Law of Foreigners
Law No. 23/2007, of July 4, “defines the conditions and procedures for entry, stay, departure and removal of foreign citizens from Portuguese territory, as well as long-term resident status.”
We present here a brief exposition, in order to inform and explain the conditions and procedures for entry, stay, departure and removal of foreign citizens in Portugal.
1. Travel document recognized as valid
The travel document must be valid for at least 3 months, the duration of the stay (except when re-entering a foreign citizen residing in the country).
Foreign citizens may also enter or leave the country, which are:
Are nationals of States with which Portugal has international conventions that allow entry with an identity card or equivalent document;
Are covered by the relevant conventions between the States Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty;
They are holders of laissez-passer issued by the authorities of the State of which they are nationals or of the State representing them;
They are holders of the flight license or crew certificate referred to in Annexes 1 and 9 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, or other documents replacing them, when in service;
Bear the maritime identification document referred to in Convention 108 of the International Labor Organization when in service;
Are nationals of States with which Portugal has international conventions that allow them to enter only with the registration card when in service.
Nationals of States with which Portugal has international conventions may also enter or leave the country with an expired passport.
Foreign nationals authorized with a safe-conduct or a travel document for compulsory removal or judicial expulsion of a national of a third State may also leave the Portuguese territory.
2. To have a visa valid and suitable for the purpose of the stay:
The visa entitles the holder to present himself at a border post and to request entry into the country.
Entry into the Country without a visa:
Foreign citizens entitled with a residence permit, extension of stay or with the identity card provided for in no. 2 of article 87 of said law;
Foreign citizens who benefit from this option under international conventions to which Portugal is a Party.
3. Having means of subsistence
Foreign citizens may not enter Portuguese territory when they do not have sufficient means of subsistence, either for the period of stay or for the trip to the country in which their admission is guaranteed, or that they are not in a position to acquire legally These means.
Statement of responsibility:
Foreign nationals may, alternatively, submit a signed statement of responsibility by a national or foreign citizen entitled to stay regularly in Portuguese territory.
4. They are not enrolled in the SEF Integrated Information System or the Schengen Information System
The visa can be annulled by the issuing authority in a foreign territory or by the SEF in national territory or at border posts, when the holder is the subject of an alert for the purpose of not being admitted to the Schengen Information System in the SEF Integrated Information System Or make false declarations in the visa application.
NOTE: Foreign nationals who enter the country through a border that is not subject to control, coming from another Member State, must report this fact to the SEF within three working days of the date of entry (except for exceptions provided for in Law).
1. Visas granted abroad
Abroad, the following types of visas may be granted:
It is intended to allow the holder, when using an international connection, to board an airport of a State party to the Convention. Having only access to the international zone of the airport, and shall continue the journey on the same or another aircraft.
It is intended to allow the holder to enter Portuguese territory for purposes that do not justify the granting of another type of visa (transit, tourism and visitation or accompaniment of family members who hold a temporary stay visa).
Temporary stay visa
It is intended to allow entry into Portuguese territory for its holder to:
• Medical treatment in official or officially recognized health facilities;
• Follow-up of family members subject to medical treatment;
• Transfer of nationals of States Parties to the World Trade Organization, in the context of the provision of services or of professional training in Portuguese territory;
• Exercise in the national territory of a professional activity, subordinate or independent, of a temporary nature, whose duration does not exceed, as a rule, six months;
• Exercise in national territory of a scientific research activity in research centers, a teaching activity in a higher education institution or a highly qualified activity during a period of time of less than one year;
• Exercise in the national territory of an amateur sports activity, certified by the respective federation, provided that the club or sports association is responsible for housing and health care;
• To remain in national territory for periods of more than three months, in exceptional cases, duly substantiated, namely for study program attendance at an educational institution, student exchange, unpaid work experience or voluntary service, lasting for one year or less , Or for the purpose of complying with international commitments within the framework of the World Trade Organization and those resulting from international conventions and agreements to which Portugal is a party, in the freedom to provide services;
Visa to obtain residence permit
It is intended to allow the holder to enter Portuguese territory in order to request a residence permit, namely for:
• Residence visa for the exercise of subordinate professional activity;
• Residence visa for independent professional activity or for entrepreneurial immigrants;
• Residence permit for research activity or highly qualified;
• Residence permit for highly qualified activity carried out by a subordinate worker;
• Residence visa for study, student exchange, vocational training or volunteering;
• Residence visa for mobility of students in higher education;
• Residence visa for the purpose of family reunification.
