Applying for a Residency Visa

General Requirements for applying for a resident visa:

  • Application form signed

  • Valid passport

  • One (1) recent colour photo, passport size

  • FBI record check

  • Declaration outlining the reasons for wanting to obtain residence in Portugal (for residence visas only)

  • Medical insurance or declaration that applicant will acquire it in Portugal within 90 days after arrival

  • Proof that applicant has guaranteed housing in Portugal

  • Proof of means of support while in Portugal (i.e., financial statement, pension, etc.)

  • Portuguese bank account statement (if applicable)

  • Proof of ownership of property in Portugal (if applicable)

  • Submission of a work contract approved by the Portuguese Ministry of Labor (for work visas only)

  • Submission of certificate of enrollment in a University or Educational Institution in Portugal (for study visas only)

  • Pay the appropriate fee.

Children under 16 are exempt from presenting FBI record checks.

Visa application form can be downloaded at:

Mail: Stamped, self-addressed envelope (certified or express mail, FEDEX, UPS, etc.). If the passport is to be mailed to you once the visa is ready.

All customers who need consular attention are required to timely contact the Consulate, requesting appointment for a date and hour available. All information about procedures and documentation to be submitted will be provided, as well as expected costs.

tel: 202-332-3007

My Comments:

This visa allows you to enter Portugal and apply for a Residency Permit. Seems that every Consulate in the US has somewhat different requirements. The varieties of residency types are too many to go into detail here. I found the Consulate in Washington DC very helpful (they answer the phone!) and the requirements very straight forward. Nothing is required to be apostilled. You can do your FBI background check with any of the many private companies that are authorized to collect your fingerprints at your local copy or mail service company. It is all done online and takes about 2 weeks. The list of these companies are on the FBI website. The visa process takes about 6 to 8 weeks once you have submitted your documents to the Consulate. You have to send them your passport, so don't plan to travel anywhere during that time.

My Advice:

Come to Portugal first and do the following: get your NIF number from the local Finances office of where you want to live (you will need this to sign a lease or set up a bank account), find a place to stay and sign a one year lease, set up a local bank account and deposit 10,000 or more Euros. It would be even better to start living in your place and have utility bills, if you can do that within the 90 days you have on your tourist visa. Remember you are trying to create a case that you are serious about living long-term as a resident of Portugal. The things I mention above are a good way to demonstrate that.

How much money do I need to satisfy an annual income requirement for residency?

In accordance with article 2, number 2 and article 5, paragraph 6, letter b), of the Administrative Rule no. 1563/2007, of December 11, each application must have the following amount as means of subsistence for the 12-month period:
- first adult: 6,960 euros;
- second or more adults: 3,480 euros;
- children under the age of 18: 2,088 euros.
This should answer the income requirements for entering Portugal.

Source: Paula Santos

Rua Fialho de Almeida, 14, 2º esquerdo, Escritório BF 15 1070-129 Lisboa

hone: 00351 91 237 29 93

What are the requirements to renew my residency?


Article 78, paragraph 2, of the REPSAE, in conjunction with article 63, 
paragraph 1 of the RD 84/2007 as amended)

Documents Required:

  • Application delivered personally, (on a standard form) signed by the applicant (where the applicant is either a minor or legally disabled person the form shall be signed by his / her legal representative)

  • Two recent, identical photographs, in colour with blank background, and easily identifiable, except in SIGAP Service Bureaus

  • Residence Title valid, or expired in the previous 6 months

  • Passport or any other valid travel document

  • Evidence of sufficient means of subsistence, as per the provisions of Order number 1563/2007, of 11/12

  • Evidence that the applicant has adequate accommodation

  • Permission for checking criminal records (see standard form) - except for under 16 years old

  • Document proving the regularized applicant’s tax situation

  • Document proving the regularized applicant’s Social Security situation


  1. Residence Permit may be refused on grounds of public policy or national security reasons.

  2. A residence Permit shall be renovated only if its bearer has not been the object of custodial sentence (s) that individually or jointly exceed one year of imprisonment, even if, in case of sentencing for felonious crime set out in this legal framework, for crime of terrorism, for highly violent or highly organized crime, the enforcement of the sentence has been suspended.

  3. Residence Permit shall not be renovated if the holder has been judged by default, unless he / she is able to present evidence that he / she is no longer deemed as having been judged by default

  4. The residence permit held by a foreign citizen convicted to a custodial sentence shall only be renewed if that same citizen has not been subject to a decree of expulsion

  5. The renewal of a Temporary Residence Permit shall be applied for by the respective beneficiary up to 30 days before the expiry date

  6. Residents shall communicate to SEF any changes in their marital status, or in their home address, within 60 days from the date those alterations occur

  7. A receipt attesting submission of an application for renewal of a residence permit, replaces the Residence Permit, in all its effects, for a period of 60 days, renewable

Note that "IRS" doesn't mean the IRS of the United States. "IRS" means the Portuguese IRS; they want to include your NIF number on your Permit card.

The Titulo Card is sent to your address, or your post office might send you a notice to come pick it up. It usually arrives within a couple of weeks.

Further Renewals

You will renew your Titulo de Residencia 30 days prior to each expiration. It expires after the first year and is renewed for successive periods of two years. At the 5 year renewal, you may apply for a ‘permanent' Titulo that is renewed every 5 years. EU countries must recognize long-term resident status after five years of continuous legal residence. Absences from the EU country for periods of less than six consecutive months (and not exceeding ten months in total within the five-year period) or for specific reasons provided for by national law (e.g. military service, secondment for work purposes, serious illness, maternity, research or studies) will be regarded as not interrupting the period of residence.

Thoughts regarding Portuguese citizenship:

1) No need for visas or to renew visas;
2) To have dual nationality, as 
Portuguese law allows to keep your other nationality;
3) To be able to compete in any national competitions, as a Portuguese athlete;
4) To be an European citizen and freely move and live in any other European country;
5) To vote in Portugal and in the 
European elections;
6) According to The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index of 2016, and again in 2017, the Portuguese Passport ranks 6th worldwide (together with the countries of Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland and South Korea) and offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 172 countries. 
1) To apply for passport and ID citizen´s card (two different ID documents), which have to be renewed in a period of 5 years each;
2) You will need to know enough 
Portuguese to pass a language test;
3) To not dispose freely of assets, upon death. Becoming a Portuguese national and living in Portugal, your estate will be subject to national inheritance law, which is very strict on the way you can distribute your estate. Under 'forced heirship', legitimate heirs including the spouse, biological and adopted descendants, and ascendants of the deceased are entitled to a minimum percentage of the whole estate. So leaving the entire estate to the surviving spouse, which is permitted by other 
jurisdictions, will no longer be allowed, under Portuguese law.