Things to Consider When Applying for a Job in Portugal for Filipinos

Portugal, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and picturesque landscapes, has become an increasingly popular destination for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) seeking new opportunities. As the demand for skilled professionals rises in various sectors, many Filipinos are drawn to the prospect of building a career in this European gem. However, navigating the job market in Portugal requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

In this article, we will explore essential aspects that OFWs should take into account when applying for work in Portugal. From understanding the local job market dynamics to familiarizing oneself with the cultural nuances, we aim to provide valuable insights to help prospective job seekers make informed decisions and embark on a fulfilling professional journey in this charming European country.

how to apply for a job in portugal

Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.

Guide to Applying for Work in Portugal as an OFW

In Portugal, much like any other country, specific regulations govern the job market for foreigners. As a Filipina seeking employment here, acquiring a work permit or other legal documentation is typically necessary to work within the country legally.

The ease of securing a job depends on various factors, including your qualifications, skill set, language proficiency (particularly in Portuguese and English), and the demand for your qualifications in the Portuguese job market. Portugal has become an appealing destination for international workers and expats in recent years, attributed to its flourishing economy, relatively lower cost of living compared to other Western European countries, and favorable living conditions.

Various sectors such as Information Technology (I.T.), engineering, and hospitality present ample job opportunities for skilled professionals. However, it’s crucial to recognize that job availability can fluctuate across industries and regions within Portugal.

While major cities like Porto or Lisbon may offer a plethora of opportunities, the market can be competitive. Additionally, the cost of living in these urban centers tends to be higher, a factor worth considering as you explore employment prospects in this picturesque European country.

On Speaking Portuguese

In Portugal, a predominantly non-English speaking country, the language barrier may not pose a significant hindrance for expats seeking employment, as per the vlogger’s perspective. While it’s not accurate to say that speaking Portuguese is never a requirement, especially in certain sectors like healthcare, legal, government, human resources, or customer-facing roles, it’s not an absolute prerequisite across the board.

The vlogger, working in the IT industry, has found that proficiency in Portuguese is not obligatory for the role. Similarly, many of the vlogger’s Filipina friends employed in diverse sectors such as call centers, real estate, and insurance companies also navigate their professional responsibilities without the necessity of speaking Portuguese.

Nevertheless, having a basic understanding of Portuguese can undoubtedly enhance the overall experience for expats while living and working in the country. Some companies in Portugal recognize this and even offer language classes to support their non-Portuguese-speaking employees. In the vlogger’s case, the employer provides free Portuguese classes, as well as additional language courses like French and German, fostering a more inclusive and supportive work environment for expats.

Here’s a list of basic Portuguese phrases along with their meanings:

  • Olá: Hello
  • Bom dia: Good morning
  • Boa tarde: Good afternoon
  • Boa noite: Good evening / Good night
  • Como está?: How are you?
  • Estou bem, obrigado/a.: I am fine, thank you.
  • Por favor: Please
  • Obrigado/a: Thank you (male/female)
  • De nada: You’re welcome
  • Desculpe: Excuse me / I’m sorry


  • Discussing salaries is crucial, with variations in Portugal based on industry, location, expertise, and job roles, as per the vlogger’s insights.
  • Portugal is known for a lower cost of living compared to many Western European countries, influencing how salaries are perceived.
  • The current minimum wage in Portugal is approximately 760 Euros, but it’s important to verify this information for accuracy.
  • Salary discrepancies exist between industries; high-demand sectors like I.T, engineering, healthcare, and finance may offer more competitive salaries.
  • The vlogger recommends considering additional perks and benefits, including meal allowances, healthcare insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, bonuses, and other company-provided perks in Portugal.
  • Emphasizing personal perceptions, the vlogger notes that what constitutes a good salary can vary based on individual circumstances and expectations.


Upon securing a job in Portugal, it’s essential to pay attention to the country’s taxation system, as advised by the vlogger. The Portuguese taxation system differs significantly from that of the Philippines, and, like any other country, it requires individuals to fulfill tax obligations and contribute to social security. These factors play a vital role in determining your net pay.

