Third-country nationals, family members of an E.U./E.E.A./Andorra/Switzerland national, are admitted to the Portuguese territory upon presentation of a valid passport, subject only to an entry visa requirement in accordance with the rules in force in the E.U.
Residence permits are granted by the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), according to the intended purpose.
Foreign citizens holding a residence permit shall be entitled to equal treatment as nationals, namely in matters of social security, tax benefits, trade union membership, recognition of diplomas, certificates and other professional qualifications or access to goods and services available to the public, as well as to the application of provisions granting them special rights.
The residence permit comprises two types according to their period of validity:
- Temporary Residence Permit
- Permanent Residence Permit
Without prejudice to the applicable special legal provisions, the Temporary Residence Permit is valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance of the respective permit and is renewable for successive periods of two years. After 5 years of legal and continuous residence in Portugal, the foreign citizen may apply for a permanent residence permit.
Not considering the special regimes, where periods of both initial validity and extensions may be different. This is the case for residence permits for study, unpaid internship, voluntary service, members of the family of the resident, or residence attributed to victims of crimes of human trafficking or assistance to illegal immigration.
The Permanent Residence Permit has no limit of validity, but the residence permit must be renewed every 5 years or whenever there is a change in the identification elements registered therein.
It is a right that after being acquired remains indefinitely, unless some of the situations provided for by law that lead to its cancellation occur, including the absence of its holder, without reasonable reasons, for a period of 24 consecutive months or, over a period of 3 years, for 30 interpolated months.