Visa for Portugal: What’s the Ideal Type for Your Stay

25 de August, 2023

Visa for Portugal: What’s the Ideal Type for Your Stay

Explore Portugal Visa Options: Tourism, Study, Work. Find the Best Visa for Your Stay. Simplify Your Travel Planning. Read More!
Reading: 17 min

Are you planning to travel for an extended stay or even to live in Portugal permanently? If you don’t have Portuguese citizenship, make sure you have the right Portugal visa for your stay.

There are several types of visa to enter the country, depending on the duration and purpose of the trip. In this article we will explain the types of visas available in Portugal, who they are for, their requirements, the documents required and the costs involved.

Whether you’re a retiree, an exchange student, an athlete looking for new challenges, a professional on the way to a new job or simply someone who wants to explore the charms of this European country, understanding visas for Portugal is the first step in your planning.


Portugal Visa Options

According to Portuguese legislation there are the following types of visa in Portugal:

  • Schengen visa (tourism): up to 30 days stay.
  • Temporary Stay Visa (VET): up to 12 months’ stay.
  • Work-seeking visa: 120-day stay.
  • Residence visa: stay of more than 1 year.

Please note: the CPLP Visa does not correspond to a visa in itself, but to special conditions that are linked to another type of visa. These conditions apply exclusively to citizens from Portuguese-speaking countries.

Who needs a visa to live in Portugal?

All individuals who do not have European citizenship will need a visa to stay in the country for more than 90 days.

Anyone who is a citizen of one of the member countries of the European Area does not need a visa to live, study or work in Portugal. The reverse is also true: Portuguese citizens do not need a visa to live in other European Union countries.

Schengen Visa or Tourist Visa

A Schengen visa is a visa issued by a Schengen member country for transit through or stay in part or all of the Schengen area. It is a short-stay visa, for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. They can be granted for the purposes of tourism, family visits, business, seasonal work, transit, among others. This visa can be valid for one or more entries.

Who needs a Schengen Visa to enter Portugal?

All nationals who are not on the list of countries exempt from the visa requirement must have a Schengen visa in order to enter the European area. See the full information on the portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Which countries don’t need a tourist visa to enter Portugal?

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Schengen visas are waived for citizens:

  • nationals of one of the member states of the European Union;
  • nationals of a State Party to the European Economic Area
  • nationals of a third country with which the European Community has concluded an agreement on the free movement of persons;
  • family members of Portuguese citizens or foreign citizens mentioned above.

According to the Schengen Area’s visa policy, citizens of some countries are exempt from this visa for stays of up to 90 days.

However, there are other requirements to meet. Travelers need to prove that they have travel insurance, financial resources, accommodation and a return ticket to their country.

Schengen visa waiver countries:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, United States of America Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Israel, Japan, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Kiribati, United Kingdom, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Saint See, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Serbia, Singapore, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Temporary stay visas

Temporary stay visas (VET) are for stays of more than 90 days and less than 12 months.

They are aimed at foreign citizens, who are not nationals of EU Member States, the European Economic Area and Switzerland, who are going to Portugal to carry out certain activities, such as health care, volunteering, sporting activities, among others.

This visa is valid for the duration of your stay and for multiple entries into national territory.

What are the visas for temporary stays in Portugal?

There are several types of visas for stays of less than 1 year in Portugal, which are classified as Category E visas. See below who E visas are for:

Health Care Visa

  • Temporary stay visa for medical treatment
  • Temporary stay visa for accompanying a family member undergoing medical treatment.

Temporary Work Visa

  • Temporary stay visa for the exercise of subordinate or independent professional activity.
  • Temporary stay visa for seasonal work.
  • Temporary stay visas for professionals who wish to work remotely or be digital nomads for a period of less than 1 year (see also the D8 Visa).
  • Temporary stay visas for the transfer of workers between companies or for the provision of services between World Trade Organization (WTO) countries, where the applicant has been an employee for more than 1 year.

Visas for Teaching, Study and Volunteering

  • Temporary stay visa for academic or professional training .
  • Temporary stay visa for teaching Temporary stay for teaching, whether in research centers, higher education institutions or highly qualified activities lasting less than 1 year.
  • Temporary stay visa for study (in a certified establishment), student exchange , unpaid professional internship , voluntary work in compliance with WTO obligations or obligations arising from international conventions and agreements.

Visas for Income Holders

  • Temporary stay visas for retirees or people living on passive income for a period of less than 1 year (see also the D7 visa).

