How to Get a Residency Card in Portugal for Filipinos

Embarking on a new life in Portugal after marrying a Portuguese citizen is an exciting adventure for Filipinos. One important step in this journey is getting a residency card, a special document that shows you’re allowed to live there.

This article is like a helpful map for Filipino friends who’ve married someone from Portugal. It guides you through the steps to get your residency card, making it easier to understand the rules and enjoy your life in Portugal. Whether you just got married or have been there for a while, this article is your friendly guide to getting the residency card you need in your new home.

how to get a residency card 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.

Your Guide to Getting a Residency Card in Portugal

This article is based on a YouTube video from the channel Jai’s Portugal Notebook. In this video, the OFW vlogger talks about how kababayans can start processing their residency card in Portugal. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:

Before delving into the details, it’s crucial to note that the process outlined here is specifically tailored for Filipinos who are married to a Portuguese citizen. This guide doesn’t apply if you’re married to a non-Portuguese individual residing in Portugal or if you hold a tourist visa with different intentions. Viewers are advised to keep in mind that the steps presented may vary based on individual circumstances.

It’s recommended to regularly check the latest requirements and regulations on the SEF website, provided in the description, or seek advice from legal experts if necessary. While obtaining a residency card is a significant part of the process, it’s important to understand that it isn’t the initial step.

Getting a Short-Term Visa

After getting married, if you’re coming from the Philippines, the initial step is to obtain a Type C or short-term visa to travel to Portugal. This step is necessary because the process of acquiring a residency card in Portugal differs from other European countries. Currently, as a Filipino married to a Portuguese citizen, you can obtain your residency card once you arrive in Portugal.

To do this, having a valid visa is essential for legal travel to Portugal. It’s crucial to note that there is no Portuguese Embassy in the Philippines. Instead, the Greek Embassy handles the issuance of short-term visas for Filipinos intending to visit Portugal. If you haven’t completed this step, it’s advisable to check the Greek Embassy’s website for information or contact them directly to understand how you can travel to Portugal as a Filipino married to a Portuguese citizen.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to initiate this visa application process well in advance of your planned travel to ensure a smooth journey. Keeping abreast of any potential changes in the process by regularly checking official sources can also be helpful.

Schedule an Appointment

Once in Portugal and ready to begin the process of obtaining a residency card, the vlogger suggests taking the first step by scheduling an appointment with SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras). The website link for SEF will be provided in the description box below, and there’s no need to worry about the requirements at this stage.

The vlogger recommends making the appointment call as early as possible upon arrival in Portugal. While not advising an immediate call right upon landing, the vlogger shares her own experience of contacting SEF one week after arriving in Portugal. Scheduling the appointment early is crucial due to limited availability and to establish contact with SEF.

The vlogger highlights that securing an appointment with SEF can be challenging, and it’s not unique to Filipinos; many individuals seek residency appointments. When making the appointment call, it’s expected that immediate assistance might not be guaranteed. This varies, as some individuals may secure an appointment promptly, while others may need to persist by calling daily.


Residency Card Application Requirements:

  • Proof of entitlement of family reunification: Marriage Contract
    • Ensure marriage is transcribed or registered in Portugal.
  • Evidence of adequate subsistence or financial means: Bank statement and work contract (if applicable)
  • Proof of address: House contract and water bill recommended
  • Tax number (Numero de Contribuinte): Support from the Portuguese spouse
  • Social Security details: Check with the local office for variations
  • Criminal record certificate: Different from NBI clearance. Obtainable in Portugal (details provided)

Type C Application Requirements:

  • Valid passport with a valid visa
  • Two recent passport-size photographs
  • Application form: Downloadable online or available at the office
  • “Termo de Responsabilidade” (Responsibility Statement): Copy on hand or available at the SEF office
  • National ID of the spouse (if not accompanying)

Once the appointment is scheduled, the vlogger advises focusing on the required documents for the residency card application. The first essential document is the proof certifying the entitlement of family reunification, which, in this case, is the marriage contract. If the marriage hasn’t been transcribed or registered in Portugal, it’s necessary to do so at the nearest civil registry. The Portuguese marriage contract or a copy will serve as a crucial requirement.

