Traveling to Portugal

If you are travelling to Portugal (either for a short visit or a long stay), it is important to be aware of the entry requirements and visa options before planning your trip or move.

In this article, we will look into your various visa options for traveling to and relocating to Portugal.

While this article aims to provide the most up-to-date information on visiting Portugal, it is strongly advised that you check with your local Portuguese embassy or consulate for the most recent information about entry requirements.

Do I need a visa to travel to Portugal?

Whether you do or don’t need a visa to enter Portugal depends on your passport.

Portugal is a member state of the Schengen Area, which includes 26 European countries. There are no border controls in the area and residents of Schengen countries can travel within the Schengen Zone with just a form of ID.

If you come from a country that is a member state of the EU or EEA, you won’t need a visa to travel to Portugal. You will be able to stay in Portugal visa-free for up to three months.

However, if you are coming to Portugal for work and plan to stay for over three months, you will need to apply for a Residence Certificate (Certificado de Registo). You can apply for this certificate at your local city council. Typically, the following documents are needed:

Citizens of non-EU/EFTA countries will need a visa to enter Portugal (even for a period less than three months) — unless you come from one of the 61 countries that have an agreement with Portugal that allows their citizens to visit Portugal visa-free. Among others, these counties include the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc. Check with your local Portuguese consulate or embassy whether you need a visa to visit Portugal.

Note that even if you don’t need a visa for a short stay in Portugal, you will still need to apply for a long-term visa or residence permit if you plan to stay in the country for over three months. Unlike EU/EFTA nationals, you will need to apply for such a visa/residence permit BEFORE arriving in Portugal.

Short stay visas to Portugal

A short stay visa to Portugal allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days in a 180 day period. You can travel to the country for tourism, business, family visits, temporary employment, transit, etc.

On this visa, you will also be able to visit other countries in the Schengen Area.

To apply for a short stay visa to Portugal, you should visit your local Portuguese embassy or consulate.

Together with a set of documents, you will need to pay a fee of 80 EUR. In some counties, you will also be charged additional service fees. However, these should not be more than half of the standard fee.

If you come from a country that has Visa Facilitation Agreements with EU countries, you will need to pay a reduced fee of 35 EUR. As of 2021, these countries include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

There are several main types of short term visas:

Standard short-stay visa. This visa allows you to stay in Portugal for 90 days in a 180 day period and is granted for the purpose of tourism, business, short-term work, family visits, etc. To apply for a standard short term visa to Portugal, you will need to submit the following documents:

Airport Transit visa. Some travelers will require a transit visa when switching flights in a Portuguese airport. A transit visa is only valid for the international area of the airport and doesn’t allow you to enter the Schengen zone.

Seasonal Work visa. This type of visa is issued to those coming to Portugal on a seasonal job offer. Typically, seasonal work is available in hospitality, agriculture, retail, construction, etc.

Temporary stay visa to Portugal

A temporary stay visa will allow you to stay in the country for up to one year — with multiple entries. You need a temporary stay visa if you plan to stay in Portugal for over 90 days (allowed on a standard Schengen visa).

To apply for a temporary stay visa, you will need to contact your local Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country. Typically, you will be asked to submit the following documents to apply for a temporary stay visa:

The fee for applying for this type of visa is generally 75 EUR, though some population groups are exempt from paying visa fees (children under six years old, highly qualified professionals coming to Portugal to do research, students with scholarships, etc.)

Temporary work visa. If you plan to work in Portugal for a period of over 90 days but less than a year, you will need to apply for a temporary work visa. To apply for this type of visa, you will typically need a valid work contract, a confirmation from an academic institution where you will be employed, a paper issued by a sports federation if you are traveling to perform as an athlete, etc.

Temporary study visa. This type of visa is granted to those who plan to study in Portugal for a period of over 90 days but under a year. To apply for a temporary study visa, you will need to provide proof that you are officially enrolled in a course at an accredited educational establishment in Portugal.

