How to Get Student Visa in Portugal | Step to Step Procedures

Portugal, located in the southwestern part of the European continent, and known for its rich history and culture is one country you can easily get a student visa. It has been ranked high as one of the great places to study, with some of its prestigious universities receiving a 9.5/10 rating for student satisfaction. If you are interested in studying in Portugal, of course, you should know that you need to get a student visa in Portugal.

In this article, the application requirements and the visa application process–, the type of visa you need, and even the processing time have been carefully outlined. Let’s get started. 

Types of Student Visa in Portugal

There are two types of student visas in Portugal, depending on the length of your study and stay. In Portugal, the types of student visas are-

  • Short-term Student visa: This type of visa is granted to students who are enrolled in a course of study that lasts less than 90 days.
  • Long-term Student Visas: This visa allows you to study for more than 90 days, such as at a university or language school.

How Students Visas work in Portugal

If your study course lasts more than three months, you will almost certainly need a visa to study in Portugal. The visa rules for international students in Portugal are determined by the student’s nationality and the length of the course. For a study course that lasts more than three months:

  • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must obtain a student visa. A residence permit will also be required.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: No need for a student visa, but you must register your stay with the local authorities.

For a study course that lasts less than three months:

  • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: A student visa is only required for nationalities that require a Portugal Schengen Visa. Many countries, including the United States, Australia, and Canada, allow visitors to enter Portugal with only their passports for up to three months, during which they can even take a short study course.

Citizens of the EU/EEA/Switzerland do not need a student visa.

If you are in Portugal on a student visa, it permits you to bring dependent family members with you. You must be able to show that you have sufficient financial resources to support them as well as yourself.

Requirements or Eligibility Criteria in Portugal

Students from the following blocs/nations, like most other European countries, only need a passport or a valid identity card to enter Portugal:

  • EU
  • European Economic Area
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Andorra

If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you must prepare the following documents for your Portugal student visa application:

Form of Application

For this form, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Personal data
  • Travel document
  • Purpose and intended dates of stay
  • Financial information
  • Passport

It should be valid for three months beyond the end of your intended stay in Portugal. It should also include at least one blank visa page.


The following are the photo requirements:

  • Measures 35 mm by 45 mm
  • Colored
  • The head should account for 70% to 80% of the photo.
  • Face expression is neutral.
  • Although a light gray background is preferred, the bright color background is acceptable.
  • Make sure to include at least one image on the application form.
  • Proof of status If you live in a country other than your home country, you must provide proof of your status, such as a residence permit, green card (US), and so on.

Felony Record

A government agency must issue this document in your country of nationality or residence.

Consultation request with the Portuguese Criminal Registry

This applies only to students aged 16 and up. Please keep in mind that this is only valid for three months, so request it as soon as you’re ready to apply.

Admissions or eligibility documentation

This should show that you have been accepted into a university program.

Academic credentials

Diplomas and transcripts, for example, must be validated. The Portuguese Embassy in your home/residence country will handle this.

Documents for Ph.D. students and researchers

If you are applying for a student visa to Portugal for doctoral research, you will need to submit additional documents, such as

  • Employment or service contract
  • Form for hosting agreement
  • Evidence of a research scholarship, if applicable

Subsistence means

Your finances should be able to cover the minimum monthly salary of EUR 665 or $790. If you’re bringing your spouse and/or children, your funds should cover the full cost.

If someone sponsors you, they may provide a statement of respondents stating that they will pay for your studies. Someone living outside of Portugal, or a foreign national living in the country could give it.

Scholars and students from Portuguese-speaking countries are not required to submit this document.

Accommodation documentation

You must submit documentation proving that you have a place to live in Portugal. It could be a rental agreement, proof of down payment, or something else.

Health-care coverage

Your insurance should cover your entire stay in Portugal. The required minimum coverage amount is EUR 30,000 ($35,650). It should be able to bear the cost of repatriation if necessary.

Vaccination history

Before entering the country, the Portuguese government may require students to receive vaccinations. Diphtheria and Tetanus vaccinations are two examples.

How Long Is the Portugal Student Visa Valid?

