Regardless of the grounds on which you are going to immigrate to Portugal, whether as an employee, entrepreneur, or student, the question of reunification with your relatives is likely to be very relevant to you. After all, people often immigrate at a mature age, which means that the whole family must move, including the spouse, children, and elderly parents. One of the advantages of immigration to Portugal is the relative ease of obtaining visas and residencies for relatives of a newly arrived immigrant. Following the law, the holder of any type of residence permit in Portugal may exercise the right of family reunification. In fact, this means that your immediate relatives, such as your spouse, minor children, etc. will also be able to immigrate to Portugal and live, study and work there when you have obtained your first residence and made an official request for family reunification. How it is possible to issue visa D6 for reunification with your relatives in Portugal, what relatives can be moved to the country with this visa, and many other things we will tell in our new article on the website WithPortugal.
D6 visa: what it is and for whom it is suitable
D6 is a type of Portuguese residency visa which allows the immediate family members of a resident in Portugal also to live, work and study in Portugal. If you have carefully read other articles about residency visas on the WithPortugal website, you already know that only those outside of Portugal can get a residency visa. The D6 visa is also no exception to this rule, as it can only be obtained at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
Yes, there is an option for your relatives to come to Portugal and reunite with you without a resident visa D6 (we will write about this briefly in the "Frequently Asked Questions" block at the end of the article). Still, the most straightforward and most correct option to reunite with your relatives is to obtain a D6 visa in their home country, then reunite with you in Portugal, then at the local SEF immigration office, they can obtain a residence permit, and after 5 years will be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
There are two essential requirements for obtaining a D6 visa to reunite with your family:
- You must be a holder of a Portuguese residence permit
This means that you can only invite your relatives to Portugal if you are here legally and have a residence permit. If you are in the country illegally, do not have a residence permit, or are a short-term visa holder, it will be impossible to arrange documents for your relatives. That's why at WithPortugal, we consistently recommend resorting only to legal methods of immigration to Portugal. For example, if you come to the country as an illegal worker, you will have to wait several years before you have a residence permit, and only then you are able to invite your family, children, parents, etc. Or you will initially have to immigrate to the country together and bear the heavy burden of illegal immigrants as a family. This is quite a challenging experience for any family, so we recommend that you seek immigration advice, and most likely an experienced expert will be able to find you a perfectly legal and correct option for the move.
- Not all of your relatives can get a D6 visa, but only immediate family members who are listed in the legislation
The law provides for family reunification only for:
- Minor children (born or adopted)
- Minor brothers and sisters who are your dependents
- Unmarried adult children who are your dependents and are studying in Portugal
- Parents who are in your care (or the care of your spouse)
All other categories do not fall under the article on family reunification, which means they have to come to Portugal and legalize themselves here. You can read more about this on the SEF website or the ACM immigration website.
It is essential to note the following exceptional situations following the more detailed rules listed on the SEF website.
In case of family reunification for residents of Portugal, holding a residence permit based on education, it is possible to move into the country only:
- Minor children (born or adopted)
In case of civil marriage, family reunification may be allowed for:
- A partner who resides in the country or abroad and has a civil marriage with a resident of Portugal, duly affirmed following the legal provisions
- Minor children (born or adopted), yours or your civil spouse's
Thus, summarizing the basic requirements for obtaining a visa D6, we can say that only the closest relatives can be reunited with a resident of Portugal, and only when this resident has a residence permit.
The process of obtaining a D6 visa for family reunification
The application process and required documents for a D6 visa are managed by Article 98, Part 1, available on the SEF website.
According to this article, a family member who is in Portugal and holds a residence permit must sign up at any SEF office and submit the following documents to be reunited with his/her relatives who will be outside Portugal at that time:
- Proof of eligibility for family reunification (that is, your residence permit, EU Blue Card, or other types of long-term residence)
- Documents proving family relations (for example, birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.)
- Certified copies of documents affirming the identity of the applicant's family members
- Confirmation of official address and residence
- Proof that you have sufficient means of subsistence to meet your family's needs, as stipulated in Decree No. 1563/2007 of 11/12 (this point does not apply to refugees)
- A certificate of no criminal record from your home country for your family members (this document is not required for children under 16).
Also, under Article 98, Section 1, you will need to provide additional documents in certain cases. For example, for adopted children - adoption documents, for elderly parents - proof that your elderly parent under 65 is in your care and needs your help. That is, anyway, you will have to prove not only family relations but also the reason (such as incapacity or dependency) and your financial solvency to support not only yourself but also members of your family.
The question often arises concerning the minimum amount of "livelihood" necessary to be reunited with your relatives.
This topic is discussed in more detail in Decree № 1563/2007 of 11/12, but we can schematically represent the required amount of money as follows:
In practice, this means the following. For example, if there are two of you (a husband and a wife), you will need to provide proof of income of 1,057.50 euros per family for 2022. On the other hand, if you have a minor child in addition to the two of you, then the minimum income for a family of three is 1,269 euros.