Internship/training/volunteering visa. You can apply for this type of visa if you are involved in professional training, internship or a volunteer program in Portugal. To apply for the visa, you will need to provide proof that you will be involved in these activities for a period that exceeds 90 days and is no longer than a year.

Medical treatment visa. As the name suggests, this type of visa is granted to those who need to undergo medical treatment in Portugal — or those accompanying those undergoing medical treatment. You will need to submit medical forms detailing the applicant’s condition, proof of a treatment program available in a medical institution in Portugal and proof of relationship to the patient (for accompanying applicants).

Youth mobility visa. This is a special type of visa available to young people (generally aged 18 to 30) from nine counties. The purpose of travel, in this case, can be studying, training, cultural exchange, volunteer work, etc. Citizens of the following counties can participate in the program: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Peru and South Korea.

Self-support visa. This visa is granted under exceptional circumstances to those who want to reside in Portugal for a period that is over 90 days but under a year. You will need to provide proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself throughout your stay — and offer valid reasoning for why you need to stay in Portugal during this time.

Religious stay visa. This visa is granted to those who are traveling to Portugal to undertake religious studies at an accredited religious institution. To apply, you will need to provide proof that you are enrolled in a religious training program.

Residence permits in Portugal

A resident permit is basically a long-stay visa that allows you to stay in Portugal for over a year. To apply for a Portuguese residence permit, you will need to go through the Portugal Immigration Service (Service de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), often abbreviated as SEF.

The application process for a residence person is very similar to that of a temporary stay visa.

The following documents are generally required:

You should start the application process for a residence permit about 60 days in advance.

There are different types of residence permits in Portugal — and they are categorized based on the purpose of your stay.

Work residence permit. These residence permits are granted to those who are employed in Portugal for a period of over a year. To apply, you will need to provide proof of a work contract or service agreement.

Student residence permit. Student residence permits are granted to those who come to Portugal to study for longer than a year. To apply, you will need to provide an acceptance letter from a university/college/school confirming your enrollment.

Training/internship/volunteering residence permit. These permits are given to those who plan to be involved in professional training, perform an unpaid internship, volunteer for a non-governmental organization, etc. To apply, you will need to provide confirmation of your placement.

Family residence permit. This residence permit is issued for family members of non-EU/EFTA residents in Portugal. It is generally available for spouses, legally recognized partners, biological and adopted children, dependent parents and minor siblings. To apply, you will need to provide proof of family relationships.

Retirement residence permit. This type of permit is granted to those who want to retire in Portugal and are able to support themselves throughout their stay without seeking employment or relying on welfare programs. To apply, you will need to provide evidence of savings, retirement plan, income source, etc.

Golden Visa Scheme. This is another option for nationals from non-EU countries to live in Portugal for a long period of time. The Golden Visa Program is designed to attract foreign investment to the country and Golden Visa applicants need to meet a number of conditions:

Note that more conditions may apply for receiving this type of visa. This is why it is recommended that you check with your local Portuguese embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information.

Important:

The Portuguese government has recently signed a clause that excludes investments in Lisbon and Porto from the Golden Visa Scheme. When the clause comes into effect, purchasing property in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve region will no longer allow you to apply for the Golden Visa. The deadline to exclude the above regions from the Golden Visa Scheme has recently been extended to January 22.

Not this is not an exhaustive list of short and long term visa types for traveling to Portugal. For more visa options for your specific case, make sure to inquire at your local Portuguese embassy or consulate. It is also strongly advised to contact an embassy or consulate prior to your travels to check if any changes to entry requirements have been introduced.

Travelling to Portugal

Portugal is a safe and modern country and easy to access from within Europe, or from outside the EU, via international airports or the train and bus systems. You will find the water safe to drink, and all food and produce are of a high standard, as per EU regulations.

Generally, no vaccinations are required to enter Portugal. However, if you will be spending time in rural parts of the country, and in the outdoors, it is advisable to be up-to-date on your Hepatitis A and to have a valid tetanus shot.

Useful link:

Visit Portugal


Article written by expat.com
Last update on 23 September 2021 15:20:29
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