2. Visas granted at border posts
1. Temporary residence permit
The temporary residence permit is valid for a period of one year, counted from the date of issuance of the respective title, renewable for successive periods of two years.
General conditions of temporary residence:
For the granting of a temporary residence permit, in addition to the special conditions applicable, the applicant must meet the following cumulative requirements:
Have a valid residence visa, granted for one of the purposes provided in this law for the granting of a residence permit;
Absence of any fact which, if known to the competent authorities, should impede the granting of the visa;
Be present in Portuguese territory;
Possess means of subsistence (as defined by the ordinance of the members of the Government responsible for the areas of internal administration and solidarity and social security);
To be enrolled in social security, whenever applicable;
Absence of conviction for a crime that in Portugal is punishable by deprivation of liberty for more than one year;
It is not in the period of prohibition of entry into national territory, following a measure of removal from the country;
No indication in the Schengen Information System;
Absence of indication in the Integrated Information System of the SEF for the purpose of non-admission;
2. Permanent residence permit
The permanent residence permit has no limit of validity.
The residence permit must be renewed every five years or whenever there is a change in the identification elements registered therein.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Law No 23/2007 of 4 July concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents, foreign nationals shall be entitled to a permanent residence permit which, cumulatively:
Have held a temporary residence permit for at least five years;
During the last five years of residence in Portuguese territory, they have not been sentenced to or punishable by more than one year in prison, individually or cumulatively, even if, in the case of conviction for an intentional crime provided for in this law or with For crimes of terrorism, for violent crime or for particularly violent or highly organized crime, their execution has been suspended;
Have means of subsistence;
Demonstrate knowledge of basic Portuguese.
1. Residence permit for the exercise of professional activity
Residence permit for the exercise of subordinate professional activity:
In addition to the general conditions described above for the granting of a temporary residence permit, a residence permit is only granted for the exercise of professional activity subordinate to nationals of third States who have a contract of employment concluded in accordance with the law and registered in the social security.
Exceptionally, upon the proposal of the national director of the SEF or at the initiative of the member of the Government responsible for the area of the internal administration, the requirement of a valid residence visa granted for one of the purposes provided in this law for the granting of residence permit , Provided that the foreign citizen, in addition to the other general conditions provided for in that provision, fulfills the following conditions:
have a contract of employment or have a proven employment relationship by union, by association with a seat on the Consultative Council or by the Authority for Working Conditions;
Have entered legally in national territory and remain here legally;
Be registered and have your situation regularized before social security.
The holder of a residence permit for the exercise of a subordinate professional activity may carry out an independent professional activity by replacing the residence permit.
Residence permit for independent professional activity:
In addition to the general conditions for granting a temporary residence permit, a residence permit for the exercise of independent professional activity shall be granted only to a third-country national who fulfills the following requirements:
Have established a company in accordance with the law, declared the beginning of activity with the tax administration and social security as a natural person or entered into a contract to provide services for the exercise of a liberal profession;
Be qualified to exercise an independent professional activity, when applicable;
Have means of subsistence;
When required, submit a declaration of their respective professional order that they fulfill their enrollment requirements.
Exceptionally, upon the proposal of the national director of the SEF or at the initiative of the member of the Government responsible for the area of the internal administration, the requirement of a valid residence visa granted for one of the purposes provided in this law for the granting of residence permit , Provided that the legal entry and stay in the national territory is verified.
