Portugal introduces new Jobseeker Visa in 2022

Looking to move to Portugal and work there, but don’t have an offer of employment yet? Thanks to the introduction of a new jobseeker visa category, you’ll soon be able to enter the country for up to six months while you look for employment. Let’s get into the details below…

Considering Portugal as your Plan A? Then this visa could be right for you…

Looking for work overseas when you’re not based there yet can be challenging at best. And historically it’s been a bit of a chicken or egg situation. You’ve got to be there to be seriously considered for a position… And you cannot get residency without a job offer. 

The country’s D7 Visa offers somewhat of a solution to this – IF you qualify – but the application process is quite lengthy, and the requirements fairly onerous. 

To stand a good chance of being approved, you’d ideally need both significant savings and stable passive income, which could be earned outside of Portugal. 

(Note: Some remote workers have been getting rejected lately, despite earning decent salaries from abroad.)

Add to this the fact that Portuguese banks like Millennium BCP and Atlantico Europa are no longer issuing bank accounts to non-EU nationals (with the exception of Britons), obtaining the D7 is bound to get harder…

So the above describes your challenges

Now let’s look at the situation for Portugal:

With the average age in the country presently being on the wrong side of 45 years (46.2, to be exact), and with a global talent war – especially for tech workers – hurting all of continental Europe, Portugal had to do something to address their escalating labor shortages. 

And that something was to liberalize their work visa regime – with the quota cap for work visas scratched altogether. 

The Portuguese government wants YOU to move to Portugal

According to various media reports, the government’s intention is to enable practically anyone who wishes to move to Portugal for work and settlement to do so with ease.

According to a recent EuroActive news report, Portugal’s Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendes, is on record as saying that:

 “…in the promotion of safe, orderly and regulated migration and the fight against labour shortages, a new type of visa has been created, specifically the visa for the search of work, thus enabling entry into Portugal for nationals of foreign states who come to look for work for 120 days, extendable for a further 60 days, for a total of 180 days.”

That’s four months, plus an extension of two months, for a total of six months to find your dream job in the land of grilled sardines, pastéis de nata and vinho verde. 

Nice. 

Once you land a job, you can obviously apply for temporary residency. 

However, if you’re set on the D7, but your application is being delayed, it might also be possible to apply for the jobseeker visa as an interim solution to get into the country faster. 

Mendes further commented that the introduction of the new visa category is intended to help “revitalize the job market, attracting more human resources”.

Sure – Portugal is not the world’s top destination for sky-high salaries. But to make up for it, the cost of living there is pretty cheap – especially for Europe. We give it a rating of “3/7 – Inexpensive” in the Sovereign Research Cost Of Living Index.

Why the job search visa route makes sense for Digital Nomads, especially

While the exact visa requirements have not been clarified, early indications suggest that the visa category will be open to laborers, tech workers, higher education students and – you guessed it – digital nomads

Since the pandemic, demand for the D7 Visa has skyrocketed amongst remote workers. But let’s be honest – going through a six-month application process if you only wish to spend four to six months inside Portugal on a workation seems like total overkill.

And if one of the tracks for this job seeker visa does, in fact, turn out to be aimed at digital nomads, we can expect its uptake to be significant. 

Mendes further mentioned that while no financial incentives will be offered to attract foreign workers, the objective will be to make the visa application process as streamlined and simple as possible. 

If, for example, consulates could issue these visas without the involvement of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service, SEF, this could speed up the application process substantially. 

And, if you’re a sovereign family man – or woman – the news gets even better… 

Portugal.com reports that this visa will enable you to bring your family along right away, rather than first having to establish legal residency for yourself, and only then getting to apply for family reunification. 

It is not known when this visa category will be formally launched, but you can rest assured that we’ll keep a keen eye on this new development.

The bottomline

If you’ve had it with things in your home country, and a relaxed lifestyle, personal safety and sun-drenched beaches sound like your bag, then living and working in Portugal might be just the thing for you. 

This is a developing story, and we’ll update you as soon as more material information becomes available.

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Andre Bothma

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