d3 visa portugalThe D3 Visa Portugal is a priority settlement visa aimed at attracting workers with high professional qualifications to Portugal.

It’s designed for individuals who already have a promise of a work contract, a work contract, a promise of a self-employed contract, or a valid self-employed contract in Portugal.

This residence visa allows holders to apply for a residence permit that is initially valid for two years.

After this, the holder of the D3 Visa can apply for a temporary Portuguese residence permit or the European Union (EU) Blue Card.

The D3 Visa Portugal is also a path toward permanent residence and EU citizenship. If you are a D3 Visa holder, after five years of living permanently in Portugal, you can apply to obtain residency and eventually get Portuguese citizenship.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down all the essential information you need to know about the D3 Visa, including its long-term benefits, the eligibility requirements, the documents needed for the application, and more.

Introduction to the D3 Visa Portugal

What is the D3 Visa?

Also known as a Highly Qualified Activity Permit, the Portugal D3 Visa was introduced by the Portuguese government to attract highly qualified workers to the country.

This special long-term stay visa can be requested by professionals who already have confirmed employment opportunities or a self-employed contract to provide services to a Portuguese company.

But what exactly is a highly qualified activity? According to Portuguese Law on Foreigners, highly qualified work is “the exercise of an activity that requires specialized technical skills of an exceptional nature or an adequate qualification for the respective exercise of the function.”

The European Commission defines a highly qualified activity as that exercised by professionals falling into either of the two following groups:

  • Management and leadership positions: As executives, officers, and legislators; senior public administration officers, directors; administrative and commercial managers; service and similar managers; company directors.
  • Specialist in intellectual and scientific activities: Engineers and scientists, health professionals, teachers, business and management professionals, cultural professionals, legal experts, and IT professionals (there are two different regimes to apply for the D3 Visa — the general regime and the Tech Visa, and IT professionals are eligible for both).

Eligibility criteria for applicants

requirements d3 visa portugal To apply for the D3 Visa at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate, the applicant must already have a valid employment contract or a self-employed contract to provide services to a company based in Portugal.

They must also fulfill the following specific requirements:

  • A clean criminal record, proven by a criminal record certificate
  • That the activity to be developed is framed as a highly qualified activity and that the professional proves adequate qualifications or experience to carry it out
  • That the contract is for an indefinite period or for at least for one year
  • Provide evidence that its expected annual salary is at least 1.5 times the national average gross annual salary or three times the social support index (IAS)*. However, for employment in professions considered particularly on need of third-country nationals, 1.2 times the national average gross wage or twice the IAS value is permitted.

Key Benefits of the D3 Visa

Possibility of obtaining a Portuguese residence permit

Within four months, the visa holder can get a temporary residence permit valid for two years.

This residence permit can be obtained from SEF (immigration and border services).

Qualification for Portuguese citizenship

After five years of legally authorized residence, you can request both Portuguese citizenship and a Portuguese passport.

Please note that acquiring citizenship usually involves passing a basic test in Portuguese language and culture.

Visa-free entry and free circulation in the Schengen Area

The D3 Visa allows holders to travel to the 27 countries in the Schengen Area without additional visas.

A relatively quick process

The Portugal D3 Visa is considered a priority settlement visa by the Portuguese government. Therefore, it’s processed between 30 and 60 days.

Eligibility for the EU Blue Card

Once you have held legal residency status in Portugal, you become qualified to obtain the EU Blue Card, which grants access to work and live in 25 of the 27 EU countries (excluding Ireland and Denmark).

Family reunification

Family members (including the spouse, children, parents, or siblings, dependent on either spouse) can join the applicant in Portugal through family reunification.

EU citizenship birthright for your children

Children born to legal residents in Portugal for 12 months acquire EU citizenship birthright.

Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime

As a holder of the D3 Visa, you can apply for the Non-Habitual Resident tax benefits of Portugal.

NHR tax regime eligibility

The Portugal HQA Visa offers several tax benefits to qualified individuals. You may be eligible to apply for Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regimePortugal’s Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime, for instance, which allows you to enjoy significant tax advantages for up to ten years.  

