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Visa Application And Appointment Process
Visa Appointments

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Appointments for 94123

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110 Sutter Street Floor 5
San Francisco, CA, US, 94104
1-347-329-2738
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The Complete Portugal Visa Guide

Everything You Need To Know About Visa Types And Processes For Portugal

Are you planning a trip to Portugal? In this complete guide, we will walk you through the process of obtaining your Portugal Visa in the simplest way possible. We’ll also discuss some important points you need to consider before your trip. Lastly, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions many travelers to Portugal tend to have.

In this post you will find

  • Who will need a visa to enter Portugal.
  • The different types of visas you can apply for.
  • The purposes that are eligible for different types of visas.
  • The most popular visa options available.
  • The general document requirements.
  • The general minimum requirements.
  • A step-by-step guide that will help you apply for a Schengen Visa.
  • FAQ.

After this guide, you will be equipped with everything you need to know to get a visa and travel to Portugal.

Who Needs A Visa To Enter Portugal?

The type of travel document required for your trip to Portugal can vary depending on your nationality. This is because the Portuguese Government has different agreements with each country.

If You Are A US Citizen Or US Passport Holder

US citizens or US passport holders can travel to Portugal without obtaining any specific visa. Portugal has specific agreements with the US, allowing US citizens, or US passport holders, to travel to Portugal visa-free for 90 days. This agreement only allows you to travel to Portugal for 90 days every 6 months. After your initial 90 days, you must travel back to the US. For a longer stay, you will need to apply for a specific visa. US passport holders can visit Portugal and any other country that forms part of the Schengen Area.

If You Are A EU/EEA Citizen

EEA citizens, EU citizens, and nationals from Switzerland do not need to apply for a visa to travel to Portugal. Citizens from these nations are allowed to travel, study or visit Portugal freely. However, if you wish to live in Portugal, you must register your stay with Portuguese officials.

If You Are A Citizen From Canada, Australia, or New Zealand

Citizens from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not need a specific visa when traveling to Portugal. You are allowed to visit for a maximum of 90 days within a 6 months period. Visa-free entry is only allowed if the purpose of your trip includes business or tourism reasons. Other reasons for your travel to Portugal may require you to apply for a visa. Take note that, with your passport, you are allowed to visit Portugal and any other country that forms part of the Schengen Area.

Requirements For Passport Holders That Are Exempted From Requiring A Visa.

Although the above-mentioned countries can enter Portugal visa-free, there are a few requirements that you need to meet before you can enter Portugal:

  • A passport with a validity of at least 3 months after you plan to return to your home country.
  • Proof that you are financially able to support yourself during your stay.
  • A returning flight ticket. It is used to prove that you will return to your country of origin after the initial 90 days.
  • A letter of invitation. If you are visiting relatives or friends, you may be asked to present a letter of invitation.
  • A letter from your sponsor. Travelers who do not have sufficient funds will need to obtain a letter from a sponsor stating that they will be financing your trip.

Note that these requirements are only for countries that do not need any visas when traveling to Portugal. These countries include:

  • The United States of America
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Countries that form part of the European Union

These above-mentioned countries do not include all the countries that can travel to Portugal visa-free. Many other countries can visit Portugal visa-free.

If You Are A US Green Card Holders

Unfortunately, as a US green cardholder, you do not share the same benefits as US citizens, or US passport holders. If you plan to travel to Portugal, you will need to apply for a Portugal Schengen Visa.

Take note that when applying for a Schengen Visa, you will need to do so within your home country. The Schengen visa you acquire must be valid for your trip, meaning if you wish to travel to Portugal for tourism, you’ll need to apply for a Tourist Visa.

If You Are A Non-EU/EEA Citizen

Unfortunately, if you do not reside in any of the above-mentioned countries, you must apply for a specific visa. There are many visa options available for Portugal, making it possible to obtain entry to Portugal for whatever your purpose may be.

Later in this post, we will discuss the process of obtaining a Portuguese Schengen Visa step-by-step.

Next, we’ll discuss...

What Are The Types Of Visas Available?

