Portugal D6 Family Reunion Visa: Your Guide in 2024

Discover how to bring your family together in Portugal. Our guide to family reunion visas covers everything you need to know to make the process stress-free.
January 10, 2024
Ana Fankhauser
January 10, 2024

Are you planning to reunite with your family in Portugal? The D6 family reunion visa for Portugal is a critical step in bringing your loved ones together in this vibrant country. Designed for non-EU nationals, this visa provides a pathway for joining family members who are legal residents in Portugal. In this article, we’ll guide you through the visa’s eligibility criteria, application process, required documentation, and the rights and responsibilities that come with it, ensuring you’re well-equipped to navigate the journey toward family reunification in Portugal.

Key Takeaways

  • The D6 Family Reunion Visa is a pathway for non-EU nationals to reunite with family members residing legally in Portugal, offering potential residency and access to employment, education, healthcare, and social services.
  • Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria such as family relationships, financial stability, and documentation requirements, including legalizing and translating foreign documents into Portuguese for the visa process.
  • Holders of the D6 Visa can seek permanent residency after five years and Portuguese citizenship upon meeting language and cultural knowledge criteria, with professional legal assistance being advisable to navigate the application complexities.

Unlocking the Door to Family Reunification in Portugal: Understanding the D6 Visa

D6 family reunion visa portugal

The Portuguese Family Visa, also known as the Portugal Family Reunification Visa or the D6 Visa, is an access key that invites family members of legal Portuguese residents to share a life in this magnificent country. The objective of this visa is to uphold the integrity of the family, enabling them to experience the charm, culture, and opportunities Portugal has to offer together during a family reunion.

The D6 Visa offers a promising opportunity for non-EU nationals aiming to reunite with their family members in Portugal. The D6 Visa can be valid for up to two years when the sponsor has a permanent residence permit. This allows for longer stays and greater flexibility for the visa holder. Moreover, the privileges of this visa don’t stop at family reunification. By obtaining the D6 Visa and subsequently a residence permit card, family members can access employment, education, healthcare, and social security benefits in Portugal, mirroring the rights and opportunities available to Portuguese citizens.

The Essence of the D6 Visa

The D6 Visa is a cornerstone of family reunification in Portugal, allowing immediate family members of legal residents to join them in the country. Spouses, minor children, and dependent parents of foreign citizens with valid residence permits in Portugal are also eligible for this visa. This allows family members to join their loved ones in Portugal.

The process of acquiring this visa involves adhering to specific prerequisites, such as:

  • Holding a temporary residence permit
  • Residing in the country for a specific duration
  • Presenting a certified copy of your passport
  • Obtaining a criminal record check.

Also, obtaining the D6 Visa not only allows migration to Portugal, but it also provides potential prospects for Portuguese residency and work or study opportunities in the country.

The Path to Reuniting Families

The D6 Visa, also known as the family reunion visa, fosters family reunions through a streamlined process. The process includes the following steps:

  1. The main applicant schedules an appointment with SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) in Portugal.
  2. SEF approves the family reunification.
  3. The family member applies for the D6 visa from their home country at the Portuguese Consulate or VFS within their jurisdiction.

From there, the application process continues, taking approximately 60 days to reach a decision.

Navigating Eligibility Requirements for the D6 Visa

Eligibility requirements for the D6 Visa

Comprehending the eligibility for the D6 Visa and the requirements for the sponsor is key to ensuring a successful family reunification visa application. The D6 Visa is available to non-EU nationals who are immediate family members, such as spouses, dependent children, and dependent parents of individuals who are legally residing in Portugal.

The sponsor, on the other hand, is required to prove their ability to financially support their family members. This would mean providing evidence of suitable accommodation in Portugal and a recent bank statement from a Portuguese bank to demonstrate their capacity to cover living expenses.

Who qualifies as an eligible family member?

In the context of the D6 Visa, the definition of family goes beyond the nuclear family. Eligibility extends to:

  • your spouse
  • minor children under the age of 18
  • dependent adult children
  • first-degree dependent relatives

Notably, the eligibility consideration for the D6 Visa, also known as the family visa, is inclusive of adopted children and the parents of residents, signifying the comprehensive familial scope of this visa. Supporting documents, such as birth or marriage certificates, are necessary to establish the family relationship.

