The permanent resident card can be obtained after five years of holding any kind of temporary resident card in Portugal. Besides that, Portuguese law foresees the possibility of granting a resident permit without a specific prior visa to those who having benefited from a resident permit for secondary school students, or a resident permit for students in the 1st cycle of higher education and concluded their studies intending to exercise in Portugal a professional, subordinate or independent activity (unless such authorization has been issued under cooperation agreements and there are no substantial grounds of national interest to justify it). This means that if the applicant is already in Portugal with a resident permit, the applicant can continue in the country after finishing studies by applying for a new resident permit with proof of economic means and professional activity.
What is the best route for an international student to obtain Portuguese permanent residency?
I am an international student in Lisbon. I will graduate next year and want to work and live in Lisbon after graduation. I do not have the financial ability to apply for its RBI program. I am wondering if there are any other routes for a new graduate like me to obtain Portuguese permanent residency.
You can apply for the resident visa for education purposes and then apply for the permanent residency. For the permanent residency, you will need to present the following documents: passport; residence visa (that you can obtain at the Portuguese embassy of your country of origin); proof of means; proof of address in Portugal; criminal record.
According to the article 64 of Law 23/2007, one is eligible to apply for permanent residency if holding a temporary residency for at least five years, and since the study residency permit is considered a temporary residency, you can apply five years later.