To visit Portugal, you may need to apply for a Portugal Visa. Whether or not you have to get a visa depends on several factors, such as your nationality, the reason for your trip, as well as the time you intend to spend there.
Find out how to apply for a visa to Portugal, the required documents for an application, and how long you are allowed to stay.
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Portugal?
If you are from one of the countries which have a visa-free agreement with Schengen, such as the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and most European countries, then you can visit Portugal visa-free for up to 90 days. You only need to apply for a visa in the following scenarios:
- If you are from a country that does not have a visa-free agreement with Schengen.
- If you will stay in Portugal for more than three months.
Portugal Schengen Visa
If you want to visit Portugal for a short period of time (and you are from one of the visa-required countries) you will have to apply for a Portugal Schengen Visa. You can get a Portugal Schengen Visa for short-term visits, such as for tourism, business, family visit, etc.
Portugal is part of the Schengen Area, along with 25 other European countries. These countries have established free travel within their borders and have a common visa, known as the Schengen Visa. This means that if you get a visa for any Schengen country, such as Portugal, you can travel to the other countries in the Schengen Agreement as well.
If you want to go to Portugal for a longer period of time (e.g. if you will work or study there), then you need a Portugal National Visa, not the Schengen Visa.
Portugal Visa Requirements
The documents you have to submit for a Portugal Visa application are:
- Your passport. It must be valid for at least another three months starting from the day you depart Portugal or the Schengen Area.
- The Portugal Visa Application Form. You can download the form from the Portuguese MFA website (here).
- Passport-size pictures, in line with Schengen requirements.
- They must be taken recently
- They must have a white background.
- Your face must be entirely visible.
- Travel health insurance, in line with Schengen requirements.
- It must be valid in all the Schengen Area.
- Must cover at least €30,000 of medical emergencies and evacuation.
- Proof you have paid the Portugal Visa Fee.
- Your travel itinerary. You do not necessarily need to pay for the flight tickets, simply book them.
- Portugal Visa Cover Letter. It must detail your reason for travelling, the dates of arrival and departure, if you will travel to another Schengen country, your planned activities, etc.
- Proof of sufficient funds. You must be able to prove that you can sustain yourself financially for the duration of your trip.
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal. This can be a hotel reservation or a letter of invitation (if you are visiting friends or relatives).
- If you are employed:
- Proof of employment – work contract if you have an employer or a certificate of business registration if you own a business or are self-employed
- Work leave (if you have an employer).
- Bank statements from the last three months
- If you are a student: A certificate of enrollment from your university or school.
- If you are retired: Your pension certificate.
- Requirements for minors travelling alone:
- Birth certificate of the minor
- Copy of the passports of the parents or legal guardians.
- Letter of consent signed from the parents or legal guardians
- If you travelling to Portugal to visit relatives or friends:
- Letter of Invitation from your family member or friend.
- If you are travelling for business purposes:
- Letter of Invitation from the company in Portugal. The letter has to state the duration and purpose of your trip.
- Letter from your company, stating the relations between the two companies.
- All documents have to be in English or Portuguese. If they are not, you must have them translated by a certified translator.
- Any civil documents, such as birth certificates, have to be legalized by an Apostille Stamp or by the Portuguese Embassy.
How to Apply for a Portugal Visa?
To apply for a Portugal visa, you have to:
- Download and complete the Portugal Visa Application Form. You can find and download the Application Form on the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
- Gather the required documents for a Portugal Visa. See Portugal Visa Requirements above.
- Submit the documents. Depending on where you live, you may have to submit the documents at the Portugal Embassy, Consulate, or Visa Application Center.
- Pay the Portugal Visa fee. See Portugal Visa Fee below.
- Wait for the visa to be processed. This usually takes about 15 days, but it may take longer depending on your situation.
- Collect the visa. Depending on where and how you applied, you will learn whether your application was positive, and you have to go pick up your passport, where the visa will be affixed.
- Travel to Portugal. Once you have the visa, you can travel to Portugal.
Please note: If you are applying for a long-term visa – such as a Work Visa, Study Visa, or a Visa for Family Reunification – there is a slightly different application process. Please see Portugal National Visas below.
Where to Submit the Portugal Visa Application?
