In order to facilitate the entrance of foreign workers into Portugal and the establishment of foreign citizens in the country to provide remote work from Portugal, Law no. 18/2022, of 25th August 2022, was published, it amends the regime for the entry, stay, exit and expulsion of foreigners from national territory and creates conditions for the implementation of the Agreement on Mobility between Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, signed in Luanda on 17th July 2021.
Within the employment field, it is important to mention the creation of a new visa which allows its holder to enter and remain in national territory for the purpose of looking for a job for a maximum period of 120 days, extendable for a further 60 days, at the end of which the holder will have to leave the country, in case no employment relationship has been established, only one year after the expiry of the previous visa can a new visa application for this purpose be submitted.
This new visa authorises its holder to carry out dependent employment activities until its expiry or until the residence permit is granted and allows the holder to apply for a temporary residence permit in national territory.
It also becomes possible to grant a temporary stay visa for the practice of subordinate or independent professional activity, provided remotely to individuals or companies with residence or head office outside the country.
Furthermore, if the employment relationship or provision of services is demonstrated, the residence visa may be issued for professional activity, subordinate or independent, provided remotely to natural or legal persons with their domicile or head office outside national territory.
Conditions are also created for the implementation of the Agreement on Mobility between the Member States of the CPLP by speeding up the process when the visa applicant is from a national of a State* in which the Agreement is in force. In this sense, the competent services will directly and immediately consult the databases of the Schengen Information System (“SIS”), and the issuing of the visa will only be refused if there is an indication of prohibition of entry and stay in the SIS, dismissing a prior opinion from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).
Other changes resulting from this Law include the permission to exercise a professional activity to an applicant whose application for a residence permit is pending for a reason that is not imputable to the applicant. Holders of residence permits for research, study, professional internship, or volunteer work are also permitted to carry out a professional activity, subordinate or independent, complementary to the activity which gave rise to the visa.
Furthermore, the duration of residence permits granted to trainees will be extended to 6 months or to the duration of the internship programme, plus 3 months, if the internship is shorter than 6 months or to 2 years in the case of a long-term internship, in which case it may be renewed once for the remaining period of the internship.
The duration of the “EU Blue Card” is also extended to two years, renewable for successive periods of three years.
Visa requests which entitle a foreign citizen to work in national territory will now be communicated to the IEFP, Social Security, the Tax Authority and the Ministry of Health, for the attribution of the social security number, tax identification number and national user number.
These changes came into force on the 24th September 2022.
* Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Brazil, Angola and Timor-Leste.