In recent years, Portugal has become one of the most attractive countries for immigration due to its safety, mild climate, culture, gastronomy, and the ability of the Portuguese to welcome people. Given that the reasons for migration are now much more diverse, migratory patterns are also becoming different. In this article, we will explore one of these patterns – the immigration of families who bring their nanny with them to look after the children.
We often see entire families, from all walks of life, moving to Portugal. In many cases, the family core is not restricted to the couple, the children, and the grandparents, but includes other elements which are a fundamental part of the family circle and routine.
An example of this is the nanny, who, although a less common figure in Portugal, is recurrent in many cultures and is an indispensable part of the family. The nanny is the person who lives in the family home and is responsible for all the children’s care, being in charge of everything related to their routines and education.
For this reason, nannies are often the center of family organization and an indispensable element. But is she family under immigration terms?
When analyzing article 99 of Law 23/2007, July 4, one can understand that the nanny is not part of the family according to the Foreign Law. When doing the same analysis of Article 2(e) of Law 37/2006, August 9, known as the European Union Citizens Law, one can also understand that the concept of family is even more restricted and that, here too, the nanny is not considered as part of the family.
That said, this crucial family member cannot be granted a residence visa under the terms of Article 58(5) of the Foreign Law, which is intended to accompany a family member applying for a residence visa.
The family will also not be able to apply for a residence visa under the terms of Article 98 of the same law, which gives them the right to family reunification, and, when applicable, they will also not be able to accompany a family member who is a citizen of the European Union who comes to live in Portugal, under the terms of article 15 of the European Union Citizens Law.
How can the family come to Portugal with the nanny?
Therefore, the way for the family to bring the nanny to Portugal will be through a residence visa for work. This new employment relationship will be signed when the family is already in Portugal and will give the nanny the rights granted under Portuguese Labor Law. Although domestic work has been regulated since the 1990s in special legislation, the amendment to the Labor Code resulting from Law 13/2023, of April 3, brought with it some new features for these workers.
For the family to be able to bring the nanny to Portugal and for her to comply with employment legislation, they must:
- Formalize an employment contract, registering with Social Security, make contributions, and have compulsory occupational accident insurance.
- Have a working schedule limited to a maximum of 40 hours a week, unless there is an agreement between the family and the child.
The employee has the right to a night’s rest of at least eleven consecutive hours, which must not be interrupted, except for reasons of force majeure, unforeseen circumstances, or when she has sick children or children up to the age of three in her care. She must also have meal breaks and at least one rest day a week.
In addition to the rights more specific to this job, the nanny should also enjoy, like most workers with an employment contract in Portugal, 22 working days of paid leave, vacation pay, Christmas bonuses, and protection in the event of illness, parenthood, or disability.
Thus, under immigration law and employment law in Portugal, the nanny will have all the rights and duties inherent in a real subordinate employment relationship.
If you would like to know more about this or any other immigration-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact our team of lawyers.