The holder of a residence permit for the exercise of an independent professional activity may exercise a subordinate professional activity by replacing the residence permit.
Residence permit for research activity or highly qualified:
Residence permits shall be granted to nationals of third countries for the purpose of pursuing a research activity, a teaching activity in a higher education institution or a highly qualified institution which, in addition to the general conditions for granting a temporary residence permit, fulfill one of the Following requirements:
Are allowed to collaborate in an officially recognized research center, in particular by means of a contract of employment, a contract for the provision of services or a fellowship of scientific research;
Have a contract of employment or service provision compatible with the exercise of a teaching activity in an institution of higher education, or a contract for the provision of services compatible with a highly qualified activity;
Are enrolled in social security.
The applicant may be exempted from the requirement referred to in paragraph a) of paragraph 1 of article 77 of Law no. 23/2007, of July 4 (Possession of a valid residence visa, granted for one of the Purposes provided for in this law for the granting of a residence permit) whenever it has entered and remained legally in national territory.
The holder of a residence permit granted by virtue of collaboration in an officially recognized research center, in particular by means of a contract of employment, a service contract or a scientific research fellowship, may carry out a teaching activity in accordance with of law.
2. Residence permit for investment activity
A residence permit for the purpose of carrying on an investment activity shall be granted to third-country nationals who, cumulatively:
Complete the general requirements for granting a temporary residence permit, except for the possession of a valid residence permit, granted for one of the purposes of this law for the granting of a residence permit;
Are holders of valid Schengen visas;
To regulate the stay in Portugal within the period of 90 days from the date of the first entry into national territory;
Complete the requirements established in Article 3, point d) Law no. 23/2007, of July 4;
3. Residence permit for study, unpaid work experience or voluntary service
Residence permit issued to students of higher education:
A residence permit is granted to the student of higher education who holds a residence visa issued under the provisions of no. 2 and 4 of article 62 of Law no. 23/2007, of July 4 (possession of a travel document , Whose validity covers at least the expected duration of the stay and to fulfill the conditions for admission to a higher education institution for that purpose) provided that the applicant:
Present proof of enrollment and payment of tuition fees required by the establishment;
Have means of subsistence;
Is covered by the National Health Service or has health insurance.
Exceptionally, a residence permit may be granted for the purpose of studying in a higher education institution with exemption from the requirement of article 77 (1) (a), (Possession of a valid residence visa, granted for one of the Purposes provided for in this law for the granting of a residence permit) where the third-country national has entered and remains legally in Portugal and fulfills the conditions set out above.
If the duration of the study program is less than one year, the residence permit has the duration necessary to cover the period of study.
Residence permit issued to secondary school students:
A residence permit is issued if the student is enrolled in a secondary school and is covered by the National Health Service or has health insurance.
The validity of the residence permit may not exceed one year and may be renewed for an equal period, provided that the conditions for granting it are maintained.
Residence permit for unpaid trainees:
A residence permit is granted from the trainee who is covered by the National Health Service or has health insurance.
The granting of authorization for the presentation by the person concerned of an unpaid training contract concluded with an officially recognized undertaking or professional training body and certified by the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training.
Residence permit for volunteers:
A residence permit is issued to the holder of a residence visa to participate in a volunteer program, provided that they are covered by the National Health Service or have health insurance.
The granting of authorization will depend on the presentation by the interested party of a contract signed with the organization responsible in Portugal for the volunteer program in which it participates, which contains:
A description of your tasks,
The conditions which it will enjoy in carrying out those tasks,
The timetable to be followed and, where appropriate, the training received to ensure the proper performance of its tasks.
The validity of the residence permit may not exceed one year.
In exceptional cases, if the duration of the program exceeds one year, the validity of the residence permit may correspond to the period in question.
The holder of a residence permit for participation in a voluntary program is prohibited from carrying out a paid professional activity.
