Did you know that Portugal is home to Livraria Bertrand, the oldest bookshop in the world? Located in Lisbon, the Bertrand Library has a charming blue-tiled facade (azulejos) and dates back to the 18th century. If you want to visit the library, you may need a Portugal Tourist Visa.
The Tourist Visa is one of the types of the Portuguese Schengen Visas. It is short-term (valid for a maximum of three months), and issued to people who want to visit Portugal as a tourist but come from a country that does not have a visa-free agreement.
If you get a Portugal Tourist Visa, you are allowed to travel to the other countries in the Schengen Area as well.
Who Needs a Portugal Tourist Visa?
If you are from one of the countries that have a visa-free agreement with Portugal, then you do not need a Portugal Tourist Visa. Citizens of the US., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, UAE, and many other countries are free to travel to Portugal and the other Schengen States without a visa for up to 90 days. You only need a visa to visit Portugal as a tourist if you need a Schengen Visa.
Can I Visit Other Countries in Europe With a Portugal Tourist Visa?
Yes, if you get a Tourist Visa for Portugal, you can also visit all the other countries in the Schengen Area. That is because Portugal is part of the Schengen Agreement, where 26 European countries have one joint Tourist Visa known as the Schengen Visa.
So, Portugal Schengen Visa is the same as a Portugal Tourist Visa.
In most cases, regardless of which Schengen country issues your visa, you will also be allowed to visit the other countries too. But, there are some exceptions. For example, if you happen to receive a visa that states “Schengen States (PT)” it means that you can only visit Portugal.
Portugal Tourist Visa Requirements
The documents you need for the Portugal Tourist Visa application are:
- Your passport.
- Valid for another three months after you depart Portugal/the Schengen Area.
- Must have at least two blank pages for the visa to be affixed.
- Copies of your previous visas.
- The Portugal Visa Application Form.
- You can download the form from the Portuguese MFA website (here).
- You must print it out and sign it. For minors, the parent/legal guardian can sign.
- Passport-size pictures. They must comply with Schengen visa photo requirements.
- Travel health insurance.
- It must comply with Schengen requirements.
- It must be valid in all the Schengen Area.
- It must cover at least €30,000 of medical and evacuation expenses.
- Payment of the Portugal Tourist Visa Fee.
- Your travel itinerary. For example, your booked flight tickets.
- Portugal Tourist Visa Cover Letter. You must include the following in the letter:
- Your personal information (name, nationality, employment status)
- The reason for travelling
- The dates of arrival and departure
- Whether you will travel to another Schengen country other than Portugal
- Your planned activities, etc.
- Proof of sufficient funds. You have to prove that you have enough money to maintain yourself during your time in Portugal. You can do this by submitting your bank statements.
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal. For example:
- Hotel reservation or other tourist accommodation booking.
- Letter of invitation from a friend or relative (if you will stay with someone in Portugal)
- Employment status documents. As applicable:
- If you are employed: Work contract and a letter of work leave from your employer
- If you are self-employed: The certificate of business registration
- If you are a student: A certificate of enrollment from your university or school.
- If you are retired: Your pension certificate.
If a minor is travelling to Portugal alone, also include the following documents:
- Their birth certificate
- Letter of consent from the parents or legal guardians, signed by both of them. If only one parent/guardian has custody of the child, provide documentation supporting the fact.
- Copy of the passports of the parents or legal guardians.
- All the required documents have to be in English. If they are not, you must have them translated.
- Documents such as birth or marriage certificates must be legalized by an Apostille Stamp or by the Portuguese Embassy in your country.
How to Apply for a Portugal Tourist Visa?
To apply for a Portugal Tourist Visa, you should try to get in touch with the nearest Portuguese Embassy or Consulate. Then, you must:
- Download and complete the Portugal Visa Application Form. You can find the application form for a Portugal Schengen Visa application on the website of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (here).
- Collect the required documents.
- Make an appointment to submit the documents at the Portuguese Embassy.
- Pay the Portugal Tourist Visa application fee.
- Show up on the day of your appointment, along with your documents. You may have to enter a visa interview.
- Wait for the visa to be processed. This can take a couple of weeks – sometimes longer.
- The Portuguese Embassy will notify you of the decision. If it is positive, you can go pick up the visa.
- Travel to Portugal within the date stated on the visa.
What If There Is No Portuguese Embassy/Consulate in My Country?
If there is no Portuguese diplomatic representation in your country, then you can submit your application in one of the following locations:
- A Visa Application Center. In many cases, Embassies outsource visa applications to private companies. VACs will accept your application and then forward them to the Embassy to process it. It is still a Portuguese Embassy making the decision, the VAC is just sort of like a middleman.
- The Portuguese Embassy in a neighbouring country. If there is a Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in a neighbouring country, then you may have to travel there to submit your application. The Embassy may also allow you to apply through the mail or online.
- The Embassy of another Schengen country. Even if there is no Portuguese Embassy in your country, you may be able to submit your application to the Embassy/Consulate of another Schengen country (e.g. the Spanish Embassy).
See here to learn where to submit the Portugal Tourist Visa application based on your country of residence.
How Long Does It Take to Process a Portugal Tourist Visa Application?
It takes about 15 calendar days for the Embassy to process your application, starting from the time they receive your documents. It may take longer, depending on whether you have all the necessary documents or what time of year it is (during the holiday season there are more applications, so it takes longer).
When Should You Apply for the Portugal Tourist Visa?
You should apply for the Tourist Visa for Portugal a few weeks before you plan to travel – at least two weeks. The earliest you can apply is three months before your intended departure date. Optimally, aim to apply about a month in advance.
Additionally, if you have to apply through the mail, take into consideration the time it takes to deliver the documents there and back.
Portugal Tourist Visa Fee
The fees for a Portugal Schengen/Tourist Visa are:
- For adults and children over 12 – €80
- For children between 6 and 12 – €40
- For children under 6 – Free of charge
- For citizens of Azerbaijan and Russia (adults and children over 12) – €35
You are exempt from the Portugal Tourist 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 a Portugal Tourist Visa Valid?
The Portugal Tourist Visa can be issued for a maximum duration of 3 months, but it is up to the Portuguese Embassy to decide on the validity. Sometimes, they may issue a Tourist Visa only for a few days or only for the intended duration of your trip. For example, they may issue your visa only for the time when you have the hotel booked.
Additionally, there are two types of Portugal Tourist Visas, depending on validity:
- Single-Entry Portugal Tourist Visa. It is valid for only one entry in Portugal and the Schengen Area. Once you leave, you cannot re-enter even if the visa is still valid.
- Multiple-Entry Portugal Tourist Visa. You can enter Portugal and other countries in the Schengen Zone multiple times for as long as the visa is valid. The total days you spend in Portugal/Schengen cannot exceed 90 days when added up.
Can You Extend a Portugal Tourist Visa?
It is technically possible to extend a Tourist Visa in Portugal, but extensions are usually granted only in extreme circumstances, such as if you are ill and cannot travel, or if there are political reasons preventing you from returning home.
If you want to seek an extension of your Portuguese Tourist Visa, then you should contact the local offices of the Portuguese Immigration Services (SEF).