Essentially, there are two visa categories which can be divided into Short Stay Visas and National Visas

Short Stay Visas, also known as a Schengen Visa, is a visa used to enter Portugal or any other country that forms part of the Schengen area. Although Schengen Visa holders can enter Portugal, it does not mean that they are guaranteed automatic access to the country. Entry to Portugal will be decided by border authorities upon arrival. Although this stands true, there are very few cases where entry into Portugal was denied.

National Visas, also known as Long-Stay Visas, allow you to enter Portugal for some time that exceeds 90 days. Depending on the duration you plan to stay, a National Visa can either be a temporary visa or for permanent residency purposes.

What Classifies As A Short Stay Visa?

There are 3 types of Short Stay Visas:

A Short Stay Visa/Schengen Visa

Short Stay Visas, also known as a Schengen Visa, are valid for a maximum of 90 days during 6 months. It allows Schengen Visa holders to enter Portugal multiple times within 6 months. Once you have exceeded your maximum stay, you are required to travel back to your home country.

A Schengen Visa is granted for tourism, family visits, business trips, and transit.

A Seasonal Work Visa

A Seasonal Work Visa is issued to anyone who wishes to do seasonal work in Portugal. It will allow you to stay in Portugal for a period equal to or less than 90 days. A Seasonal Work Visa only applies to certain approved fields of work. You can contact your nearest Embassy or Portuguese Consulate to check if you qualify for a Seasonal Work Visa.

When applying for a Seasonal Work Visa, you will need to do so in Portugal. Meaning that if you wish to do seasonal work in Portugal, you will need to apply for a visa at the Embassy/Consulate in Portugal.

A Airport Transit Visa

Airport Transit Visas are used to move around freely and board other flights within the international area of an airport without entering the Schengen Area.

When applying for a Short Stay Visa, there are certain documents that you will need to submit. The embassy/consulate may choose to schedule an in-person interview. During this interview, you need to submit all the documents once again. Ensure that you have the original documents and copies of these documents at hand before you go for your interview.

Later in this post, we will walk you through the exact documents you will need to apply for your Schengen Visa.

What Are The Types Of National Visas?

A National Visa is issued for study, internship, work, retirement, and medical treatment, among others.

Temporary Stay Visas allow you to enter and live in Portugal for up to a year. There are no minimum stay requirements, meaning you are allowed to enter Portugal multiple times throughout the year. Take note that the Temporary stay Visa is only valid for 1 year.

Residency Visas can be used if you wish to stay in Portugal for more than 1 year. A Residency Visa is typically valid for 2 years and can be renewed for an additional 5 years. It is extremely popular for those seeking to apply for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship in Portugal. However, you must meet the minimum stay requirements if you wish to renew your Residency Visa.

What Purposes Are Eligible For Temporary Stay Visas?

A Temporary Stay Visa is used if you are planning a trip that will exceed 90 days but not 1 year. If the purpose of your travel falls under one of the following categories, you are eligible to apply for a Temporary Stay Visa.

Work and Investigation Purposes

Subordinate seasonal work For subordinate seasonal work, the temporary stay visa will allow staying for over 90 days. You can only apply for the visa if you can prove that you will be doing seasonal work.

Independent work People who wish to stay in Portugal for independent work can apply for a Temporary Stay Visa. The visa is extremely popular amongst remote workers, digital nomads, and self-employed individuals who wish to experience Portugal while working independently.

High qualified activity and Professorial activity Portugal offers a Temporary Stay Visa to individuals who wish to conduct scientific research or other highly qualified activities. The Temporary Stay Visa will allow you to stay for less than 1 year.

Amatuer sports activity If you are an athlete competing in Portugal, you can apply for a Temporary Stay Visa. This will allow you multiple entries into Portugal and can be used for a period of up to 1 year.

Study Purposes

If your study purposes include Secondary Education, Bachelor’s, Master’s, ** Ph.D.**, Post-Doc, or Exchange programs, you are allowed to apply for a Temporary Stay Visa. This allows you to complete any study obligations you may have in Portugal, or allow you to apply for, and complete any educational degree/certificate in Portugal.

