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Portugal, the westernmost sovereign state in Europe, is also one of the oldest states in the old continent. It has a population of 10,291,027 and an area of 92,212 km2.

The Portuguese Republic is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and high living standards. The country has a mesmerizing architecture marked by its history of invasions.

Portugal is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, as well as the Schengen Zone. It joined the latter in 1995, thus abolishing its borders with the rest of the member states.

Since then, travellers can apply for a Portuguese Schengen Visa. They can also enter the territory of Portugal and the whole Schengen holding a short-stay visa to Portugal.

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Portugal is a member of the European Union (EU). Citizens of other EU member states are free to work in Portugal without a permit. They also do not need a visa, though they will need to apply for a residence card within six months of moving to Portugal for employment.

Non-EU citizens must obtain a visa from their country of origin to travel to Portugal. In Portugal, there are three types of residency visas:

  • Type 1: Permanent residency visa
  • Type 2: Resettlement visa for relatives of Portuguese citizens
  • Type 3: Resettlement visa for relatives of permanent, non-citizen residents of Portugal

After obtaining the relevant visa, the employee can travel to Portugal. They will have four months to convert the visa into a residence permit. An additional permit is required to work in Portugal legally.

Requirements to Obtain Portugal Work Visas

Along with a completed visa application, the following documents must be submitted for someone to obtain a visa:

  • A valid passport that has a minimum of two blank pages
  • A letter of invitation from the employer or other documentation showing the purpose of the trip
  • Proof of health insurance and accident insurance
  • A passport photo in colour
  • Biometric data such as fingerprints and digital photos for facial recognition
  • Documented flight reservations
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal, such as an address of residence or a hotel reservation

A visa will grant entrance to Portugal. There’s a separate process for obtaining a permit to work. To apply for a work permit, employees will need to provide the following documents:

  • A valid Portuguese residence visa
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal
  • A valid passport
  • Two passport photos in colour
  • Pertinent tax documents
  • Background checks for criminal record
  • An employment contracts
  • Proof of registration with Social Security
Application Process

To obtain a visa, your employees must submit an application through their country’s Portuguese Consulate. They will need to provide the documents listed above. It may take two to three months for Portuguese officials to process the application and issue a visa. This visa will grant entrance into Portugal.

After the visa has been issued, the employee will need to apply for a work permit as well. Employees from non-EU countries will have a better chance of obtaining a work permit if they have specialized skills.

The employee or employer may submit the work permit application. Either way, it will go through the regional directorate or the Delegation of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service. The documents listed above must be submitted along with the application. The processing time for a work permit may take up to 60 days.

After obtaining a visa and work permit, the employee may travel to Portugal to begin working. They’ll need to get their Residency Card from the SEF, receive a tax code from their branch of the Director-General of Taxes, and register with Social Security.


If you are accepted into a Portuguese higher education institution, chances are you will have to apply for a Portugal student visa.

Studying in Portugal is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as you get to enjoy a beautiful sunny country, which is rich in culture and history, make new friends, all while getting a high-level education. Not to mention, Portugal has one of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe.

Learn whether you need a student visa for Portugal, the visa requirements, and the application process.

Do I Need a Visa to Study in Portugal?

Yes, if your study course is longer than three months, you will most likely need a visa to study in Portugal. The visa rules for international students in Portugal depend on the nationality of the student and the duration of the course:

  • For a study course longer than three months:
    • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: Student visa required. You will also need a residence permit
    • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: Student visa not required, but you will have to register your stay with the local authorities.
  • For a study course shorter than three months:
    • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: A student visa is required only for nationalities who typically need a Portugal Schengen Visa. People from many countries, such as the U.S., Australia, Canada, can enter Portugal with just their passport for up to three months, during which time they can even take a short study course.
    • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: Student visa not required
Portugal Student Visa Requirements

When you apply for a student visa for Portugal, you will have to submit the following documents:

  • Your valid passport (or travel document).
  • Letter of Acceptance from your university.
  • Proof you have paid the tuition fees. If you have a scholarship, submit a document from your university confirming it.
  • Two passport-size pictures, taken recently.
  • Portugal student visa application form. The Embassy will usually provide this for you.
  • Proof you have enough financial means to sustain your stay. This can be either bank statements, a scholarship, proof of financial aid, or proof of sponsorship.
  • Proof you have accommodation in Portugal. This can be a rental contract, accommodation from your university (dorms) or a letter of invitation from a family member/friend with whom you will live in Portugal.
  • A Certificate of Criminal Records.

