Our travel experts rank the best digital nomad visa programs currently available and tell you which to avoid.
Portugal is one of the most scenic and exciting countries in all of Europe. From the famous cobblestone streets of Lisbon to the volcanic beaches of the Azores, Portugal is much more than Port and Pasteis de Nata. However, before you'll be able to submit your Portuguese Tourist Visa application and attend your appointment at the closest Portuguese Embassy, there's a couple of things you'll need to know.
In this post, we'll look at everything you need to know to ensure that your Visa application is a success. In particular, we'll focus on the following:
Due to the global pandemic, COVID-19, there have been regular changes to travel restriction all around the world. Portugal recently lifted a few restrictions in regards to travel for tourism purposes. Previously, Portugal only allowed travel between the Schengen Member States, the European Union, and a select few other countries (these countries where only allowed to travel for specific purposes). Now, Portugal has slightly lessened the restrictions and allows citizens form select third world countries to visit Portugal.
Besides the EU and the Schengen Area, here is a list of countries that can now travel to Portugal for non-essential purposes:
Portugal now allows UK citizens to travel to Portugal if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As long as UK citizens present a valid vaccination certificate and meet Portugal's entry requirements, they can enter Portugal without the need to show a negative COVID-19 test result. Also, Portugal authorities stated that US citizens can enter Portugal despite EU recommendations. US citizens can enjoy visa-free travel to Portugal during the COVID-19 pandemic, provided they meet the entry requirements.
Other countries that are not listed, unfortunately, can't travel to Portugal. However, COVID-19 regulations and restrictions change regularly. In the near future we hope to see Portugal lift these restrictions to enable other third countries to visit Portugal for tourism purposes.
Visitors entering Portugal must provide a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result. The PCR test should be performed within 72 hours before entering Portugal, whereas the rapid antigen test result must be performed within 24 hours before entry. Note that if you plan to provide a rapid antigen test, it must be recognised by the European Union Health Committee. Also, children under the age of 12 are exempt from these testing requirements.
Furthermore, authorities have stated that those who have a valid EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate are not required to undergo testing. This means that as long as you provide a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate, these testing requirements don't apply to you.
It is important to understand that COVID-19 regulations and rules are subject to change. That is why we recommend you contact your local Portugal Embassy or Consulate for the latest up-to-date news about the COVID-19 rules in Portugal. Furthermore, you can also contact your airline before your departure, as they will be informed about the latest COVID-19 travel updates.
First off, Portugal is part of the European Union and part of the Schengen Area, and as such EU citizens are allowed free movement within Portugal and other European countries.
Some countries, like the USA, enjoy visa-free travel, but you'll still need to ensure that you have a valid passport and that your stay does not exceed the 90 days limit. Some additional required documents may be requested upon arrival, so it's a good idea to have documents like proof of accommodation close at hand.
For non-EU travelers and those travelers with travel documents that do not enjoy visa-free travel to Portugal, a Portuguese Schengen Visa would be the best solution. However, the type of visa would largely depend on the motivation or reason for travel to Portugal. You might need another type of Portuguese Visa, like a National Type D7 to complete your travels. For more info on this, you can consult our comprehensive Portuguese Visa Guide.
Schengen visas are issued in accordance with the Schengen Agreement of 1985 and allows holders of a Schengen Visa to travel between any European country in the agreement.
To apply for a Portugal Schengen Visa, the visa application form has to be filled online and takes about 20-30 minutes to finish. You can download the PDF and fill it on any PDF editor. We will walk you through the process.
Provide basic information such as your name and passport details. If you’re wondering what is a national identity number - you can leave it blank or put your passport number in.
If you are living in a country that does not match your passport, ie. living in the USA on a H1B Visa, check the Residence in a country other than the country of current nationality option and provide the Permit Number
The Permit Number is the unique number associated with your Green Card / H1B/ F1/ J1 visas, as indicated in the image below.
