Greetings to all readers of the MoveToCascais blog! Let’s get acquainted: My name is Marina – I am a linguist by training, I work as a translator. I’ve been living in Portugal since 2012; I’ve worked in an international school for immigrants, in a law office, and even in a book publishing house. Today I want to share with you my story of moving to Portugal. I will tell you about everything from the beginning: from my first thoughts about moving to my citizenship.
How did I decide to move to Portugal?
My journey to move started interestingly. In 2010 I just graduated, and I was looking for a job for the first time. I definitely wanted to work in my field, but at that time, it was hard to find jobs for young translators on the market, so I got a job as a secretary in a small publishing house. It was a terribly monotonous job, but I could not find anything better at that time. I held the post of secretary for exactly one year, and frankly, I did it for a good reason. A translator position had become available, and knowing that I had a degree in translation, I was offered the position. I happily agreed – finally, there was an opportunity to work in their field, and even more so in a pleasant, familiar team.
The next year at the new post flew by incredibly fast. My work completely absorbed me. At the same time, I began to consider the possibility of leaving Russia seriously, thanks to the professional allows. I had many reasons for moving: since childhood, I could not stand the cold, and it is difficult to call Peter a resort city. In addition, the eternal grayness did not particularly contribute to work productivity. I wanted sunshine, warm winters, and beautiful views outside the window. The only thing that stopped me was the fear of losing my favorite job.
How to find a job in Portugal?
My friends interested in moving often ask how to find a job in Portugal or any other country in the EU while in Russia. In fact, the question seems to be relevant for many people, so I will tell you everything that I know myself.
To begin with, let’s define what professions are in demand in Portugal. About 70% of the working population in Portugal work in the service sector, which is not surprising given the role of tourism in the country’s economy. If you plan to work in the hotel and catering industry, have a professional education and work experience, you won’t have any problems finding a job in Portugal. Portugal is also well developed in agriculture, computer technology, and medicine. By the way, in recent years the country has markedly improved the situation in the industrial sector, and now we can already speak about an increase in the number of jobs in this area, which are also available to foreigners.
All right, we have solved the problem. But what next? The first thing you need to make a resume and cover letter. You can do this on the portal “Europa. EU”. There are ready-made templates that will work for most employers all over Europe.
So we’ve got the CW and the letter, but what do we do next? Opinions differ here.
Search for a job through a recruiting agency
The first option I highly recommend you look at is finding a job through a recruiting agency. You can find many such offers on the internet, so I recommend taking the right one seriously.
If you ask my opinion, finding a job in Portugal through an agency is the best option for you, especially if you don’t have any practice in Portuguese.
Search for work on specialized websites
But you can also do it on your own. In Portugal, as in any other country, there are many job sites.
Everything is the same here. Register, upload your CV, fill in the profile and start searching for a good offer. The disadvantage of this approach is obvious: no one gives you a guarantee that you will find something worthwhile or that the employer with whom you will agree will be reliable and trustworthy enough.
Searching for a job “on the spot”
The last way I can suggest is to look for a job in Portugal itself. It might seem to be the most logical option, but practice shows that this is not a good idea. Of course, you can come to Portugal with a tourist visa and pound the doorsteps of the offices you are interested in, but usually, this way, you will not even get to the interview. Believe me, from my experience – much more effective and, most importantly, more convenient to do it from your country on the profile sites or through a recruiting agency.
If you do decide to try your luck by coming to Portugal, pay attention to the specialized newspapers and advertisements. Many employers still publish job offers in them.
What kind of visa is suitable for labor immigration to Portugal
Now let’s understand what visa options are available if you are planning to get a job in Portugal. There are two main types divided:
- D1 is an ordinary work visa. For its receipt, except for the standard set of documents and the availability of the employment contract in his hands, do not put any special requirements. I used it.
- D3 – it is an ordinary working visa.
- D3 – visa for highly skilled professionals. Here everything is a bit more complicated. Even if you have an employment contract, you also need to meet several criteria.
- Your salary must be at least 1.5 times the minimum wage in Portugal
- You must have a professional qualification related to the activity listed in your employment contract. You may need confirmation from the Foundation of Science and Technology of Portugal in some exceptional cases, which will assess your qualifications.
With the salary, everything is quite simple. If you apply for a sought-after position, you can easily claim from 1400 euros per month. This will be more than enough to get a D3 visa.
A diploma from a higher education institution usually serves as proof of your professional qualification. Please note: your university must have international accreditation. Otherwise, you may need a confirmation from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, which will assess your qualifications.
There remains one main question: what is the fundamental difference between D1 and D3 visas. Indeed, at first glance, these are two absolutely identical documents. The difference will appear during the registration of residence permits. If you are issued a normal D1 visa, you will issue the usual resident status. Holders of visa D3, in turn, will be able to qualify for participation in the program Blue Card EU.