While a detailed understanding of the technicalities may not be necessary initially, the vlogger recommends grasping the basics, such as how deductions are made and identifying the percentage bracket applicable to your situation. Portugal utilizes various brackets and nuances in its taxation system that can impact expats’ overall financial outlook. Therefore, gaining a basic understanding is crucial for effective financial management.

Applying for a Job

  • Insights are shared for Filipinos applying for jobs in Portugal, focusing on legal requirements, like obtaining a residence card for those married to Portuguese citizens.
  • Highlighting the importance of language skills, especially in Portuguese and English, to enhance job prospects and the overall living experience.
  • Emphasizing the need for a well-structured resume and cover letter when applying for jobs, with a recommended online platform for creating resumes.
  • Stressing the significance of using job search platforms, especially for newcomers, to discover opportunities and build a professional foundation in Portugal.

The vlogger shares valuable insights based on her experience when applying for a job in Portugal, particularly for Filipinas who have recently arrived. The first and foremost priority, she emphasizes, is addressing the legal requirements to work in Portugal. In her case, being married to a Portuguese citizen, she needed to apply for a residence card upon her arrival to work legally as a family member of a European Union citizen.

Second, while not all job opportunities require proficiency in Portuguese, the vlogger underscores the importance of assessing language skills, particularly in Portuguese and English. Even though English proficiency is often not an issue for Filipinos, learning basic Portuguese can significantly enhance job prospects and overall living experience in the country.

The third aspect highlighted is the significance of a well-structured cover letter and resume when applying for jobs in Portugal. The vlogger stresses the importance of showcasing skills, qualifications, and relevant work experiences in a compelling manner. She recommends an online platform for creating a well-structured resume, providing a link in the description. Lastly, the vlogger emphasizes the importance of utilizing job search platforms, especially for newcomers who may not have established networks in Portugal. These platforms can be instrumental in discovering job opportunities and building a professional foundation in the country.

Where to Apply

When it comes to applying for a job in Portugal, the vlogger suggests exploring popular online job platforms. In her case, she uses LinkedIn and highlights the importance of having a well-structured resume that effectively showcases work experience and qualifications. Online job platforms typically rely on resumes for initial screening, making it crucial to present a compelling professional profile.

The vlogger provides links to some popular online job platforms in Portugal in the video description. Additionally, she mentions the option of applying directly to companies if you are familiar with them and have specific preferences. Networking is also a valuable avenue for job seekers, particularly if you have already established connections in Portugal. Referrals from friends or acquaintances who are already working in the country can be advantageous.

Importance of Networking

Moving to a new country is a challenging endeavor, and having a Filipino community or a circle of Filipino friends can significantly ease the transition, as suggested by the vlogger. While not an extensive group, having at least a few friends who can empathize with your experiences can make a significant difference. Building a network is crucial, not only for personal support but also for professional opportunities. Networking can open doors to job referrals, introductions, and valuable insights into the job market, as friends may have connections or work in companies willing to help newcomers.

Here are some lessons that the vlogger shared about living and working in Portugal:

  • The vlogger emphasizes the importance of patience and persistence, particularly on an emotional level.
  • Adjusting to a new environment involves immersing oneself in a different culture, language, and a multitude of new experiences.
  • Recognizing that finding a job may take time is vital, and resilience is key.
  • Encountering setbacks in the initial job application phase is normal, and the vlogger encourages viewers not to be discouraged.
  • Believing in the timing of opportunities and being persistent in the job search are essential attitudes.
  • Seeking help and guidance is also encouraged, with the vlogger sharing her own experience of practicing job interview scenarios with her husband, who had insights from his own work experience in Portugal.

The overarching message is clear: persistence, patience, and a supportive community are invaluable when navigating the challenges of seeking employment in a new country.

In conclusion, embarking on a professional journey in Portugal as a Filipino expatriate brings forth a multitude of considerations and challenges. From understanding the intricacies of the job market and taxation system to the significance of language skills and a well-crafted resume, the vlogger’s insights provide a comprehensive guide for those venturing into new opportunities.