Conditions for Sponsors

The sponsor plays an integral role in the D6 Visa application. For a successful application, the sponsor must be a spouse or partner recognized by law and have dependent children (including adopted children) or children of the resident’s partner.

Also, the sponsor is required to demonstrate their financial stability by earning a minimum of four times the Portuguese minimum wage, which, as of 2024, averages €3,280 per month. In essence, the sponsor holds the key to the family’s reunification journey in Portugal.

Assembling the Documentation Puzzle

Applying for the D6 Visa requires several important documents. These include:

  • A passport with the passport number, issue date, and expiration date
  • A copy of the passport
  • Foreign-issued documents that have undergone the process of legalization to be considered valid for the application.

These documents are crucial for completing the D6 Visa application.

Additionally, a certified translator must translate these documents into Portuguese so that the Portuguese authorities can properly evaluate your application.

Critical Documents for Application Success

The assembly of the right documents is a critical step towards the successful acquisition of the D6 visa. Essential documents include:

  • A passport valid beyond your intended stay in Portugal
  • A certified copy of the passport
  • Evidence of familial ties, such as a birth or marriage certificate
  • A criminal records check from the places of residence

Dependents also need to provide their passport and proof of entitlement to family reunification.

Notably, a criminal record certificate from your country of origin and any country where you have resided for more than a year is a must-have. Lastly, evidence of accommodation in Portugal forms an integral part of your application documents.

Legalizing and Translating Foreign Documents

Navigating the waters of foreign document legalization and translation for the D6 Visa application can appear complex, but with the right guidance, it becomes manageable. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. A certified translator must translate each foreign-issued document into Portuguese.
  2. The translation should include a declaration of the translator’s credentials and confirm the thoroughness and precision of the document.
  3. A notary public should then certify the translated document.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your documents are properly translated and legalized for your D6 Visa application.

The authentication and translation of foreign documents in Portugal are performed by the respective embassies or consulates and authorities responsible for the authentication and apostille of state-issued documents. The Portuguese government has officially recognized a few translation companies for this purpose, including US Language Services, Languex, and TranslateSwift.

The Application Journey: Step-by-Step Guide to the D6 Visa

D6 Visa application process

Beginning the D6 Visa application process can be exciting yet challenging. It starts with the submission of the required documents, such as recent photos, family certificates, and a valid passport, at an Embassy or Consulate. Following the submission, your documents will be reviewed, and you will receive a notification of the decision upon a thorough examination.

The final step of the application process is visiting the SEF office in Portugal to register as a resident.

Starting Your Application: SEF and Consular Steps

The D6 Visa application journey commences with SEF reviewing your application and issuing a formal statement that enables you to apply for the visa from outside Portugal. An appointment with SEF can be scheduled through their pre-booking system online or by telephone.

The essential documents to be presented during this process include:

  • A certified copy of your passport
  • A previous passport, if applicable
  • Valid travel insurance
  • A criminal records check for all countries where you have resided for over a year
  • Evidence of family connections and entitlement to family reunification in Portugal

Finalizing Residency: Registering in Portugal

The final step of the D6 Visa application journey is becoming a registered resident in Portugal. This step is achieved by applying for a residence permit at the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) upon arrival in Portugal, provided that your work visa has been approved. The necessary documents for this registration usually include:

  • A valid passport
  • Two recent identity pictures
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of health insurance
  • An original police clearance certificate
  • A receipt of payment of fees
  • A bank statement
  • An original bank reference
  • A visa
  • Proof of income
  • Documents proving family bonds.

Registering as a resident in Portugal comes with its own perks, such as:

  • Visa-free access to the EEA, EU and Schengen Area
  • Access to the job market
  • Unlimited educational opportunities
  • Eligibility for the Golden Visa program
  • Potential to qualify for favorable tax residency status

Timeline and Fees: Processing the D6 Visa

Comprehending the timeline and costs related to the D6 Visa application can aid in better planning your process. The processing time for a D6 Visa application is typically 60 days. If the assessment of a D6 Visa application exceeds a duration of 6 months, it will automatically be deemed valid, and SEF notifies the Director General or Consular and Portuguese Communities Affairs about the situation.

The fee for applying for the D6 Visa is approximately €84. There might be additional charges, such as:

  • Visa processing fee of approximately €90
  • Residence permit registration fee of €85
  • Potential charges for the assistance of immigration professionals, which may commence at €1500.