Visas for Athletes

  • Temporary stay visa for amateur sports activities

Visa for companions

  • Temporary stay visa to accompany the family of an applicant for a temporary stay visa.


Visa to look for work in Portugal

The Work Search Visa is a type of short-term visa that allows foreigners to look for work in Portugal . With specific rules, it authorizes entry for a stay of 120 days (extendable by 60 days). If not employed, the individual must leave the country.

Your requirements include: Return ticket, accommodation, health insurance and savings equivalent to 3x minimum wage. In the case of a job-seeker’s visa, the facilities for CPLP citizens do not apply. The holder also needs to be registered with the Portuguese Institute for Employment and Vocational Training.

Residence visas in Portugal: Long-stay visas

The Residence Visas in Portugal classified under Category D, are intended for extended stays They are ideal for foreigners who plan to stay in the country for more than a year.

These visas grant the bearer the right to enter Portugal in order to apply for a residence permit.

They are also subdivided according to the nature of the stay. They are as follows:

D1 Visa – Work Visa

The D1 visa is for those who intend to work in the country, for Portuguese companies, for a period of more than one year. To apply for this visa, you must already have an employment contract or a promise of a contract (in the case of subordinate work) or a service contract (for self-employed professionals).

In other words: you must already have a job to apply for a visa!

D2 Visa – Entrepreneur Visa

Portugal is constantly developing, with a stable economy and booming tourism: starting a business in the country can be a great decision and also an excellent way to obtain a residence permit.

Who can apply for a D2 visa?

O D2 Visa is suitable for those who want to set up a business in Portugal or plan to work as self-employed people in the country.

D2 visa requirements

It is necessary to present a business plan and justify the company’s social, scientific, technological or cultural relevance of the company to the country. Opening a company in Portugal is not, in itself, a guarantee that a visa will be granted.

The Portuguese government does not set a minimum amount of capital to be invested in the creation of the company in the D2 Visa application process. Nor is there a requirement for a minimum number of jobs to be created as part of the venture. However, you will have to demonstrate the financial capacity to sustain the enterprise during your period of residence in Portugal.

When applying for a D2 visa for self-employed professionals, you must have an employment contract or a written proposal for a contract to provide services as part of a liberal profession. In addition, it is recommended that you already have a Portuguese tax identification number and that you have already issued invoices.

D3 Visa – Visa for Highly Qualified Professionals

With the aim of attracting highly qualified professionals to the country, who already have a promise or an employment contract in mind with national companies, Portuguese legislation has created a special visa, called the D3 Visa. This visa allows the holder and his/her family to enter Portuguese territory for work purposes and to establish residence for all.

Who can apply for a D3 visa?

O D3 Visa is a type of work visa specifically aimed at highly qualified professionals, i.e. individuals with specialized technical skills exceptional or appropriate qualifications for the job. This includes:

  • Positions of leadership and management, including executives, officials, legislators, senior public administration staff.
  • Specialists in intellectual and scientific activities, such as engineers, scientists, health professionals, teachers, business and administration specialists, information and communication technology professionals, cultural professionals and legal specialists.

D3 Visa Requirements

  • To apply for a visa, you must have an employment contract or a promise of employment for at least one year.
  • The activity to be carried out must qualify as highly skilled, requiring proof of appropriate qualification or experience.
  • The expected salary must be equal to or greater than 1.5 times the national average gross annual salary, or three times the value of the Social Support Index (IAS). However, in sectors especially in need of foreign professionals, a minimum salary of 1.2 times the national average gross salary or twice the value of the IAS is required. (The IAS is the reference for Social Security calculations in Portugal and is updated annually).

D4 and D5 visas – Study visas

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you do. Studying in Portugal can be a great investment in your career and an excellent personal experience! It’s also the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to legally migrate to the country. If you choose to study in Portugal for more than a year , you will need to apply for a Studant Visa. This could be a D4 or D5 visa, depending on your situation.

Portugal has more than a hundred universities, polytechnics and colleges. Recently four Portuguese business schools featured in the top 50 of the Financial Times. It’s therefore a very popular visa in the country.

Want to study in Portugal? We’ll help you find the right course for you!

Who can apply for a study visa in Portugal?

O Study Visa is aimed at those who are going to study for an undergraduate degree, master degree, doctorate, student exchange, internship or voluntary work in Portugal for a period of more than one year, who already have a letter of acceptance from an educational institution.

What is the difference between a D4 visa and a D5 visa?

