Family Reunification


Citizens with a valid residence permit may be reunited with family members who are outside national territory, who have lived with them in another country, who are dependent on them or who live with them, irrespective of whether the family ties predate or post-date the resident's entry.


In these circumstances, family reunification is also recognised for family members who have legally entered national territory and are dependent on or cohabiting with the holder of a valid residence permit.


Family members holding a Residence Permit through family reunification have the same period of validity as the resident. After 2 years from the issue of the first Residence Permit through family reunification and, as long as family ties remain or, regardless of the period of validity, provided that the holder of the right to family reunification has minor children residing in Portugal, family members are entitled to an autonomous permit.


The application for family reunification can be made in two ways: when the applicant's family is still outside national territory or when the family is already in national territory but, in any case, this application can only be initiated after the application for a Residence Permit has been started.


Reunification with the family outside national territory:


The application is made by appointment and is submitted in person using the appropriate form signed by the applicant/holder of the right to family reunification and can be presented at any AIMA directorate or regional office.


It must be submitted with the following documentation:

  • Proof of the right to Family Reunification as a foreign national holding a Residence Permit, EU Blue Card or Long-Term Resident Status.
  • Duly authenticated proof of the family ties claimed:
    • Updated and apostilled marriage certificate (less than 6 months old).
    • Updated and apostilled birth certificate (less than 6 months old).
    • Certified copies of the identification documents of the applicant's family members.
  • Proof of accommodation
    • Tenancy agreement and 3 most recent rent receipts.
    • Certificate of address issued by the parish council.
  • Proof that the applicant has sufficient means of subsistence to meet his/her family's needs, as provided for in Ministerial Order no. 1563/2007, of 11/12:
    • Employment contract.
    • 3 most recent payslips.
  • Duly authenticated proof of the family ties claimed.
  • Criminal record certificate issued by the competent authority of the family member's country of nationality and of the country in which they have resided for over a year (except for children under 16).


Reunification with the family in national territory:


The application is made in exactly the same way and the documentation is the same, adding the following documents to the list above:

  • Two identical photographs, passport size, in colour and with a plain background, up to date and in good condition for identification;
  • Passport or other valid travel document;
  • Authorisation from the family member to consult the Portuguese criminal record, provided they have stayed in Portugal for over a year in the last 5 years (except children under 16);
  • Proof of legal entry into National Territory.

The presentation of certified copies of the identification documents of family members applying for a Residence Permit is also not required, provided the originals are presented by their holders at the Service Point, in which case only copies of the respective documents need to be presented locally alongside the originals.