The next requirement is evidence of adequate subsistence or financial means. The vlogger shares her experience of using her husband’s bank statement and work contract when she didn’t have a job. Additionally, a proof of address is required, and the vlogger suggests using the house contract and water bill. The tax number (numero de contribuinte) and Social Security details are also needed, with the Portuguese spouse supporting the applicant. It’s worth noting that the Social Security scenario can vary, and the vlogger recommends checking with the local office.

Finally, the vlogger mentions the requirement for a criminal record certificate, emphasizing that it’s different from the NBI clearance in the Philippines. The criminal record certificate can be obtained in Portugal, and the vlogger provides the information on where to acquire it.

In Portugal, for the Type C application, the vlogger highlights that only the ID was required, and she presented her passport, emphasizing the importance of always bringing the passport as it is the only valid ID honored. The passport should have a valid visa, and two recent passport-size photographs are needed. The application form, available for download online or at the office, should be filled out with the required information.

Additionally, the “termo de responsabilidade” (responsibility statement) is a necessary document, and while having a copy on hand is good, forms are also available at the SEF office. Lastly, if the spouse doesn’t accompany the applicant, it’s essential to have their national ID.

Assembling the Necessary Requirements

Step 1: Assembling Necessary Documents

  1. Proof of Family Reunification: Provide the Marriage Contract, ensuring it’s registered in Portugal.
  2. Financial Means Verification: Include a bank statement and work contract (if applicable).
  3. Address Confirmation: Submit the house contract and water bill, recommended as proof of address.
  4. Tax Number (Numero de Contribuinte): Rely on support from your Portuguese spouse.
  5. Social Security Details: Check with the local office for variations.
  6. Criminal Record Certificate: Different from NBI clearance; obtainable in Portugal (details provided).

Step 2: Type C Application Requirements

  1. Valid Passport with Visa: Ensure your passport has a valid visa.
  2. Passport-Size Photographs: Submit two recent passport-size photographs.
  3. Application Form: Downloadable online or available at the office.
  4. “Termo de Responsabilidade” (Responsibility Statement): Keep a copy or get one at the SEF office.
  5. National ID of Spouse (if not accompanying): Provide if your spouse won’t be present.

Step 3: Attending Your Appointment

  1. Document Review: Ensure all documents are complete before the appointment.
  2. In-Person Attendance: Be present on the appointment day.
  3. Translation Assistance: If possible, bring a Portuguese-speaking spouse for translation.
  4. Payment and Biometrics: Pay the necessary fees and undergo biometric procedures.

Step 4: Receiving Your Residency Card

  1. Wait for Processing: Expect residency card processing to take around 2 weeks.
  2. Congratulations: Once processed, you can legally stay and work in Portugal.

The application process may require additional documentation, and the receipt of these documents might be through mail. This could vary, and it’s advisable to check the current process with the relevant office. Once approved, this residency card provides legal residence in Portugal, enabling you to work legally.

In conclusion, navigating the process of acquiring a residency card in Portugal, especially for Filipinos married to Portuguese nationals, requires careful attention to detail and adherence to specific steps. From addressing legal requirements and transcribing marriage contracts to fulfilling financial and identification prerequisites, each stage plays a vital role in securing legal residency. The vlogger’s insights, based on personal experiences, shed light on the nuances of the application process, emphasizing the importance of staying informed about the latest requirements and regulations from SEF.

As applicants eagerly await their residency cards, it marks not just the end of a bureaucratic journey but the beginning of an exciting chapter—granting the privilege to stay, work, and fully embrace life in Portugal. Remember, patience, persistence, and staying informed are key to successfully navigating the path to becoming a legal resident in this beautiful European destination.