Because the visa has no minimum stay requirements, students are allowed multiple entries into Portugal. Making it possible for you to study in Portugal during the year and still visit family and friends in your home country during semester breaks.

Health Purposes

Medical treatment If you need medical treatment specifically in Portugal, you can apply for a Temporary Stay Visa. For example: If there is no medical specialist in your home country, but you find one in Portugal, you may apply for medical treatment, provided that you meet the requirements.

Accompany a family member who is undergoing medical treatment You are allowed to accompany a family member who is undergoing medical treatment in Portugal. The Temporary Stay Visa allows you to stay in Portugal for more than 3 months, making it possible for you to be with your family while they are undergoing medical treatment, and/or recovering from medical treatment.

Other Fields Worth Mentioning

Many purposes qualify for a Temporary Stay Visa. Unfortunately, we will not be covering all of them in this post. Here are some other categories that are eligible for a Temporary Stay Visa:

  • Transfer of workers or service providers when the applicant has been working for over 1 year
  • Transfer of workers or service providers when the applicant has been working for less than 1 year
  • Show business and performing arts
  • Investigation
  • Unpaid internship
  • Volunteer work
  • Professional training
  • Religious training within a religious congregation
  • Religious person undertaking studies in a recognized institution
  • People living on their income

When applying for your visa, you will need to provide all relevant documents that prove the purpose of your trip. These can include invitational letters, employment contracts, educational degrees, and so on.

What Purposes Are Eligible For Residency Visas?

A Residency Visa can be used if you plan to stay in Portugal for a period longer than 1 year. Your Residency Visa will be valid for 2 years and renewable for an additional 3 years. Residency Visas are popular for those seeking permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship.

Work purposes

Independent work and Entrepreneurs The Residency Visa allows independent workers and entrepreneurs to live in Portugal and conduct business activities for more than 1 year. It is a popular option if you want to start your own business in Portugal. Be sure to meet all the requirements for company creation before you apply for this visa.

Sports activities Professional athletes can compete in Portugal, or be part of a Portugal national sports team. The visa will allow you to live in Portugal freely while taking part in your sports activities.

Study purposes

You can apply for a Residency Visa if the purpose of your application includes:

  • Research
  • Secondary education
  • Master’s/Bachelor’s/Phd/Post-Doc
  • Mobility program/Exchange program

The Residency Visa will allow you to partake in many research or educational activities that might last more than 1 year. If you wish to extend your stay for research/education purposes, you can renew your Residency Visa for an additional 3 years. In total, you will be able to spend 5 years in Portugal to conduct research or complete your education.

Fixed Residency

Retirees and People living on their own income The Residency Visa allows you to live in Portugal with the goal of one day obtaining permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship. To qualify for this visa, you will need to prove that you are financially able to provide for yourself and your family. This is also a popular route if you wish to Retire in Portugal.

Other Fields Worth Mentioning

Many purposes qualify for a Residency Visa, but unfortunately, we will not be covering all of them in this post. Here are some other categories that are eligible for a Residency Visa:

  • Subordinate work
  • High qualified activity
  • Higher education teaching
  • Show business and performing arts
  • Highly qualified subordinate activity
  • Professional training
  • Unpaid internship
  • Volunteer work
  • Religious training with religious congregations
  • Family regrouping

Before you apply for your Residency Visa ensure that you have collected all relevant documents that prove the purpose of your application. This can include invitational letters, employment contracts, educational degrees, and so on.

Portugal offers many different visa types for a variety of purposes, making Portugal an easily accessible destination for those seeking to visit or relocate to Portugal.

Although most Portuguese Visas don’t have any official names, some popular visa options suit the needs of most travelers.

The Retirement Visa

Portugal has become a top destination for retirees over the past few years. The Retirement Visa is a Long Stay Visa that allows retirees to live in Portugal. A popular destination for retirees in Portugal is Algarve, home to over 100 000 foreign retirees.

Another attractive feature Portugal offers retirees is the Non-Habitual-Resident (NHR) tax regime. This tax regime allows you exemption from tax obligations in Portugal.

