The Family Reunification Visa (D6 Visa) is one of the most sought-after visas for individuals looking to relocate to Portugal. Legal Portuguese residents with EU citizenship statuses or who moved to the country with other visas can apply to bring their family members to Portugal using the D6 visa.
It is possible for spouses, partners, children, or parents and siblings who are financially dependent on them to use the visa. It will give holders the right to live, work, or study in the country for at least six months. The D6 Visa can also put the holder on a path to Portuguese citizenship. After five years of living in Portugal, the holder can apply for permanent residency and the chance to become a Portuguese citizen.
While the D6 is the easiest means to get residency permits for relatives of Portuguese residents, it requires specific documents and processes.
In this article, we will explain how to go about getting a D6 visa, presenting every detail from the eligibility requirements, documents, application process, interview, and approval. We will also discuss the visa’s pros and cons and answer some frequently asked questions.
There are certain criteria that you must meet in order to apply for a family reunification visa. First, you have to be a temporary or permanent resident of Portugal and be able to show that you are related to the family member you want to bring over. You can initiate a D6 visa application for the following reasons:
- A married or registered partner
- Children below 18 years of age, including adopted children
- Adult children dependent on you but are single and studying in Portugal
- Children legally under your custody
- Dependent first-degree relatives
- Minor siblings who are under your legal custody
- Parents, if they are over 65 years of age or dependent on you in any way
Other types of visas can be applied for directly by immigrants, but the D6 visa must be applied for by a relative who lives in Portugal. The process is a pretty easy way for relatives of newly arrived immigrants to get visas and residencies.
According to a list provided on the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) website, here are the documents needed for a D6 Visa application:
- Two recent passport photographs
- Proof of residency in Portugal as an entitlement for family reunification.
- Proof of the relationship ties referenced.
- Proof of suitable accommodation in Portugal (property deed, rental contract)
- Proof of subsistence (copy of a recent Portuguese bank statement)
- Copies of the family members' identification documents.
- Criminal records check in the family member's country of origin or where they have resided for more than a year (not applicable to minors).
A marriage certificate or proof of living together could be used as proof of a couple's relationship. Since the Portuguese government only needs proof of a stable relationship, couples who are not legally married but have lived together at the same address for more than two years can show a declaration, utility bills, other documents registered to the same address, or a registered domestic partnership.
For children, you must provide birth certificates or certified copies of adoption decisions. For children over the age of 18, you must show proof that they are enrolled in a Portuguese school and that they depend on you financially (such as financial statements or childcare reports).
First-degree relatives must also show proof that they depend on each other financially and provide a copy of the custody decision for minor relatives. For parents over 65 years old, you will provide your own birth certificate and your parents’ proof of economic dependence if they are under 65.
Also, you have to show proof of income to show that you can take care of any family members you bring over. This is to make sure that the immigrants will not become a long-term problem for the Portuguese government. You must have an income higher or equal to the Portuguese minimum wage and at least 50% more to support a second person.
All documents written in a language other than Portuguese must be legally translated into Portuguese in order for the Portuguese government to accept them. Also, legal translations and other documents like criminal record reports have a three-month validity period before they expire.
Since arranging an appointment with SEF might sometimes take more than three months, it is better to delay getting the legal documents until you have a confirmed appointment.
As was already said, only people who live in Portugal can apply for family reunification. The application process starts with a request to the SEF in favor of the family members you wish to bring over. You can apply directly and secure an appointment online or through an agency.
Before you, the family member, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs find out the result of the application, it may take 60 days to process. If the answer is good, the family member who wants to move to Portugal will then fill out an application at a Portuguese embassy or consulate in their home country.
After that, the applicant will make an appointment at the embassy or consulate to show their documents and answer some interview questions. At their appointment, applicants must bring all of the required documents and a certified translation. They should also know how long each document is valid for.
If the application is accepted, the applicant can then move to Portugal. Also, after arriving in Portugal, the applicant must make an appointment with SEF to register as a resident and get a long-term residence permit.
Note that the SEF may interview you and your family members at the beginning of the application procedure. This can happen if they believe certain personal conditions for the application might not be valid. In such a situation, you may have to get the family members to Portugal with a tourist visa.
Also, keep in mind that the visa is only valid for the same period of time as the relative's residence in Portugal. But the initial permit will only provide the immigrants with a 4-month visa. This is so that they will have ample time to register with SEF. They can then renew the permit after getting all the necessary documentation.
Interview and Approval
As part of the process for getting a visa, applicants must show up in person for an interview with a consular official. The goal is to help the interviewer decide whether each candidate qualifies for a Portugal visa.
