Applying for Residence in Portugal

Working in Portugal

Article 88, paragraph 2 – Residence Permit for employed workers without a residence visa
Documents Required

The expression of interest is preferably submitted through the electronic platform (SAPA Portal) and the application is submitted personally on a standard form signed by the applicant or his/her legal representative and may be submitted at any SEF’s directorate or regional delegation, which, after proceedings and decision, will forward it to the directorate or regional delegation of the applicant’s area of residence.

  • Passport or any other valid travel document;
  • Evidence of regular entry in Portuguese territory (holder of a valid visa, when required, or entry into Portugal within the period of the visa waiver);
  • Evidence of sufficient means of subsistence, as per the provisions of Order Number 1563/2007, of 11 December;
  • Extract from the criminal record from the country of origin;
  • Extract from the criminal record from the country of residence for more than one year (when not Portugal);
  • Permission for SEF to check portuguese criminal record;
  • Evidence that the applicant has adequate accommodation;
  • Evidence of having registered with the Social Security, except in the case of a promised employment contract;
  • Evidence of registration in the tax authority;
  • Contract of employment or document issued under article 88, paragraph 2, subparagraph a) of Law n. º 23/2007 of 4 July; OR
  • Promised employment contract according to the law.
  • The granting of a residence permit shall entail: the absence of any fact which, if known to the competent authorities, would preclude the granting of the visa; Absence of conviction for a crime which in Portugal is punishable by a custodial sentence of more than one year; The applicant is not within a period of prohibition of entry into the national territory, following an expulsion measure from the country; No indication in the Schengen Information System; No indication in SEF’s Integrated Information System for non-admission purposes, under article 33 of the Aliens Act.
  • The new Automatic Pre-scheduling System SAPA presents new functionalities allowing an interaction with SEF electronically, enabling a simpler and effective coordination. The expressions of interest under article 88, paragraph 2 or article 89, paragraph 2 of the Law on Foreigners, in its current version, may be submitted online, with the necessary documentation, in a procedure concluded with the scheduling for visiting SEF.
  • The applicant concerned should complete and confirm the user registration and log on. Once logged on, the applicant may submit in the page the expression of interest, according to the applicant’s situation, and upload the documents needed. The applicant may yet consult the expression of interest and receive notifications from SEF related to the applicant’s situation, check it, where appropriate, and avoid unnecessary visits to SEF.
  • If you have not made your user registration in the new SAPA yet, you may do so before the creation of an expression of interest.
  • If you are registered on the previous SAPA version (before 11 September 2017), you may enter the new SAPA and follow the steps indicated in order to update your expression of interest and benefit from the processing of the request in chronological order.
  • In case you submit the expression of interest in the new SAPA, it is not necessary to do so on paper.
  • If you had already submitted a request on paper, in the forms available by SEF, you may send it electronically, benefiting from the functionalities of the new system, holding a registration in the new SAPA.
  • For requests submitted on paper, and which are incompleted and/or insufficient documents have been submitted, deadlines for the decision-making are suspended.
  • After assessment of the expression of interest, SEF provides the user the possibility to make the appointment for the SEF Bureau in SAPA Portal. The user is allowed to select place, date, time of his/her convenience according with the application availability nationwide.
  • If you wish to change the accreditation data (e-mail and password) to access the SAPA Portal, you should contact SEF Contact Centre [808 202 653 (landline network)], and book an appointment to any SEF bureau to Change Accreditation data to access the SAPA Portal.
  • The holder of a residence permit for a subordinate professional activity may carry out an independent professional activity by visiting one of SEF’s Service Bureaus and apply for the replacement of the residence permit (see documents necessary for granting of the residence permit for the carry out of an independent professional activity).
  • with the amendment introduced to article 75 of the Aliens Act, by article 192 of Act n.º 75-B/2020 of 31 december – State Budget to 2021 in force since 01/01/2021 and to 2021 –, the temporary residence permit for employed workers is valid for two years [and not just one] from the date of issue of the corresponding title and renewable for successive periods of three years [and not just two].

  • The following administrative offences apply: Article 192 of the Aliens Act (Illegal Stay); Article 197 of the Aliens Act (No entry declaration); Article 198 of the Aliens Act (Unauthorized independent professional activity); Article 199 of the Aliens Act (No travel document).


ORDER NUMBER 1563/2007, OF 11/12