Taking into consideration that you are a non-EU citizen, you will need to obtain a resident permit to live and work in Portugal. In order for you to apply for this permit (which is considered a temporary resident permit), you will need to fulfill several requirements that the law demands, such as proof of address, proof of means and a resident visa (among others). Once it is granted, the same will be valid for a one-year period, renewable for successive periods of two years as long as the conditions necessary for it to be granted remain valid. After a five-year period, the temporary resident permit may be converted in a permanent resident permit (valid for five years and renewable for five years period) and you may apply for Portuguese nationality.
How can I apply for permanent residency in Portugal as a work permit holder?
I am a non-EU citizen. I found a job in Lisbon and got my work permit. Will I be eligible to apply for permanent residency sometime in the future? If so, how and when can I apply? What are the requirements?
A non-EU citizen can apply for permanent residency as long as the following requirements are cumulatively fulfilled. The applicant must have been a holder of temporary residency for five years. During the last five years of residency in Portugal, the applicant cannot be convicted for any crime or crimes whose sentence exceeds one year of prison. Also, you must have enough means of subsistence, accommodation and knowledge of basic Portuguese. Permanent residency does not have a limit of validity. However, it must be renewed every five years or whenever there is a change to the identification of its holder. At the moment, as a worker in Portuguese national territory, you apply for a temporary resident permit valid for one year. It must then be renewed every two years until you reach the five years, which is the moment you can apply for permanent residency. To apply for temporary residency as a worker, you must always have a labor contract under the law in force, evidence of sufficient means of subsistence, evidence that the applicant has adequate accommodation, permission for checking criminal records, supporting documents with the necessary information for checking the registration within the tax authority, and supporting documents with the necessary information for checking the regular payment of social security.
In Portugal you can apply for permanent residency after five years of holding a temporary resident card, which can be the work permit (usually granted for one year the first time and then for two years after each renewal). The decision can be given in the day of the appointment, where you submit the application and have a short interview with a SEF officer. This application shall include all the mandatory documents in a full complete file. The permanent resident permit has no limit of validity. However, the resident permit must be renewed every five years or whenever there is a change in the identification elements registered therein. In the application the person shall cumulatively prove the following: having held a temporary resident permit for at least five years and a copy of the previous resident permits and certificate of time requested at SEF; during the last five years of residency in Portuguese territory, they have not been sentenced to or punishable by more than one year in prison and Portuguese criminal record (being also recommendable the criminal record from the origin country); having a means of subsistence, proof of income; having accommodation, a proof of address; demonstrating knowledge of basic Portuguese, a level 2 of Portuguese language, certified by a competent entity; non-debt declarations from the Portuguese tax authority and social security; a passport; proof of registry in the local health center. Please note that without prejudice to the application of special provisions (which depends case by case), the permanent resident permit may be canceled when the person concerned, without reasonable grounds, is absent from Portugal for 24 consecutive months or within a period of three years (30 interpolated months). The absence beyond the limits must be justified upon application filed at SEF prior to the departure of the resident from the national territory or, in exceptional cases, after his departure. Also, the resident permit shall not be canceled for citizens who are absent for periods superior to those above mentioned when they prove that during their absence from Portugal, they have developed professional or business activities or cultural or social activities.
If you hold your work permit for five years, then you can apply for permanent residency.