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Portugal – Visas

Visa Regulations for Entering Portugal

Portugal is a beautiful European country that is known for its rich history, stunning beaches, and warm climate. Whether visiting Portugal for tourism, work, or study, it is important to understand the visa regulations and requirements for entry. In this article, we will explore the types of visas available for entering Portugal, any exemptions that may apply, and the relationship between visas and residency.

Types of Visas for Entering Portugal

There are several types of visas available for individuals who wish to enter Portugal, including short-term visas and long-term visas. The type of visa required will depend on the individual’s reason for entering Portugal, the length of their stay, and their nationality.

Short-Term Visas

Short-term visas are available for individuals who wish to stay in Portugal for up to 90 days. These visas are generally issued for the purpose of tourism, business, or family visits. Short-term visas can be further categorized into the following types:


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  • Schengen visa: This visa allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen area, which includes most of Europe. This visa is required for citizens of countries that are not part of the European Union or the European Economic Area. Citizens of some countries are exempt from the Schengen visa requirement, such as citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia.

  • National visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Portugal for up to 90 days for a specific purpose, such as work, study, or family reunion. This visa is required for citizens of non-EU or non-EEA countries who wish to enter Portugal for a specific purpose.

Long-Term Visas

Long-term visas are available for individuals who wish to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days. These visas are generally issued for the purpose of work, study, or family reunification. Long-term visas can be further categorized into the following types:

  • Residence visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days for the purpose of study, work, or family reunification. The visa can be issued for a maximum of one year and can be extended.

  • Temporary stay visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Portugal for up to two years. It is required for individuals who wish to reside in Portugal for a specific purpose, such as work or study.

  • Golden visa: This visa allows non-EU citizens to obtain a residence permit by investing in Portugal. The investment can be in the form of real estate, business creation, or capital transfer.

Visa Exemptions

Citizens of some countries are exempt from the visa requirement when traveling to Portugal. These countries include members of the European Union and the European Economic Area, as well as citizens of some other countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Australia. However, even if a visa is not required, individuals may still need to meet certain requirements, such as having a valid passport and proof of sufficient funds.

Relationship Between Visas and Residency

It is important to note that a visa is not the same as a residency permit. While a visa allows an individual to enter Portugal for a specific period of time, a residency permit allows an individual to reside in Portugal for an extended period of time. In order to obtain a residency permit, individuals must meet certain requirements, such as having a job offer or proof of financial means to support themselves.

Reliable Information on Visas for Entry into Portugal

Individuals who are planning to travel to Portugal can find reliable information on visa requirements and regulations from the following sources:

Applying for a Visa

To enter Portugal, non-European Union (EU) citizens may need a visa, depending on their nationality and the purpose and duration of their stay. The Portuguese government’s Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) is the responsible authority for granting visas.

You should apply for a visa well in advance of your planned trip, as the processing time can vary depending on the type of visa and the workload of the SEF.

You can start the visa application process online on the SEF’s website, where you will find the necessary forms and information about the requirements for each type of visa.

Relevant forms can be found here:
-Short-stay visa application form: https://sef.pt/docs/Default.aspx?lang=en-US&doc=12058
-Long-stay visa application form: https://sef.pt/docs/Default.aspx?lang=en-US&doc=12056

Where to Apply for a Visa for Portugal

You can apply for a Portuguese visa at the Portuguese consulate or embassy in your country of origin or residence. For US citizens, the Embassy of Portugal in Washington, DC is responsible for issuing visas. For UK citizens, the Embassy of Portugal in London is responsible.

Relevant Documents for Portugal

The required documents for a Portuguese visa may vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for and the purpose of your trip. However, generally, you will need to provide:
-A valid passport
-A completed and signed visa application form
-Two recent passport-sized photos
-Proof of payment of the visa fee
-A travel itinerary and proof of accommodation
-Proof of financial means to support your stay in Portugal
-Proof of medical insurance
-For work visas, a contract or proof of employment and qualifications
-For study visas, proof of enrollment and academic transcripts

Documents in a language other than Portuguese or English will need to be translated into Portuguese.

You can find more information about the specific requirements for each type of visa on the SEF’s website: https://sef.pt/en/Pages/Visas.aspx

Visa Application Processing Time for Portugal

The processing time for a Portuguese visa varies depending on the type of visa and the workload of the SEF. On average, processing times range from 15 days to several weeks. The SEF recommends that you apply for your visa at least four to six weeks before your planned trip.

Visa Application Cost for Portugal

The fee for a Portuguese visa varies depending on the type of visa and the purpose of your trip. On average, visa fees range from €60 to €100. For up-to-date information on visa fees, you can consult the SEF’s website: https://sef.pt/en/Pages/Visas.aspx

There may be other associated costs, such as translation fees or the cost of medical insurance.


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