Most Wanted Professions in Portugal That Make It Easier to Get a Work Visa in 2024

Portugal is facing labour shortages in 31 occupations in particular, the latest European Labour Authority report has revealed.

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The most affected sectors include food and hospitality, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and information technology, Schengen.News reports.

Portugal is grappling not only with labour shortages but also with the increasing proportion of elderly citizens. Eurostat statistics show that Portugal has one of the highest percentages of elderly people among the EU countries.

More specifically, the share of people aged 65 and above in Portugal increased by 23.7 per cent in 2022 to 24 per cent in 2023.

Although the above mentioned issues pose a challenge to the Polish labour market, they translate into more employment opportunities for international workers. Therefore, foreigners aspiring to live and work in Portugal stand a better chance of securing a Portuguese work visa if they belong to any of the most in-demand jobs.

According to the 2023 EURES report on shortages and surpluses, some of the professions facing a lack of workers include:

  • Garden and horticultural labourers
  • Crop farm labourers
  • Heavy truck and lorry drivers
  • Sewing machine operators
  • Electrical mechanics and fitters
  • Agricultural and industrial machinery mechanics and repairers
  • Metal working machine tool setters and operators
  • Welders and flame cutters
  • Plumbers and pipe fitters
  • Bricklayers and related workers
  • Home-based personal care workers
  • Bartenders
  • Waiters
  • Cooks and kitchen helpers
  • Hotel receptionists
  • Applications programmers
  • Software developers
  • Nursing professionals
  • Generalist/Specialist medical practitioners
  • Electrical engineers

Certain Occupations Report Both Shortages & Surpluses Depending on Season

Among other things, the report found that some seasonal-related occupations emerge as both shortages and occupations throughout the year.

For instance, 9412 kitchen assistants and 5131 waiters were reported as shortages between April and October but as surpluses between November and March.

European Labour Authority

Moreover, seasonal occupations, such as hotel receptionists, cooks, bartenders, and crop farmers labourers, experience shortages in specific periods.

Migration Expected to Lower Unemployment Rate in Portugal

The unemployment rate in Portugal rose from 6.2 percent in 2022 to 6.5 percent in 2023. However, this rate is expected to decrease in the future, according to an analysis from the Directorate‑General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the EU Commission.

In 2023, the unemployment rate in Portugal was 6.5 per cent, representing a slight increase of 0.3 per cent compared to the previous year. However, this rate is anticipated to drop, as per an analysis from the Directorate‑General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the EU Commission.

As further noted, the working-age population rose in early 2024 as a result of positive migration flows.

Unemployment is expected to decline somewhat over the coming months as job creation is set to gradually absorb the increase in labour supply. In full-year terms, unemployment is projected at 6.5 per cent in 2024 and 6.4 per cent in 2025.

Directorate‑General for Economic and Financial Affairs of EU Commission

Basic Rules Foreigners Must Know Before Applying for a Work Visa in Portugal

Citizens of EU/EFA countries and Switzerland don’t need a visa to work in Portugal. However, if they plan to live in the country for over three months, they need a Residence Certificate.

Meanwhile, citizens of other countries need a work visa if they intend to work in Portugal. The application process must be completed by the employer through the Portuguese Labour Authorities.

Prior to submitting the application, the employer must confirm that the job vacancy has been posted for a minimum of one month for Portuguese workers to apply. This ensures that the relevant authorities can ascertain whether a Portuguese or EU citizen had the opportunity to fill the position during that period.

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Portugal?

Individuals who intend to live and work in Portugal may also like to check the living expenses in this country first.

Portugal is ranked 29th in Europe and 60th in the world according to the Cost of Living Index 2024 by Numbeo.

A single person’s estimated monthly expenses, not including the rent, are approximately €670. On the other hand, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs approximately €960 per month. Those intending to save extra money may consider living outside the city centre, where the same size apartment costs approximately €730 per month.

Meanwhile, a one-way ticket for local transport costs about €2, whereas a monthly pass ticket costs €40.

If living with family, costs may go higher, depending on the number of family members and the apartment location, among others.