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Differences between Family Reunification and the Visa for a Family Member of a Residence Visa Applicant for Portugal

When it comes to immigration and family reunification in Portugal, it is essential to understand the differences between the family reunification process and the visa for a family member of a residence visa applicant. Although both procedures involve the union of family members on Portuguese soil, there are essential distinctions that can influence the path to be followed. In this article, we’ll explore the nuances of these two processes to help you better understand their distinct characteristics and the requirements involved.

Family Reunification in Portugal

Family reunification is an option for those who are already in Portugal and wish to bring their family members to join them in the country. There are two different situations related to family reunification:

Reunification with a Family Member in National Territory:

This scenario occurs when the family member wishing to be reunited is currently in Portugal. In this case, the application for reunification is made within the country.

The process can only begin once the main family member has received their residence permit. Only with this document in hand will you be able to start reuniting family members.

Reunification with a family member outside Portugal:

When the family member to be reunited is outside Portugal, the application for reunification is made abroad, before their arrival in the country. This process is carried out at the Portuguese consular services or embassies in the family member’s country of origin.

The process can only begin once the main family member has received their residence permit. Only with this document in hand will you be able to start reuniting family members.

Family reunification

Visa to Accompany a Residence Visa Applicant

On the other hand, a visa for a family member of a residence visa applicant is a different procedure. In this case, both the main applicant and family members are still outside Portugal and wish to apply for their visas simultaneously, in order to travel together and settle in the country. This visa allows family members to accompany the main applicant throughout the immigration and residence process in Portugal.

In this way, there is no risk of delay in obtaining the main family member’s residence permit and only then starting the procedure to reunite the family. This possibility was created to provide a safer option for family members who wish to immigrate together, without risking possible bureaucratic delays. It was created to protect the family and its right to remain united.

Who Can Be Considered a Family Member?

One of the main questions that arises in this context is who can be considered a family member for the purposes of family reunification or a visa to accompany an applicant for a residence visa. Eligible family members generally include spouses, unmarried partners, minor children and direct ascendants such as parents and grandparents.

Proof of Economic Dependence

An important point to consider, especially in the case of direct ascendants such as parents and grandparents, is proof of economic dependence. If the parents are over 65, it is generally not necessary to prove this. However, if they are under 65, it will be necessary to demonstrate that they are economically dependent on the main applicant or the holder already resident in Portugal. This can be done through tax returns, proof of regular bank transfers and other forms of financial documentation.

University of Porto

Consult a Specialized Lawyer

Given the complexity and nuances of these processes, it is highly recommended to seek specialized legal advice when dealing with applications for family reunification or visas to accompany applicants for residence visas in Portugal. An experienced and qualified lawyer can provide personalized assistance, helping to understand the specific requirements, fill out forms correctly and ensure that all necessary documents are provided in accordance with local regulations.

When considering immigration to Portugal and family reunification, being aware of the differences between family reunification and visas to accompany residence visa applicants is essential to making informed decisions and ensuring a smooth and successful migration process. Always remember to consult a suitably qualified professional for personalized guidance and support at every stage of the process.

Book an appointment

Appointment to be scheduled with Dr. Vivian Perfeito for legal clarifications and guidance within the scope of a personalized consultation, appropriate to the specific case.

All information will be guaranteed by professional secrecy, duties of confidentiality and protection of personal data.


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