Portugal Introduces Work Visa Requirement for Foreign Job Seekers

Written by

Inayat Sharma

Fact check by

Afreen Abbasi

Updated on

Jul 14,2024

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Portugal, a country known for its historical riches, scenic beauty, and lively culture, has recently introduced a new requirement for foreign employees: work visas. This policy is designed to simplify immigration procedures and ensure that the flow of foreign workers corresponds to Portugal’s economic and social objectives. In this article, we will learn more about this new requirement and what it means to job searchers planning a career in Portugal.

Understanding The New Work Visa Requirement

The recent introduction of a work visa requirement for foreigners seeking jobs in Portugal represents a significant change in how the country approaches immigration. Aiming to manage the inflow of foreign workers better, this policy demonstrates Portugal’s commitment to balancing business opportunities with regulatory oversight. Let us take an in-depth look into what these requirements entail and how they would affect aspirants who want to pursue careers within Portugal, which is always regarded as “Vibrant”.

Why the Change?

Portugal has been a haven for foreign job seekers due to its temperate weather, low living cost, and booming employment sector. However, with the ever-increasing numbers of people seeking jobs abroad, there is also a need for structured immigration controls. That is how the new work visa requirement aims to manage the flow of foreign workers more efficiently so that job openings can be available to Portuguese nationals and international applicants who meet specific criteria.

Also Read: Complete Guide for Portugal Immigration 

The Work Visa Application Process

Several steps must be followed when applying for a new work visa. These must include:

1. Gain Employment: Applicants must first find and apply for a job in Portugal. Such must comply with local labour laws and show that no citizen could fill it.

2. Gather Documents: The necessary papers encompass a valid passport, evidence of a job offer, academic documentation, professional course completion letters/expertise certificates, and declarations about having enough funds to sustain oneself during initial days in Portugal.

3. Handover application: This must be done via the Portuguese consulate or embassy in the applicant’s home country. Then, further scrutiny will occur, after which an interview may even be scheduled.

4. Await Approval: Once the application is approved, the applicant will receive a work visa to work in Portugal legally.

Impact on Job Seekers from Abroad

Introducing the work visa requirement in Portugal is a turning point for those seeking employment in the previously most open labour market. Therefore, these [new] policies and many others aim at preventing non-nationals from working; we will see how it affects the foreign job seeker, but before, let’s understand them. We will do this by looking into the medicinal shops which they sell their body organs to get money.

Opportunities and Drawbacks 

The imposition of a visa requirement affects Portuguese employers by decreasing labour supply and making less desirable workers more attractive. Many foreigners now face a dilemma caused by labor migration policy problems standing as a barrier between them and jobs- not in terms of legal access as opposed to integration with such rejected jobs that are widespread due to low qualifications. 

 Adjusting to the New Requirements

To adapt to the new requirements, prospective job seekers should:

  • Research: Conduct a thorough study of the Portuguese labour market to determine which segments are most sought after and match your competencies.

  • Network: Connect with employers and hiring companies in Portugal to improve your chances of getting a job there.

  • Prepare Early: Collect all necessary documents before submission to facilitate a smooth application process.

Sector-Specific Implications

For different sectors in Portugal, the impact of the new work visa requirement will vary. Below are some key sectors and how they might be affected:

1. Technology and IT

Portugal’s technology and IT industry has been expanding at an incredible rate, thus attracting many start-ups and established firms. Demand for skilled tech professionals is still high; hence, the new visa requirements may ease recruitment processes for foreign nationals who meet qualifications due to fewer checks on expertise.

2. Dynamism in Healthcare

Portugal's healthcare industry has long depended on foreign professionals to fill critical gaps. The new work visa policy will help ensure that foreign healthcare workers meet the necessary qualifications and standards, thereby maintaining quality of care.

3. Tourism and Hospitality

Portugal’s tourism and hospitality industry, which significantly contributes to the economy, often relies on seasonal foreign workers. New visa requirements might present challenges in promptly filling these positions during peak seasons. Employers in this sector will need to plan to have an adequate workforce.

Comparative Overview: Portugal vs. Other EU Countries

One way to better understand the implications of Portugal’s new work visa requirement is by comparing it with work visa policies for other EU countries.


Work Visa Requirement

Key Features



Requires job offer, proof of qualifications, financial resources



Blue Card for highly skilled workers, job offer required



Talent Passport for certain professions, job offer required



Specific work visas for different sectors and job offers required



Various work visas, depending on the nature of employment


Portugal's work visa requirements align with those of other major EU countries, emphasizing the need for a job offer and proof of qualifications. This standardization across the EU helps maintain consistent immigration policies and ensures that foreign workers meet the necessary standards to contribute effectively to the host country's economy.


Portugal's new work visa requirement is a significant development for foreign job seekers. While it introduces new challenges, it also provides a structured pathway to legal employment, ensuring that foreign workers and the Portuguese economy benefit. By understanding the requirements and preparing adequately, job seekers can navigate this new landscape and take advantage of the opportunities Portugal has to offer.

If you are looking for Portugal immigration ways and have no idea where to start, TerraTern is the right place for you. TerraTern has expertise in immigration to various countries, including Portugal, which can help you easily immigrate to your preferred destination.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main purpose of the new work visa requirement in Portugal?

The main purpose is to regulate the influx of foreign workers, ensuring that job opportunities are available to both Portuguese citizens and qualified international applicants while maintaining the country's economic stability.

How long does it typically take to get a work visa for Portugal?

The processing time can vary, but it generally takes a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the application's completeness and the applicant's specific circumstances.

Can I apply for a work visa without a job offer?

No, securing a job offer from a Portuguese employer is a prerequisite for applying for a work visa.

Are there any exemptions to the work visa requirement?

Certain categories of individuals, such as diplomats or individuals with specific agreements between countries, may be exempt from the work visa requirement.

What happens if my work visa application is denied?

If your application is denied, you will receive a notification stating the reasons for the denial. You may address the issues and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was unjust.