What is the Expression of Interest

The Expression of Interest is the most used modality for citizens who do not need a visa to enter Portugal (Brazil for example). Unlike the D2, D1, D7 and D4 Visas, it is not submitted at the Embassy, but in Portugal. In fact, entering Portugal is one of the requirements for its submission. The online platform where the submission is made only works in Portugal.

The requirements are defined in Law 23/2007, namely in articles 88 (residence permit for the exercise of subordinate professional activity) and 89 (residence permit for the exercise of independent professional activity or for entrepreneurial immigrants).

Who can apply for a EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

Normally the Expression of Interests is submitted by citizens, originated from countries outside the European Union, who initially visit Portugal and decide, due to a business opportunity or a job offer, to settle in Portugal.

They will have to have entered Portugal legally (and stayed legally, i.e. for a maximum of 90 days with renewal at SEF for a further 90 days), present a clean criminal record from the country of origin and from Portugal, and attach all the required documentation proving that they are living (lease contract) and that they have a work contract, their own company, or that they work as freelancers earning an income.

What's the process

The citizen enters Portugal and gathers all the necessary documentation which includes, criminal records (place of origin and Portugal), passport, proof of entry into Portugal (by stamp in the passport), lease contract, Portuguese tax and social security numbers and professional proofs depending on the modality:

Under Article 88 – exercise of subordinate professional activity – employment contract;

Under Article 89 – residence for exercise of independent professional activity or for entrepreneurial immigrants – permanent certificate of creation of company or opening of activity as an independent worker.

After the process is submitted, SEF analyses and gives its opinion on whether or not an interview can be scheduled to request the temporary residence permit.

Once the Expression of Interest is approved, you can then schedule an interview on the platform – it should be noted that these two steps are much slower than defined in the law due to constant delays by SEF both in approving Expressions of Interest and in making available dates for scheduling.

At the interview the citizen will have to bring all the documentation submitted, pay the appropriate fees and collect biometric data (photograph and fingerprints).

Finally, the card is issued and sent to the address provided. Once your temporary residence permit has been issued (for 2 years and renewable for a further 3 years) you can apply for reunification with your family. Finally, after 5 years, you may request a permanent residence permit or even apply for nationality. To keep these residence permits you must stay in Portuguese territory at least 185 days per year.