Planning a trip to Portugal? The good news is that you may not need a Portugal Visa at all.
Portugal, along with the other Schengen States, has an agreement with several countries, allowing for visa-free stays of up to 90 days. Visa-free trips are only for tourism, and do not apply in the event you are planning to work, study, or retire in Portugal.
Find a detailed explanation of if you need a visa for Portugal under the following circumstances.
Do I Need a Visa For Portugal?
You need a visa to visit Portugal (even for a short period of time) if you are from one of the following countries:
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- The Central African Republic
- Cote D’Ivoire
- Rep. Of Congo
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- The Gambia
- Liberia Tanzania
- Northern Mariana’s
- North Korea
- Palestinian Authority
- Papua New Guinea
- Sao Tome And Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
Do US Citizens Need a Visa for Portugal?
US citizens do not need a visa to visit Portugal for short periods of time. For example, if you are a US citizen and want to visit Portugal as a tourist or for a business trip, then you do not need to apply for a visa. You can stay in Portugal for a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period (all trips to Portugal and the Schengen Area combined).
Do EU Citizens Need Visa to Visit Portugal?
Portugal is part of the European Union, therefore, nationals from other EU/EEA countries or from Switzerland are allowed to enter Portugal freely.
If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you can also study, work, and live in Portugal without a visa, but you do have to register your stay.
Who Can Visit Portugal Visa-Free?
Citizens from the following countries do not need a visa to visit Portugal for up to 90 days:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- Timor Leste
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
- Vatican City
- United Kingdom
Requirements When Entering Portugal Without a Visa
If you are from one of the visa-exempt countries, then you can travel to Portugal with only your passport. However, at the port of entry, sometimes you may be required to present the following:
- Proof of financial resources. You have to prove that you can financially sustain your stay in Portugal. They may ask to see a credit card or cash.
- Proof of return flight ticket. You may have to show your return ticket, which proves you will depart within the three months of permitted visa-free stay.
- Letter of Invitation. If you have a relative or friend who you are visiting, you could be asked to show a letter of invitation or a guarantee. The guarantee is also necessary if you do not have enough funds to finance your trip yourself.
How Long Can I Stay in Portugal Without a Visa?
If you are from one of the countries which have a visa-free agreement with Portugal, then you can stay in the country without a visa for a maximum of 90 days within any six-month period. The days you spend in other Schengen countries also count towards your permitted 90-day limit.
So, if you are not sure, simply count backwards. If you have travelled to Schengen in the past six months, and the total amount of days you’ve spent there is less than 90 days, you are free to enter Portugal, but not to exceed the 90 days.
Can I Work in Portugal During a Visa-Free Stay?
No, if you are not an EU/EE/Swiss citizen, you cannot work in Portugal without a Work Visa. So, if you enter the country using your visa-exempt status, it is illegal to just take up work, and if you are discovered you will be deported and may face a fine or problems re-entering the country in the future.
Do I Need a Visa to Transit in Portugal?
You need a visa to transit in Portugal if you will leave the international transit area and pass through customs. If you are from one of the following countries, you need a visa to transit in Portugal even if you do not leave the transit area:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Sri Lanka
If you are from one of the countries that can enter Portugal without a Schengen Visa, then you can also transit freely, even if you have to leave the airport.
Do I Need a Visa to Work in Portugal?
If you are not from the EU, then you must apply for a visa if you intend to move to Portugal for work. Before getting the Portugal Work Visa, you must have found a job with a Portuguese employer and you should have a salary that meets the minimum requirements.
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens: You do not need to apply for a visa to work or live in Portugal but if you are staying for longer than three months, you will need to register your stay at the local city council.
Do I Need a Visa to Study in Portugal?
Yes, if you are from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you will need to apply for a Portugal Student Visa if you have been accepted into a Portuguese educational institution and wish to pursue your studies there.
If you are from one of the countries that are visa-exempt, you can take a short study course (less than three months) without applying for a visa.
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens: You do not need to apply for a visa to study in Portugal, but you will need to register your stay at the local city council if you intend to live in Portugal for longer than three months.
Do I Need a Visa to Retire in Portugal?
Yes, if you wish to retire in Portugal and you are from a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, then you are going to need a Portugal Retirement Visa. You will also need to provide proof that you can sustain your stay in Portugal financially, such as through pensions or savings.
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens: You do not need a visa to retire in Portugal, but you will need to register your stat at the local city council if you will live in Portugal for longer than three months.
Do I Need a Visa to Join My Spouse/Family Member in Portugal?
If you are a non-EU/EEA or non-Swiss citizen, you will need to apply for a Family Reunification Visa if you want to join a family member who lives in Portugal, such as your spouse or your parent.
If you are from one of the visa-exempt countries, then you may not need a visa if you are simply visiting and intend to depart within three months.
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens: You do not need to apply for a visa if you want to go live in Portugal with your spouse, partner, or parent, but you will need to register your stay at the local city council if you plan to be there for longer than three months.