Expected Processing Times

Time is of the essence when it comes to visa processing. The typical duration for processing a D6 visa in Portugal is 60 days.

You can keep track of your visa application status by accessing the online portal of the Portuguese embassy and logging in with the provided username and password.

Breakdown of Associated Costs

Every journey comes with its costs, and the D6 Visa application is no different. The present application fee for the D6 Visa in Portugal is €90. In addition to the application fee, supplementary expenses may encompass fees for registering a residence permit (€85) and expenses for engaging immigration specialists, which can commence at €1500.

Living in Portugal with a D6 Visa: Rights and Responsibilities

Rights and responsibilities of living in Portugal with a D6 Visa

Residing in Portugal with a D6 Visa signifies more than just a change in location; it represents embracing a set of rights and responsibilities. D6 Visa holders are entitled to participate in Portugal’s national health system and receive access to excellent and cost-effective healthcare upon obtaining legal residency through the family reunification process.

Additionally, D6 visa holders have the opportunity to seek employment and education in Portugal.

Employment and Education Opportunities

The D6 Visa not only brings you closer to your loved ones but also opens doors to vast employment and education opportunities. D6 Visa holders have the right to engage in employment and enjoy equivalent work benefits to Portuguese citizens, encompassing employment, social security, and tax benefits. If entrepreneurship is your calling, you can start your own business in Portugal.

On the education front, D6 Visa holders can engage in higher education pursuits related to foreign affairs, such as:

  • academic studies
  • exchange programs
  • professional internships
  • other related activities

For those interested in learning the local language, enrolling in Portuguese-language courses is also an option.

Access to Healthcare Services

Healthcare is a crucial consideration when moving to a new country. D6 Visa holders can utilize both the public and private healthcare systems in Portugal, provided they have valid travel health insurance that fulfills the requirements of the Schengen area.

To access the public healthcare system, D6 Visa holders need to acquire a National Health Service (SNS) user number, which allows them to avail medical assistance at public healthcare facilities.

On the Road to Permanent Residence and Citizenship

The D6 Visa serves not only as a means for family reunification but also as a pathway to permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship. D6 visa holders can apply for permanent residency in Portugal after residing in the country for 5 years. To acquire a permanent residence permit, D6 Visa holders need to maintain legal residence for five consecutive years.

After five years of lawful residence, D6 Visa holders can apply for Portuguese citizenship, provided they successfully complete a basic test in Portuguese language and culture.

Criteria for Permanent Residency

The road to permanent residency requires fulfilling certain criteria. A person must lawfully reside in Portugal for a period exceeding five years to qualify for permanent residency. While the criteria for permanent residency can vary depending on family status and age groups, the financial situation and employment do not directly impact the eligibility for permanent residency.

However, providing evidence of adequate proficiency in the Portuguese language is a prerequisite for acquiring permanent residency as a Portuguese resident.

Achieving Portuguese Citizenship

Achieving Portuguese citizenship is a significant milestone for D6 Visa holders. To be eligible for Portuguese citizenship, a D6 Visa holder must:

  • Reside in Portugal for a period of 5 years
  • Demonstrate an A2 level of proficiency in the Portuguese language
  • Successfully complete a test on Portuguese history, culture, and language.

The path to citizenship requires meeting these requirements.

Notably, it’s permissible for D6 Visa holders to retain dual citizenship after obtaining Portuguese citizenship.

Maintaining Legal Status: Renewal and Changes in Circumstances

Life is dynamic, and alterations in your personal circumstances can impact your D6 Visa status. The renewal of the D6 Visa involves submitting a renewal application to SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), along with a fee of €90, and the processing timeline is 60 days. The D6 Visa can be renewed once every two years for the initial renewal, and subsequently every three years for renewals.

In the event of a change in personal circumstances, such as severance of family ties, individuals may be eligible to apply for an independent residence permit under specific conditions.

The Renewal Process Explained

The renewal of your D6 Visa is an essential step to ensure your continued legal stay in Portugal. The process for renewing the D6 Visa entails submitting a reunification request to SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras). Upon approval of the request by SEF, the visa renewal typically takes around 60 days to process.