You have to submit the application for the visa at the nearest Portuguese Embassy or Consulate, or at a Visa Application Center. In certain cases, when there is no Portuguese Diplomatic Representation where you live, you will have to submit the documents at the Embassy/Consulate of another Schengen country.
See where to submit the Portugal Visa application, depending on your country of residence here.
When to Submit the Portugal Visa Application?
You should submit the application at least two weeks before you intend to depart. The earliest when the Portuguese Embassy will accept your application is three months before your trip. Ideally, give it longer than two weeks, if you do not want your plans to be distributed by a delay in visa processing.
Processing Time for a Portugal Visa Application
A Portuguese Visa is usually processed within 15 calendar days. However, depending on the circumstances, such as the time of year, whether you have all your documents in order, etc, it may take longer. So, you should apply about a month before you intend to travel, but no earlier than three months.
Portugal Visa Fees
When you apply for a Portugal Visa, you have to pay the processing fee, as follows:
- Portugal Schengen Visa (adults and children over 12) – €80
- Portugal Schengen Visa (children between 6 and 12) – €40
- Portugal Schengen Visa (children under 6) – Free of charge
- Portugal Schengen Visa for citizens of Azerbaijan and Russia (adults and children over 12) – €35
You are exempt from the Portugal visa fee if:
- You are travelling with or visiting a close family member who is an EU/EEA national
- You are a student or a teacher on an educational trip.
- You are a researcher travelling for scientific research purposes.
How Long Is the Portugal Visa Valid?
The maximum duration of time you can spend in Portugal with a Schengen Visa is 90 days. The Portugal Embassy or Consulate decides for how long they will issue your visa. The following types of visas are issued:
- Single-entry visa. You can only enter Portugal (or the Schengen Area) once and stay for as long as the visa is issued (one week, two weeks, one month, etc). After you leave, you cannot re-enter.
- Multiple-entry visa. You can enter Portugal (or other Schengen countries) multiple times within the time the visa is valid, as long as the total number of days spent in Schengen does not exceed 90.
Can I Extend a Portugal Visa?
Yes, you can technically extend a Portugal visa, but not for just any reason. Your application to extend the visa will only be accepted if you have a legitimate reason, such as an illness or natural disaster. To apply for a Portugal Schengen Visa extension, you will have to contact the Portuguese Immigration Services (SEF).
Remember that if you are in Portugal on a Student or Work Visa, you will have to apply for renewal of your Residence Permit, not a visa extension.
Portugal Airport Transit Visa
If you are from one of the following countries, you will need to apply for an Airport Transit Visa if you will change flights in a Portuguese airport, even if you do not leave the international transit area:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Sri Lanka
You should apply for an airport transit visa by submitting the following documents:
- Portugal Visa Application Form
- Your passport
- Your flight tickets
- Passport-size pictures in line with Schengen requirements
- The visa for your destination country (if a visa is required)
- Certificate of being in a regular situation when the applicant is from a different nationality than that of the country where the visa is being requested;
- Your employment certificate and salary
- Bank statements for the last three months
To be able to leave the international transit area of the airport, then you should apply for a visa to transit in Portugal if you are from one of the countries that do not have a visa-free agreement.
Portugal National Visas (Long-Term)
The Portugal National Visas are long-term visas, which lead to residency in Portugal, either temporarily or permanently (by means of a Residence Permit). The main types of Portuguese National Visas are:
- Portugal Work Visa. This type of visa is issued for non-EU nationals who have found employment with a Portuguese company. Usually, in a skilled position.
- Portugal Student Visa. This type of visa is issued if you are accepted into a Portuguese educational institution.
- Portugal Family Reunification Visa. You can apply for this type of visa if you are not an EU citizen and want to join a family member who lives in Portugal, as a citizen or resident.
- Portugal Retirement Visa. This type of visa allows you to live in Portugal as a resident, even if you do not work/study, provided you have enough funds to sustain your stay.
- Portugal passive income visa. This type of visa if issued to freelancers who want to work for a foreign employer while in Portugal.
You can usually renew a Portuguese National Visa. The visas issued for work or family reunification also lead to permanent residence down the line, whereas you can apply for a work visa if you find employment after your studies in Portugal.