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Changes in the legal regime for the entry, stay, departure, and removal of foreigners from the national territory.


On August 25, 2022, Law no.18/2022 was published on the official national gazette Diário da Republica amending the legal framework for the entry, stay, departure and deportation of foreigners from the Portuguese territory; by creating conditions for the implementing of the Agreement regarding Mobility between the Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), signed in Luanda, on July 17, 2021, whose signatory countries are Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Brazil, Angola and East Timor.

The aforementioned law was also created with the focus of facilitating the entry of foreign workers into Portugal, as well as to simply the establishment of foreign citizens, that are remote workers, in national territory.

A new visa was created for the search of working opportunities in our country, which enables its holders to enter and stay in Portugal for that specific purpose, valid for one hundred and twenty days and can be extended for sixty days. This allows subordinate working activity, until the date the visa expires or until the residence permit is granted. The holder may also request the granting of a temporary residence permit in national territory.

At the end of the period of one hundred and eighty days (the sum of one hundred and twenty days and the extension of sixty days), if the holder has not yet established an employment relationship and submitted the application to obtain a residence permit, he will have to leave the country and is only authorized to file a new visa application for this purpose, after one year from the expiry date of the previous visa.

Another change concerns residence and temporary stay visas for remote workers. The first entitles its holder to reside in Portugal for the purpose of working, even remotely, for an individual or company domiciled or headquartered outside the national territory. The second, intended to allow entry and stay in the national territory for a period of less than one year, can now be assigned to the exercise of subordinate or independent professional activity, provided remotely to an individual or company with domicile or headquarters outside the national territory.

Another innovation of this law was the facilitation of the visa issuance procedure for nationals of CPLP countries, as the process becomes faster and the prior mandatory consultation of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) is waived, the competent services can directly consult the databases of the Schengen Information System (“SIS”) and can only refuse to issue a visa in the event of an indication of non-admission and prohibition of stay appearing in the referred SIS.

It should be noted that while the application for a residence permit is pending, for reasons not attributable to the applicant, the latter will be able to carry out a professional activity.

Holders of a residence permit for research, study, professional internship or volunteering work, will be able to carry out a professional activity, subordinate or independent, in addition to the activity that allowed the visa.

Another relevant novelty is the extension of the duration of the “EU Blue Card”, granted to third-country nationals for the exercise of a highly qualified activity, now having an initial validity of two years, renewable for successive periods of three years.

Visa applications that authorize a foreign citizen to work in Portugal are now communicated automatically to the Professional Job and Training Institute (IEFP), Social Security, Tax Authority and the Ministry of Health, so that a Tax Identification Number (NIF), a Social Security Identification Number (NISS) and a National Health Service User Card (SNS), are all provided at once on a provisional basis.

All this changes to Law No. 23/2007, of July 4th, came into force on August 26th of this year.

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