Exploring Portugal’s D1 Work Visa

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Last updated on March 14, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

The D1 visa is designed for non-EU/EEA/Swiss individuals who want to work in a Portuguese company in Portugal.

To qualify for this visa, applicants must have a work contract for at least 12 months and provide proof of a place to live in Portugal (typically a lease, deeds to a property, or letter of invitation). Once you have a job offer from a Portuguese company, you can apply for the D1 visa at the Portuguese consulate in your home country or country of legal residence.

The first step involves securing a job and either signing an official employment contract or obtaining a promise of employment. Once you have this agreement, you’re ready to apply for the D1 visa.


  • Work Contract: You must have an employment contract or a promise of an employment contract that lasts at least one year.
  • Professional Qualifications: If your profession is regulated in Portugal, you’ll need to show you have the necessary qualifications.
  • Housing: You must provide evidence of suitable living arrangements, such as a lease or property ownership document, ensuring adequate space for any accompanying family.
  • Means of Sustenance: Bank statements from the last three months to show you have enough money to support yourself in Portugal.
  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance that covers medical expenses.
  • Personal Statement: A statement explaining why you’re applying for residency in Portugal.
  • Criminal Record: Both you and any family members moving with you must have a clean criminal record.
  • Passport: A valid passport is required for you and any family members coming to Portugal with you.

D1 VS D3

The D1 is the more general employment visa and the the D3, or HQA, visa is aimed at highly skilled professionals with advanced degrees in specific areas, such as IT, engineering, medicine, science, and executive management.

The D1 visa doesn’t require a higher education degree or a specific amount of industry experience. However, the job does have to have been advertised to both Portuguese and EU/EEA citizens before it can be offered to someone from outside of the EU/EEA. This is a rule from the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training in Portugal (IEFP).

What’s It Like to Work in Portugal?

While there are exceptions to the rule, Portuguese salaries are low by western European standards and the job market is more limited, particularly if you don’t speak Portuguese. To be blunt, there are normally better job opportunities in places like Germany or France.

However, Portugal is known for its excellent quality of life, with a cost of living that’s more affordable than many other European countries. Lisbon and the Algarve, for example, both boast more than three hundred days of sunshine per year. The job market in Portugal is also evolving, with a strengthening economy and openings in fields like tech, tourism, and green energy.

Living in Portugal also comes with other benefits, like the ability to apply for Portuguese citizenship after five years of legal residency (or less, as of 2024). Some work visas can also lead to the EU Blue Card.

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James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.