Portugal entry requirements

People from all over the world are looking to move to Portugal, but what exactly are the entry requirements to Portugal?

Portugal seems to be on everyone's lips lately. The country hanging on to Spain is the western most sovereign state in Europe, and it is also one of the oldest states in the old continent.

Portugal is a founding member of the European Union and part of the larger Schengen area which consists of 26 European countries, including Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland are also part of the Schengen area.

What does that mean for you? It means that if you meet the entry requirements for Portugal, you may also travel without a visa to all Schengen Countries.

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Why are you applying for entry to Portugal?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to enter Portugal and depending on the purpose of your visit, you might have to apply for different visas to meet the entry requirements in Portugal.

Portugal has different requirements for entry depending on if you are on holiday, business, studies, moving or receiving medical treatment. But it all starts with if you are a citizen of a country that allows you 90 day visa free entry or not to Portugal.

If you are a non. EEA citizen (Schengen citizen) and you wish to stay for more than 90 days in Portugal, you must apply for a visa to enter the country.

How to apply for a Portuguese Short-Stay Visa

If you need to apply for a short stay visa to enter Portugal you will have to follow these steps:

  • First check what Portuguese visa type you need to apply for
  • Find out where you need to submit your Portugal visa application.
  • Fill in the application form correctly
  • Collect the statutory Portugal visa requirements. Pay attention to the criteria each document must meet in order to be valid, as set by the Portuguese embassy/consulate in your home country.
  • Appoint a visa interview. Depending on the country where you live, you may have to schedule this interview online or in person at the embassy/consulate
  • Attend the interview on the appointed day.

Where can you apply for a Short-Stay visa to enter Portugal

The process of proving that you can meet the requirements for entry to Portugal is fairly easy, but where you may apply for the visa will depend on what country you live in.

You may have to apply for the visa at one of the following:

  • The Portuguese Embassy
  • A Portuguese consulate
  • A Visa Application Center to which Portugal has outsourced visa submission
  • The Embassy / Consulate of another Schengen country to which Portugal has outsourced visa submission
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A country of immigration

Portugal offers several different visas for those that want to visit, or move to Portugal. Portugal is a country of immigration, which was confirmed even further when the Portuguese parliament approved the amendments proposed for Law 23/2007, (Known as The Law on Foreign Nationals) in July 2022. 

The Minister in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister and for Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendes, had this to say:

"Portugal is a country for immigration. Every year, we receive thousands of immigrants, seeking opportunities in our country. Portugal is a country that wishes to welcome immigrants as it wishes its emigrants to feel welcomed, too".

Who needs a visa to enter Portugal?

As Portugal is part of the Schengen visa zone, only citizens from the 26 member countries may travel freely to and from Portugal for a period longer than 90 days.

This countries are

  • Portugal
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland (Not EU Member)
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein (Not EU Member)
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway (Not EU Member)
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland (Not EU Member)

Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are associate members of the Schengen zone, but are not members of the EU. They are part of the EFTA and implement the Schengen acquis through specific agreements related to the Schengen agreement.

Get financial advice when moving to Portugal

Entry requirements to Portugal for a short stay

If you are not a Schengen member citizen you may enter Portugal without a visa for up to 90 days, if you have a passport from the following countries:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • North Macedonia
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Timor Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States - Guide to visiting, or moving to Portugal from the US
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • United Kingdom

If you wish to stay longer than 90 days in Portugal, you must apply for a visa to meet the country's entry requirements.

How to apply for a Portugal Visa: Step by step

Third-world country entry requirements to Portugal

If you are a citizen of a third-world country you will need to obtain a visa to meet the entry requirements of Portugal. You can find a full list of the countries this obtains to her: Schengen visa in order to enter any member country of the Schengen Area.

Entry requirements to Portugal for longer stays (More than 90 days)

If you are a non-EEA national (Schengen citizen) but you are still from a country that allows you to enter Portugal without a visa for 90 days, you can only stay 90 days within a period of 180 days.

If you wish to stay longer in Portugal, or if you are planning to move to Portugal, you will need to apply for a visa.

Be aware that once you have spent 90 days in Portugal within a total period of 180 days without a visa you cannot return to Portugal or the Schengen area until 90 more days have passed.

Portugal offers numerous different visa options to meet the entry requirements of the country. 

Among the most popular visas for Portugal you will find:

Documents needed to apply for short-term Portuguese visa

If you are not able to gain entry to Portugal for 90 days without a visa, the following papers are needed to meet the entry requirements for Portugal.