Proof of Schengen travel health insurance. After you arrive in Portugal, you will also have to get adequate health insurance from a private company.

How to Apply for a Portugal Student Visa?

To apply for a Portugal student visa, you have to contact the Portuguese Embassy responsible for your country of residence. You must already have the Letter of Acceptance from your university. Here is an outline of the application process

  1. Get the Letter of Acceptance from your university.
  2. Find out where to submit your application. You can find out by visiting the website of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  3. Schedule an appointment/interview with the Embassy.
  4. Complete the Portugal Student Visa application form.
  5. Collect the documents needed for the application.
  6. Pay the required student visa fee. Again, the Embassy should inform you in regards to the payment method (online, via bank transfer, cash etc).
  7. On the date of your appointment, you must submit the required documents. If the Embassy is in another country, you may be able to mail the documents instead.
  8. Wait for the visa to be processed.
  9. If you receive the visa, you can travel to Portugal.
  10. After you arrive, you must schedule an appointment with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) to get your residence permit. The residence permit allows you to live in Portugal for the duration of your studies, although you may need to renew it after one year
Processing Time for a Portugal Student Visa

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to three months for a student visa to be processed, depending on your country of residence, the specific Embassy, and whether everything is in order with your application. Make sure you start the application process as soon as you receive your acceptance letter from the university.


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 U.S., 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 Portuga.


The Golden Visa for Portugal is one of the most sought-after citizenship by investment programs in the world, due to the lenient residency requirements, low investment options (by Golden Visa standards, of course), and the allure of an EU passport.

If you receive a Portuguese Golden Visa, you and your family members will be able to live and work in Portugal, have access to its health and education system, travel visa-free to Schengen, and five years later, you’re eligible to apply for a Portuguese passport.

Of course, you need to make a sizable investment – in the hundreds of thousands – but many consider the pay-off to be worth the price.

Portugal Golden Visa Requirements

To get a Golden Visa for Portugal, you have to make one of the following investments:

  • Buy real estate worth at least €500,000. The amount is brought down to €400,000 if the property is in a low-density area.
    Note: Starting from January 2022, you will not be able to purchase property in metropolitan areas of Portugal, such as Lisbon, Porto, or the coastal Algarve.
  • Invest €350,000 in a property located in a Portuguese urban regeneration area. The amount is brought down to €280,000 if the property is in a low-density area. The project you invest in must be qualified by the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).
  • Invest at least €350,000 in a qualifying Investment Fund.
  • Transfer at least €1 million in a Portuguese bank account.
  • Buy at least €1 million worth of shares or make an investment of at least €1 million in a Portuguese company.
  • Create at least ten new jobs for Portuguese citizens.
  • Invest at least €350,000 for research activities in science or technology in scientific research institutions.
  • Invest at least €250,000 to support the reconstruction of Portuguese heritage or arts.

You must have no criminal record, your assets must have been obtained legally, and you must be over the age of 18.

Golden Visa applicants often will hire professionals to guide them during the investment. Consultant companies, like La Vida – Golden Visas, have experts in investment immigration and real estate who will offer a free consultation about your eligibility for the Golden Visa scheme. If you are eligible, they can advise you on which Golden Visa program suits you best, depending on your finances and background, and accompany you to see your options yourself.

Changes to the Golden Visa Program in Portugal in 2022.

Starting from 2022, purchasing real estate in Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, Setubal or popular coastal areas, will not qualify you for a Golden Visa. The changes come as an effort to increase investment in lower-density areas.