The interviewer will ask the applicants a few simple questions about why they want to go to Portugal, and they should answer as honestly and accurately as possible. As an applicant, you need to make sure you're ready and have all of your paperwork ready. Also, do not show up late, and dress appropriately.
But don't worry about the interview. Most of the questions will be personal and meant to find out more about why you should get the visa. For instance, the interviewer may ask about your marital status, children, income, partner’s income, life in your home country, how long you intend to stay in Portugal, and more, as the case may be.
Try to show that you are knowledgeable about Portugal when answering the questions, and be sure to emphasize your particular reason for the trip.
Talk about how going to Portugal will help unite your family or improve your relationship. Speak with confidence and look the interviewer in the eyes. But don't panic if the interviewer asks if you've ever been convicted of a crime or belonged to a terrorist organization. These are typical questions that all applicants ask. Answer honestly and reassure the interviewer that you have a good name and have never done anything illegal.
While at the interview, you will be asked to present all your documents and flight itineraries. You will also be required to pay a fee for your visa application. Keep in mind that the fees are just for looking at your application. They do not guarantee that you will get a visa.
After a successful interview, you will have to give your fingerprints, a photo, and other personal information. You will then have to wait a few days to find out the final result. This might take up to 15 days; however, the Consulate will let you know once they've made a decision so you can go to pick up your passport and new visa.
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Pros of Portugal D6 Visa
- The Portugal D6 visa helps unite families separated geographically: thanks to the family unification visa, family members who meet specified criteria can join their relatives with residential permits in Portugal. They can live, work and study in Portugal if they can prove family ties and provide other relevant documents.
- Economically dependent relatives can easily join their supporters: minors, young adults, and aged parents who do not have incomes of their own can join their relatives in Portugal if they can provide proof of subsistence.
- Obtaining visas for people with relatives in Portugal is easier: the application process is relatively easier and straightforward. It does not also require much financial obligations like other visas.
- It could lead to Portuguese citizenship: a Portuguese family reunification visa can help holders work towards acquiring a permanent residence permit or even Portuguese citizenship. Once immigrants have lived in Portugal for five years and have collected relevant documents, they can proceed to apply for permanent permits. One year after, they can apply for Portuguese citizenship proving to have basic knowledge of the country’s language.
Cons of Portugal D6 Visa
- Dependents make little economic contributions: Minors and adult dependents with no income contribute little to the country’s economy. This is because they do not work and do not pay taxes.
- Breeds Misuse of rights to Family Reunification: Due to the relative ease in applying for Portugal’s D6 visa, immigrants may resort to marriages of convenience and false declarations of parenthood, both of which are crimes punishable by law.
What are the requirements to maintain Portugal's D6 visa status?
Most of the time, Portugal D6 visas are good for the same amount of time as the temporary residency permit for family ties. But if the Portuguese resident has a permanent residence permit, the family reunification permit will be good for up to two years. After the first two years of validity, you must renew the visa every three years to maintain it. Make sure to do so within the appropriate time frame to avoid paying a fine for an expired visa.
The required documentation includes a recent passport, an application form for extension, documents that prove your situation and the need to get a visa extension, as well as proof of income.
How long does it take to get approved for a Portugal D6 visa
Typically, it takes 60 days to process a D6 visa application. This is because the Embassy and the Portuguese government need time to talk to each other and process the application after the interview and after the application has been sent in.
Can I still work for a company based outside Portugal with a Portugal D6 Visa?
Yes, you can. You can have a remote job with a company based outside Portugal. Also, if Portugal gives you a long-term residence permit, you may be able to get a residence permit in another EU Member State so you can work, study, or train there.
What are the taxes I need to pay as a Portugal D6 Visa holder?
When it comes to taxes, people who live in Portugal pay rates that range from 14.5% to 48% on their worldwide income. But with the NHR program, people who haven't been tax residents in Portugal for the past five years and apply for NHR status can get tax breaks or a flat 20% tax rate on their income from foreign sources for the next ten years.
Everyone who is allowed to live in Portugal has the right to move their spouses and other family members there. This makes it easier for families to get back together, and it makes it easier for immigrants to get permanent residence permits and Portuguese citizenship.
Keep in mind that applicants must provide documents that confirm the ties they claim and other relevant documents for the application to be considered. If applicants cannot prove relationship ties, they can explore other visa options available. Candidates who get the visa can live, work, and study in Portugal for as long as the visa is valid, and they can also apply to renew it every three years.
This article has attempted to address important questions about the family reunification visa. If you read to this point, you should know the eligibility requirements, required documents, and processes of application, interview, and approval of the D6 visa.
Visa experts like MovingTo and Prismaat can help you if you have any other questions or concerns about moving to Portugal or want to start your family reunification visa application right away.
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