FAQ: About the Schengen Visa

Last Updated on April 9, 2022 by Victor Queiroz

Living in Portugal is the dream of many expats.

To accomplish this goal it is frequently necessary to go through the visa procedure.

But do you know which visa is the best for you?

Many expats think that the Schengen Visa is the one if you plan to reside in Portugal.

Normally, that’s not the case.

Below you can find some popular questions related to the Schengen Visa to Portugal.

Do I need a visa to enter Portugal?

To answer this question, many details must be taken into account, but one of the most important aspects to consider is related to your nationality.

If you do not have European nationality, or if the country where you were born does not have any treaty or agreement with Portugal (related to entry into its territory), you will probably have to apply for the Schengen Visa.

The Schengen Visa is a visa intended for short stays (up to 90 days within a 180-days period), that applies to 26 countries that comprises the Schengen countries.

Which are the countries? Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

As a rule, this visa concern tourism in the Schengen area, however, it may be granted for other purposes, such as family members visit, medical treatment, business, seasonal work, among others.

Can I work in Portugal if I enter this country with the Schengen Visa?

It depends.

Only seasonal jobs (such as hotels in the holiday season) may be suited for this visa, as the job period cannot exceed the 90 days.

In this case, the Schengen Visa application must also follow the job-related route.

Working in Portugal (with the Schengen Visa) in any other situation is considered illegal, and the citizen may be punished for doing so.

There is however a way to get regular in Portugal if you entered this country with the Schengen Visa and intend to reside there.

This way is by no means a suggested path to follow, but the Expression of Interest is the procedure to be followed to obtain legality in this situation.

After applying for the Expression of Interest the citizen cannot leave this country until the Residence Permit is granted.

Can I use the Public Health System if I stay for more than 90 days in Portugal with the Schengen Visa?

Foreign citizens who are irregular in Portugal can use Public Health System, however, they must present the address certificate, issued by the residence City Council.

They will also be charged for the medical expenses (except in certain cases, such as urgent and vital health care, minors exams and vaccination).

As you can see, Portugal is a country that embraces even those who don’t have the right documents, as it considers health (life) more important than documents.

Can I stay in Portugal after the Schengen Visa period?

As a rule, the answer is no.

But if you request an extension of the Schengen Visa period (you must request it before the 90-days deadline), you can extend the period of stay in Portugal.

However, you must appoint the reasons to justify the period extension.

Some of the the reasons are:

  • For humanitarian activities.
  • For reasons related to force majeure (eg. alteration of the flight day at the last minute).
  • For serious personal reasons.

I received the Schengen visa. Do I have a guarantee of entry into Portugal?


The Public Agency that will examine and decide about your entry to Portugal is the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).

This agency has administrative scope and the power to decide in a discretionary manner, regardless of the documents you bring with you.

But all its decisions must be duly justified, under penalty of individual complaint (article 191 of Administrative Procedure Code) or hierarchical challenge to the Minister in charge of the Foreign Affairs (article 193 of CPA).

After the Schengen Visa period, can I leave Portugal?

If the intent of the travel is to return to your residence country, than yes. You probably won’t be an obstacle.

A fine can also be imposed for staying in Portugal for a longer period than allowed.

Also you can have your Passport appointed in the Schengen area system, so you may face some trouble when trying to return to the Schengen countries.

Thus, it is highly recommended not to stay or leave Portugal without having the proper documents.

In any case, if you need any assistance related to visas, you can always count on Viv Europe to help you.

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