All non-EU nationals interested in coming to Portugal to find a job are eligible for a Portugal Job Seeker Visa. Find out more!

Last Updated on July 11, 2024 by Laila Oliveira

It’s gotten even more popular than ever now! Certain changes in Portuguese regulations have shifted the focus to the Portugal Job Seeker Visa. Non-EU nationals who would previously rely on the Expression of Interest were left puzzled after the government announced the new Migration Plan for Immigrants. But we’re here to guide you! 

Follow along with this article to learn more about the Job Seeker Visa, what rights it grants you, and how long it’s valid. We’ll also go over the step-by-step process of how to apply and where to look for resources to help. Happy reading! 

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What is the Portugal Job Seeker Visa? 

The Portugal Job Seeker Visa was introduced in 2022 to attract more skilled workers to the country. With this visa, non-EU nationals can enter Portugal without the need for a job offer letter. 

They are eligible to stay in Portugal for up to 120 days. If a visa holder secures employment within the initial 120 days, they are eligible to apply for a work and residence permit. However, if they are unable to find a job within that period, they can request an extension of 60 days maximum.

During this time, the visa holder is allowed to do menial jobs

In recent years, the economy has been growing rapidly. Thanks to investors from abroad and companies that have expanded their operations to Portugal, there’s a growing need for skilled labor. 

Key drivers include Portugal’s regulatory environment, transportation connectivity, and the availability of assets, which have made Lisbon an increasingly attractive destination.

As Pedro Fontainhas told Portugal Resident: “Portugal’s strategic position as a gateway to Europe has significant appeal”. Let’s not forget the common language with the Brazilian community that also attracts many investors and also people seeking jobs. 

Who Can Apply for the Portugal Job Seeker Visa?

Individuals who can apply for the Portugal Job Seeker Visa are non-EU nationals with a valid Passport and sufficient financial means to support themselves during their job search. Applicants must also meet specific qualifications and skill requirements relevant to the Portuguese job market.

EU nationals do not require a visa to live, work, or study in any other EU country. Hence, this visa is not for EU nationals. 

Now, let’s go over the basic requirements and qualifications you need to apply for this visa! 

Basic Requirements and Qualifications

Like any other visa, the Portugal Job Seeker Visa requires you to compile your documents and apply at the consulate. 

Take a look at the required documents:

Required Documents

  • Valid Passport;
  • Passport-sized photographs;
  • Resident card or national identity card;
  • Copy of your resume;
  • A letter stating why you’re seeking a job in Portugal;
  • Complete the Visa Application form. You can obtain this form from the Portuguese consulate website in the country where you are submitting your application;
  • Proof of Sufficient Funds (bank statement showing at least €2,280 to sustain yourself for a minimum of 3 months);
  • Health Insurance (proof that it is worth €30,000);
  • Criminal Record Certificate;
  • Consent form stating that you give AIMA (formerly SEF) permission to run background checks on you
  • Flight Itinerary. It must include your round-trip flight bookings, demonstrating to the consulate your intention to leave Portugal if your visa expires.
  • Proof of accommodation: this can be a hotel booking, a rental apartment, or an Airbnb booking. 

Needless to say, these documents are absolutely crucial in helping your application get approved. The consulate has every right to reject incomplete applications on the basis of missing documents. 

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Application Process

Onto the application! The Job Seeker Visa is relatively simpler than the Business Visa, Work Visa, Passive Income Visa, or Digital Nomad Visa

First, you must verify your eligibility by ensuring you meet the specific qualifications and skill requirements relevant to the Portuguese job market. After you fill out the form on the IEFP website, you must wait for approval to move to the next step. We’ll talk about how to do this in just a bit. 

Next, you will schedule an appointment with the Portuguese consulate and compile all your documents in the meantime. 

Lastly, you will submit your application at the Portuguese consulate, paying the required application fee. You may need to provide biometric data and attend a visa interview.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for the Visa

Follow these steps, and get in touch with an expert to help you with the process! 

Online Application Submission

You must register with the IEFP (Instituto Do Emprego e Formação Profissional) for the Portugal Job Seeker Visa. In this step, you will go to the official website and declare your interest in looking for a job. 

If this step is successful, you will receive an email from IEFP indicating that you may proceed with your application. This is not equivalent to a visa or permit; it is simply an approval to move ahead with the application. 

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Appointment with the Portuguese Consulate

Next, you must schedule an appointment at the Portuguese consulate and wait for the big day! This step can be done online, and you must choose the consulate in your city or the one closest to you. 

An important thing to mention is that this step can take a few weeks or even up to months. Scheduling appointments with the Portuguese consulate is generally a time-consuming task. But keep your hopes up, as everything good is well worth the wait! 

In the meantime, you must start gathering all your documents (listed above) and ensure that everything is true to the best of your knowledge. 

Application Fee and Payment Process

When the big day is finally here, you’re ready to submit your application! 

The application fee is €80 and is completely non-refundable. This does not include the fee of the resident permit if you were to need it, which is an additional €170.

Even though the amounts aren’t that high, you want to ensure your visa application has the highest chance of approval. Consider getting in touch with a relocation expert who can help you out! 

Rights Granted by the Job Seeker Visa

The Portugal Job Seeker Visa provides several essential rights to its holders. Primarily, it allows non-EU nationals to enter Portugal and search for employment.

During this time, you can engage in job interviews, network with potential employers, and attend professional events. You also get to enjoy the benefits of living in one of the best European countries for up to 6 months! 

With golden sunshine, moderate weather, pristine beaches, and some of the most delicious meals you can find, Portugal is truly a gem. 

Validity and Renewal

As mentioned above, the Portugal Job Seeker Visa is valid for 120 days in the initial period. If you have not found a job within the time frame, you can request an extension for 60 more days. After that, you must leave the country if you haven’t been able to find a job in Portugal. 

This extension requires proof of ongoing job search efforts and continued financial means to support oneself. You can transition to a work and residence permit if employment is obtained. 

This structured approach ensures that job seekers have a fair opportunity to integrate into the Portuguese labor market while maintaining legal residency status.

Do you need help getting a Portugal Job Seeker Visa? 

With so much at stake, it’s always better to get it right the first time around! If you need any help applying for a Portugal Job Seeker Visa, get in touch with our experts at Viv Europe. Book a free consultation now and follow your dreams of securing a job in Portugal. 

If you’d like to know more information about expat communities here and how people relocated, join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats. Share your questions, ask people questions, and get inspired by how they changed their life for the better. See you soon! 

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