RIGHTS OF FOREIGN NATIONALS / IMMIGRATION
The conditions and procedures for entry, stay, exit and removal of foreign citizens from the Portuguese territory, as well as long-term resident status are defined by Law no. 23/2007, of 4 July and its amendments.
Entry into Portuguese territory
To enter or exit the Portuguese territory, foreign citizens must hold the following:
• A valid travel document (it must be valid for at least 3 months longer than the length of stay).
• A visa that is valid and suitable for the purpose of the stay (the visa entitles the holder to come before a border post and request entry into the country).
• Having means of subsistence (foreign citizens cannot enter the Portuguese territory if they do not have sufficient means of subsistence; alternatively, they can submit a letter of sponsorship signed by a national or foreign citizen who is entitled to stay regularly in Portuguese territory.
• Not to be registered in the SEF (Foreigners and Frontiers Services) Integrated Information System or in the Schengen Information System. The visa can be cancelled by the issuing authority in a foreign territory, by SEF in national territory, or at border posts, when the applicant is object of an alert in the Schengen Information System or in the SEF Integrated Information System for the purpose of refusing entry, or if he or she makes false declarations in the visa application.
Foreign nationals who enter the country through a border that is not subject to control, coming from another Member State, must report this fact to SEF within three working days from the date of entry (unless exceptions provided by in the Law apply).
Visas granted abroad. The following types of visas may be granted abroad:
• Airport transit visa; (its aim is to allow the holder, when using an international connection, to travel through an airport of a State that is member of the Convention).
• Short-stay visa; (aims at enabling its holder to enter into Portuguese territory for purposes that do not justify the granting of another type of visa).
• Temporary stay visa; (its purpose is to allow its holder entry into Portuguese territory for:
– Medical treatment in official or officially recognised health facilities;
– Accompanying a family member who is subject to medical treatment;
– Transfer of nationals from States that are World Trade Organisation members;
– Exercising a recreational sports activity in national territory;
– Exercício em território nacional de uma atividade desportiva amadora;
– Remain in national territory for periods longer than three months, in exceptional cases;
• Visa for obtaining a residence permit: (intended to allow its holder to enter into Portuguese territory in order to request a residence permit, for the following ends):
– Exercise of a professional activity under an employment contract;
– Exercise of a self-employed professional activity, or entrepreneurial immigrants;
– Highly qualified research activity, carried out by a worker under an employment contract;
– Student visa;
– Mobility of higher education students;
– Family reunification.
• Visas granted at border posts (short-stay visas and special visas may be granted at border posts)
Residence in national territory:
• Temporary residence permit
The temporary residence permit shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issue of the respective certificate (renewable for successive periods of two years) and shall meet the following cumulative requirements:
– Hold a valid residence permit;
– Be present in Portuguese territory;
– Have means of subsistence and accommodation;
– To be registered for social security, whenever applicable;
– Not having been convicted in criminal proceedings punishable with a prison sentence equal to or greater than one year in Portugal;
– Not being in the period of ban on entry into national territory;
– No alert in the Schengen Information System;
– No alert in the SEF Integrated Information System for the purpose of refusing entry.
• Permanent residence permit
The permanent residence permit has no limit of validity and must be renewed every five years (or whenever there is a change in the identification elements registered therein) and the following requirements must be met cumulatively:
– Hold a temporary residence permit for at least five years;
– Not having been convicted in criminal proceedings punishable with a prison sentence equal to or greater than one year, during the last five years of residence in Portuguese territory;
– Have means of subsistence and accommodation;
– Demonstrate basic knowledge of the Portuguese language.
In Portugal, the following types of residence permit exist:
• Residence permit for exercising a professional activity under an employment contract;
• Residence permit for exercising an independent professional activity;
• Residence permit for exercising a research or highly qualified activity;
• Residence permit for exercising an investment activity;
• Residence permit for studying, non-remunerated professional traineeship or volunteering work;
• Residence permit issued to higher education students;
• Residence permit issued to secondary education students;
• Residence permit for non-remunerated traineeships;
• Residence permit for volunteers;
• Residence permit for family reunification;
• Residence permit for victims of actions to facilitate illegal immigration and of human trafficking;
• Residence permit for holders of long-term resident status in another European Union member State;
• A third State national who has acquired the long-term resident status in another Member State of the European Union and remains in national territory for more than three months has the right of residence;
• “EU blue card” residence permit; (allows the exercise of highly qualified activity to national citizens of third States):
• Residence permit in special situations (Article 122 of the Law no. 23/2007 of 4 July provides for situations in which a residence permit can be granted with exemption of a residence visa.
(This does not exempt the reading of the said law for complete information.)
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