Amendments to the legal framework for the entry and stay of foreigners in national territory
Portugal Labor Alert
Law no. 18/2022, of August 25 was published in the Official Gazette, introducing changes to the legal framework of entry, stay, departure and removal of foreigners from national territory and introducing the necessary conditions for the implementation of the Mobility Agreement between the Member States of the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community (“PSCC”).
With these amendments, the Portuguese Government aimed to face the lack manpower that is being felt in Portugal, by easing the entry of foreign employees in Portugal, as well as the settlement of foreign citizens working remotely from Portugal.
On employment matters, the highlights are the following:
1.- Creation of a new visa to look for a job
This new visa allows foreign citizens to enter Portuguese territory to look for a job, with the following conditions:
- Allows the holder of this visa to enter and stay in Portuguese territory for the purpose of looking for a job;
- Maximum duration of 120 days, with possible renewal for 60 more days;
- Enables its holder to render a professional activity under an employment contract until the expiration of the visa or the granting of the residency permit;
- The holder of this visa may also use it to request a temporary residence permit in Portuguese territory;
- Upon expiration of the visa to look for a job, if no employment relationship was initiated nor the subsequent administrative process, the visa holder must leave the country and may only apply for this visa again one year after the expiration of the previous one.
2.- Temporary stay and residence visas for foreign citizens looking to work from Portugal for foreign employers
- The temporary stay visa, which is issued to allow entry and stay in national territory for a period of less than one year, may now be issued to render a professional activity remotely, under an employment contract or as a self-employed person, to a singular or legal person with headquarters or offices outside national territory.
- A residency visa may be issued for the performance of a professional activity remotely, under an employment contract or as a self-employed person, to a singular or legal person with headquarters or offices outside national territory. The person applying for this visa shall prove the existence of an employment relationship or the provision of services.
3.- Procedure to issue visas to nationals of PSCC members is streamlined
When a visa applicant is a national of a country in which the Mobility Agreement between Member States of the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community is in force, the procedure for issuing visas is expedited, through the following changes:
- The preliminary opinion of the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service is waivered;
- The competent services directly consult the data bases of the Schengen Information System (“SIS”);
- The visa can only be denied if a prohibition of entry and stay is recorded in the SIS.
The Mobility Agreement between Member States of the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community is already in force in the following countries:
- Portugal (since 1 January 2022);
- São Tomé and Príncipe (since 1 January 2022);
- Guinea-Bissau (since 1 January 2022);
- Mozambique (since 1 February 2022);
- Brazil (since 1 April 2022);
- Angola (since 1 July 2022);
- East Timor (since 1 July 2022).
4.- Permission to perform a professional activity while the residence permit is pending
If the application for residency permit is pending, due to cause not imputable to the applicant, the latter may perform a professional activity.
5.- Permission to perform a professional activity for holders of research, study, professional internship or volunteering visas
Holders of a residence permit for research, study, professional internship or volunteering may now render a professional activity, under an employment contract or as self-employed person, in complement to the activity that originated the visa.
6.- Extension of the duration of residence permits for internships
Residence permits granted to interns are now valid for:
- 6 months;
- For the duration of the internship program, with an additional 3 months, if said duration is inferior to six months;
- For 2 years in case of a long-term internship program, with the possibility of being renewed, one time, for the remaining period of the internship program.
7.- Extension of the “EU blue card” duration
The “EU blue card”, granted to nationals of a third country to perform a highly qualified activity, now has an expiration date of 2 years, renewable for successive periods of 3 years.
8.- Notification of visa’s issuing to other national services and authorities
The visa applications to allow a foreign citizen to work in national territory shall now be notified to Employment Services, Social Security, Tax Authority and Health Ministry, so a social security number, a tax identification number and of a national health number can be issued.
These amendments enter into force on 26 August 2022.