Guide: Residence permit for self-employment/employment

🔥The guidelines are correct, but details regarding changes to SEF in AIMA will be provided later when more clarification becomes available.⏱Addresses within Portugal are also becoming outdated; we will update them accordingly
  • ✍Apply: while in the country with a tourist visa
  • 🤑 Deposit: not necessary
  • 💸 Salary: need to earn above a minimum monthly salary (or equivalent income for self-employment)
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👉 Article 88.2 - obtaining a job in a Portuguese company. If you don't meet the criteria for high-skilled professional to apply under 90.2 (no higher education diploma or salary lower than 1800 euros) you can still apply for a residence permit under this article. The promise of a contract is enough to file a manifestation. However, you must start work and receive a regular paycheck, and show taxes paid. You will need to bring all your documents for the waiting period to SEF later.

👉 Article 89.2 - opening a sole proprietorship/self-employment in Portugal and conducting business in Portugal (with foreign or Portuguese clients).The process for obtaining a residence permit in both cases is identical, except for the article number and a few documents.

The main drawback of this method of obtaining a residence permit is the long wait; currently, the process takes about two years. During this time, the applicant must remain in Portugal. This time does not count towards future eligibility for citizenship in Portugal.

💡 You can apply with either foreign clients or a Portuguese job contract. You don't need to have higher education
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Check-list for 88.2/89.2 in SEF

  • International passport
  • NIF
  • NISS
  • Open self-employment or get a job in Portugal
  • Criminal record from your country
  • Proof of legal entry
  • Rental contract
  • Salary payslips or recibo verde
  • Certificates of no debt from Financas and Seguranca Social
Do you still have questions? Feel free to ask us.

What does a typical process looks like

1

Gather all documents

Get your NIF, NISS and lease contract. Open atividade or get a job contract. Receive your salary or issue a recibo verde for at least €1000

2

File a Manifestation of Interest:

Prepare the necessary documents according to the list and upload them to Sapa.sef

3

Expect an invitation from SEF

SEF reviews applications on a first-come, first-served basis and will invite you for an interview after approximately 17 months.

4

Visit SEF

After visiting SEF, you will receive your residence permit card by mail within 2-12 weeks.

Step-by-step guide

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