Establishing Residency in Portugal

Our mission is to assist all foreigners in establishing residency in Portugal. Two different sets of laws apply to non-EU citizens and the non-EU citizens who are family of EU citizens, but we are very familiar with the procedures involved for each group and we guide you each step of the way.

For more details about our services, please book a consultation to learn more.

Client intake for STANDARD and PREMIUM visa services begin with a consultation, booked into the calendar. BASIC visa service (application review only) has its own calendar.

EU citizens, their family members, and others interested in ad hoc services (not visas), can contact us directly for these services without booking into the consultation calendar.


We can familiarize you on the residency processes and explain the differences, pros and cons for each route. Preparation for a visa application is approached as project management and includes pre-scheduled check-in calls and document reviews. All services are by contract for confidentiality and quality control, with deposits at contract signing and official invoices/receipts.

Pre-arrival services are also available to EU passport holders who do not require visas for residency in Portugal. This includes home searches, health-related research, arranging appointments, translations, preparing documents for driver’s license exchange, shipping, pet importation, and other administrative matters.

We have law partners and accountants for immigration, business creation for entrepreneurs, investment, real estate, and other areas. Our professional network includes bankers, insurance agents, and services for everyday life such as private Portuguese tutors.

Note: Fiscal Representation for the NIF is only offered by RTP as part of the Standard and Premium visa services. It cannot be purchased separately. However, we can provide referrals for obtaining NIFs and opening bank accounts remotely.


Upon arrival in Portugal, we help prepare clients for their SEF appointments to obtain residence permits. We have experience with a wide range of residence permits under Act 23/2007 of July 4, especially Art. 77 (General Regime) which is the permit side of the D7 visa. Our experience includes permit applications under Manifestation of Interest (Art. 88-2 / 89-2), Family Reunification under Art. 98-2, as well as Family Reunification under Art. 15 of Act 37/2006 of August 9.

We book appointments and accompany our clients to SEF, Finanças, Segurança Social, IMT, Câmara Municipal, Junta da Freguesia, Centro da Saúde, medical appointments, real estate agencies, banks, and other offices.


For European Union citizens relocating to Portugal, we provide support through the process of registrations in each government department, from residency certificates at the parish level to the CRUE (Certificate of Registration of an EU citizen) from the municipality. 

Immigration Terminology

For residency purposes in Portugal, all nationalities are divided into three groups:

  1. First Country Nationals (Portuguese)
  2. Second Country Nationals (EU citizens)
  3. Third Country Nationals (the rest of the world)

Our clients are a mix of non-EU clients, EU clients, and the Portuguese diaspora.

NOTE: There are public policies which apply to everyone, regardless of nationality. For example, NHR (Non-Habitual Residency tax status).

Visa Information For Portugal

Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros / Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Types of residency visas (also called “long-stay visa” or “national visa”):

  • Subordinate work activity
  • Independent work activity or migrant entrepreneur
  • Teaching purposes, highly qualified or cultural activity, or highly qualified subordinate activity
  • Research, study, higher education students exchange, internships and volunteer work
  • Family reunification
  • Fixed residency for retirement purposes, religious purposes or people living out from individual revenues

Also known as a “Working Holiday Visa”, this visa is for one year in Portugal only, restricted by age, and cannot be extended. It is currently available to youth citizens of 9 countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Republic of Korea, USA.

The Schengen Area (click to expand)

Portugal is part of the Schengen Area, which means a Third Country National who wishes to stay more than 90 days out of 180 needs to apply for a long-stay Schengen visa from a member state, even if the Third Country National is from a country under the Visa Waiver Program. Long-stay visas and residence visas are types of Schengen visas.

All applicants are subject to the laws of the Schengen Area which has uncontrolled borders with some exceptions. Visa requirements follow a similar standard between member states.

The UK has left the European Union, but the Withdrawal Agreement allows UK citizens until December 31, 2020, to establish residency in an EU Member State.

To calculate legal entries and stays for the 90/180 rule, you can use an online Schengen calculator:


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Establishing residency in Portugal is a process with many steps. Find out how we can make it easier for you.

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