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Portuguese Highly Qualified Activity Visa D3

Portugal's D3 visa and Article 90.2 aim to attract educated professionals by requiring a higher education diploma with an apostille and a job in a Portuguese company paying at least 1.5 times the national average salary (€1,800 in 2023).

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About the D3 visa and Article 90.2

Portugal seeks to attract educated and experienced professionals to help develop the country’s economy.

To prove that you are a highly qualified specialist, you will need to have a diploma of higher education with an apostille stamp on it and hold a position in a Portuguese company according to your education. At the same time, the salary must be at least 1.5 above average in Portugal. In 2024 – €2,000 per month or so.

You can legalize as a highly qualified specialist outside of Portugal on a D3 visa or apply for a residence permit inside the country under article 90.2:

D3 visa is a permission to enter the country for highly qualified specialists who have received a job offer or have already signed a work contract with a Portuguese employer. The visa gives the right to obtain a two-year residence permit.

90.2 is an article of the immigration code. According to it, a specialist with a relevant higher education is legalized on the basis of work for a Portuguese company that needs highly qualified personnel.

Service packages

x1 adult


from 4000 EUR
  • Full legal support
  • NIF
  • NISS
  • SEF appointment
x2 adults


from 5000 EUR
  • Full legal support
  • NIF
  • NISS
  • SEF appointment
x2 adults and x1 child


from 6500 EUR
  • Full legal support
  • NIF
  • NISS
  • SEF appointment
Every additional child
+1500 EUR

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We help with obtaining a residence permit in Portugal

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Portuguese HQA visa for skilled employees

The HQA D3 visa is issued to highly qualified professionals. These are scientists, engineers, medical and other professionals who plan to work in Portugal. To confirm their qualifications, they should provide a diploma of higher education.

The D3 visa allows you to stay and work in the country legally. After entering Portugal, a residence permit is issued, and after five years it is possible to apply for citizenship.

Portuguese D3 visa and HQA: main differences

The D3 visa in Portugal is an authorization to enter the country when a candidate is invited by an employer or has already been contracted to perform certain tasks. In other words, the person is initially in their own jurisdiction. If, however, the candidate is already in Portugal and they are applying for authorisation, then an HQA visa is granted.

When applying for a D3, in addition to the employment contract, a higher education diploma is provided. This is the difference from a standard employment visa. The document is necessary to confirm the applicant's high qualifications, which will positively affect his/her career and financial status.

The validity of the Portuguese HQA or D3 visa is four months. During this time, the candidate must arrive in the country and obtain a residence permit. For the first time, the residence permit card is issued for two years, for subsequent applications - for three years.

Who is granted an HQA or D3 visa and under what conditions?

The entry permit is granted to highly qualified specialists residing outside the EU countries. These are persons holding managerial positions, as well as researchers in various fields. Among the direct candidates for the HQA Portugal visa and the D3 variant are:

  • Medical professionals
  • IT specialists
  • Scientists and engineers
  • Lawyers and legal scholars
  • Top managers of large companies

The HQA and D3 visa programme is valid if certain conditions are met. To obtain authorisation it is necessary to:

  • Provide an employment contract with a Portuguese company for a minimum of one year. A written promise from the employer to accept a specific position is acceptable.
  • Present a diploma of graduation from a higher education institution and skills in a specific speciality.
  • Setting a salary of a certain amount. The value should exceed the average annual salary in the country by 1.5 times or more. Alternatively, the difference between the payment and the indexed IAS social assistance figure is three times.

If the applicant has close relatives, he/she can bring them to Portugal with him/her. In such a case, an application for family reunification must be made and the spouse, children or parents will then be granted a residence permit. Our Movetocascais consultants can give you more details. They will help you with the paperwork to ensure that your Portuguese D3 visa is granted the first time. They will also carry out the necessary procedures for family reunification.

Peculiarities of obtaining a visa when staying in Portugal

Portuguese HQA visa is issued when staying in the territory of the country. In order to apply, you need to go to the SEF migration service. The basic steps are as follows:

  • Entering Portugal on a tourist or other visa and then signing a contract with an employer
  • Making an appointment at the Migration Service and submitting the application directly
  • Waiting for the result of the examination of documents, receiving a residence permit in case of a favorable decision

As a rule, HQA visa for Portugal is granted within a month. This is exactly how long it takes for the documents to be considered by authorized staff. You need to collect the following package:

  • Completed application form. Provide accurate and up-to-date information, as inaccurate information will be the reason for refusal.
  • Foreign passport and its copy. The document must be valid at the time of application for HQA visa for Portugal.
  • Criminal record certificate, which confirms the absence of criminal records.
  • Medical insurance, which is required to provide medical assistance in case of health problems.
  • Authorisation for a criminal status check in Portugal.
  • Employment contract for at least 12 months. You can also show a written promise from your employer that they will keep the position open for you.
  • Original copy of your higher education diploma with an apostille.
  • Proof of residence. For this purpose, provide a rental agreement or a stipulation that the employer assigns you a room in a hostel.
  • Pair of color photographs with clear outlines and a size of 2x4 cm.

