Updates on the Portuguese Immigration Law

New regulation regarding the Portuguese Immigration Law is entering in force on October 1st this year. The amendments are targeted at foreign citizens in and outside Portugal who intend to apply for a visa or a resident permit.

The main purpose of this new regulation is to turn simpler the procedures required when applying for a visa or a resident permit, in order to save the applicant’s time and, most importantly, costs.

The most important changes are the following ones:

Simplified procedures:

  • Keeping up with the digital era, most of the proceedings are now digital, avoiding needless trips and can be concluded in other offices of the Immigration Services in Portugal, besides the Office of the applicant’s residence area.
  • Immigration Service is now asked to reuse all the documentation previously provided by the applicant and held in their custody, avoiding unnecessary requests and trouble to the individuals.
  • Requests for renewal of residence permits and residence permits for holders of a residence visa can be submitted via electronic platform.

Irregular entry in Portuguese territory:

  • An individual who has entered Portugal irregularly, but meets all the other requirements to get a residence visa and is working in Portugal for longer than a year, can benefit from an exceptional regime invoking humanitarian reasons to obtain a residence permit.

Faster approval for Students, Entrepreneurs and High Qualified Applicants:

  • Any person who engages on a highly qualified activity will benefit from a faster analysis process. The same goes for students who come from Portuguese speaking countries and apply for the visa or resident permit, as the interview and the livelihood proof will now be waived.
  • The holder of a residence permit for study, who intends to perform a subordinate or independent professional activity will be able to ask the Immigration Services for the replacement of the residence permit.

Increased support for foreign investment:

  • Will be opened local representations to provide specialized information to investors.
  • It is created the “Permanent Residency for Investors” which grants them a 5 year card without minimum staying periods in Portuguese territory.
  • The investors of €1.000.000 (financial option), will be able to renew their residence permit based in any other type of investment legally foreseen, provided that the investment value keeps the same.

New procedures for people with specific needs:

  • Seasonal workers, workers transferred intra-group, mobile students, researchers and foreign companies are now provided with simplified proceedings to obtain a visa and a residence permit to Portugal.

Once again the Portuguese Government is doing an effort to reply to the investors and foreigners’ demands. With this new regulation it is estimated that the situation of many immigrants will be regularized and that the demand for migration options to Portugal by certain market segments such as students, trainers, investors and start-ups will increase even more.

The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.