Portugal: The "Visa Job Seeker" faces difficulties with consular appointments and a lack of responsiveness

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We were among the first to relay Portugal's announcement of the launch of a visa dedicated to job search in 2022, information that we have regularly updated, the latest being in 2024: " Visa for job hunting in Portugal" . The government's objective was clear: to simplify access to the Portuguese labor market to alleviate labor shortages in several sectors. The move was seen as an opportunity, promising to be one of the most accessible routes to the Schengen area. Nevertheless, feedback shows a more nuanced reality, marked by difficulties in making appointments and a certain slowness in consular responses.

We would like to remind you that our site is dedicated to the dissemination of information and does not manage visa application files. We make every effort to seek out accurate information and present it in a simplified and understandable way. Our aim is to provide you with clear, accessible content to help you navigate the process with confidence. For more information, visit the official website: vistos.mne.gov.pt

Job search visa in Portugal: between promise and reality

Since its announcement in 2022, Portugal's job-seeker visa, while hailed as a promising initiative to fill gaps in the labor market, has faced significant obstacles that compromise its effectiveness. Applicants to this visa encounter a series of recurring problems, including difficulties in obtaining appointments. Long waits, sometimes lasting several months, at consulates and embassies, combined with appointment booking platforms that are often saturated and unresponsive.

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The processing of applications is not without criticism: between administrative slowness, a blatant lack of transparency, and waiting times that can cheerfully exceed six months for a response, applicants find themselves in a situation of uncertainty. This situation is exacerbated by a low approval rate, where many visa refusals are issued without detailed explanations, leaving applicants in the dark.

Forums and social networks are full of testimonials reflecting the challenges encountered in securing an appointment and navigating through the application process. Tales of interminable waits and unjustified refusals fuel a general sense of injustice in the face of a system perceived as opaque and out of touch with applicants' realities. Comments such as "I've been waiting for my appointment for over 4 months, I can't reach the consulate" or "Visa refused without any clear explanation, it's discouraging" illustrate the dismay and exasperation of those affected.

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The problems associated with applying for a job search visa in Portugal by citizens of African countries can be many and varied. From the testimonials and information available, several major challenges stand out.

Applicants often encounter difficulties in accessing accurate and complete information on the application procedure, particularly due to language barriers or the absence of Portuguese embassies or consulates in certain African countries. This is illustrated by applicants having to turn to other countries to submit their applications, as is the case for some Cameroonians traveling to Côte d'Ivoire.

The promise of the job-seeker visa in Portugal

Initially granted for 120 days, this visa can be extended for a further 60 days, giving you up to 180 days to find a job and start the process of obtaining residency. This flexibility is essential for successful professional integration in Portugal. However, if the holder fails to establish a working relationship and initiate the process for residency authorization within this period, he or she must leave the country and wait one year before being able to reapply.

Application for this visa requires a series of general and specific documents, including an application form, identity photos, a valid passport, proof of legal status for non-residents, travel insurance, a criminal record certificate, proof of sufficient financial means, and a declaration of interest in registering with the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP). These requirements ensure that applicants are well prepared and meet the necessary criteria for their stay and job search in Portugal.

This visa embodies the promise of a new working life in Portugal, offering individuals the legal framework and time needed to explore the job market and integrate into the Portuguese economy.

The documents are as follows:

Here is a list of the documents required to apply for a visa to work in Portugal, according to the Portuguese embassy in Rabat, for example:

  • Visa application form Completed, dated and signed.
  • 2 recent photos Color, light background, format 3.5cm x 4.5cm.
  • Passport Valid for at least 3 months after the expiry date of the visa requested, with 2 blank pages.
  • National Identity Card Residence permit for non-Moroccans.
  • Valid travel insurance Emergency medical care and repatriation.
  • Anthropometric sheet With Hague Apostille for over 16s.
  • Authorization to consult the Portuguese criminal register For people over 16.
  • Reservation/return ticket.
  • Proof of means of subsistence At least 3 times the Portuguese minimum wage.
  • Declaration for the planned stay Explain your motivations and areas of professional experience.
  • Expression of interest to register with IEFP.

Solutions to Portugal's job-seeker visa problems

To solve the problems associated with applying for a job-seeker's visa in Portugal, particularly for nationals of African countries, there are a number of practical measures and solutions that can facilitate the processing of the application and increase the chances of success:

The first thing to know is only since April 5, 2011, any decision to refuse a visa must be duly justified and notified to the person concerned. Applicants can request a revaluation of their application to the visa department, within 10 working days for national visas such as study, residence and work visas, and 15 days for Schengen visas. This procedure may require the submission of additional documents in support of the application.
Applicants also have the right to lodge an appeal against the refusal with Portugal's central authorities, enabling them to challenge the initial decision.

Official visa partners You should seek out and contact official visa partners, such as VFS Global, in your country or in the nearest region with a Portuguese consulate or embassy. These organizations are often mandated by governments to facilitate the visa application process by providing up-to-date information, booking appointments and guiding applicants through the application process.

Visit the official websites Check regularly the official websites of the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your country for precise, up-to-date information on required documents, procedures and deadlines. These sites usually offer detailed guides and FAQs that can answer many questions.

Complete document preparation Please ensure that you carefully prepare all required documents, including certified translations for documents not in Portuguese, English or French. The completeness and accuracy of the documents submitted can greatly influence the outcome of your application.

PFIE declaration of interest Please complete the declaration of interest in registering with the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) carefully, as it demonstrates your seriousness and intention to actively seek employment in Portugal. Follow the instructions precisely and make sure that all the information provided is consistent and truthful.

Consult forums and social networks Search for online groups and forums where people share their experiences and advice on applying for a visa to Portugal. They can be a valuable source of practical information and advice on how to overcome difficulties specific to applicants from your country.

Preparing for the consular interview Prepare carefully for the consular interview, if required. Revise your CV and cover letter, and be ready to speak convincingly and coherently about your plans to seek employment in Portugal.

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7 Responses

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