Portugal and Madeira's D3 Visa

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.

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.

Portugal's 'Highly Qualified' Visa

Highly Qualified Activities Visa.  A viable pathway for highly-qualified individuals looking to relocate to Portugal. Option to apply for an ‘EU Blue Card’

Path to Portuguese Residency

Valid for 12 months the D3 Visa offers  pathway to Portuguese Residency which can be exchanged for a 2-year residency permit

Acquire Portuguese Citizenship

Portuguese Citizenship and Passport after five years for you and your family through naturalisation

Visa-free Schengen Travel

With Portuguese residency, benefit from access to the 26-nation European bloc, EEA, and visa-free travel to 183 nations around the world

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 Naturalisation.

    How does the D3 Visa Application work?

    Step 1 – Obtain a work contract or promise of work agreement with at least one year duration in a highly qualified profession

    Step 2 – Gather necessary documents, including criminal background check and proof of accommodation in Portugal for a minimum of 12 months

    Step 3 – Complete D3 Visa Application form and submit it to the Portuguese consulate in your home country, along with necessary documentation

    Step 4 – Attend an interview with Visa Application Centre at the Portuguese Consulate

    Step 5 – Once your D3 Visa has been issued, you may legally enter Portugal. The D3 is valid for 4 months

    Step 6 – In Portugal, book an appointment with SEF, (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), Portugal's Border Agency

    Step 7 – SEF upgrade your D3 Visa to a HQA Residency Card or European Blue Card

    Step 8 – Both residence permits have an initial validity of 1 year and are renewed for successive periods of 2 years, with their renewal subject to the maintenance of the conditions of entry and residence.

    Requirements for Madeira’s D3 Visa

    To apply for the D3 Visa at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate, the applicant must already have an employment contract, or a promise of an employment contract, and must also fulfil the following specific requirements:

    What does it take to qualify for a D3 Visa?
    • That the activity to be developed be framed as a highly qualified activity and that the professional proves adequate qualification or experience for its exercise;
    • That the contract is for an indefinite period or at least for one year;
    • That the expected salary corresponds to an annual salary of at least 1.5 times the national average gross annual salary or three times the social support index (IAS)*. However, for employment in professions considered to be particularly needy by third-country nationals, 1.2 times the national average gross wage or twice the IAS value is required.

    *The IAS is the reference value for calculating Social Security in Portugal and its value in 2020 is 438.81 euros.

     If the visa applicant wishes to obtain the EU Blue Card as a follow-up, the salary envisaged should be slightly higher, corresponding to an annual salary of at least 1.5 times the national average gross annual salary.

    Other documents required for the application:
    • Photocopy of the proof of the applicant’s academic and professional qualifications, accompanied by a curriculum vitae;
    • Declaration signed by the applicant, explaining the reasons for the application and objectives (recommended);
    • Proof of means of subsistence: proof of income or photocopy of the last income tax return, term of responsibility signed by the employer or host entity;
    • Proof of accommodation: rental contract, letter of invitation made by a citizen legally residing in Portugal or hotel reservation;
    • Health insurance valid for the period you will remain in the country. 
    • Criminal record check;
    • Authorisation to consult the Portuguese criminal record;
    • Two Passport sized photographs;
    • Copy of passport;
    • Declaration of the applicant agreeing to receive the passport by post at his/her residence or to have it withdrawn at the consulates
    • Declaration that you should not travel to Portugal without a visa;
    • Simple copy of the marriage certificate, if married;
    • Simple copy of the children’s birth certificates, if any;
    • Printed, completed and signed visa application and form (also available on the SEF website).

    Why Madeira?

    One of Europe’s most popular Island destinations

    Just 900km from Lisbon, Madeira is an island paradise providing a high quality of life, low cost of living, sub-tropical climate and low crime rate. An ideal destination for your family, during your retirement, or to move your company operations.

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