Refugees & beneficiaries of subsidiary protection

After being granted refugee status or subsidiary protection status in Portugal these are your rights and obligations: 


Residence Permit

  • If you receive refugee status, you will be provided with a Residence Permit that is valid for 5 years.
  • In case you receive subsidiary protection status, your Residence Permit will be valid for 3 years.

In both cases, your Residence Permit may be renewed for equal periods of time

Freedom of movement

You can move freely within the country.

Work, education, social welfare and medical care under the same terms and conditions as Portuguese citizens.

Welfare benefits include a financial allowance in case you are in serious economic need and at risk of social exclusion, as well as other social allowances, including, as relevant, unemployment benefits, child benefits and family allowances.

Travel document

If you are a refugee, you can apply for a Travel Document and go abroad on the basis of the laws of the country you are travelling to. If you are a beneficiary of subsidiary protection, you can apply, under certain conditions, for a Portuguese passport for foreigners.  

Family Unity

You have the right to be reunited with your family members who are in your country of origin or in another third country – For more information see section: Family Reunification.


Children between the ages of 6 and 18 are entitled to free education and education-related allowances in specific cases. For more information, visit the section dedicated to Education.

Apply for Portuguese Nationality

You will be eligible to obtain Portuguese nationality after 5 years of legally residing in Portugal, under certain criteria. Visit the website of the Ministry of Justice for more information about the criteria and the process.


Respect Portuguese laws

Any person residing in the Portuguese territory must obey Portuguese laws, including refugees or beneficiaries of international protection. Those that commit crimes will be prosecuted and may face detention or even the risk of having their refugee of subsidiary protection status revoked.

Children between the ages of 6 and 18 are obliged to go to school.

For more information, visit the section dedicated to Education.

Visit the website of the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) for more information about rights and responsibilities.