rental agreement or a letter from your host.
    • Financial documents, such as bank statements or an employer’s letter, prove financial stability.
    • Proof of health insurance coverage.
    • A statement from the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP).

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      Fees Involved In The Process Of Obtaining a Portugal D1 Visa

      When applying for a Portugal D1 Visa, also known as the subordinate worker visa, applicants should be aware of the various fees involved in the process. The breakdown of these fees includes the application fee, processing fees, and additional costs that may arise during the application process.

      Breakdown of Fees for Portugal D1 Visa Application

      • The fee for processing a D1 work visa application in Portugal is €90. This is a standard fee for the visa application itself.
      • There may be fees associated with translating and authenticating documents, which can range from €20 to €50 per page or document.
      • After arriving in Portugal, applicants must submit their work residence permit application to the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), which costs €83.
      • There is a fee of €72 to collect the work residence permit from SEF once it is ready.

      Additional Considerations

      • The Embassy of Portugal in specific countries may have different fee structures or additional document requirements, which could add to the overall cost.
      • Applicants are required to have travel insurance for the duration of their stay in Portugal. The cost of this insurance will vary depending on the provider and the coverage plan chosen.
      • Some applicants might need to undergo a medical examination, which could incur additional costs.
      • If required, obtaining a criminal record certificate may also involve a fee.

      Step By Step Process For Obtaining The Portugal D1 Visa

      In order to apply for a subordinate worker visa in Portugal, you have to follow a series of steps. This guide is tailored for South African citizens looking to apply for this visa.

      Step-by-Step Guide

      Step 1: Secure a Job Offer in Portugal

      You must have a job offer from a Portuguese employer. The contract should be for a minimum of 12 months. Ensure your employer has an approval statement from the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP).

      Step 2: Gather Required Documents

      • A copy of your job contract or offer letter for the employment contract.
      • Evidence of sufficient funds, at least €9,120, as financial proof.
      • An invitation and acceptance of accommodation in Portugal as proof of accommodation.
      • A criminal record certificate from South Africa and any country where you’ve lived for more than a year in the past five years.
      • A valid passport and recent passport-sized photographs.
      • Proof of comprehensive health insurance as medical insurance.

      Step 3: Visa Application Form and Schedule an Appointment

      Complete the D1 visa application form. Ensure all information is accurate and corresponds with the documents provided. Contact the Portuguese embassy or consulate in South Africa to schedule a visa application appointment. This can often be done online or via phone.

      Step 4: Attend the Visa Interview and Pay the Visa Fee

      Attend the interview at the scheduled time. Ensure you have all your documents, including the completed application form. Be prepared to answer questions about your job in Portugal, accommodation plans, and reasons for choosing Portugal.

      The visa application fee is usually paid at the embassy or consulate during your appointment. As of 2023, the fee is approximately €90.

      Step 5: Wait for Visa Processing and Collect Your Visa

      The processing time can vary, but it generally takes 30 to 90 days. Be patient and plan accordingly.

      Once your visa is approved, you will be notified to collect it. Ensure to check the visa details for accuracy. After receiving your visa, you can travel to Portugal. Make sure to stick to all travel regulations and requirements.

      Step 6: Residence Permit Application

      Upon arrival in Portugal, apply for a residence permit at SEF. The fee for this application is around €83, and an additional €72 is required for collecting the permit.

      Additional Tips

      While it’s not mandatory, learning some Portuguese can be beneficial for your integration in Portugal. Remember to register for healthcare upon arrival. Also, keep yourself updated on any changes in immigration laws or procedures.

