VISA details: Portugal
Citizens outside the European Union or the Schengen Space will need to apply for a visa at a Portuguese embassy/consulate abroad, to enter in Portugal. It is essential to obtain information, at home, at the Embassy or the Portuguese Consulate, about the type of visa to be equested and the required documents to complete the application.
Students from EU countries and from European Economic Area/EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland do not need a visa to enter Portugal. These students can stay for a period up to 3 months without other conditions and/or formalities beyond having a valid identity card or passport. However, if their stay is longer than 3 months, they must apply for the residence card, within 30 days after the three-month stay in the country at the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) of their residence area.
Students from non-EU countries must obtain a study visa before departure from their home country. Please consider that a ‚tourist’ visa will not be accepted. Visa request to enter Portugal should be made several months in advance because the process can take up to 12 weeks depending on the country of origin (the visa will be valid for the European Area under the Schengen Agreement). Some visa applicants may also be subject to security clearance checks. These checks may take 30 to 60 days to be processed.
A residence visa will allow the students to enter Portugal with a view to applying for a residence permit. This residence visa allows the holder to remain in Portugal for six months. However, persons applying should take into an account that someone having a residence visa is not yet a resident, but only authorized to apply for a residence permit. It is important to highlight that foreign students entering Portugal through a non-controlled border (whose passports are not stamped in Portugal) need to contact the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras
(SEF), within 3 days of their arrival, in order to report their entrance in the country. After this three-day-period, they will be charged a fine.
Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, abbreviated to SEF, is a security service organized vertically under the Ministry of Home Affairs. It has administrative autonomy and its fundamental objectives within the internal security policy include border control of persons, leave to stay and the activities of foreigners in Portugal, as well as the study, promotion, coordination and execution of measures and actions related to these activities and migratory flows.
Basic application should include the following documents:
– Application in a standard form;
– Valid travel document (+3 months beyond the validity of the visa);
– 3 passport-sized colour photographs, taken against a neutral background, recent and allowing for a proper
– identification of the applicant;
– Certificate of no criminal record issued by the country of origin;
– Medical certificate and/or Vaccine Bulletin and travel medical insurance;
– Proof of accommodation or lodging in Portugal;
– Proof of availability of means of subsistence in Portugal;
– Proof of admission/acceptance or registration.