The D4 visa is aimed at foreigners who are going to study in Europe for the first time.

The D5 visa is specifically for those who have already studied in a European country.

Study Visa Requirements

The main requirement is to already have a letter of acceptance from the educational institution where you intend to study. This means that you need to apply for the course you want and wait for confirmation of admission before applying for a visa.

You must also have health insurance, proof of accommodation and proof of sufficient financial means.

D6 Visa – Family Reunification Visa

The D6 Visa allows for regularization and residence permits for family members of holders of residence permits in Portugal.

Who can apply for a D6 visa?

  • Spouses or partners;
  • Children under 18 or incapacitated;
  • Adopted children under the age of 18;
  • Unmarried adult children studying in Portugal;
  • Parents and parents-in-law of the resident who are financially dependent;
  • Siblings under the age of 18, under the responsibility of the resident.

Following the changes to the Aliens Act, it is possible to apply for reunification at the same time as the main visa application.

D7 Visa – Visa for Pensioners and Self-Employed Persons

The D7 Portugal Visa is a category of long-term visa intended for individuals with passive income . It is aimed at those who wish to reside in Portugal and have stable financial means to support their stay.

Today, hundreds of foreign retirees are migrating to Portugal in search of things as simple as sunny days, healthy food, safety and, above all, quality medical care at a low cost. That’s why this is the visa most sought after by our clients.

Who is the D7 Visa for?

The D7 visa is suitable for retirees, pensioners, holders of income from real estate, movable property or financial investments. It is also an option for foreigners who wish to exercise religious activities in Portugal.

D7 visa requirements

You must prove a passive monthly income of at least the national minimum wage for the main applicant. For each additional family member, 50% of the national minimum wage must be added.

In addition, you must have deposited the equivalent of 12 times the national minimum wage in a financial institution in Portugal.

Also required: health insurance, accommodation, a criminal record with no prison sentences of more than one year.

D8 Visa – Digital Nomad Visa

All over the world, remote working has gained prominence in companies and among professionals. Portugal, with its affordable cost of living and high quality of life, has become irresistible to digital nomads. Its ultra-fast internet and seventh best English proficiency rate in the world add to the attraction. Expat Insider declared it a paradise for remote working.

In 2022, the Portuguese government introduced a visa for remote workers to attract these professionals to the country.

Who can get a Digital Nomad Visa?

O Remote Work Visa is suitable for professionals who work remotely for foreign companies. Whether the work is subordinate or independent.

D8 visa requirements

The main requirement is to have a monthly income equivalent to four times the minimum wage in Portugal. In addition, it is necessary to make a deposit in a Portuguese bank corresponding to at least 12 times the minimum wage, to demonstrate financial sustainability in the country.

Proof of remote employment with a foreign company is mandatory. Accommodation, health insurance and proof of criminal record are also requirements for obtaining this visa.


What is the CPLP Visa?

The CPLP Visa is not a visa in itself, but rather special conditions that are linked to another type of visa. It was created with the aim of simplifying and speeding up the procedure for obtaining visas for immigrants from the member countries of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) who wish to settle in Portugal.

Its scope encompasses a variety of situations, such as work, study and retirement, among others, whether for long-term or temporary stays. The revision of the legislation has brought significant benefits, including the elimination of certain requirements, such as the need to prove financial resources, present travel insurance and physically appear to apply for the visa. In its place, it is now possible to present a Term of Responsibility signed by a legal resident in Portugal, who will undertake to provide the applicant with accommodation and sustenance.

*It is important to note that, in the context of the visa for seeking employment in Portugal, it is still required to prove an amount equivalent to at least three times the minimum wage in force in the country.

What is the Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa is a residence permit granted for investment activities in the country. In Portugal, this investment must be at least 250,000 euros and must be kept for a period of 5 years.  It can be carried out in various ways: investment in funds, job creation and also through financial support for scientific research activities and protection of Portuguese heritage.

And one caveat: for as long as you keep your investment, you can live in Portugal, but only if you want to. If the move is a long-term plan, you can continue to live in your home country, you only have to be in Portugal for 7 days a year . Perfect for foreign investors. And after 5 years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship or a permanent residence permit. No wonder the Golden Visa Portugal program is considered one of the most attractive in the world!

In short: for those who have financial resources and want to monetize their assets, this could be the ideal option: the easiest and quickest way to become a Portuguese citizen.

The Golden Visa is undergoing changes at the moment, so keep up to date with the latest information on valid investment options by clicking here!

Do you want to live in Europe?