  • Portuguese visa application form. Complete the visa application form with all required information, print it and then sign it at the end. Here you can learn more How to Fill-in a Portuguese Schengen Visa Application Form without any mistakes.
  • Two passport photos. The photos should be identical and comply with the photograph requirements for the Portuguese Schengen visa application.
  • A valid passport.
  • Two blank pages in order to affix the visa
  • Passport can not be older than 10 years
  • Passport must have a validity of at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Portugal and the whole territory of Schengen.
  • Copies of your previous visas. If you have ever held a visa issued by any world country, you must submit copies of them.
  • Round-trip Flight Itinerary. A document that shows you have a booked flight, to enter and leave Portugal. This document should specify flight numbers, dates, and your details.
  • Proof of accommodation. I.e. a hotel reservation in Portugal.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay in Portugal
  • A cover letter. A personal letter in which you explain why you are applying to visit Portugal, how long you plan to stay, when will you leave and other details.
  • Proof of civil status. This could be a marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, etc.
  • Portugal Travel Health Insurance. Confirmation that you have travel insurance for Portugal and the whole territory of Schengen, with a minimum 30,000 € coverage of medical emergencies.
  • Travel medical insurance policies for foreigners travelling to Portugal that fulfil the Portuguese Visa requirements can be purchased online from Europe Assistance or MondialCare. Travel insurance policies issued by both companies are accepted by Portuguese authorities worldwide.

Travelling to Portugal for medical treatments

If you are visiting Portugal for the purpose of undergoing surgery, receiving medical therapy or any other health treatment, you will need to apply for a Portugal Medical Visa.

Required Documents for a Medical Schengen Visa to Portugal

  • When applying to get a visa for travelling to Portugal for medical care, you must provide the following additional documents to your visa application:
  • A local medical report. Issued from a doctor/clinic/hospital in your home country, confirming that you need medical treatment in Portugal.
  • A medical attestation from the hospital or doctor in Portugal, confirming the date of your appointment as well as your medical situation. It should also confirm that the hospital can perform the specific medical treatment and that you will be accepted accordingly.
  • Proof of financial arrangement made.
  • Official confirmation of the treatment/appointment by the receiving medical institution (hospital/clinic) in Portugal
How to apply for a Portugal Visa: Step by step

Entry requirements for students in Portugal 

Portugal has some of the best universities in the world and attracts students from all over the world. If you wish to travel to Portugal for the purposes of studies, or internships that last longer than 90 days, within a period of six months, you will need to apply for a Portuguese Study visa to meet the entry requirements under Schengen law.

Documents required to apply for a Student Schengen Visa to Portugal

  • No objection letter from the educational institution where you are currently enrolled (if applicable).
  • Internship agreement. Signed between the company in Portugal, the establishment of origin and the trainee.
  • All requirements mentioned under "documents needed to apply for short-term Portuguese visa above.

Portugal entry requirements for business travel

If you are travelling to Portugal for the purpose of business, and you are not able to enter Portugal under the 90 day rule, you must apply for a Portuguese Schengen Business visa. The visa is for travellers who need to enter Portugal or the Schengen zone for the sole purpose of engaging in business activities, i.e. meetings, contract signing, etc.

Required documents for a business Schengen visa to Portugal:
When applying to obtain a Portuguese business visa, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • Letter of invitation or statement of participation by the organisation/company in Portugal including details of the event/affiliation and duration.
  • Confirmed registration for trade fairs or congress
  • A letter from your employer. In this letter should be stated why you will be travelling to Portugal.
  • Proof of trip financing. Regarding the applicants expenses during their stay in Portugal, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.

Portugal visa for cultural/sports/film crew/religious purposes

You will need to apply for a short stay visa to Portugal called a Cultural/Sports/Religious Events Visa if you are travelling to Portugal in order to participate in/attend a cultural, sports or religious event or to enter the country as a part of a film crew.

When applying to get a Portuguese visa for the purpose of attending a Cultural/Sports/Religious Event in Portugal, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • Event Information as, invitation letter from the relevant body in Portugal with details on the nature of events or activities that are to be held in Portugal.
  • Entry tickets to the event.
  • Enrollment conditions.
  • Detailed program of the event in Portugal.
  • Other documents that present the Names of the applicants (crew members) and other relevant information about the event.
  • Proof of previous performances. Participation in previous festivals and ceremonies (cultural, religious), sports competitions, winners certificates, proof of world/international ranking (sports).

Portugal Visa for spouse of Portuguese national

If your wife or husband is a Portuguese national, and you wish to travel to Portugal, you will need to apply for a Portugal Visa for the Spouse of a Portuguese Citizen.

When applying to get a Portuguese visa as the spouse of a Portuguese national/citizen, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • Proof of Portuguese citizenship (ID card or consular card or certification of Portuguese nationality or naturalisation order).
  • Portuguese marriage certificate.
  • Portuguese family record book
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Portugal official visit visa requirements

If you are a member of an official delegation which follows an official invitation to participate in meetings, consultations, negotiations or exchange programs, as well as in specific events held in Portugal, then you will need to apply for a Portugal Visa for Official Visit.

When applying to get a Portuguese visa as a member of an official delegation, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • The official invitation copy.
  • Evidence about the purpose of the journey (negotiations, meetings, events by intergovernmental organisations, consultations).

If you need more information about the different visas to gain access to Portugal you can find it here: Portugal Golden Visa - Portugal D7 Visa - Portugal Digital Nomad Visa.