Once you receive your retirement visa, it will be valid for 2 years. You can renew your visa for an additional 3 years. After 5 years it is possible to apply for your permanent residency permit or Portuguese citizenship.

The Portugal Golden Visa Program for Portugal

This is a special visa program designed by Portugal to attract foreign investment into Portugal. To obtain a Golden Visa, you will need to meet the minimum investment requirements. These investments include real estate, company creation, investments in Portugal, and so on. The Golden Visa program is one of the easiest ways to obtain Portuguese citizenship for those who can afford to make the minimum investment requirements. For more information on Portugal's Golden Visa Program consult our expert Golden Visa Guide.

Furthermore, the Golden Visa only requires you to spend a few days in Portugal per year, unlike the Retirement Visa and D7 Visa, which requires you to meet the minimum stay requirements if you wish to keep your residency status.

With the Golden Visa, you can benefit from the NHR tax regime and enjoy visa-free travel to any of the Schengen countries.

The D7 Visa/Passive Income Visa

The D7 Visa, also known as a Passive Income Visa, is a Long Stay Visa available to anyone who meets the minimum requirements. Like the Retirement Visa, it allows you to stay in Portugal for up to 2 years and can be renewed for an additional 3 years. With a D7 Visa, it is possible to apply for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship.

A great thing about the D7 Visa/Passive Income Visa is that anyone can apply, provided they meet the passive income requirements. There is no age preference to the D7 visa, making it possible for anyone to gain citizenship in Portugal as long as they are above the age of 18.

Digital Nomad Visa

A Digital Nomad Visa is a Temporary Stay Visa used to work remotely in Portugal. This visa is perfect for Digital Nomads who seek to travel and work in Portugal. As long as you work independently, you are allowed to live and work in Portugal.

Another benefit of a Digital Nomad Visa is that it allows you to travel to any country that forms part of the Schengen Area. With this visa, it is possible to visit all your favorite European countries while working remotely.

What Are The General Documents Required Per Visa Type?

General Documents Required For A Short Stay Visa

  • A completed application form has been signed by the applicant. In the case of minors and incapacitated, forms should be signed by the legal guardian
  • At least 2 identical color passport photos
  • A valid passport or any other government-issued travel document and photocopies of prior passport and visas
  • A return ticket
  • Travel medical insurance that will provide medical cover in Portugal
  • Proof that you are financially stable and will be able to support yourself during your stay in Portugal
  • Proof of accommodation
  • If you are planning to stay with a family member, you need to provide proof of your family relationship
  • For business trips, you will need to provide a letter of invitation that states the purpose of your trip. The document should also include the date of departure, date of arrival, the host organization, and the person responsible
  • For participation in political, economic, scientific, cultural, sport, or religious events, proof of attendance is required, registration or entry ticket
  • If you are traveling to Portugal to undergo any medical treatment, you will need to provide an official document from the medical institution confirming that the medical care is necessary. Also, you will need to provide proof that you have the financial means to pay for the medical treatment
  • Entry visa for the destination country
  • A statement of responsibility signed by a Portuguese resident, or a foreign national who resides legally in Portugal.

These are only the general document requirements for a Short Stay Visa. You might be asked to provide any other relevant documents or additional documents that are specific to the purpose of your trip.

General Documents For A Residency Visa

  • An official form
  • A passport or government-issued travel document with a validity of at least 3 months
  • 2 recent passport photos
  • Valid travel insurance which allows the medical cover
  • A clean criminal record
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof that you are financially able to provide for yourself during your stay in Portugal
  • A statement of responsibility signed by a Portuguese resident, or a foreign national who resides legally in Portugal.
  • Form authorizing access to Portuguese criminal record by the SEF.

Specific Documents For A Residency Visa

Subordinate work activity

  • Your work contract
  • Declaration issued by the Portuguese Employment and Training Institute
  • Your professional certificate
  • A statement of responsibility issued by the hosting entity.

