Law No. 18/2022 of 25 August introduces several changes to the legal regime for the entry, stay, departure and removal of foreigners from the national territory set out in Law No. 23/2007, of 4 July.

Among the various changes introduced, we highlight the following:

• Foreign citizens can enter Portugal without a visa when this option is provided for in a Mobility Agreement signed between Portugal and Third Countries. We remind you that an Agreement on Mobility was approved between the Member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), signed in Luanda, on July 17, 2021;

• Validity of the travel permit for refugees increases to five years (previously it was 1 year extendable);

• Creation of a job search visa;

• Granting of a temporary stay or a residence visa for the exercise of subordinate or independent activity to professionals who work remotely outside the national territory;

• Residence visa for attending a higher education study programme, does not require a prior opinion from the SEF, provided that the applicant is admitted to a higher education institution in Portugal;

• Consular authority is the competent authority to decide on the rejection of the visa (in the case of residence and temporary stay visas and visas for special reasons, such as national interest);

• The holder of a short-stay visa or temporary stay visa for seasonal work has the right to enter and stay throughout the national territory and to carry out the work activity specified in the respective visa or others, in one or successive employers;

• Temporary stay visas may be extended beyond the legal limits, in duly justified cases, namely in the case of holders of temporary stay for medical treatment and those accompanying them;

• Temporary residence permit is valid for a period of two years (previously it was 1 year) from the date of issue of the respective title and is renewable for successive periods of three years (before two years);

• When the applicant is covered by the CPLP Agreement and is the holder of a short-term visa or has a legal entry into the national territory, he/she may apply for a temporary residence permit of more than 90 days and less than one year, renewable for the same period;

• The 'EU Blue Card' will have an initial validity of two years (previously, one year), renewable for successive periods of three years (previously, two years);

Visa for Job Search - Main features

1) Valid only for Portuguese territory, enabling the holder to:

a) enter and stay in the national territory for the purpose of looking for work, by complying with the general requirements for granting visas (for example, not having been subject to a removal order, having means of subsistence, having a valid travel document, among others; others);

b) carry out a dependent work activity, until the visa expires or until the residence permit is granted.

2) It can be granted for a period of 120 days, extendable for a further 60 days and allows entry into Portugal.

3) It includes an appointment date with the SEF, and within the 120 days of granting, grants the applicant, after the establishment and formalization of the employment relationship in that period, the right to apply for a residence permit, provided that he/she fulfills the general conditions of granting a temporary residence permit.

4) At the end of the maximum validity period of the visa for looking for work without the employment relationship having been established, the visa holder must leave Portugal. A new application can only be made after one year from the expiry date of the validity of the previous visa.

5) Decisions rejecting the application take into account the specific circumstances of the case, namely the interests of the worker and respect the principle of proportionality.

6) The visa may be canceled in certain cases such as (i) if the visa holder remains in national territory for purposes other than those for which it was authorized; or (ii) if the employer of the same is sanctioned for employing people without a residence permit or visa to enter / recruit illegal labor.

This diploma takes effect on August 26, 2022.

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