Realizing your goal of living in Europe or obtaining European citizenship can be simpler than you think. We offer personalized support to make the immigration process more accessible and uncomplicated.

StartUp Visa

The StartUp Visa offers an alternative route for immigrants wishing to establish an innovative company in the country. Unlike traditional procedures, this visa requires approval from a Portuguese incubator, which will welcome and guide the development of your entrepreneurial project.

To start the process, you need to go through IAPMEI (Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation) . The procedure involves registering on the IAPMEI website and submitting the required documents. In this online environment, you can access a simplified application guide.

Tech Visa: The IT Visa

The Tech Visa program, which started in 2019, is an innovative route for entrepreneurs and technology specialists who want to live in Portugal.. Focused on efficiency and excellence, the program speeds up obtaining visas and residence permits for highly qualified technology professionals.

It differs from other work visas, the Tech Visa begins with the certification of technology companies. After certification, these companies are registered as potential employers for qualified professionals. The specialized professionals can then apply for the visa and, once hired, obtain a residence permit linked to the program.

The Tech Visa not only simplifies the process for qualified professionals, but also strengthens Portugal’s technology scene. By becoming a hub of innovation, Portugal attracts global talent and boosts its technology industry.

How do I apply for a visa to Portugal?

If you are planning to move to Portugal, the first step is to decide which type of visa best suits your situation.

Once you have defined the appropriate visa, it is essential to know the specific requirements and check that you meet all of them.

Finally, it’s time to gather the documents required for the application.

Visa applications are submitted via VFS Global or the Portuguese Consulate of your country of residence, with the exception of Golden Visa, Tech Visa and Startup Visa.

What documents do I need to apply for a visa to Portugal?

This will depend on the type of visa you have chosen and the activity you intend to carry out in the country, such as studying, working, investing or proving your own income, for example.

However, some documents are essential for any visa application:

  • Visa application form;
  • Two recent identical 3×4 photos;
  • Copy of passport;
  • Travel insurance or PB4;
  • Apostilled criminal record certificate
  • Authorization to consult the Portuguese Criminal Record by SEF;
  • Financial proof;
  • Proof of accommodation, which can be a rental contract or a letter of invitation.

When is the best time to apply for a visa to Portugal?

What is the ideal time to start the visa process? Although VFS Global reports a legal deadline of 60 days for the completion of the visa, it is important to consider the possibility of delays depending on the jurisdiction.

Given that the visa has a fixed validity, it is also advisable to avoid applying too early. We therefore advise you to find a balance between starting the process with enough time for evaluation and ensuring that the visa remains valid for your planned trip or stay.

It is worth noting that long-term visas are valid for 120 days, which is the time limit for applying for a residence permit in the country.

How much does it cost to apply for a visa?

Consular fees for issuing a visa to Portugal may vary. We have a baseline below, updated in August 2023.

Type of visaValue
Adult Schengen Visa Fee€ 80,00
Schengen visa fee for children (6 to 11 years)€ 40,00
Schengen visa, low fee: visa facilitation for citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kosovo and Ukraine*€ 35,00
Schengen visa Child up to 6 yearsfree
National visa application – Stay of less than 1 year€ 75,00
National visa application – Stay longer than 1 year€ 90,00

These figures refer only to the visa fee. Don’t forget to include in your planning the costs of obtaining the required documentation, purchasing travel insurance and other essential details.

To check the latest prices, go to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Advantages of hiring advice on applying for a visa to Portugal

Hiring a specialized residency and citizenship consultancy to handle your visa process offers significant advantages.

Atlantic Bridge has helped more than 3,000 people to live in Portugal with a 99% success rate. We have a 4.9 rating on Google (out of 5 stars).

Our professionals are experienced and up-to-date with the latest regulations and procedures, ensuring that all documentation is in order to avoid possible errors that could delay your process. They can also advise you on the best time to apply for a visa and when to travel.

With a consultancy, you get the peace of mind of having a dedicated partner, simplifying the whole process of obtaining a visa for Portugal and avoiding stress. We’ll let you know when everything is ready!

We assist you throughout every phase of your relocation process. From selecting your destination to visa applications, transportation, pet relocation, residency permits, and housing arrangements. Our comprehensive support ensures that your journey is optimized for the best possible experience.

Talk to our professionals and request your quote!

Do you want to live in Europe?

Realizing your goal of living in Europe or obtaining European citizenship can be simpler than you think. We offer personalized support to make the immigration process more accessible and uncomplicated.



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