Working while studying in Portugal
Foreign students in Portugal are allowed to work 20 hours a week (full-time during the holidays). In this case, students must inform SEF of the work contract.
It should be noted that the minimum monthly wage in Portugal is one of the lowest in Western Europe: 806 USD. There are student centers offering jobs on and off-campus to help find part-time jobs. Knowledge of English and another language will be an advantage. Such students can count on positions of consultants in shops and travel companies, hotel administrators, tutors, or translators. Students who are actively involved in research work have a chance to get an official contract in the laboratory of their university. During the holidays, students can take lifeguard jobs on Portuguese beaches to combine leisure and work, or travel to neighboring European countries for higher-paying positions.
Immigration in Portugal
Portugal allows EU-citizens graduates to seek work after studies without additional permission. However, students from other countries must obtain permission. It is worth noting that applications from graduates of Portuguese universities are generally approved without hassle.
To apply for a work permit, you need to make an appointment in advance. Documents are given in-person to any department or regional branch of SEF. The following is required:
- 2 recent photos;
- Valid resident visa;
- Proof of solvency;
- Proof of residence in Portugal;
- SEF Permit to Check Portuguese Criminal Records (for those over 16);
- An employment contract that follows the Portuguese law;
- Permission to check registration with the tax authority;
- Authorization to check regular social security payments.
The residence permit is valid for 2 years and then is renewed every 3 years. The cost of the procedure and additional details can be found on the SEF website.
Prospects and employment opportunities for graduates
- In Portugal. The country's economy is recovering after a long crisis. As of February 2020, the unemployment rate was only 6.4%, but among young people, it’s much harsher: in 2019 it was more than 18%. Graduates of the faculties of Computer Science, Technology, Construction, Engineering, Medicine, and Exact Sciences have good chances to get a high-paying position. The Bachelors in Liberal Arts will have it the hardest when it comes to employment. It should be kept in mind that fluency in Portuguese is a key factor for successful employment.
- In Europe. Diplomas from Portuguese universities are recognized by all employers in Europe. Often, the priority is not the grades, but the recommendations of the supervisor and a correctly written resume reflecting the professional skills of the applicant. Participation in international scientific projects, publications in academic journals, and study/internship/work in other European countries are seen as additional advantages.
- In Latin America. The education received in Portugal is highly regarded in Latin America and in other Portuguese-speaking countries outside of Europe. Since education in Portugal has centuries-old traditions, graduates of Portuguese universities have an advantage when looking for work in Brazil, Chile, and other countries of the region. Thus, a diploma from a Portuguese university opens the way not only to Europe but also to more distant — and no less promising — countries.
Want to study at a foreign university but don't know where to start? We can help!
Our specialists will find a university, arrange your documents, fill out the applications, and stay in touch until you receive an offer.