4. Residence authorization for family reunification
Who is entitled:
Citizens with valid residence permits have the right to family reunification with family members * who are outside the national territory, who have lived with them in another country, who depend on him or who live with him, regardless of whether the family ties are previous Or after the resident’s entry.
In the circumstances referred to in the previous paragraph, the right to family reunification with family members who have legally entered the national territory and who depend or cohabit with the holder of a valid residence permit is also recognized.
In order to exercise this right, the applicant must have accommodation and means of subsistence (as defined by the order of the members of the Government responsible for the areas of internal administration and solidarity and social security).
*Members of the family:
The following shall be considered members of the resident’s family:
The minor or incapable children in charge of the couple or one of the spouses;
The minor adopted by the applicant when he or she is not married by the applicant or the spouse, by decision of the competent authority of the country of origin, provided that the law of that country recognizes the adopted rights and duties identical to those of natural filiation and that the decision is Recognized by Portugal;
The older children, who are in charge of the couple or one of the spouses, who are single and are studying at an educational establishment in Portugal;
The older children, who are either single or in the spouse and who are studying, where the holder of the right to reunification has a residence permit granted under Article 90a;
The ascendants in the straight line and in the first degree of the resident or his / her spouse, provided that they are in charge;
The minor siblings, provided that they are under the custody of the resident, according to a decision rendered by the competent authority of the country of origin and provided that this decision is recognized by Portugal.
Family members shall also be considered for the purpose of family reunification of the unaccompanied minor refugee:
Direct ascendants in 1st degree;
Your legal guardian or any other family member if the refugee has no direct ascendants or can not be located.
Members of the family are considered for the purpose of family reunification of the holder of a residence permit for study, unpaid work experience or voluntary service
The minor or incapable children in charge of the couple or one of the spouses;
Minors adopted by the applicant when he is not married, by the applicant or the spouse, by decision of the competent authority of the country of origin.
Family reunification with a minor child or incapacity of one of the spouses depends on the consent of the other parent or the decision of the competent authority according to which the child has been entrusted to him.
Union de facto
Family reunification may be authorized with:
The partner who maintains, in national territory or abroad, a resident union, duly proven by law;
Unmarried minors or disabled children, including the adopted children of the de facto partner, provided that they are.
5. Authorization of residence to victims of trafficking in persons or action to aid illegal immigration
6. Authorization of residence to holders of long-term resident status in another member state of the European Union
A third-country national who has acquired long-term resident status in another Member State of the European Union and who resides in national territory for a period exceeding three months shall have the right of residence provided that he fulfills one of the following conditions:
Carry out a subordinate professional activity;
Carry out an independent professional activity;
Attend a study program or vocational training course;
Give an acceptable reason to establish residence in national territory.
And provided they have:
Means of subsistence;
7. EU Blue Card residence permit:
The ‘EU Blue Card’ is the residence permit entitling the holder to reside and exercise a highly qualified activity in the national territory, in accordance with the provisions of this section.
Conditions for granting:
The EU Blue Card for the purpose of carrying out a highly qualified activity is granted to a third-country national who, in addition to the general conditions set out in this text (with the exception of accommodation), meets the following requirements cumulatively:
Has a work contract compatible with the exercise of a highly qualified activity and of a duration of not less than one year, corresponding to an annual remuneration of at least 1,5 times the national average gross annual salary or, in the cases Article 61a (2), of at least 1,2 times the national average gross annual salary;
Have health insurance or proof that you are covered by the National Health Service;
Is enrolled in social security;
In the case of an unregulated profession, present a document proving high professional qualifications in the activity or sector specified in the employment contract or in the promise contract of employment contract;
In the case of a regulated profession indicated in the employment contract or in the promise contract of employment contract, present a document certifying professional certification, when applicable.
8. Residence permit in special situations
Article 122 of Law 23/2007 of July 4 provides for the situations in which a residence permit can be granted without a residence visa.
(It does not dispense with consulting the aforementioned law for complete information)
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