Everything you need to know about Portugal’s D3 Visa for high-skilled workers.

If you’re a qualified expert in your field looking to move to the European Union, then Portugal has a lot to offer. With the goal of attracting highly qualified experts, with the skills and qualifications to grow the economy, Portugal created the D3 Visa for high-skilled workers. Commonly referred to as the ‘Tech Visa’ relating to Highly qualified activities.

Designed to fast-track skilled professionals and work in collaboration with recognised research institutions to drive research and development in higher education, professional training, or cultural activities.

Who Can Apply for the D3?

The D3 is aimed at High-skilled and qualified individuals who are non-EU/EAA/Swiss citizens. The definition states those eligible are as follows: “That work whose exercise requires specialised technical skills of an exceptional nature, or an adequate qualification for the respective exercise.”

Some examples are listed below.

  • Information and communication technology professionals
  • Company management, such as Directors and Chief Executive Officers
  • Science Professors, Researchers and PhD Students
  • Science, Healthcare and Engineering professionals
  • Legal, Social and Cultural Professionals with expertise

Professionals that want to apply for a D3 Visa must have an employment contract or a promise of employment with a recognised establishment, with operations within the Portuguese territory.

What are the benefits of the D3, or HQA Visa?
  • Fast-tracked Portuguese residency

The Portuguese Government stipulates that all D3 Visa applications are processed within 30 days, allowing you to obtain your Portuguese Residency efficiently.

  • Schengen Visa

As a Portuguese Resident, you benefit from access to free travel across Europe, without your passport. Simply carry your Portuguese Residency Card.

  • Full Family Eligibility

As with other visas available, the D3 offers family reunification.

  • EU Blue Card Eligibility

Once your D3 has been granted, and you have held legal residency status in Portugal for longer than 18 months, you can apply for the EU Blue Card. Obtaining the Blue cards will allow you to relocate, with your entire family, to any EU member state for the purpose of exercising High Qualified Activities.

  • Fast Path to Citizenship

In contract to other European states, that require full residency to be held for a period of ten years, Portugal allows you to apply for Portuguese Citizenship after just 5 years, through Nationalisation.

  • Access to Healthcare and Public Services

Once you obtain residency in Portugal, you immediately qualify for access to healthcare, education, and social security.

  • No property investment required

Unlike the Golden Visa, no property investment is required for the D3 Visa, making it one of the cheapest routes to obtain Portuguese Residency.

  • Birthright Citizenship

If you have children in Portugal, after 1 full year of holding legal residency, they will automatically have Portuguese Citizenship.

What is required to apply for the D3 Visa for high-skilled workers?

There are several forms you need to submit along with your application for a D3 Visa. It’s important to have all this information readily available before your appointment. The required documents are as follows:

  • Completed and signed D3 application form
  • Valid Passport
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Request for criminal record enquiry by the Immigration and Border Services (SEF)
  • A criminal background check from your home country, where you have resided for more than one year
  • Proof of accommodation, valid for a period of 12 months or more
  • Proof of means of subsistence as stipulated by law
  • Proof of subsistence means can be made through a statement of responsibility, signed by a Portuguese national or by a foreign national legally resident in Portugal.

Once you receive your D3 Visa, the next step is to apply for Portuguese residency. Your residency permit will be valid for a period of 12 months, on the assumption your employment contract is permanent. After 12 months, you can renew your residency for two consecutive 2-year periods through your local SEF Branch. After five years of legal residency, you can then apply for citizenship through Naturalization.

Madeira Company is a team of qualified and professional tax and business consultants who can assist you through the D3 Visa application process. We can help you acquire all the necessary paperwork, submit your application, and help with your residency application. For more information, contact a member of our team today.


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