Topic 2 Ways of finding a job in the country

The Portuguese job market is becoming increasingly expat-friendly. Many tech companies based in Portugal welcome employees from all parts the world and these are increasing by the minute. If you are not in the field of IT or online businesses, it is trickier to join the Portuguese labor market if you do not speak the language. This is especially true for more traditional industries. However, the tourism sector is sure to have jobs for those who speak several languages.

The variety of jobs available to expats in Portugal varies vastly, dependant on your skills and the field you want to work in.

European citizens do not need a visa or a work permit to live and work in Portugal. These citizens are only required to register their address with the city hall and request a tax number with Finanças.

If you are a citizen of a third country, you will need to apply for a visa beforehand. This requires having a job contract or a promise of a job contract, and to apply for a residence permit once in the country.

The easiest way to get a work visa for Portugal is to get a job offer from a Portuguese employer. The employer will submit your job offer to Portuguese authorities, and they will start the visa process. You then complete a visa application in your home country and submit it to your local consulate.

The Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP) offers services and support to those looking for a job.

You can register with an IEFP Job Centre or employment service to get information on job offers throughout the country. You will have to present your identity document to do this:

Citizen’s Card or Identity Card for nationals

Identification document or passport for foreign nationals

Take a look here:

Here are several useful sites that have daily job offers:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Hays (website in Portuguese)
  • Jobs in Lisbon
  • Top Language Jobs
  • Learn4Good
  • Glassdoor
  • EURES The European Job Mobility Portal
  • Net Empregos (website in Portuguese)
  • Empregos Online (website in Portuguese)

There are several ways you can be self-employed in Portugal. Knowing which type of business to set up will be your first challenge. Companies are typically divided into two categories based on the number of employees: those who work with one individual only, known as pessoa singular, and companies who employ more than one person, known as pessoa colectiva.

If you are going to be a sole business owner or a freelancer, you need to register the start of your business with Finanças before doing any type of trade. You might be able to pay your taxes with a simplified tax regime, as long as your business’ turnover does not exceed 200,000 EUR. Freelancers often work under a taxation regime called recibos verdes (green receipts).

You may start a business as an empresario em nome individual. Be warned that in case of debt, your personal assets are at risk with this type of business. If you want to avoid this, you can create your own legal person (unipessoal limitada), which separates your personal and corporate assets, but excludes some fiscal benefits.

Self-employed workers in Portugal, who are legally required to declare their turnover and pay social security contributions, enjoy most of the benefits that other employees get.

Photo by Yan Krukov: