Confused about a Portugal visa? No matter where you from, in this article you’ll find everything you need to know about the different types of visas available for Portugal that you may need to legally enter, visit or live in Portugal.
As you may see in a little while, there are many types of Portugal visa. We will try to give you the best information we have about each one, but we will focus a little more on the visas that may be used by those who wish to move to Portugal.
This article is for you if you want to:
- Invest in Portugal;
- Start a business in Portugal;
- Work as a freelancer in Portugal; or
- Simply enjoy a good quality of life as a retiree or an investor.
We will also talk about the costs of these visas and where you can apply for them.
Who needs a Portugal visa?
Do US citizens need visa? What about citizens from the UK or South Africa? What about citizens holding European passports, do they need visa for Portugal?
Well, we have some good news for you.
Did you know Portugal is one of the easiest countries to travel to?
Due to the multiple diplomatic deals Portugal holds with many, many countries, it is really easy for citizens from all over the world to come to Portugal or for Portuguese citizens to visit other countries.
European passport holders don’t need a visa to visit Portugal
First, let’s just let clear that nationals holding an EU/Schengen Area/Switzerland valid national ID do not need any kind of visa in order to enter Portugal. That’s one of the benefits of being a member state of the EU/Schengen Area.
That includes citizens from the following countries:
- Switzerland; and
- United Kingdom! (Yes, even after Brexit)
Being exempt from holding a visa when entering Portugal means you have up to 90 days in a 180 days period to come to the country and enjoy it without any problem. These 90 days may be used for tourism, family visits, seasonal work, transit, etc.
Please note, that if this is your case and you wish to extend your stay you may need to visit SEF or a “câmara municipal” in your area to register yourself as a resident in Portugal.
Find out more about SEF in Portugal here.
Conclusion (TLDR): If you have an European Passport you don’t need a visa to travel to Portugal.
But there are other countries that benefit from a visa-free travel policy with Portugal.
For instance, those who hold a Brazilian passport can travel to Portugal without needing a Portugal visa.
List of countries that have a visa-free deal with Portugal
Citizens from the following countries can visit Portugal without a visa, if holding a valid passport:
- Canada ;
- Costa Rica;
- Korea (Republic of);
- New Zealand;
- San Marino;
- Slovak Republic;
- United States;
- Vatican City; and
Please take into consideration that even though there’s a visa-free policy, other requirements may be necessary. You should check your situation with your Portuguese Consulate or Portugal Embassy in your country.
All other countries need a Portugal visa including:
- Cape Verde;
- Saudi Arabia;
- South Africa; and
- Many others (see a list here).
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Two main types of Portugal Visa
Portuguese visas can be categorised into two categories, depending on the reason you want to visit the country and depending on how long you wish to stay:
- Short Stay Visa (or Schengen Visa);
- Temporary Stay Visa (National Visa).
Short Stay Portugal Visa
The Short Stay Portugal Visa, also known as a Schengen Visa, is an authorisation issued by one of the member states of the Schengen Area for the purpose of airport transit, traveling within the Schengen Area or an intended short stay in one or more countries of the Schengen Area.
Keep in mind that even if you get the Schengen Visa, you may have to go through border control upon arrival and you might have to prove that you have enough money with you in order to survive for the time you are in Portugal.
Types of Schengen Visa
Within the Schengen Visa, you can find three types:
Airport transit visa
You get to enter the Airport Space and get from one flight to the other without actually entering the Schengen Area.
Seasonal work visa
In case you will be working for less than 90 days in Portugal in previously approved fields of work.
Short-term visa is the visa that allows you to enter the Schengen Area one or multiple times, in the period of 90 days within 180 consecutive days.
Here you can find the forms for the Short Stay Visa from your country.
Temporary Stay Portugal National Visa
The National Visa is classified into two types of visa:
Temporary Stay Visa
The Temporary Stay Visa is valid for one year. You can enter and stay in Portugal as many times as you need with a Temporary Stay Visa within one year;
You can get a Temporary stay Visa for the following purposes:
- Study and research;
- Professional training, internship or volunteer work;
- Youth mobility;
- Religious purposes; or
- Exceptional reasons.
The Portuguese Residency Visa is valid for four months. This visa allows you to enter Portugal a maximum of two times in order to request a Residency Permit by the Immigration and Border Services (SEF).
The reasons that may justify your visa may have to do with the following:
- Study and research;
- Professional training, internship or volunteer work;
- Family reunification; and/or
- Fixed residency.
On the official Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, you can find the application form you need to fill when applying for the National Visa (residence and temporary stay).
Is it all too confusing?
We get that it may seem a little confusing, but you don’t need to worry.
You know we like to try to simplify things a little. That’s why we thought we could talk about the more prevalent types of visas in Portugal and we developed a list of the more commonly used types of Portugal visa.
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Most common types of Portugal visas
Here are the more common types of Portugal Visa:
- Schengen Visa (Short-term visa or Tourist visa);
- Study Visa;
- Work Visa;
- Tech Visa;
- StartUP Visa;
- D2 Visa;
- D7 Visa; and
- Golden Visa.
Schengen Visa for Portugal
We already covered almost everything about the Schengen Visa above, but just so that you remember, it is valid for 90 days and you can use it to enter Portugal, travel within the Schengen Area and simply enjoy the benefits.
You can find all the official requirements and forms for the Schengen Visa here.
Study Visa for Portugal
Depending on the duration of your study, you may have to apply for a Temporary Stay Visa or a Residency Visa.
Here is the specific documentation related to a visa for studying in a higher or secondary school in Portugal.
Work Visa for Portugal
As the name implies, this is the visa you will need in case you would like to work as a subordinate in Portugal.
If the period you will work in Portugal is between 90 days to one year, you will need a Temporary Stay Visa. Otherwise, you will have to apply for a Residency Visa by meeting the requirements you can find here.
The Tech Visa is an exciting and new type of visa for Portugal.
In order to attract as many brilliant minds as possible and get them into the country from all over the world, starting in January 2019, tech companies can hire employees from outside the EU/Schengen Area.
If eligible, companies can hire people from all over the world and give them the opportunity to work in Portugal. Depending on the geographic area of Portugal they are located, these companies may have 50% to 80% of their employees from abroad that can come to Portugal using the Tech Visa.
You can apply for a StartUP Visa if you are thinking about opening a startup business in Portugal. However, keep in mind, that in order for you to receive the StartUP Visa, you have to fulfil the following requirements:
- Get its economic potential approved by IAPMEI (website is in Portuguese);
- Develop innovative products OR develop innovative production or service activities;
- Create qualified job positions; and
- Have the potential to attain, five years after the incubation period, a turnover over €325,000 per year, and/or assets value over €325,000 per year.
You can apply for the StartUP Visa here.
The D2 Visa is a type of visa you can apply for if you are an entrepreneur and wish to conduct business and reside in Portugal.
Whether you already have a business or you would like to create a small business, a startup in Portugal or have any other project, this visa may be for you.
Besides the normal documentation you need when applying for a Residency Visa, you need at least one of the following legal requirements:
- Have already invested in Portugal;
- Have available financial means in Portugal;
- Prove your intention to invest in Portugal.
Contact SEF to apply for a D2 Visa.
The D7 Visa will allow you to move to Portugal and live off the income you get from your retirement fund or any investment you have abroad.
Besides all the documents you need, you will also have to show proof of means. This is what you are expected to show, as the minimum proof of means:
The first adult applicant: €600(100% of the minimum national wage) x 12 months = €7,200 per year.
The second adult applicant: €300 (50% of the minimum national wage) x 12 months = €3,600 per year.
Every member of the family under 18 years: €180 (30% of the minimum national wage) x 12 months = €2,160 per year.
This is the minimum you need to have, on a yearly basis, in order to be eligible for the D7 Visa for Portugal. However, keep in mind that the higher your income, the better are your chances of getting your application accepted.
Golden Visa Portugal
The Golden Visa is designed to attract investors from all over the world and have them investing in Portugal. This programme is fantastic for those who have a lot of capital available in order to invest in Portugal.
At least one of the following requirements must be met:
- Investment of at least €350,000 in scientific research in Portugal;
- Investment of at least €250,000 in Portuguese arts, culture and heritage;
- Investment of at least €500.000 in small and medium businesses in Portugal;
- The purchase of real estate property in Portugal worth at least €500,000;
- The purchase of real estate property in Portuguese urban regeneration areas at least 30 years old to the value of at least €350,000;
- The creation of at least 10 job positions in Portugal; or
- Transfer €1 million into Portugal.
If eligible, you will get the Residency Permit and all the advantages that come with it, plus, if you live in Portugal for less than 183 days per year, you are exempt of paying any taxes on any worldwide income.
Find out more about the Golden Visa scheme here.
How much does a Portugal Visa cost?
Short Stay Visa fees
The two types of Short Stay Visas cost the same:
- Airport Visa: €60, payable at the consulate or embassy of Portugal; or
- Schengen Visa: €60, payable at the consulate or embassy of Portugal.
There are some exceptions to these prices, for example:
- Nationals from Georgia, Kosovo, Russia and Ukraine pay only €35;
- Children aged between six to 11 years pay only €35.
And there are also some others who are exempt from paying a fee for the Short Stay Visa:
- Children under six years of age;
- Representatives of non-profit organisations aged under 25 participating in events organised by non-profit organisations;
- Students, postgraduates and teachers who are traveling for educational or training purposes;
- Researchers of developing countries traveling for the purpose of scientific research; and
- Family members of EU Member States nationals or Swiss nationals.
Temporary Stay Visa fees
The Temporary Stay Visa fee is €75 while the Residency Visa fee is fixed at €90, both are payable at the consulate or embassy of Portugal.
There are some exceptions that are exempt from this visa fee:
- Children under the age of six years;
- Descendants holding a residency permit, under family reunification clauses;
- Foreign nationals with a study scholarship granted by Portugal;
- Highly qualified professionals working on research activity purposes (residency and temporary stay); and
- Patients and accompanying persons traveling under Cooperation Agreements in the Field of Health with Portugal.
Golden Visa Portugal fees
The Golden Visa fees can vary, depending on the situation and on the person. Here are the prices, all of them payable directly to the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF):
- The processing fee of the first application or the renewal of the Golden Visa for the first applicant: €527.60;
- The processing fee of the first application or the renewal of the Golden Visa for each additional family member: €82.30;
- Initial Golden Visa fee for the first applicant: €5274.40;
- Initial Golden Visa fee for each additional family member: €5274.40;
- Renewal of each Golden Visa: €2637.20.
For a full list of fees (in Portuguese) see the SEF table of fees here.
How much time does it take to process a Portugal visa?
Well, depending on the type of visa, you should be prepared to wait up to 90 days.
During these 90 days, your file will be evaluated and you should receive a notice calling you in for an interview. After that interview, if everything goes well, you will have your visa.
When that happens, we wish you enjoy your stay and have an epic time in Portugal!
Did you find this information about Portugal’s types of visas useful? Do you have any doubts or wish to find out more Portugal’s types of visas? Feel free to leave a comment or a question below.
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A man only has maybe two or three chances to decide to change his life completely. In one of those moments, I discovered Portugal and fell in love. Since then, I divide my time between Portugal and New Zealand searching for the perfect wave and scribbling for a living.