The requirements to obtain a visa for Portugal depend on the individual’s nationality and while a number of countries are exempt from this requirement, travelers who intend to stay in Portugal for short-term purposes are advised to check the requirements beforehand.
Third-country nationals are subject to visa requirements in almost all cases, however, exemptions may apply to holders of special and service passports as well as diplomatic passports.
The visa is not the same as the residence permit in Portugal and only those foreign nationals (from certain countries) who do not intend to spend a long time in Portugal are required to use it. The visa application requirements can be verified prior to booking the flight to Lisbon or other cities and our immigration lawyer in Portugal is able to provide detailed information depending on nationality.
Please keep in mind that the details provided in this article are only general ones and you may seek personalized counsel from one of our specialists. We can also answer questions related to long-term stays in the country as well as those related to obtaining Portugal citizenship.
Who needs a visa for Portugal?
The Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs clearly distinguishes between nationalities who are exempt from holding a visa and those that are not. The list of nationalities that need to hold a visa includes Afghanistan, Armenia, Bahrain, Belize, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam. and others. Individuals from these countries, as well as others, are required to make the necessary arrangements to obtain a visa for Portugal before they arrive in the country.
Third-country nationals need to distinguish between the Portuguese visa and the airport transit visa. The latter applies to those who transit one or more airports in the Schengen zone and examples of such countries include but are not limited to those from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq or Sri Lanka. Foreign nationals who need more information about the Schengen visa or the airport transit visa can reach out to our Portugal immigration agents.
On the opposite side of the spectrum of visa requirements, countries that are not subject to visa requirements include but are not limited to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, USA, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Venezuela and others. Holders of passports of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and those of the Administrative Region of Macao are not required to obtain a visa for Portugal.
Where is the visa application submitted?
The visa applications are made in the applicant’s country of origin, with the competent consular post. This means that they will be submitted with the Portuguese Embassy or Consular Office. For example, a Chinese national can submit the application for the visa for Portugal with the Embassy of Portugal in Beijing, the Consulate General in Shanghai, or that in Guangzhou.
We are at your service if you want to apply for residency in Portugal.
What are the general conditions for the application?
Foreign nationals who wish to obtain a short stay visa are required to submit a set of documents with the Embassy or Consulate in their region. The documents that are needed for a visa for Portugal include the following:
- the form: the special application form is to be duly filled in with updated information and signed; our Portugal immigration team can provide the form for you;
- the identification document: a valid travel document is mandatory and it will also be accompanies by a passport photograph;
- proof of arrangements: the applicant needs to provide proof of the return travel reservation/ the return ticket as well as the hotel reservations, if applicable;
- insurance: a valid travel medical insurance is required and it should cover the entire duration of the stay;
- others: accompanying documents according to the purpose of the shirt stay trip; can include proof of family relationship when staying with a family member, or an invitation for business purposes as well as proof of attendance for different types of events.
Please note that for family visiting purposes the visa for Portugal is not the equivalent of the family reunification permit.
The list above is only a brief one of the required documents and others may be needed, especially when the reason for the visa application is seasonal work in Portugal.
If you need more details about the requirements for a visa for Portugal, as well as for the residence permit in Portugal, please feel free to reach out to our immigration specialists. Our team is ready to answer any particular questions not covered in this article and we can provide personalized services and assistance according to nationality and the scope of the visa, for example the golden visa.
According to data from the Portuguese consulates, the following number of visa applications were received in 2019 in various Consulates:
- 69,457 visas were issues at the Luanda Consulate in Angola;
- 25,921 visas were issued at the Moscow Consulate;
- 14,484 visas were issued by the Shanghai Consulate.
Foreign nationals who obtain a visa for Portugal for a long-stay purpose can continue to renew their permit as long as required by law to be able to apply for Portugal citizenship.
Contact our immigration lawyer in Portugal for more details about the visa requirements and assistance during the application process.