How to apply for a Portugal Visa: Step by step

Applying for a visa for Portugal can seem complicated, but it is fairly easy as long as you keep all your ducks in a row. We have broken the whole process into 6 easy to follow steps. 

Step 1. Gather all the necessary documents
Step 2: Fill in the visa application form
Step 3: Submit visa application and all documents
Step 4: Collect your visa
Step 5: Schedule an appointment with SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Border Service)
Step 6: Collect your Portugal residency permit

Step 1: Gather all the necessary documents 

Applying for a Visa to Portugal does acquire quite a few papers, so we recommend getting all your paperwork in order first. Without the proper documentation your visa application will be declined and you will have to start all over again. The visa application can be downloaded from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Step 2: Fill in the application form

Whatever Portugal visa you are applying for, you need to make sure that the visa application has all the correct information in all the right places on the application. Even the smallest error could lead to your Portugal Visa application being denied. 

Do not trust Google translate. If you are not sure of what something means or what information they are asking for, get help!

Step 3: Submit visa application and supporting documents

When you have both your portugal visa application and all your supporting documents that are required, it is time to deliver the application to your closest Portuguese Consulate, or Embassy.

The visa application and supporting documents may also be sent by email. When the application is delivered, via email or in person, you will have to pay the visa application fee. 

A list of Portuguese Consulates and Embassies around the world can be found here. 

Step 4: Collect your visa

As soon as you have submitted your application, the Embassy/Consulate will process your application to make sure that you meet all the requirements. If your Portugal visa is approved, you will have to travel to the Embassy, or Consulate to collect your passport.

The passport will include your Residency Visa, which will allow you to enter Portugal and attend your SEF meeting (Portuguese Immigration and Border Service)

Step 5: Schedule an appointment with SEF

Once you have your Portugal visa, be it a D7 visa, Digital Nomad Visa or any other visa, you will need to book an appointment with SEF in Portugal. You can do this by contacting SEF directly, over the phone, or you can schedule an appointment online.

Please bear in mind that the process of getting a SEF meeting can at times take a very long time. It is not uncommon that it can take several months, whilst you at other times might get an appointment within weeks. 

SEF offices in smaller cities might have more appointment slots available, than in the bigger cities. 

Step 6: Collect your Portugal residency permit

During the SEF meeting you will have an interview with Portugal authorities and your fingerprints and photographs will be taken. You will also be expected to submit copies of all your supporting documents.

SEF will require copies of the following supporting documents during the meeting. 

  • Your residency permit application form
  • 2 Recent photographs
  • Your passport
  • Your valid residency visa
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Permission to check your criminal record
  • A document proving tax residency 
  • A social security document / NIF Number 
  • Proof of medical insurance worth €30.000

After the completion of the interview, your application will be processed, usually within 2-3 weeks, but it may take longer.

Once this is complete, the authorities will contact you and inform you that you can collect your new Residency Permit. 

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