The immigration law, as introduced in article 89 and paragraph 2 on July 4th, 2007, that was amended in 2012 and 2017. Residence permits for self-employment purposes shall only be issued to nationals of third countries with a legal identity or freelancers with professional employment relations in Portugal and registered with the Portuguese Social Security System.
Under the same law, obtaining temporary residence requires a few steps.
Step 1: Declaration of legal entry into Portugal:
Foreign nationals entering the country from another Member State through an uncontrolled border are required to report this fact to SEF (Portugal Immigration department). Foreign citizens of third-country nationality are required to file an entry declaration within three business days after entering Portugal. According to articles 14 and 16 of act 23/2007 of July 4th, as amended.
Download the declaration form: https://www.sef.pt/en/Documents/DeclarofEntry_EN.pdf
No further declaration requirements: Foreign nationals of a third country who cross a border into Portugal subjected to control are permitted to remain in the country for more than six months. Foreign nationals staying in hotels or other accommodation units that submit accommodation forms to SEF after entering the country; The EU legal framework or equivalent arrangements cover foreign nationals.
Step 2. Generate tax identity (NIF Number):
NIF number is a unique identifier in Portugal issued by the Finance and Taxation department for correspondents who are not only taxpayers but are also involved in other business activities such as contracts, opening bank accounts, sales, and purchases, as well as obtaining any registration and resident status, among other things.
To receive a NIF number, you must present a valid ID document (Citizen’s Card or Passport) and a fiscal representative’s declaration either in person or through another person with power of attorney at the Finance department.
NIF is issued instantaneously at the time of the request, with a standard report indicating the period during which you will receive your final taxpayer’s card.
Step 3: Confirmation letter for accommodation in Portugal:
The Junta de freguesia is the administrative body of each municipality in Portugal that provides the Function for Legislation of Address Confirmation after a valid local proof of residence or reference has been requested on behalf of two citizens.
The correspondent address is required (with supporting documentation) to receive correspondence from Portuguese public and private institutions.
Step 4: Company registration in Portugal or register as a Freelancer:
– To open/form a company in Portugal, the applicant must be physically present in the country or employ a legal representative with a power of attorney.
– Compliance with documents such as a Passport, the preparation of an article of association, and registration for legal office space or virtual office space.
– Within 15 days of the company’s formation in Portugal, it must open a bank account and report to tax and financial authorities in Portugal.
– The type of company in Portugal depends on the nature of business and common companies as per LDA (Limitada).
– To the establishment with 1 euro or 5,000 euros as the identity’s capital payment. All shareholders are required to contribute to the capital, and their liability is limited to the amount of their contribution.
– The management is ensured by a director appointed in the general meeting by the shareholders under the supreme authority in the Portuguese LDA
– Freelancers and independent professionals must also report their work nature and annual revenue to Portugal’s tax authorities.
Step 5: Obtaining Social Security Number (SSN):
Any expat/employee/individual who wishes to work in Portugal is required to acquire a Social Security number. The number issued by the Segurança Social Institute for social security.
To apply for and obtain a Portuguese NISS social security number, you must submit a copy of the employer-certified employment contract. If the contracting firm intends to hire a foreign national, it may issue a promise contract.
Freelancers and self-employed individuals can request a social security number without a job offer.
The competent authority issues an SSN number within 90 days of submitting the required worker admission application to Portugal’s social department.
Step 6: Work agreement and taxes:
The employment contracts are governed by Portuguese labor law in Portugal (articles 273– 275). The minimum working age is 16 years from the age of 18 years, and a person can obtain a job without having completed school.
There are various kinds of employment contracts. The Portuguese government raised the monthly minimum wage from €557 to €580 in 2018. By the end of the 2019 parliament session, the government has pledged to raise Portugal’s minimum wage above €600 for the first time. In 2020, it was raised to 635 euros.
The employee’s tax obligation includes income tax and social security deductions from the employer’s salary or paid over.
Contributions from employees and employers are as follows:
– The employer contributes up to 23.75%
– Employee contributes up to 11.00%
– Total gross contribution is 34.75%
Value-added tax, also known as VAT, is levied at a standard rate of 23% in Portugal.
It is required when selling goods or services. Regulations drafted by the European Union serve as the foundation for the rules.
Step 7: SEF ENTRY (Residence Permit Request):
The application is submitted through the electronic platform (known as SAPA Portal), and the application is submitted in person on a standard form signed by the applicant or their legal representative along with the application fee and the following supporting documents:
– Legal proof of entry into Portuguese territory.
– Evidence of sufficient subsistence (income or funds).
– Extract of criminal record from the country of origin for more than one year.
– Proof of adequate accommodation (Junta).
– Confirmation of Social Security registration by the Junta unless an employment contract has been promised.
– Documentation proving tax authority registration, tax payments, and salary.
– Contract of employment or document issued according to article 89.
Step 7. Wait for an email from SEF:
After submitting documents for the manifesto of interest on the SAPA Portal, the portal will generate your MI number, allowing you to live and work in Portugal.
Step 8: Visit the SEF office for fingerprinting:
After applying, the SEF assessment enables the user to schedule an appointment with the SEF Bureau through the SAPA Portal. The user may select a desired location, date, and time. SEF may request an interview or additional paperwork.
Step 9: Delivery of residence card:
Junta de freguesia will mail temporary residence cards to the address listed on your JUNTA certificate, which is issued by Junta de freguesia.