How to Find a Job in Portugal

How to find a job in Portugal? Find out everything you need from visas to residence permits, cost of living and job opportunities in Lisbon, Porto and all of Portugal

Considering getting a job in Portugal? This post will cover everything you should know about find a job in this amazing country.

job in Portugal

Portugal is currently one of the most desirable countries to live at the moment. A mild weather almost year round, low crime rates and delicious cuisine are some of the things attracting foreigners to move to the country in recent years. But that’s not everything. Portugal is also one of the easiest countries to move if you want to live in Europe.

While salaries in Portugal are some of the lowest in Western Europe, the pros of living the country outweigh the cons. Portugal is currently a full EU member, part of the Schengen area and using the euro currency. Living in Portugal brings a number of benefits that applies to anyone living in the European Union.

Let’s dive on the details about how to get a job in Portugal and what you should consider when doing it.

Getting to Portugal and Searching for a Job

There are two ways in which you can start your job hunt in Portugal. You can either apply for jobs from your country or origin, or come to Portugal and look for a job.

If you are from a country which is visa exempt to the Schengen area, you can come to Portugal without a visa. Here is the list of visa exempt countries.

I would strongly recommend traveling to Portugal and looking for a job. Portugal is one of the few EU countries in which you can change your status from a tourist to an employee without leaving the country. This is a huge advantage compared to most of the other EU countries in which you have to apply for a work permit from your country of residence.

Where to look for a job in Portugal?

If you are searching from your country of origin, you will be limited to looking for jobs in Portugal online. If you are already in Portugal you can go out and start searching. A live job hunt in Portugal is especially effective if you want to work in the hospitality industry in hotels or restaurant kitchens.

For those looking for a job online, you can start your job hunt on these sites:


Empregos Sapo

After Getting a Job

Once you have a job offer and/or contract, you can start to get your papers to obtain a residence permit to live in Portugal. This will depend essentially on whether you are already in Portugal or not.

If you are not in Portugal, you will have to contact the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your jurisdiction. They will process your application and if approved they will grant you a visa. Once in Portugal, you will have to go to SEF (Portuguese Immigration Office) and apply for a residence permit.

If you are already in Portugal, you can take your job offer and apply directly in SEF. You will need some other documents to apply, such as a proof of a place to stay. After sometime (this can be months) you will get your residence permit.

Portuguese Citizenship

Other advantage of living in Portugal is that you can apply for citizenship after only 5 years of continuous residence. This is a much lower time requirement than most countries in the EU. In Spain for example, for most citizens, you can only apply after 10 years. In Latvia 10 years, in Croatia 8 years.

Job Market in Portugal

The job market in Portugal is definitely not ideal. The unemployment rate is quite high. Salaries are often quite low for its cost of living, especially if you need to rent in cities like Lisbon and Porto. However, if you manage to get a job that requires higher skill levels, your life in Portugal will be quite comfortable.

Most jobs will require you to have a good command of Portuguese, but there are many exceptions. If you speak English you can start in the hospitality industry in many roles as you learn the language. IT related professions might be available for English speakers as well.

English is spoken in Lisbon, especially among younger generations. As the tourism industry is one of the biggest engines pushing the Portuguese economy, most people in the service industry are likely to at least have a basic command of English.

Other Resources for Expats and Travelers in Portugal

If you are visiting Portugal soon you may also want to check some of our other Portugal guides. Check the where to stay in Lisbon and our article on the best places to stay in Porto. You can also check the our article on the average and minimum salary in Lisbon. Finally you can check the cost of living in Lisbon and in Porto.

Salaries Worldwide: check our articles on wages worldwide and understand better the economics of the countries you may be considering to move or invest.

Retire Abroad: check our retirement guides and maximize your retirement income and quality of life.

Jetradar: compare and find the cheapest air fares worldwide.