A retired American planning to retire in the Algarve.

I plan to retire in Portimao later this year, I have a passport and have begun process to get a Schengen Visa (photos, FBI background check, etc). I plan to apply online once I have the documents. Do I actually have to go to the Portuguese Consulate in Washington to get this Visa? There is no office here in Texas. That seems like a major expense. I am going there for 2 weeks in September to find long term residency. There is also the issue of health insurance, Do I need a policy in force when I apply for residency?
Any Yanks who have done this out there? Would sure appreciate knowing what you went thru.

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Hi Bill!
I saw there was a Portuguese Consulate in Houston.  Check to see if you need the Schengen Visa before you go to all that trouble.  I'm thinking you don't need it for your "scouting" trip to find housing.  You may want it after your move so you can travel from country to country ( Schengen Group) much more easily after you have settled in Portugal...

You may be able to complete that Visa by mail if you are more than 2 hrs from the consulate.  I hope this is helpful.  Good luck to you!

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