According to a recently released study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Portugal ranks in a world ranking, as the 26th most attractive country for foreign workers in 2020.

In fact, within this true technological bubble that Europe is experiencing, Portugal deserves more and more prominence, either for the growing preference in the establishment of operational centers by technological giants, or for the development of startups with the consequent creation of thousands of jobs in this area.

In order to respond to this growing need to hire qualified professionals, the Portuguese immigration framework has adapted and provides for the possibility of residence in Portugal for qualified professionals through three regimes. Namely:

D3 Visa – General regime

Provided for in Article 61-A of the Foreigners Law, this residence permit for work imposes three main requirements:

  1. Be the holder of an employment contract, job promise or written service provision contract, with at least one year duration;
  2. Annual remuneration of at least 1.5 times the national average gross annual salary or 3 times the indexing value of social supports (IAS);
  3. Proof of professional and academic qualifications, depending on whether it is a regulated profession or not;

NOTE: For 2021, IAS is set at € 438.81.

For the granting of the D3 Visa, it is necessary to prove the performance of an activity considered to be highly qualified, which is defined as “one whose exercise requires specialized technical skills, of an exceptional nature or an adequate qualification for the respective exercise.”

D3 Visa – Tech Visa Program

The Tech Visa is a certification program for technological companies with headquarters and permanent establishment in Portugal, which allows the hiring of qualified professionals in this area in a faster and less bureaucratic way.

With this certification, companies are now able to issue terms of responsibility to foreign employees, through which it ensures that they meet the eligibility requirements as “highly qualified”. This circumstance removes the control and verification process by the competent authority, thus shortening the visa processing time.

EU Blue Card

With more specific and demanding requirements, this residence permit for work has, in contrast to the previous options, the highly attractive detail of allowing residence and the exercise of highly qualified activity in any EU member state, with the exception of Denmark and Ireland.

In the event that the applicant has resided for at least 18 months as a holder of a Blue Card granted by another member state, he/she may apply for its grant directly in Portugal, presenting, for this purpose, the necessary documentation.

Thus, in addition to being more simplified processes than that of the common work visa, the schemes for highly qualified workers allow:

  • Entry and stay in Portugal and other countries that are part of the Schengen Area without the need for a visa;
  • Granting of a visa-free residence permit, with the exception of the Blue Card;
  • Family reunification;
  • Reconciliation with the Non-Habitual Resident Status (RNH);
  • Application for Portuguese nationality at the end of 5 years of residence.

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