Are you a Canadian citizen looking to live, work, and travel in beautiful Portugal? The Portugese Working Holiday visa may be the perfect solution for you! This visa allows Canadians to stay in Portugal for extended periods of time, providing the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the culture and way of life of this charming Mediterranean country while also gaining valuable work experience. Whether you’re looking to start a new career, continue your education, or simply spend some time exploring all that Portugal has to offer, the Working Holiday visa can help make your dream a reality. So, if you’re ready to embark on an exciting new adventure in Europe, read on to learn more about how to apply for a Portugese Working Holiday visa!
What is the Canadian – Portugal Working Holiday Visa?
Signed on 3 May 2018, the memorandum between Canada and Portugal has the primary objective to promote youth mobility, for youth aged between 18 and 35, to travel and work.
The maximum number of visas/entry permits is four hundred (400) to be granted to Canadian citizens for temporary stays of up to twelve (12) months in Portugal.
See this website for more details: Youth Mobility Details
Canadian – Portugal Working Holiday Visa Requirements
To work/travel in Portugal through the Working Holiday Portugal, you must:
- be a Canadian citizen
- be 18-35 years old (inclusive), and
- have a valid Canadian passport
Other requirements may apply, check Portugal’s website for more details.
What the Working Holiday Visa Allows
This visa allows you to:
- Live in Portugal for up to one year
- Work on a short term basis (Max. 6 months)
- Study for up to four months
- Travel to other countries within the Schengen area without a visitor visa
Step 1: Gather Your Documents
There are a few documents you need to put together in order to apply for the Working Holiday Visa to Portugal from Canada. Here is an outline of all the documents and what I used to put my application together.
Application: Create an account on the new E-Visa Portal. This replaced the paper copy of the Working Holiday visa the embassy had posted on their website. Registering on the e-visa portal will allow you to set your appointment with the Portuguese embassy. The application on the portal will create a printable copy that you will need to print and bring with you to your embassy appointment.
Passport: A valid Passport (validity must extend until at least 3 months after the end of a planned journey);
Insurance: Copy of your medical and travel insurance covering comprehensive medical, hospitalization, and repatriation expenses for the duration of the stay; (need a minimum of $30,000 coverage).
For my insurance, I typically use Manulife CoverMe for my trips. I bought 6 months of coverage from Manulife and used a printout of that for my application. You can also consider SafetyWing, a newer insurance provider for digital nomads.
Accommodation: Available contact details for the place of accommodation in Portugal (address, phone numbers, and email). You can write in a hostel/hotel’s address if you have booked a stay here. Airbnbs are accepted for Working Holiday visa, however, if you are applying for a longer-term visa, Airbnbs are not accepted.
Background Check: Police certificate issued by the authorities of any country the applicant has resided for over one year. I used Certn online service. It cost $60 and I got my results the next business day.
Form: Authorization for the Portuguese authorities to consult police records within the Schengen area. This form will become available via the portal process as explained in the application step. The current link to the document can be found here: Authorization
Declaration Letter: Letter explaining the reasons for applying for this Visa (see below for example)
Bank Statement: Evidence of sufficient funds: certified copy of a bank statement. I used a screenshot of my RBC bank dashboard to show I had approximately $5k of savings. The actual amount isn’t listed anywhere.
If applying for school: Evidence of relevant educational qualifications;
Envelope: Self-addressed envelope for the return of the passport. If you are in Toronto and forget an envelope on the day of your appointment, there is a shop on the bottom floor that sells the envelopes. I gave my passport with my application so I anxiously waited until I got the email that my visa was ready.
Advise for booking travel during the application process: Since the timelines for your visa processing vary, I’d recommend NOT buying your flights until your visa is approved. What you can do is show proof that you have the funds to purchase your planned flight, and add the flight itinerary with your application. This will allow you to book the best flight for you, without having to move your flight and incur additional charges. You also do not need to book a return ticket!
Example of a Declaration Letter:
Dear Consulado Geral de Portugal,
I am writing to express my interest and supplementary documentation to receive a Youth Mobility Visa for Portugal beginning for Jan 9, 2022.
During the course of my stay, my intention is to travel and work incidentally.
I appreciate your review of my visa application for Youth Mobility Visa.
Step 2: Contact the Portuguese Consulate
Once you have completed the e-visa, you wait until you hear about the acceptance or rejection.
The Toronto Embassy Office is located at:
438 University Avenue, Suite 1400, box 41, Toronto, ON M5G 2K8 Canada
If you have any questions, you can email this embassy email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will get back to you in 3 to 5 business days (usually).
Step 3: Wait
I sent my documents to the consulate on December 16, 2021 and received my visa on Jan 18th, 2022. I would allow for approximately 4 weeks.
I had planned to leave by Jan 8, 2022, however, the visa was delayed so which resulted in having to cancel my flights and accommodation. If you are nervous about the timing, book your flights and accommodations that are flexible to change (even if you have to pay a little more) so that you can make adjustments if you need to.
Canadian citizens who are interested in applying for a Portuguese Working Holiday visa will need to meet specific eligibility requirements and gather a number of documents in order to submit a successful application. Some of the key requirements for this type of visa include having a valid passport, proof of sufficient financial resources to support oneself while in Portugal, and a valid health insurance policy. In addition to these requirements, applicants will also need to provide proof of their intended purpose for traveling to Portugal, such as work, study, or family reunification. It is important to note that the application process for a Portuguese Working Holiday visa can be quite time-consuming and may involve several steps, so it is advisable to begin preparing as early as possible in order to avoid any delays or issues.
2 thoughts on “Applying for a Working Holiday Visa to Portugal”
Hi!! I was wondering if you needed to apply for a residence permit once you entered Portugal?! Get a NIF/open bank acc etc etc?! There’s such little information about this, so your experience would be so useful! Particularly for the travel throughout Schengen without visitor visa/limits! TYSM
Hi Paige, thanks for writing. For the working holiday visa, you don’t need to have a NIF or open a bank account here. This visa is used for <35 year old Canadians who are looking to travel and work incidentally. With the working holiday visa, you can travel throughout Schengen during the duration of your valid visa time.
If you want to stay longer than a year and become a resident, you can apply for a digital nomad visa (if you can work remotely). I have another post about this visa.