The documents to be submitted for renewal include:

  • Two identical passport photographs
  • A copy of your previous passport (if applicable)
  • A valid travel insurance that covers necessary medical expenses, including emergency assistance and repatriation

The renewal fee for the D6 Visa is approximately €84 or €90.

Adjusting to New Circumstances

Life is never static, and changes in your circumstances can impact your D6 Visa status. Some examples of changes that can have implications on your D6 Visa include:

  • A change in marital status
  • A change in financial situation
  • The passing of your sponsoring family member
  • The birth of a child
  • A change in your sponsor’s status from resident to citizen

It is important to be aware of these potential changes and understand how they may affect your D6 Visa.

In every circumstance, it is essential to:

  • Update your documentation
  • Present evidence of the change
  • Maintain adequate financial resources to support your family members in Portugal
  • Consult the consulate or immigration authorities to ascertain the specific requirements and possibilities for family reunification.

Expert Legal Assistance for Your Visa Application

In navigating the complexities of immigration, professional assistance can be highly beneficial. Engaging the services of an immigration lawyer for the D6 Visa application process can provide expert guidance, improve the likelihood of a successful application, and offer support in navigating legal complexities and potential challenges.

Their counsel and proficiency can help prevent delays and enhance the efficiency of the process.

Comprehensive Immigration Support

Comprehensive immigration support offers guidance throughout the D6 Visa application process. These services offer:

  • A detailed guide to understanding the Family Reunification Visa process
  • Assistance with legal documentation
  • Guidance through the various steps required for the application
  • Immigration advisors and legal firms to provide guidance throughout the application process
  • Assistance in navigating the complexities of immigration procedures
  • Updates on the status of the application
  • Communication with authorities when needed

This support ensures a seamless application procedure.

Specialized law firms and agencies such as Total Law and Global Citizen Solutions provide dedicated immigration support services for the D6 Visa in Portugal.

Why Professional Help Matters

Professional assistance is not merely an option but a necessity in navigating the complexities of the D6 Visa application. The expertise of an immigration lawyer can expedite the D6 Visa application process by providing guidance through each step, handling all paperwork preparation and submission, and liaising with the authorities. They can recognize typical pitfalls in the D6 Visa application, such as the absence of specific documents or errors in the application protocol, and offer expert guidance to mitigate these challenges.


The D6 Family Reunion Visa Portugal is a gateway to reuniting with your loved ones in the vibrant landscapes of Portugal. It extends beyond the realms of a visa and forges a link between families separated by geographical boundaries. From understanding the essence of the D6 Visa, navigating the eligibility requirements, assembling the document puzzle, and following the application journey, to exploring the rights and responsibilities in Portugal, the path to permanent residency and citizenship, maintaining your legal status, and understanding the importance of professional help, this guide has endeavored to illuminate every aspect of the D6 Visa application process. So, with this knowledge at your fingertips, you are well-equipped to embark on your journey of family reunification in Portugal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the D6 visa for family reunification in Portugal?

The D6 visa in Portugal is for family reunification, allowing temporary or permanent residents to be reunited with close family members living abroad. Consider applying for this visa if you meet the eligibility criteria.

What is the difference between D6 and D7 visa in Portugal?

The D7 visa in Portugal has a family component that differs from the traditional Family Reunion visa, as it allows dependent children, a spouse, and a dependent grandparent to relocate with you, whereas the traditional Family Reunion visa only allows dependent children, a spouse, and a dependent grandparent.

How long does it take to get a family reunification visa in Portugal?

It takes approximately 60 days to process a family reunification visa in Portugal. Some applications may take an additional 60 days for review, and applicants will be notified of any extensions.

Who is eligible to apply for the D6 Visa?

Immediate family members of legal Portuguese residents, such as spouses, dependent children, and dependent parents, are eligible to apply for the D6 Visa. This visa is for those who are residing in Portugal.

What are the rights of D6 Visa holders in Portugal?

D6 Visa holders have the right to access Portugal's national health system, work, and pursue education in the country. This allows them to benefit from the excellent and affordable healthcare available in Portugal, as well as participate in the workforce and educational opportunities.

Written by
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Ana Fankhauser

Ana has worked in many startups and moved to a few countries, which led her to create MovingTo. She believes that remote work is a growing trend that is here to stay and that digital nomads will move to countries that have more to offer than the ones you were born into. She mostly writes opinion pieces for MovingTo.

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