These amounts will be adjusted each year according to the minimum salary in Portugal in a particular year. You can always check the current values of the minimum necessary means of subsistence on the SEF portal.
It is essential to take into account having sufficient necessary minimum to start the process of reunification with your family because if you come to Portugal to work with a minimum salary of 705 euros, you should understand that your spouse and three other children will be impossible to move here, not only from a logical point of view (as 700 euros is not enough to live for such a large family), but also from the legal point of view.
Once you have submitted your request for family reunification to the SEF and it has been approved, the SEF will contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Portuguese Consulate/Embassy in your home country to start the process of issuing a D6 visa to your relatives at the relevant Consulate. Then, once the D6 visa has been granted, your family members will enter Portuguese territory. They can already apply to the SEF for a residence permit, according to Article 107 of Law 23/07 of 7 April.
In this case, the documents required for obtaining a visa D6 are always better to clarify directly at your country's consulate. A general list of required documents can always be found on this official portal or directly at the Portuguese consulate in your country. This list of documents for a visa D6 will be similar to the list of documents that your relative resident has provided to the immigration office in Portugal. You will also be required for documents confirming your family relations, standard documents (such as passports, certificates of criminal records, etc.), and a declaration from the Portuguese SEF immigration office that family reunification has been approved for you.
The process of obtaining a D6 visa for family reunification can be schematically presented as follows:
- Step 1. The assemblage of all necessary documents and submission of the application for family reunification by a resident of Portugal to the local SEF office (this should be done by the family member who is in Portugal with a residence permit)
- Step 2. SEF approval of the family reunification application
- Step 3. Filing of documents at the consulate of their country by the relatives of a Portuguese resident. After that, in case of a positive decision, they become owners of the cherished D6 visa
- Step 4. Upon arrival to Portugal with visa D6 all family members can receive a residence permit on this basis in the SEF department, and they can apply for citizenship in 5 years
Family reunification is the right of any resident in Portugal
It does not matter on what basis you are in the country. It can be work, study, business, and even volunteer work. Just know that if you are a holder of a residence permit, your immediate family can quickly and legally enough move to you in Portugal for permanent residence, receiving a visa D6 at the consulate of their country. We hope that with the help of our article, the procedure for reunification with your family will not be too complicated for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This phrase means that anyone holding a residence permit in Portugal can exercise the right to bring their next of kin into the country legally. In fact, it means that your immediate family members, such as your spouse, minor children, etc. will also be able to immigrate to Portugal and live, study, and work there after you get your first residence and exercise the right to be reunited with your family.
Yes, with an appropriate residence permit, your relatives will be able to work and study in the country, which is one of the critical advantages of Portugal compared to other European countries.
No, it is not possible to obtain a D6 residence visa if you are in Portugal with a tourist visa, but your family will immediately be able to apply for a residence permit from the SEF in the territory of Portugal, according to Article 98, Part 2, presented on the SEF website.
This option is also possible, and, in practice, it is even more common than requesting a D6 visa in the country of origin. This option is regulated by Article 98, part 2, available on the SEF website. In this case, your relatives can arrive in Portugal on a tourist visa or visa-free and then apply for a residence permit on the date specified by the SEF for submission.
The documents required to be submitted to the SEF in such cases usually include:
● Temporary residence permit (yours), because the family reunification will take place since you have a temporary residence permit;
● Documents proving family relations (for example, birth certificate);
● Documents of your relatives (for example, passport) + proof of their legal entry into Portugal;
● Proof of livelihood and housing, as you take responsibility for the family, you will need to prove that you have both funds and housing;
● Other standard documents, such as a certificate of no criminal record, etc.
You can always find an up-to-date list of documents on this page of the SEF portal.
In this case, for a family of three, your income must be at least €1,269 for 2022. In this article, we have given a very detailed scheme for calculating this amount, but we would like to point out that the income must be official and confirmed. If you work and receive a salary "in an envelope", which you do not declare anywhere, it can be challenging to prove your earnings officially.
No, because the law only provides family reunification for spouses, minor children, minor brothers and sisters, and adult children dependent on you and parents in your custody. All other categories do not fall under the article on family reunification, which means they will need to come to Portugal and legalize themselves here. You can read more about this on the SEF website or the ACM immigration website.
The law allows family reunification with children 18 years of age or older if the following conditions are met:
● Children are under your care
● Are single
● They are studying at an educational institution in Portugal
If these three conditions are met simultaneously, you can be reunited with your child without any problems.
Any time you have your residence card. If your residence permit is renewed in the SEF, you can also apply for family reunification by presenting your residence renewal receipt. If you have not yet received your first residence permit, you must wait until you have your residence permit before applying for reunification.
In case your family members are outside the territory of Portugal, it is you (that is, the person who is already a resident and holds a Portuguese residence permit) who has to request the SEF for family reunification. However, if your family members are already in Portugal, the SEF can request family reunification not only by you but also by them (at your choice, but of course, most often, the whole family comes on the appointed day to submit documents to the SEF).