September 27, 2012:
In a new law that was put into effect on September 9, 2012, Portugal has introduced its version of the EU Blue Card.
Portuguese Blue Cards are issued for an initial period of one year and are renewed in two-year increments. After the first two years, cardholders are capable of changing employers without prior authorization, and need only to notify authorities.
Additionally, cardholders are capable of working as highly-skilled employees in another EU member state, subject to that state’s approval and blue card regulations after the first 18 months. The Blue Card will also lead to permanent residency after five years, after spending the first two years immediately prior to application in the one EU state in which permanent residence will be granted.
Adult dependents of a cardholder should be granted work permission
In order to qualify, the applicant must have:
- A valid employment offer or contract of at least one year;
- Hold a university degree or possess five years of high level professional, relevant work experience and specific qualifications;
- A salary of 1.5 times the annual gross average national salary;
- Health insurance or be registered in the national health system;
- Registration with the Portuguese Social Security System;
- Diploma or other documentation that proves the professional qualification for professions that are unregulated or proof of professional certification if it is regulated.
It should be noted, however, that the Blue Card process has not yet been regulated, so its function in practice is uncertain. However, the legal issuance timeframe for the EU Blue Card is 60 days.