You must travel to Portugal after receiving your visa from the Portuguese Embassy and apply for a residence permit at the SEF. The study permit is valid for one year and can be renewed annually until the end of your studies.

The student visa issued by the Embassy is only valid for 12 months and can only travel to Portugal. You must get your residence permit within three months, after which the permit will take the place of the visa.

Fees and Cost of Student Visa in Portugal

The student visa application fee is EUR 90 (approximately $225).

A request for criminal registry consultation will set you back EUR 5 (approximately $6).

When applying for a residence permit, you must also pay EUR 84 or $100. (see below.) You must then pay another fee to receive the permit. This costs EUR 72 (approximately $85).

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How to apply for a student visa in Portugal?

Before you can study in Portugal, you must first complete this application for a student visa in Portugal.

1. Prepare the Application Materials

It would be helpful if you had the above-mentioned papers ready. Your letter of acceptance is the most important document to have, as the Embassy will look into it.

2. Find the Embassy where you should Submit your Application

Not every country has a Portuguese consulate. To find out where you should apply for your student visa to Portugal.

3. Make an Appointment

Since the process takes time, it’s best to begin at least three months before your intended departure date.

4. Pay the Applicable Fees

The Embassy will send you instructions on how to pay the student visa fee and where to do so.

5. Be on time for your appointment

You must bring the above-mentioned documents to your appointment.

6. Wait for the Visa to be issued

The processing time for student visas to Portugal at the Embassy ranges from one to three months. As previously stated, it is best to begin three months before your departure or even earlier if you have already completed the paperwork.

7. Obtain the Visa

You can fly to Portugal to begin your studies once you have received your visa. Remember that this visa is only valid for three months, so you must use it within that time frame.

8. Apply for a Residence Permit

After arriving in Portugal, you must apply for a residence permit, also known as an Autorizaço de Residência. You must make an appointment with the SEF (Immigration and Borders Service) office nearest your university.

To obtain this permit, you must submit the same documents that you used to apply for your visa. They are:

  • Passport and visa
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Documents for academic registration
  • Proof of funds/means of subsistence
  • Certificate of Health Insurance
  • Certificate of lodging
  • Vaccination records Criminal registry form

A residence permit will grant you the right to work in Portugal besides granting you free movement throughout the EU and EEA. You can supplement your income by working 20 hours per week during the school semester. During the summer, you may even work full-time.

Student Visa Processing time in Portugal

A student visa can take anywhere from a few weeks to three months to process, depending on your country of residence, the specific Embassy, and whether your application is complete. As soon as you receive your acceptance letter from the university, begin the application process.

Can I get a student visa in Portugal without IELTS?

Many Portugal universities would let you study without the IELTS. As such, even though an IELTS is necessary, it is not compulsory to have one to get a student visa in Portugal.

Working while studying in Portugal

Students with a student visa in Portugal can work up to 20 hours per week during the semester and full-time during semester breaks and holidays. You cannot work if you are on a short course (up to three months) and only have a Schengen visa.


A student visa can take anywhere from a few weeks to three months to process, depending on your country of residence, the specific Embassy, and whether your application is complete. As soon as you receive your acceptance letter from the university, begin the application process.

No. You can study at a Portuguese university without having to take the IELTS exam.

Students from the EU/EEA are permitted to work in Portugal without restrictions or time limits. Students from outside the EU/EEA can work either part-time (up to 20 hours per week) or full-time.

Working in Portugal while a student Non-EU students on Portuguese student visas and residence permits may work in Portugal, subject to SEF approval. You can also request permission to conduct research.

Yes. It is required for international students pursuing higher education in Portugal.

Individual institutions have no set criteria for accepting band scores. However, a test score of at least 5.5 is required. A higher IELTS Band score will increase the likelihood of your application being accepted. The IELTS test score is valid for two years.


You can only stay in Portugal after finishing your studies if you have a job offer. To switch from a student visa in Portugal to a working residence permit, you and your employer must meet the requirements for a Portugal work visa.

If you find work, you must apply for a work visa before your student visa expires. The SEF won’t accept your application if it’s submitted within 30 days of the visa’s expiration. If your visa expires, you must return home and apply for a work visa from your home country.



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