Select the option that best details whether or not you've had your fingerprints collected during a previous Schengen Visa application. Most people don’t remember whether their biometric data was collected with their previous application, but don’t worry - if your previous application was done before 2016, your fingerprints were most likely not collected, and after 2016 they were, as from 2016 onwards, it's impossible to apply for a Schengen Visa without providing your biometric data.
This can expedite your visa's processing time since the authorities can pull your fingerprints from a central database. As per the EU regulations:
Frequent travelers to the Schengen Area do not have to give new finger scans every time they apply for a new visa. Once finger scans are stored in VIS, they can be re-used for further visa applications over a 5-year period.
Portugal Visa requirements include information on your intended travel dates. Please do not provide dates for the sake of getting a visa, as, more often than not, your visa granted would be +/- 15 days of your intended arrival date. We suggest always opting for a multiple entry visa but you should know that it’s unlikely you’ll get one.
In addition, Portugal requires the contact information and the surname and first name of the inviting person(s) in the Member State(s).
If not applicable, provide the name of hotel(s) or temporary accommodation(s) in the Member State(s).* For most travelers, this is the contact information of their hotel/Airbnb. The name has to match the name of the establishment in the itinerary and hotel reservation which you will be submitting with the application.
The final part of the form deals with presenting evidence to prove that you can support your stay in Portugal. If you will be supporting yourself, select the “by applicant himself/herself”.
The total amount will depend on how long you plan to stay. To calculate this amount, allow $70 for the first day, and another $40 for every day thereafter. For example, a traveler visiting Portugal for ten days should show a minimum balance of at least $430 [($70 x day 1) + ($40 x 9 days)]. You can select multiple options, but evidence of each is required. In other words, if you’ve selected “Credit Card”, you’ll need to supply a credit card statement that proves the necessary funds are available. This is just proof of a traveler being financially self-reliant, and should not be confused with the actual visa fees.
After completing the application, make sure to sign it, and provide the place and date. You do not have to affix your photo on the application.
The photo requirements for a Portugal Schengen visa follow ICAO standards.
Because most Schengen countries provide public healthcare, travel insurance, but not health insurance, is required to obtain a Portugal's Schengen visa, to ensure that visitors don’t become a financial burden on Portugal's health system in the event of unforeseen issues.
The insurance should explicitly meet these requirements:
Coverage of at least EUR 30,000.
Be valid in all 26 Schengen States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Cover medical emergency expenses and anything connected with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention, and/or emergency hospital treatment or death.
For those hoping to get a longer-term Schengen visa, it is advisable to provide travel insurance that lasts the whole year as per this EU directive:
“Applicants for a uniform visa for more than two entries (multiple entries) shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance covering the period of their first intended visit. In addition, such applicants shall sign the statement, set out in the application form, declaring that they are aware of the need to be in possession of travel medical insurance for subsequent stays.”
Both your hotel (or Airbnb) reservation and your flight itinerary will be needed. You must submit these documents with your entire Portuguese Visa Application when you attend your visa application appointment and interview.
The Visa Application Fees are $70 per adult, and $41 per child aged between 6 & 12. If the child is younger than 6, they do not require any fees.
Yes. The type of letter will depend on whether you are employed, self-employed, a student, or a retiree.
If you are employed a letter from your employer is required as proof of employment. The letter should state:
Date of the letter
Position and title
A declaration that you will continue to be employed during your Portugal visit
Contact and address information of the supervisor along with their signature.
If you are a student, you’ll need to provide a letter of good standing from your school/college/university. This letter should confirm that you are currently studying there, you major, and the expected date of graduation. You must also provide a valid I-20 form.
If you are self-employed you’ll need to provide the following:
If you are travelling to Portugal as a retiree you’ll need to provide a pension statement for the last 6 months.
