union-imgcross icon
main-img

✨Limited Time Offer✨

Employer of Record in India at ($299) $169/month
Employer of Record in Portugal at ($399) $249/month

wdasds

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
union-imgcross icon
skuad logo

Hire, pay and manage your talent in 160+ countries.

wdasds

wdasds

wdasds

wdasds

wdasds

We respect your data. By submitting the form, you agree that we will contact you about our products and services, in accordance with our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
close icon
notification icon
 ✨ Access Skuad’s free Global Hiring Toolkit: E-books, guides, and more at your fingertips! ✨Explore now

Background check in Portugal

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
Offer banner
G2 badge
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
(Save upto 15%)
$
249
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge
EOR in 
Portugal
Monthly
$
299
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
249
/month
(billed monthly)
Offer banner
Offer banner
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

Table of Content

select-drop-down-arrow

Building a remote team?

Employ exceptional talent, anywhere, anytime!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Portugal is an increasingly attractive destination for international employers looking to hire remote talent. With its competitive tax rates, high-quality infrastructure, and access to skilled professionals, Portugal offers a great opportunity for companies seeking cost savings while maintaining quality standards.

It can be challenging to maintain compliance with local laws in Portugal when performing background checks. Although a background check in Portugal isn’t exactly a herculean task, it’s important that you understand all the relevant regulations, standards, and practices. Here's what you need to know.

What is an employee background check?

An employee background check is a process employers use to verify the identity and work history of potential employees. It typically involves collecting information from various sources, such as previous employers, educational institutions, government agencies, and criminal records databases.

An employee background ensures that the person being hired has no prior criminal record or other red flags that could be detrimental to your company’s reputation or operations. It can also help protect against negligent hiring practices by ensuring that only qualified individuals are chosen for positions within your organization.

Conducting background checks on potential employees in different countries can be tough due to the varying laws and regulations governing each locale. For example, some countries have strict privacy laws that limit what information employers are allowed to access or require additional steps for verifying an individual’s identity. 

Global HR specialists need to stay up to date on local regulations when conducting international employee background checks to ensure compliance with applicable laws and protect their organization from any potential liabilities associated with negligent hiring practices.

One platform to grow your global team

Hire and pay talent globally, the hassle -free way with Skuad

Talk to an experteor pattern

What are the benefits of background checks in Portugal?

Candidate background checks in Portugal help your company steer clear of legal troubles. They also let you:

  • Confirm the identity and qualifications of candidates
  • Uncover candidates' past criminal activity or legal issues that might affect their ability to perform the job
  • Determine a candidate's trustworthiness and transparency
  • Ensure your company's compliance with any relevant local labor laws

What are the types of background checks in Portugal?

When hiring a candidate in Portugal, it's important to be mindful of the restrictions and prohibitions regarding background checks.

You cannot request information related to the candidate's private life (such as drug tests, financial/credit checks, or criminal record checks) unless it's strictly necessary and relevant to assess their suitability for the job. You need to make any such requests in writing accompanied by an explanation of why you require the information. If you fail to adhere to these regulations, your company could be subject to legal action.

Moreover, if you're relocating employees to Portugal, make sure you understand what visa requirements need to be fulfilled beforehand so they can legally work within the country’s borders without issue. Consider contacting immigration authorities directly about this matter, or let Skuad manage the details for you.

Criminal record check in Portugal

Portuguese laws allow you to request a job applicant’s criminal record if you have a valid reason for doing so — for example, if the nature of the activity or specific duties the applicant must perform necessitate such information. Assess your candidates' situations on a case-by-case basis, and only request this sensitive data when it's essential to verify their ability to carry out certain professional activities.

Furthermore, you have to get authorization from the Data Protection Agency and consent from the job applicants themselves before collecting any personal data related to their criminal record. This helps ensure that all parties involved are properly protected under Portuguese law during recruitment-related criminal record checks.

Employment history check

Portugal's labor law does not prohibit you from verifying a candidate’s claims of prior employment. But before attempting to gather this type of data from a candidate's past employers, they must consent to your doing so in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016/679. This also means that you should ensure you've received written permission from past employees in Portugal before sharing their employment history information with other entities.

Note that this regulation is defined solely by the GDPR, which applies throughout Europe and beyond. Portuguese legislation does not regulate employment history checks for job applicants.

Medical screening

When hiring candidates in Portugal, employers may request that applicants undergo medical tests and exams to protect employees or ensure that they meet certain job requirements. You have to submit these requests in writing, and a doctor must directly communicate whether the candidate is fit for work.

For example, if an applicant is applying for a job that requires them to drive long distances, then their fitness for this task may need to be assessed.

Pregnancy testing of any kind as part of employment screening is strictly prohibited under Portuguese law. If you believe you have the grounds to require a pregnancy test, you have to provide written justification with evidence.

