Working in Portugal



If you can learn Portuguese, then you’re on our way to a bright future that includes basking on a Portuguese beach. Mastering the local language can pull some weight to get that elusive job, especially in light of the global recession.

Another inevitable setback for expats seeking employment in Portugal is the country's bureaucratic red tape, which has derailed its economic growth. And that is certainly bad news for expats looking for stable employment, as most skilled professions require a license and certification from local offices. Consequently, to combat the old-fashioned bureaucracy, you can hire an agent to act on your behalf to apply and process employment papers.

Employment opportunities are not abundant, but that doesn't mean that no jobs are available. Teaching the English language is a good, promising career prospect.

Work Documents

Even though EU citizens do not need to have a work permit in order to be employed in Portugal, proof of residency is sometimes requested during job processing or is required in order to get a local driver's license. Hence, EU nationals have the option to apply for a residence permit from the Immigration and Border Control Department.

For non-EU citizens, a work permit and a residence permit are required in order to get employment and you must submit an application to the Portuguese Consular office in your home country before arriving in Portugal.

Working Conditions

The Algarve region is not only the hotspot for holidaymakers, but also for expatriate communities and job opportunities. Word of mouth works best in this part of Portugal; personal contact is your strongest asset to get a job. 

All employees in Portugal are guaranteed a minimum monthly remuneration, the average salary, which is set annually by special legislation at € 2,076 EUR per month.

Remuneration can be paid on a monthly, daily or hourly basis, as agreed by both parties. Salaries are paid by bank transfer, but there are some employers who still pay by cheque or cash. Whatever the form of payment is, the employee is entitled to a payslip, which shows the breakdown of remuneration (gross pay, allowance, deductions, income tax, etc.).

All employees in Portugal are entitled to a Christmas bonus (equal to one month's pay), paid on 15 December. Employees also receive holiday pay.

Normal working hours should not exceed eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. By law, Sunday is the compulsory weekly rest day.

Earning a living in Portugal is no walk in the park; more so finding a job can prove daunting for a newly arrived expat. Nevertheless, Portugal's pleasant environment and low cost of living certainly ease the burden while you are dealing with employment roadblocks.



Continue reading:

Work Guide

Expat Services in Portugal