Independent work activity

  • A contract or written service provider for independent professions
  • Declaration that states you are competent to provide the referred activity

Migrant entrepreneur

  • Investment operations executed
  • You will need to provide proof that sufficient funds are available in Portugal, including any income generated through a financial institution in Portugal, and proof of your intention to invest in Portugal

Family reunification

  • Notification of family reunification authorization by the SEF
  • Proof of your family relationship
  • Minors require a travel authorization by their parents or legal guardians

For retirement purposes

  • Document stating your retirement amount

For people living on personal income

  • Document that states your revenue from moveable and immovable property, intellectual property, or financial assets

If you wish to know more about specific documents that have not been mentioned in this post you can find it here

General Documents Required For A Temporary Stay Visa

  • An official form
  • A passport or any other government-issued travel document with a validity of at least 3 months
  • A return ticket
  • Valid travel insurance that will cover all necessary medical expenses
  • A clean criminal record
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof that you a sufficient funds available to provide for yourself fully during your stay in Portugal
  • Form authorizing access to Portuguese criminal record by the SEF.
  • A statement of responsibility signed by a Portuguese resident, or a foreign national who resides legally in Portugal.

Specific Documents For A Temporary Stay Visa

Medical treatment purposes

  • Medical report
  • An official document from the medical institution confirming that medical care is necessary.

Accompany a family member who is undergoing medical treatment

  • Proof of family relationship
  • Medical report
  • An official document from the medical institution confirming that medical care is necessary.

Independent work purposes

  • A work contract or service agreement
  • If your profession requires specific qualifications in Portugal, you will need a statement issued by the appropriate institution certifying that you are competent and meet the basic requirements.

Amateur sports purposes

  • A document issued by the sports federation certifying the practice of the relevant sport
  • A statement of responsibility assigned by the relevant sports association or sports club

Study purposes

  • Proof of accommodation or a statement signed by the host family
  • Proof of enrollment issued by the educational institution
  • To assess a person's means of support, grants and scholarships should be taken into account. A declaration of responsibility provided by the hosting entity can be used as proof of sponsorship.

If you wish to know more about specific documents that have not been mentioned in this post, you can find it here.

What Are The General Requirements For A Visa?

Different visas may have different visa requirements you need to meet. These visa requirements are a bit different from the document requirements mentioned above. Here are the basic requirements you might need during your visa application process:

Portuguese NIF (Tax number)

The Portuguese NIF number is a tax number used in Portugal. You will need a NIF if you want to carry out any fiscal activities in Portugal. It is relatively easy to obtain a NIF and can be done remotely.

Portuguese bank account

You will need to open a Portuguese bank account, which will enable you to make payments within Portugal. You will need to deposit funds into your Portuguese bank account. These funds will be used to support you during your stay in Portugal.

Financial Self-Sufficiency

To obtain a Portuguese residency visa, you will need to prove that you are financially stable and can provide for yourself (and your spouse if relevant) while staying in Portugal. The Portuguese immigration authorities will request that you provide all relevant documents (recurring income, or significant savings, or a combination of the two) as proof.

It is possible to include a 3-month bank statement, payslips, and so on to prove your financial stability.

Proof Of Accommodation

In most cases, you will need to provide proof of accommodation. This can include rental agreements, hotel reservations, and so on.

Full Health Insurance

For certain visa applications, you will need to have travel insurance that covers any medical expenses during your stay in Portugal. Your healthcare is required in case there are any unforeseen events, where emergency medical treatment is required.

Clean Criminal Record

Without a clean criminal record, your application will be unsuccessful. Ensure that you obtain your criminal record in time before you start the application process.

Minimum Stay Requirement

The Residency visa must meet the minimum stay requirements. You will need to stay in Portugal for a minimum of 183 days every year. Or not be absent for more than 6 months, or you can also opt to live a total of 8 months in Portugal with various breaks within the year.

How To Apply For Your Schengen Visa - Step-By-Step

Step 1 - Gather All The Required Documents

Before you start your visa application, ensure that you have gathered all the relevant documents. Doing this before you start the process can save you a lot of time.