Credit history check

Because an individual's credit history is privileged personal data, you can't perform a credit history check as part of a pre-employment background check in Portugal.

Education history

In Portugal, when conducting educational history checks during the hiring process for a candidate, you can only request relevant information, such as previous educational certificates or licenses. All screening must remain within the scope of what is necessary and appropriate for the job role, and you must remain respectful of each candidate's right to personal privacy at all times.

Social media check

In Portugal, you're allowed to do social media research on potential employees without any legal restrictions as long as you use public sources. This means that accessing posts and other content from publicly available accounts is acceptable. You can't consider an individual's private content or anything behind a paywall in your hiring decision.

You should also only consider information directly related to the position in question — anything personal or unrelated to the job shouldn't factor into your decision.

Requirements for background checks in Portugal

When performing background screening, Portugal-specific standards require the following:

  • Proof of identity (ID card or passport)
  • Proof of address (for example, a utility bill)
  • Certificate/attestation from the police department showing no criminal record
  • Education certificates
  • Professional licenses or accreditations, where applicable
  • Medical certificate (if required by law)

You should also request written consent from an applicant before conducting any kind of investigation into their personal history or obtaining information from third parties, such as credit agencies or government databases.

Steps in conducting a background check in Portugal

Follow these steps to conduct a background check on potential employees in Portugal:

  1. Obtain written consent from the candidate — in accordance with Portuguese data protection laws and regulations and the GDPR — before beginning any type of investigation into their past.
  2. Determine what kind of information you need about the candidate and decide the sources from which you'll seek this information (for instance, criminal records databases). It’s also possible to use third-party services, such as private investigators or specialized companies, to conduct more comprehensive searches than those available through public databases alone.
  3. Consider whether additional verification is necessary for certain types of positions, such as financial roles, or if you require further references from the candidate's previous employers or educational institutions.  
  4. Once all relevant documents have been collected and verified, have your HR personnel conduct a final review before extending an offer letter. This step ensures that all legal requirements have been met to protect the interests of both the employee and your company during the onboarding process.

Are employee background checks legal in Portugal?

Yes. In Portugal, employers are allowed to conduct employee background checks, but the check must meet certain criteria and follow specific guidelines that have been set out by law. This may seem like a tightrope situation, especially for foreign employers, but service providers like Skuad can help with your corporate compliance responsibilities.

Planning to hire in Portugal? Here’s how Skuad can help

Partnering with Skuad is a smart move for employers who want to hire in Portugal. Skuad provides comprehensive solutions to ensure that the entire hiring and onboarding process is done in compliance with local laws and regulations. This way, you can focus on running your business without worrying about the complexities of background checks, payroll, benefits management, etc.

Let Skuad hire, onboard, pay, and manage your entire global workforce. Talk to our experts today!

FAQs

1. How do I check my criminal record in Portugal?

If you want to check your criminal record in Portugal, you will need to request a certificate from the Portuguese Ministry of Justice. This certificate is called "Certificado de Registo Criminal" in Portuguese. Visit the website of the Portuguese Ministry of Justice: https://www.justica.gov.pt/ fill in the requested information and submit your request.

2. What is checked during a background check?

In Portugal, the specific items checked during a background check may vary depending on the purpose of the check and the jurisdiction where it is being conducted.  However, a typical background check may include identity verification, employment verification, credit history, driving record, criminal records, education confirmation, professional licenses and certifications, drug test, social media and online presence, etc.

3. Can I get a visa to Portugal with a criminal record?

If you have a criminal record for major offences that could result in a year or more in jail in Portugal, your visa application is unlikely to be approved. Portugal requires the "absence of conviction for a crime that in Portugal is punishable by deprivation of liberty for more than one year." As part of your application, you must request a criminal record certificate. There are no issues if it doesn’t come back with a convintion. However, if you have a conviction, it is determined by the offence and how it would be dealt with in Portugal. It may cause problems with your application if it is punishable under Portuguese law.

4. Are background checks legal in Portugal?

Yes, background checks are legal in Portugal, although there are some limitations on what information may be gathered and used. Background checks, in general, can only be conducted with the individual's consent, and the information acquired must be related to the purpose of the check.

5. Can you get a D7 visa with a criminal record?

Portugal's immigration law requires applicants for a D7 visa to undergo a criminal background check as part of the application process. To be eligible for D7 visa in Portugal, the applicant must have a clean criminal record. It is vital to provide a criminal certificate with confirmation of no criminal convinctions from the applicant’s country of residence.

limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Portugal
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
249
/month
(billed annually)
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Portugal
Monthly
$
299
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
249
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

Table of Content

Building a remote team?

Employ exceptional talent, anywhere, anytime!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Skuad is the best solution to hire and expand globally.

Request demo
start hiring