You qualify if you have not been part of the NHR regime before and have not been a Portuguese resident in the last five years.

Successful D3 Visa Experience: How We Can Help

With over 50 years of combined experience in immigration, law, and investment, Global Citizen Solutions delivers unmatched guidance for getting Portugal’s D3 Visa.

Our multi-skilled team, with experience in immigration, law, and investment, will ensure your application is successful by managing the process from start to finish.

Global Citizen Solutions also reduces the hassle and stress of attaining your visa.  The process is bolstered by our innovative Be System®, providing real-time visa updates, and our trusted lawyers ensure your application goes through smoothly.

Aside from meticulous visa application management, Global Citizen Solutions has a locally rooted real estate division, providing a seamless transition to your new home.

With a singular point of contact, we navigate the entire process, handling bureaucratic intricacies, legal matters, and providing you with the residency option most suited to your needs.

Global Citizen Solutions has a global presence and an experienced team. What sets us apart is that we are acutely aware that no two clients are the same. We provide a tailored service to your needs. Let us understand your aspirations and guide you toward realizing your goal of becoming a global citizen.

Whether you seek Portugal homes for sale or prime investment opportunities, we’re here to assist you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Application Process

Step-by-step guide to applying for the D3 Visa

The D3 Visa application varies according to the Portuguese Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.

It may be done through one or the other following options depending on the jurisdiction:

  • The E-Visa Portal, which is the Portuguese Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence
  • VFS Global (an intermediary appointment system)

Afterward, applicants must schedule their Portugal D3 Visa interview at a Visa Application Centre or the Portuguese Consulate. Once the process is completed successfully, the visa will be issued to the applicant.

The visa will be valid for 120 days and allows double entry in Portugal within its validity.

Portugal D3 Visa documents

The documents required for the application are:

  • Two identical passport photographs
  • A valid passport (at least three months beyond the intended stay duration)
  • Proof of travel and proof of accommodation for the applicant and their family, including a rental contract, or a letter of invitation by a person legally residing in Portugal
  • Valid travel insurance
  • A criminal records certificate issued by the applicant’s country of origin
  • A completed form allowing the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) to access your criminal record
  • Proof of financial means to support yourself during your stay in Portugal. The proof of means of subsistence can be made through a statement of responsibility signed by the entity that will be hosting you.
  • An invitation letter from a professional training institution, if applying for a Portuguese education institution, such as a teacher or researcher
  • A valid employment contract or a promise of employment with a recognized establishment with operations within the Portuguese territory
  • For regulated professions, proof of professional qualifications allowing you to practice in Portugal is required
  • For non-regulated professions, a professional certificate relevant to the activity or sector specified in your contract

Processing times and fees

The Portugal D3 Visa processing time is 30 days, which is relatively fast in comparison to other programs, such as the Portugal Golden Visa and the D7 Visa.

The application fee depends on each country, but it usually costs €90.

Why choose Global Citizen Solutions for your Immigration Visa?


  • GCS has offices located across Portugal.
  • Members of the US-Portugal and UK-Portugal Chambers of Commerce in Portugal, and the Investment Migration Council (IMC).
  • Our expert team can help you throughout your journey to secure your Visa. 


  • Our successful track record in applications provides reassurance to applicants. 
  • We have helped clients from more than 35 countries secure residency in Portugal.


  • With a single channel of communication, our approach ensures that you have complete clarity on your application. 
  • Our BeGlobal® Onboarding System allows for a total flow of information.


  • Our pricing is clear and detailed, you will not face any hidden costs.
  • All data is stored within a GDPR-compliant database on a secure SSL-encrypted server.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the D3 Portugal Visa

What is the D3 Visa in Portugal?

This visa is aimed at attracting highly qualified professionals to Portugal. These could be individuals with a job offer or a binding contract from a Portuguese employer. After five years of legal residence in Portugal with a D3 Visa, you can apply for citizenship.

