How to find a job in Porto

Working in Porto
Updated 2023-11-12 07:20

Porto is one of the top destinations in Portugal for many expats, thanks to its beautiful architecture, rich history, friendly locals and waterfront setting. As the second-largest city in Portugal, there are many employment opportunities to be found in Porto.

Porto is most well-known for its Vinho do Porto, or port wine. However, many more opportunities can be found here beyond the wine industry - Porto hosts not only a seaport but also a developed industrial and professional sector. The city attracts many young professionals thanks to the various opportunities it offers in different fields. Make sure to read the articles about the labor market and the work culture in Porto in order to perceive the bigger picture - it is helpful to learn more about working in Porto, including what types of opportunities are available, and which industries are most likely to hire expats.

Job opportunities for expats in Porto

Expats looking for a job in Porto will have lots of opportunities in the tourism and service sectors, although they will probably be guided onto a back-office role in case they're not able to speak Portuguese. Still, knowing a foreign language or two aside from English can come quite in handy and give you an edge over the competition.

The tech industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country and, should you have relevant knowledge and proper training and qualifications, there should be no problem finding a position. If you are looking to break into the tech industry but don't have the needed experience, consider applying for an internship. There are currently a few government programs that actually pay the company to employ interns, helping them gain the necessary experience to enter que labor market independently after the internship is over. The most famous program is called from IEFP, and is widely used by companies from a wide range of sectors.

Over the past few years, there has also been a surge in job opportunities for customer support centers. In many cases, Portuguese isn't even required at all, and you can get by with speaking English exclusively (though a second language is a major plus). The biggest companies that currently have call centers in Porto include Teleperformance, Sitel and Concentrix. If you speak Portuguese, you can also try your luck with the likes of NOS, MEO or Vodafone, although wages and working conditions are usually subpar.

Porto is also home to one of the biggest and most prestigious universities in Portugal: Universidade do Porto. This opens up lots of options if you are looking to build a career in the education industry. If you are looking for a job in the ESL industry (teaching English as a second language), you will also have a good chance of getting hired in Porto, as the city is home to a decent number of language schools and training centers — check out for a full list of language schools in the country. That being said, keep in mind that competition is quite high, and you will need to have relevant qualifications to apply for vacant positions. This includes a TEFL certificate and a degree in education or any other relevant field.

Knowledge of Portuguese can be a definite advantage during your job search. If you plan to stay in Porto for the long term and plan to advance your career here, consider enrolling in a language course.

How to find a job in Porto?

The best way to start searching for work is online. You can start by looking through international job websites like Monster, Indeed, Hays and others, while the most popular job-hunting websites in Portugal are, and Sapo Emprego. If you are looking for a language-related job, look through offers on

Local recruitment and employment agencies, such as Randstad and Egor, can also help you find both short-term and permanent work. Professional networking is also a great way to expand your pool of opportunities in the city. So, if you are looking for a job offer, make sure to keep your eyes open for professional conferences and events in your field.

Make sure your resume, or CV, is up to date before applying for work, and consider asking someone local to the area to help you update your resume, as the resume style in Portugal may be different than your home country. You may also want to take the extra step and create a Portuguese-language version of your CV. This can help you apply for more job offers and will make it easier for the HR manager to evaluate your application. If you are already in the country, visiting local businesses with copies of your resume can be a great way to find work, especially in the fields of retail and hospitality. Check the Working in Portugal article for more information on composing a Portuguese-style CV and cover letter.

It's also a good idea to update your professional social media, such as Linkedin. Include all your latest work experience, expertise and achievements. You may also indicate in your profile that you are looking for career opportunities in Porto and update your current location to Porto as well. This will make it easier for headhunters and hiring managers in Porto to find your profile.

There are many jobs available for English speakers, but speaking Portuguese will offer a definite advantage in the competitive job market. It can be beneficial to take language courses before arriving or enroll in a local language class upon arriving in Porto.

If you are a citizen or resident of an EU country, you can check the European Job Mobility Portal (EURES) — a platform designed to facilitate the movement of workers throughout the EU.

Finally, don't forget to read the article about developing a professional network in Porto since you will be able to find some tips on where to start your research and also establish useful contacts in the city.

 Visa requirements for working in Porto

If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country, you can work in Porto without a visa. You will, however, need to apply for a Portuguese residence permit. You can do so at the Portuguese Immigration Office in your region.

If you come from a non-EU/EEA country, you will probably require a visa to visit Portugal and work here. In most cases, you will first need to obtain a work contract and then use it to apply for a work permit via a Portuguese embassy in your country.

Finally, if your line of work qualifies for it, you can apply for a digital nomad visa, though the Non-Habitual Tax Residents (NHR) scheme, which provided great tax benefits, is being scraped in 2024.

Keep in mind that having all proper documentation and working legally will protect you from malicious employers and preserve your rights.

Work culture in Porto

Portuguese workers enjoy a traditional 40-hour-a-week work schedule, which usually comes down to an eight-hour workday. There are also 14 public holidays and a minimum of 22 days of annual leave per year. Workers report it can be hard to manage a work-life balance due to sometimes having to work longer hours than anticipated. However, Portugal does have a strong culture of family, with recent government reforms allowing more time for parental leave for new parents. Moreover, all workers in Portugal, even part-timers or freelancers, pay into tax and social security, which are deducted from your pay. After a period of working and paying taxes, you are protected by the Social Security system, and you become entitled to an unemployment fund in case you are laid off from your job. All information about this can be found at Autoridade para as Condições do Trabalho (ACT) and Segurança Social

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.