Once a favorable decision on the HQA visa is made, you will be able to obtain a residence permit card and work legally in the country.

How to get a visa if the candidate is outside Portugal?

If you are interested in a D3 Portugal visa, you need to find an employer beforehand. Sign an employment contract with them or get a written promise to accept a vacant position after the issuance of a permit to enter the country. These are the requirements for obtaining a D3 visa which must be considered.

After completing the basic processes, your actions are as follows:

  • Collect the required documents, translate them into Portuguese with notarisation
  • Fill out the application form and submit it to the Portuguese Embassy. Alternatively, use online services for submission
  • Submit verified documents to the consulate and obtain a D3 visa in Portugal 2024
  • In case of a positive conclusion, enter the territory of the country within four months and issue a residence permit

As a rule, it takes about 60 days to process the documents. You need to collect the same package of references that is required to obtain an HQA visa for Portugal.

To avoid mistakes and get the permit right the first time, use the help of our Movetocascais specialists. They know everything about what documents you need to collect, how they should look and what problems arise most often when obtaining a Portuguese technical D3 visa.

Advantages of having an HQA and D3 visa

The Portuguese HQA and D3 visa opens up many advantages. You too can appreciate all the pros if you get authorization to enter the country and legally work in the jurisdiction. Among the main positives that the HQA D3 visa will bring:

  • Opportunity to live in Portugal, fulfill professional tasks and earn a decent salary. A mild and warm climate, regular recreational activities, access to the ocean — you will enjoy every minute spent in the country. At the same time, you will ensure a decent standard of living, all thanks to the Portuguese D3 visa.
  • Access to traveling in Europe. Foreigners who have a residence permit in Portugal can visit Schengen countries without a visa. At the same time, you have access to holidays in new destinations lasting from 90 to 180 days.
  • Optimization of taxes imposed on new residents of the country. The D3 visa implies permanent employment in Portugal. If you spend more than 183 days a year in the country, you become a tax resident. At the same time for 10 years the status of Non-habitual Resident is granted. This allows you to avoid taxes on income from other countries. The amount earned by professional activity in Portugal is subject to a fixed rate of 20%.
  • Possibility of obtaining Portuguese citizenship. The HQA visa programme requires a residence permit. After five years, it is possible to apply for citizenship.
  • Low costs for entry and work authorization. There is no passive income or large business/real estate investment requirement for the D3 visa.

Evaluate all the features and contact our company Movetocascais. We will help you in obtaining an HQA Portugal visa and you will be satisfied with the result. Thanks to many years of activity, our consultants know all the aspects and have a perfect understanding of the documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the speciality of the HQA Portugal visa?

The visa is granted to skilled workers based in Portugal.

What are the nuances of the Portuguese D3 visa?

The entry and work permit is granted to highly qualified candidates who are based outside Portugal.

Who can get the HQA visa?

The visa is available to academics, professionals in the fields of medicine and internet technology, culture and law.

How long does it take to process visa applications?

If you are in Portugal — 30 days, outside Portugal — 60 days.

Can I get a residence permit with a visa?

Yes, for the first time a residence permit is granted for two years. You need to apply for it within four months.

Highly Qualified Activity Visa

Portugal's D3 visa and Article 90.2 aim to attract educated professionals by requiring a higher education diploma with an apostille and a job in a Portuguese company paying at least 1.5 times the national average salary (€2,000 in 2024).

SINGLE — 4 000 EUR COUPLE — 5 000 EUR FAMILY — 6 500 EUR
Passive Income Visa

The D7 visa is tailored for individuals with a stable passive income of at least €760 monthly after taxes and a minimum of €9120 in savings per person, facilitating a residence permit for 2 years, extendable for 3 more. After 5 years, it offers a path to permanent residency or citizenship.

SINGLE — 3 000 EUR COUPLE — 5 000 EUR FAMILY — 6 500 EUR
Digital Nomad Visa

Digital Nomad visa is issued to people who work remotely and get an income of more than €3300 per month. This is a long-term visa that leads to a residence permit. The Portuguese Consulate processes the visa application within 90 days.

BASIC — 1 000 EUR PRO — 3 000 EUR
Startup Visa

A startup visa in Portugal (Article 89.4) is an easy way to move here with a team of colleagues, even if you just have an idea for a startup.