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Non-EU/EEA Nationals: info

If you are a non-EU/EEA national and intend to move to Portugal

The EURES services are targeted at jobseekers with a European Union / European Economic Area nationality (or from the UK or Switzerland) who are looking for a job in another European country (in a group of 32 countries).

Our services are mostly focused at EU/EEA citizens (or with UK / Swiss nationality) who are currently living in another European country and intend to move to Portugal.

In your case, if you don't have a EU/EEA nationality, you are in principle subject to immigration procedures to be able to move to & work to a European country - and, in particular, to Portugal.

This means that, according to Law 23/2007, from July 4th (with the successive changes introduced up to the Law 102/2017), you, as a third country national, are only authorized to work in Portugal in case you have a work contract proposition by an employer established in Portuguese territory IF (and only if) there are no Portuguese nationals, from another EU/EEA country, UK or Switzerland, already living in Portugal, who are able and willing to perform those functions – strictly complying to the priority principle as foreseen in this legislation.

It is up to the employer interested in hiring a third country national to communicate this interest to IEFP – Instituto de Emprego e Formação Profissional (the Portuguese public employment service), by posting a job vacancy aimed at international recruitment – so that compliance to the above-mentioned priority principle is checked and a declaration is issued (30 working days after the communication) proving this compliance. This declaration will then be sent to you by the employer, so that you can add it to your Residence Visa request.

We must also alert you to the fact that, due to the current COVID19 pandemic situation, the Portuguese labour market is suffering a very negative (and probably long-lasting) impact in many different sectors. Unemployment is rising significantly and employers are now less available, as a rule, to recruiting from abroad.

In addition, there may be some restrictions to entry at the Portuguese borders – a situation which will very likely change (not always for the best) according to the pandemic evolution. For more up-to-date information, please check the Immigrant Portal FAQs.

Therefore, if you intend to move to & work in Portugal, we advise you to follow these STEPS:

1. before you carry on with your project of moving to Portugal, get informed about current (COVID19-related) entry restrictions, at least up until November 19th (please check the Visa Portal by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs);

also try to understand what’s the situation of the Portuguese labour market in your area of work in particular – or in the occupational areas you intend / are available to work on; and also some info on the cost of living, housing conditions, etc;

the EURES Portal has some information about these topics, even though it is currently being updated – due to the many changes resulting from the current crisis;

2. apply to job vacancies in Portuguese jobs websites; we may suggest you a few but you can also find further info on other jobs websites in the EURES portal, on Living & working in Portugal > Finding a job;

3. when applying, inform the employer on your situation (regarding nationality and residency): ask for the possibility of Skype / GoogleMeet / Zoom interview (or using another videocall channel), understand with the employer whether (s)he is willing to start the required procedures by communicating the job vacancy to IEFP and waiting for the process to run in order to hire you;

4. if the employer selects you and offers you a work contract, ask him/her to send you the above-mentioned declaration proving compliance to the priority principle, to be issued by IEFP – so that you can apply for the required Residence Visa, either online or in the Portuguese Consulate nearest to you / in your country, which entitles you to work for an employer based in Portugal; in case of doubts by the employer, please suggest him/her a direct contact with IEFP;

5. after the Residence Visa has been issued, you may travel to Portugal and start your work contract.

This way, you can make sure you are legally entering Portugal and have the permission to stay for work purposes – with no problems with the Portuguese authorities.

You can find out more on:

  • applying for a visa: www.vistos.mne.pt/en (by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • your move & integration in Portugal: www.acm.gov.pt (High Commission for Migrations)
  • the principles applying to third country nationals moving to EU/EEA countries: European Immigration Portal; and further info HERE
  • finding and applying for a job in Portugal (type of CV and cover letter, how to approach an interview, etc.), check the EURES Portal: Living and working in Portugal > How to find a job and How to apply for a job


We hope this information may be of use to you.