Step 2 - Fill Out The Visa Application form

Now it is time to fill out your visa application form. Once you start filling out your form, ensure that all the information you provide is accurate and correct. Check that the information you provide is the same as the information found on your passport.

As soon as you download your application form, it will look something like this:

Within the first few fields, you need to fill in your personal information. Where possible, check that the information you provide is the same as the information found on your passport. Be sure that the information you provide is correct.

After you have filled in the first 10 fields, you will need to provide your national identity number and the type of travel document you will be using. If you do not have a national Identity Number you can leave Number 11. Blank.

Once you have chosen your travel document, you will need to enter the travel document details. All the information you require can be found on your travel document.

If you have any family members who are citizens of the EU, EEA, or CH, you will need to fill in their details and also your family relationship. However, if you do not have any family members who reside in one of these nations, you may leave Number 17 and Number 18 blank.

At Number 20, you need to fill in if you have residency in any other country other than your country of origin. If you do not have residency in any other countries, check “No”. If you do have residency in other countries, check “Yes” and fill in the residency details.

You will notice that at Number 24 you can add additional information on the purpose of your stay. We recommend that you fill out this field. It will most likely improve your chances of getting your visa.

The next information required is concerning the country you are planning to visit. At Number 25, you will fill in Portugal.

You may leave Number 26 blank if you are traveling to Portugal directly. However, if Portugal is not your first destination, you will need to enter the first destination. Check your flight itinerary to see your first destination.

At Number 27, you need to check the number of entries that you request. Here you will also need to enter the date of departure.

If your biometric data (fingerprints) has previously been collected, you can check “Yes” and enter the date it was collected.

You will notice that Number 30 requires you to add the personal information of the person who invited you to Portugal. If you do not have this information and plan to travel to Portugal for tourism, you can fill in the name of the hotel or temporary accommodation you will be staying at. Afterward, you will need to fill in the address of the hotel or temporary accommodation.

In the case where your trip is being sponsored by your employer or company, you will need to fill out the information required.

At Number 32, you will need to state who will be financially responsible for your stay. You may check any of the boxes that apply to you. If your trip is being supported by a sponsor, you will need to add the required information of your sponsor.

You are now finished filling out your application form. The last thing you need to do is sign your form.

Step 3 - Attend Your In-Person Interview

After you submit your application form, you will be invited to an in-person interview. This interview will be conducted at your local Portuguese embassy/consulate. Ensure that you are prepared for your interview and arrive on time.

Step 4 - Pay The Visa Application Fee

You will need to pay €80 per application. For children between 6 - 12 years of age, you will need to pay €40.

Take note that embassy/consulate staff have the right to decline your visa application if they feel there is a reason to do so. Paying your application fee does not secure your visa. Note that you will not be able to get a refund if your visa application is declined. Be sure that you have all the required documents and any supporting documents, like a flight itinerary. It may improve your chances of obtaining your Schengen Visa.

You are now finally equipped with everything you need to know about the different Portugal visas and their respective requirements.

Check out the Atlys community discussion forum for more questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What countries are included in the Schengen Area?

The 26 Schengen countries are 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, and Switzerland.

What Is The Processing Time For A Schengen Visa?

Once you have submitted your Schengen Visa application, it may take up to 15 days to receive feedback from the embassy/consulate.

Where Do I Apply For My Schengen Visa?

You can visit your nearest Portuguese Embassy or Portuguese Consulate in your country of origin to apply for your visa. Remember that you need to apply for a visa at the Consulate of the country that you intend to visit.

What Are The Visa Fees For A Portugal Schengen Visa?

Per adult - €80 per applicant For children between the age of 6 - 12 years - €40

How Long Before My Intended Visit Should I Start My Visa Application Process?

It is possible to start your application 15 days before the intended visit. We recommend that you start your visa application process at least 30 days before your intended visit.

For How Long Does My Passport Need to Be Valid To Be Able To Apply For A Schengen Visa?

Your passport must have a validity of at least 3 months.

For What Purposes Can I Use A Schengen Visa?

A Schengen Visa is mainly used for the purpose of tourism, but it can also be used for short business trips, medical treatments, seasonal work, and internships.

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