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        Once The D1 Visa Is Granted: Next Steps

        Once your D1 Visa for Portugal is granted, a new phase begins, involving several important steps to establish your legal residency and integrate into the Portuguese system. Here’s a guide to the necessary actions you should take post-visa approval:

        • Upon arriving in Portugal, it’s crucial to follow local immigration laws. Ensure your visa and other travel documents are readily accessible for any entry requirements.
        • Schedule an appointment with (SEF), the Portuguese immigration authority, to apply for a residence permit. This should be done as soon as possible after you arrive in Portugal. Bring your passport, D1 visa, proof of accommodation in Portugal, job contract, and health insurance. You may also need to show financial stability. The application fee for a residence permit is approximately €83, and there’s an additional fee of €72 for collecting the permit.
        • Register your presence with the local council where you reside. This is a standard procedure for all new residents. Apply for a Social Security number and a Tax Identification Number (NIF) at the local tax office. These are essential for employment and other legal activities in Portugal.
        • Enrol in the Portuguese National Health Service (NHS) to access public healthcare services. You’ll need your residence permit and Social Security number for this.
        • A local bank account is necessary for salary deposits and daily financial transactions. Banks in Portugal require your passport, NIF, and proof of address for account opening.
        • Consider enrolling in Portuguese language courses to ease your integration into the community and workplace. Engage in local cultural activities and social groups to better understand Portuguese customs and society.
        • Ensure you stay updated on any changes in immigration laws or residency requirements. Regularly check the SEF website or consult with local authorities for the latest information. For expert guidance and assistance, remember that Total Law is always here to help.

        D1 Visa To Residency

        Transitioning from a D1 visa in Portugal to residency and potentially citizenship in Portugal involves a structured process with specific steps and conditions. Here’s an overview of the pathway from a D1 visa to residency and the potential for obtaining citizenship:

        Transition to Residency

        Initial Residence Permit

        Upon entering Portugal with a D1 visa, you must apply for a residence permit through the SEF. This permit is typically valid for one year and can be renewed for successive two-year periods.

        Renewal of Residence Permit

        To renew your Portugal D1 visa, a temporary residence permit typically valid for two years, you must demonstrate ongoing employment in Portugal.

        The renewal, which can extend your stay for an additional three years, depends on your ability to meet certain criteria set by the SEF. Key among these requirements is maintaining continuous employment and a clean criminal record.

        It’s crucial to be proactive in this process and ensure you submit your renewal application at least 30 days before your current permit expiration date. This precaution not only demonstrates your commitment to sticking to legal protocols but also helps avoid any potential disruptions in your residency status.

        Stay Requirement

        To transition to permanent residency, you must legally reside in Portugal for five consecutive years. Short absences for holidays are permitted, but extended absences can affect eligibility.

        Permanent Residency

        After five years of legal residence in Portugal under the D1 Visa, a residency visa for foreign individuals with a job offer in Portugal, you become eligible to apply for permanent residency.

        This process involves demonstrating a stable income, secure accommodation, basic proficiency in Portuguese, and a clean criminal record. The application for permanent residency is a critical step and is submitted to the SEF.

        During this process, you’ll need to provide comprehensive documentation that proves your continuous residence in Portugal and fulfilment of all other residency criteria.

        It’s important to note that while the D1 Visa requires a job contract of at least 12 months, permanent residency demands a longer-term commitment to living and working in Portugal, often accompanied by a significant investment, typically over €280,000.


        After holding permanent residency for at least one year and having a total of six years of legal residence in Portugal, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship. Additional requirements include passing a basic Portuguese language test and demonstrating ties to the Portuguese community.

        The application is submitted to the Portuguese Ministry of Justice. You’ll need to provide documents proving your residence, language proficiency, and other relevant criteria. If approved, you’ll go through the naturalisation process, which includes taking an official pledge to Portugal.

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          How Can Total Law Help

          Total Law stands as a beacon of guidance and support in the often complex and challenging world of immigration and D1 visa Portugal applications. Total Law’s team of experienced immigration lawyers offers personalised assistance according to each client’s unique circumstances. Our expertise is not just in understanding the complicated requirements of various visa applications but also in providing strategic advice to navigate through them successfully.

          From preparing and organising essential documents to advising on the correct forms and their completion, Total Law ensures that every aspect of your application is handled with precision and care. Their commitment to providing clear and concise guidance helps in simplifying the process, making it less overwhelming for applicants. By helping you avoid common mistakes and strengthening your application, Total Law significantly enhances the chances of a successful outcome.

          For expert assistance in your visa application journey, contact Total Law at

           Our dedicated team is ready to offer the support and guidance you need to navigate the complexities of immigration law with confidence and ease.

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