If your trip is sponsored by your spouse, the following is required:
If you are traveling as a family, all of your family members require a Schengen visa to travel to Portugal. In addition to all the standard documents, you’ve to provide the following:
Application form signed by both parents
Birth certificate of the child(ren)
If a child is traveling alone, a notarized parental authorization is signed by both parents or guardians.
If the child travels with one of the parents, then there must be an official permission letter issued by a notary in English from the other parent. In case of the parents’ absence (divorce, death, etc.), a relevant official certificate (i.e divorce, death, etc.) must be presented. Additionally, copies of IDs of parents are also required.
While not required, it is preferred that children who go to school should have a reference letter from the relevant school: address and contacts of the school, signature, and stamp of the person in charge, and reference to the Embassy should be noted in the letter.
The visa photo requirements for children vary slightly. Children aged 5 and under do not need to have a neutral expression or look directly at the camera, and their heads do not have to be centered in the photo. Babies under one year do not have to have their eyes open.
Once you are absolutely certain that you have all of the required documents, you can move on to the next step of the process: Making a Schengen Visa Appointment for your Portuguese Schengen Visa. For your convenience, we suggest that you make an appointment at your nearest Portugal Embassy or Consulate.
If you do not know where your nearest Portuguese Consulate is, you can check here to find your nearest Portugal Embassy/Consulate.
Select the continent of your home country. In this example, we will use the United States Of America.
Select the letter of your home country.
Under the United States Of America, you will see all the Consulate General of Portugal Available in the US. Choose the Consulate you prefer. In this example, we chose the Consulate General of Portugal in New York.
You will be redirected to a page specific to the Consulate you selected. In this case, the Consulate General of Portugal in New york. Here you can find additional information - such as related news in Portugal, announcements of visa changes, etc.
There is also a guide available that will walk you through the process of booking your appointment online.
Check out the Atlys community discussion forum for more questions.
While Portugal is not issuing any tourist visas currently, it is possible to reach Portugal using three ways.
Go to Israel > Portugal.
Apply for an Iceland visa > Go to Iceland > Portugal
Arrivals from high-risk countries will be required to quarantine for 14 days in an approved location.
Many qualify however showing a bank statement is the most straightforward. You can also use one of these:
invoices of prepaid travels and accommodations
attested documents showing spouse’s consent in covering the expenses.
Short-term work visa: Reference letter of the U.S. employer mentioning profile, salary, date of hiring, dates of vacation, and itinerary.
Self-employed: Your business existence proof and the client’s details you intend to meet in Portugal. The proof of income from the business.
Foreign students on F-1 visa: A valid I-20, reference letter from an educational institution, education details, and expected date of the end of graduation course.
The visa sticker contains information on the visa’s validity period and the duration of the authorized stay. A visa can be issued for one entry or multiple entries.
The maximum duration of stay is shown on the visa sticker, and it varies according to the reasons for your stay.
You must have left the Schengen area at the latest on the day on which the visa expires;- You must not exceed the authorized length of stay during the validity of the visa;- If you have an authorized stay of 90 days, you must not stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days in a 180-day period, this period not having to exceed the duration of the visa and the period of 90 days starting from run on the date of the first entry.
No, Portugal does not provide a visa-on-arrival.
The Member State competent to handle a request visa and decide on it is the one whose territory constitutes the sole destination (or main) or the trips.
When the trip involves several destinations, the competent Member State is the one whose territory constitutes the main destination of the trip (s) in terms of duration. Suppose the main destination cannot be determined. In that case, the competent Member State is the one via the external border from which the applicant intends to enter the Member States territory.
You must apply for your visa at the Spanish consulate because Portugal is the main destination of your trip in terms of duration, even if you enter the Schengen area through another member state.
You must enter the nationality of the passport with which you wish to travel. When you complete your application form, you will need to indicate your nationality of origin and your current nationality (that of your passport).
Only in exceptional cases. We do not recommend this path.
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Our travel experts rank the best digital nomad visa programs currently available and tell you which to avoid.