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Nationals of Member States of the European Union, of States parties to the European Economic Area (EEA), of a State with which the European Community has a free movement agreement or nationals of third countries who are relatives of Portuguese citizens or relatives of EU and EEA citizens, do not need Madeira residence permits in order to freely enter Portugal and live in Madeira. They only need to be in possession, at the moment of entering Portugal, of a Schengen visa, if applicable, and to register with the Foreigners and Borders Service in Madeira.
How to obtain a residence permit in Madeira
In case of staying in Madeira for a period longer than 3 months, nationals of a European Union country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland must request a Certificate of Registration at the City Hall of the area of residence.
After five consecutive years as holder of a Registration Certificate, they can apply for a Certificate of Permanent Residence at the Aliens and Borders Service, which is the equivalent of a residence permit in Madeira.
Foreign citizens from third countries, or in circumstances not referred to above, who intend to live in Madeira Island for up to one year or establish their residence for more than one year, need to obtain a residence permit or long term visa - Temporary Stay or Residence - from the Portuguese Embassy in their country of residence or at the Portuguese Embassy in their area of jurisdiction in that country.
Residence permits in Madeira may be requested for the following purposes:
- work (dependent or freelancer)
- study, professional training or research
- Highly qualified work or teaching
- religious training, retirement and medical treatment
These visas allow entry into Portuguese territory in order to apply for a residence permit at the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).
Without prejudice to the special legal provisions applicable, the temporary residence permit is valid for a period of one year as from the date of issue of the respective title and is renewable for successive periods of two years. After five years of temporary residence, holders may apply for a permanent residence permit.
Portugal has been creating special programmes which allow non-EU citizens to obtain temporary residence permits in Madeira and continental Portugal through a simplified and speedy process.
Passive income (D7) visa
The passive income visa in Portugal – also called the D7 Visa – is a residence permit granted to individuals or families that are looking to reside in Portugal and have the financial means to support themselves through passive income. This visa can include any dependable family members and gives all the advantages of other residence permits in Portugal, such as freedom to travel in the entire Schengen and the option to apply for Portuguese Non-Habitual Resident status. This visa is valid for 1 year, and renewable for two periods of 2 years.
Entrepreneur (D2) visa
This visa is granted to entrepreneurs or freelancers who wish to reside in Portugal and undertake an investment activity. You must prove that you plan to open a company in Portugal and that your project is viable and will provide value in the Portuguese business environment. You must also prove that you have the financial means to support yourself. Dependable family members can also be included in the D2 visa. This visa is valid for 1 year, and renewable for two periods of 2 years.
The Start-up Visa is a program that welcomes foreign entrepreneurs who wish to develop an entrepreneurial project in Portugal. Foreign entrepreneurs who wish to start an innovative company have access to a residence visa that gives them the possibility of creating a start-up or relocating an existing one to Portugal.
An assessment of the project’s economic and innovative potential will be made, based on the degree of innovation, scalability of the business, market potential, the capacity of the management team and the potential to create qualified employment in Portugal.
The goal of the so called “Tech Visa” is to guarantee that highly qualified staff from outside the European Union can have easy access to jobs created by Portuguese companies. The program is directed at companies that operate in the global market and wish to attract highly qualified and specialized workers to Portugal from third party countries, or to relocate to Portugal professionals in their team for a management, specialized or training position.
The evaluation is based on the potential, the degree of innovation and the orientation towards internationalisation of the applicant companies.