What is the EU blue card?
The EU Blue Card is the equivalent of a regular residence permit, which gives the resident several benefits. Here is a list of them:
- You are entitled to the same working conditions and wages as EU citizens.
- If your work contract has expired, you will have 3 months to find a new job. And you can look for it not only in Portugal but also throughout the EU.
And, of course, the best part. The period after which you can apply for citizenship is significantly reduced for you. Instead of the standard 5 years, you can apply after 21 months.
Whether or not to participate in the EU Blue Card program is a decision that is up to you. Although my profession suited the requirements, I decided not to bother with the D3 visa. If you are interested in this possibility, here is a list of professions that fit the conditions:
- physicists-mathematicians: teachers for schools, universities, colleges; IT developers, network administrators;
- conscientists in the natural sciences: veterinarians, zoologists, biologists, botanists, ecologists;
- medical professionals: surgeons, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, urologists, cardiologists
- lawyers: notaries, attorneys;
- engineers, designers and architects: a variety of industries, as well as the development of alternative energy sources.
Well, all the intricacies of the immigration process for labor immigration are sorted out, so back to my story.
Since I was employed fully officially and had my employment contract in hand, I was going with a D1 visa. This option is appropriate when you plan to stay in the country for more than three months. In addition, there is an opportunity to issue a residence permit, which was a huge plus. To obtain the visa, was required to provide:
- Work offer or signed employment contract for at least 1 year.
- Approval from the IEFP, issued to the employer, indicating the details of the employee.
- Certification of criminal record.
It took two months to process the visa. In the middle of December, everything was ready, and I could fly to Portugal.
First impression and renting an apartment
I am quite a conservative person and can’t stand any changes, so the first couple of months in a new place were really stressful for me. I had to get accustomed to the new country, get used to local people, look for a new place to live.
Renting an apartment was the first thing I did. A piece of advice: If you plan to rent an apartment in Portugal for long-term rent, it is better to find an official representative. Any Portuguese citizen who can vouch for you will do. This will be easier and you and the landlords. In addition, many will not want to do business with you without it. If you work with an immigration agency when you move, they will provide you with one.
The whole process of finding a place to live takes two weeks. Together with the guys from agency MoveToCascais found a wonderful option: a studio apartment in a nice house and twenty minutes walk from the office. Once the housing issue was resolved, it was time to apply for a residence permit.
Portugal residence permit application
In my line of work, I often encounter the opinion that this is the most time-consuming and protracted process. I can only say one thing: if you do everything correctly, it will not be difficult to apply for a residence permit in Portugal.
The main stage – the collection of all necessary documentation and its filing. If you have all the documents will be fine, you can be sure that you will have no problems with the further steps. To apply, you need:
- Taxpayer NIF number.
- Certification of criminal record.
- Proof of residency.Proof of livelihood.
- Proof of employment contract.
If you go through a D1 visa at the Portuguese consulate, from the first formalities to the residence permit takes 5-6 months. In my case, I managed to exactly five months, and the coveted card was in the mailbox.
Residence permit in Portugal – this is not just a formality, or the analogue of any of the existing visas. The residency status practically equals a Portuguese citizen, so after receiving it, I finally felt at home.
Gaining citizenship in Portugal
The last stage in my journey. In 2018, after 5 years living in the country as a resident, I gathered all the necessary documents and went to the Service for Foreigners and Borders of Portugal (SEF). To obtain citizenship by naturalization, there are several requirements, namely:
- Be over 18 years old;
- Constantly and legally reside in Portugal for at least 5 years;
- Do not leave Portugal for more than 183 days per year;
- Know how to speak Portuguese at a basic level (A2);
- Be sufficiently proficient in the Portuguese language
- Have sufficient funds to live in the country
. . .
That’s the end of my moving story. What came next was a new life, a job, buying my own small apartment, and even the beginning of my family life, but that’s all an entirely different story. The only thing I can say is that I am finally happy and I don’t regret for a second that I moved to Portugal.
For those who want to repeat my path, I can give some advice. The main thing is not to be afraid. Don’t be afraid that you won’t be able to find a job in a foreign country. Don’t be afraid that you won’t be able to get along with the locals. Finally, don’t be afraid to go after your dreams. It’s much better to try and succeed than to spend a lifetime convincing yourself that it won’t work out. Thank you for your consideration, and good luck in all your endeavors!
Know why moving to PORTUGAL is a great solution for 2021.
*The material reflects the story of the hero of the article as interpreted by the author; concerning the described methods and processes of obtaining a residence permit – they may not coincide with the actual opinion of the editors of move to сascais on this subject.