Who is eligible to apply for a D3 Visa in Portugal?

Non-EU citizens with higher education or higher professional technical qualifications – who have a work contract or a self-employed contract for at least 12 months, which must state the position and the qualified specialty – can apply for a D3 Visa.

What is the difference between a D1 and a D3 Visa in Portugal?

The D1 Visa is designed for professionals who have already accepted an offer of employment in Portugal (and it’s not to seek a job in Portuguese territory). The D3 serves a similar function to the D1. Still, it targets workers with a higher level of qualification in their chosen fields (workers in leadership or management positions or specialists in intellectual and scientific activities).

Can I work while on a D3 Visa in Portugal?

Yes. With this visa, you can live and work in Portugal.

How long is the D3 Visa valid for?

This visa grants residency and work permits initially valid for 2 years. After the initial two years, you must renew it, and it will be valid for consecutive periods of three years.

Is it possible to extend a D3 Visa in Portugal?

The visa expires if the applicant is not in or does not move to Portugal within 120 days. In this case, you will need to submit a new visa application.

Is it possible to renew the D3 Visa?

The D3 Visa holder can get a temporary residence permit for two years. This permit can be renewed for consecutive periods of three years.

Can I extend the D3 Visa?

No, the D3 Visa can’t be extended. The visa holder can apply for a temporary residence permit for two years. This permit can be renewed for consecutive periods of three years.

Can I bring my family members with me on a D3 Visa to Portugal?

Every applicant for a Residence Visa can bring their family to Portugal through the family accompanying visa, which can be requested simultaneously with the Residence Visa of the main applicant given that they have enough means of subsistence for the family.

What are the financial requirements for a D3 Visa application?

Applicants must provide evidence that their expected annual salary is at least 1.5 times the national average gross annual salary or three times the Index of Social Support (IAS).

What are the employment contract requirements for the D3 Visa application?

You must have: A work contract, job offer, or service provider contract; or an invitation letter issued by a higher education institution or professional training institution; a statement of responsibility provided by a certified company as stipulated by law; or an invitation letter issued by a company or institute developing a relevant cultural activity.

Do I need health insurance for a D3 Visa in Portugal?

You’ll need valid travel insurance, allowing medical coverage, including medical emergencies and repatriation.

Can I study in Portugal on a D3 Visa?

Yes, you can work, study, open a bank account, set up a company, and more.

What happens if my D3 Visa application is denied?

The Portuguese Consulate will issue a rejection proposal, which is subject to challenge and appeal.

Can I apply for a permanent residency permit after being on a D3 Visa in Portugal?

Applicants for permanent residence must have held a temporary residence permit and have lived in Portugal for at least five years.

Are there any Portuguese language requirements for a D3 Visa?

No, there are no Portuguese language requirements for this visa.

Can I switch to a different type of visa while in Portugal on a D3 Visa?

The applicant must start a new process for the appropriate type of visa, although they may change to the residence permit once they are here.

Can I leave and re-enter Portugal while on a D3 Visa?

You can leave and enter the Schengen Area twice during the validity of the visa (120 days).

Is there a visa waiver for the Highly Qualified Activity Visa?

It is possible to enjoy the benefits of a visa waiver, but it is an exception. Applicants are exempt from the residence visa requirement if they have legally entered and remained in national territory.

What is the difference between D1 and D3 visa in Portugal?

The D1 visa is for people who already have a job offer in Portugal. It is known as a subordinate worker visa, for a contract of a minimum of one year, and there is no requirement on the sector the job is in, or whether you are a highly qualified professional.

The D3 can be applied for those with the promise of a work contract, or who already have a work contract. The D3 visa is for those with higher professional technical qualifications, such as those with specialised technical skills.

What is the difference between D3 visa and Blue Card in Portugal?

Obtaining an EU Blue Card allows you to work and live in 25 of the 27 EU countries (excluding Ireland and Denmark). There are no specific requirements for the type of work, but you must have a work contract in the country you are applying. Those with three years of education and/or professional experience in any one working profession can apply for the Blue Card.