Work permits for Portugal are granted differently according to an expat's country of origin.
Expats who are nationals of an EU member state don't need a work permit for Portugal for their first six months in the country. After this period, they will be required to apply for a residence permit to live in Portugal. This is more of a formality and simply makes life easier when it comes to applying for a bank account in Portugal. It also serves as proof of address.
Those moving to Portugal from outside the EU will need to have secured a job offer in order to apply for a work permit.
Work permits for EU nationals
EU nationals aren't restricted from finding employment in Portugal, and are granted a 90-day period to live in the country and find work without obtaining an EU registration certificate.
Some expats may need to apply for a residence card. This is a process that, albeit simple, results in its own long queues and delays. The residence card can only be obtained from the Portuguese immigration office.
Neither a work permit nor a residence card is needed for EU citizens working for an employment period of three months or less.
Work permits for non-EU nationals
Non-EU nationals can obtain a work permit for Portugal if offered a secure job contract by a formal employer. As there are regulations in place that encourage companies to hire members of other EU countries before looking outside the sphere, it can be difficult to secure a job offer.
If an expat does manage to find a job, a work permit is needed before employment can commence. Either the employee or the employer can apply for the permit. In addition to the permit, a residence visa, also known as a long-stay visa, should be obtained. This allows the holder to enter the country for a stay of a year or longer.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice, and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.