The Portuguese D3 visa is the ideal option to consider as there is special treatment under immigration legislation as well as potential access to a more beneficial tax regime for 10 years. This visa applies to experts who are highly qualified in their area of training/skills and are seeking to obtain residency in Portugal.

Highly qualified work is understood to mean “the exercise of an activity requiring specialized technical skills of an exceptional nature or an adequate qualification for the respective exercise of the function”, on the basis of Portuguese legislation.

Who can apply:

  • All third country nationals with higher education or higher technical professional qualifications who have a work contract or promise of work contract (of at least 12 months), stating the position and the qualified speciality, are eligible to apply for a D3 visa.
  • The European Commission understands as a highly qualified activity, the exercise of professionals comprising: management functions and experts in intellectual and scientific activities. Namely:
    • Professorship in any Portuguese educational institution.
    • Highly qualified activity with an employment contract or independent work contract.
    • Management and leadership positions with an employment contract or promise of an employment contract by a Portuguese company.
    • Cultural activity with an employment contract or independent work contract of relevance to the country and recognized by the member of the Government responsible for national culture.
    • IT professionals with a technical visa issued by a Portuguese company certified by IAPMEI – Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation.

 D3 Visa Requirements:


  • Demonstrate a professional certificate, where required, for regulated and highly qualified professional positions, as specified in Law No. 9/2009, 4 March or legislation governing the recognition of mandatory professional qualifications for a certain professional function, which must be described in detail in the employment contract/formal job offer.

   Employment Contract

  • A valid employment contract or the promise of an employment contract valid for a minimum of 12 months.

          Annual Salary

  • A monthly pay of at least 1.5X the Portuguese annual minimum gross salary, or 3X the indexed value of social welfare support (IAS).
  • Under the terms and for the purposes of Portuguese law, the visa is processed within a period of 60 days, and expires 120 days after its approval. An interview at SEF – Immigration and Borders Service for the application for a residence permit will be scheduled automatically, upon arrival in Portugal.


  • After legally residing in the country for 5 years, the applicant may apply for both Portuguese citizenship and a Portuguese passport.
    The residence permit will be valid for 2 years, renewable for another 3 years and family members will be able to join the applicant in Portugal, through the Family Reunification process provided for by law.


  • The applicant can also apply for a highly qualified Direct Residence Permit, without the need for a visa, if all legal requirements are met, with proof of entry and legal stay in the country.

Benefits D3 Visa

  • Free entry and circulation in the Schengen Area, made up of 26 European countries, without the need for a visa.
  • The opportunity to apply for the EU Blue Card, provided you meet all the requirements.
  • The possibility of family reunification in Portugal: the family (including spouse, children, parents or dependent siblings of either spouse) of the holder of a Portuguese residence permit can also reside in the country.
  • The possibility of applying for the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime in Portugal, which is open to anyone who has the right to reside in Portugal (EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or holder of a residence permit) and not have been a tax resident of the country for the past 5 years.
  • Eligibility for permanent residency or citizenship in Portugal: After 5 years as a lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible for permanent citizenship in the country as part of the Portugal residency program. However, you are subject to a basic Portuguese language test.
  • Residency rights in Portugal, including education and health care: As a Portuguese resident, you and your family will have access to the Public Health System and your children to the Public Education System.

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