Residence Requirements

If you are a national of a European Union country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and you decide to remain in Portugal for a period of more than three months, you must apply for a Registration Certificate (Certificado de Registo) to the City Council (Câmara Municipal) of your area of residence. This document gives you the right to reside in Portugal and has to be issued within 4 months of arrival in Portugal.

Find more information on documents needed for registration here and here.

The Registration Certificate will be valid for 5 years from the date of issue, or for the period of intended residence. Thereafter, you can apply for a Permanent Residence Certificate (Certificado de Residência Permanente) to the Immigration and Borders Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras).

If you are a citizen of a third state and you wish to become a resident in Portugal, you must hold a residency visa that is suitable for the purpose of your stay. This visa will allow you to enter the Portuguese territory for the purpose of requesting the Residence Permit.

Golden Residence Permit Programme

Recently, the Portuguese Government created a new programme with new legal provisions. It opens up the possibility of foreign investors who enter the country regularly (e.g. holders of valid Schengen Visas, or beneficiaries of Visa exemption) applying for a residence permit for pursuing investment activities by transferring capital, creating jobs or acquiring real estate.

Residence holders with permits for pursuing investment activities are entitled to:

  • Enter Portugal without the requirement of a residential visa;
  • Live and work in Portugal, having to stay in Portugal for a period of at least 7 days in the first year and no less than 14 days in subsequent years;
  • Travel within the Schengen area without the need for a visa;
  • Benefit from family regrouping;
  • Request the assignment of Permanent Authorisation of Residence under Foreign Laws;
  • Request Portuguese nationality, through naturalisation, complying with the requirements of the Nationality Law.

This regime is not applicable to citizens who have Portuguese nationality and nationals of the EU and the European Economic Area.

To find out more about who is eligible and how to apply, click here.