Have you thought about studying at one of the best European universities? Portugal has well-known and reputable universities for any expat to study.

Last Updated on April 9, 2023 by Victor Queiroz

Can I apply for the Portuguese Study Visa (D4 Visa)?

It depends.

The Study Visa, as a rule, is aimed at foreign citizens who intend to enroll in a University or, as it’s called in Portugal, a Polytechnic Education Institution, which may be private or public.

Be aware that the study period must be greater than 1 (one) year.

After collecting the required documents (including proof of enrollment at the educational institution), it will be possible to apply for the Visa.

What is the procedure to apply for the Study Visa?

As a rule, the procedure is divided into two stages.

The first step must be carried out in the applicant’s country of residence, specifically at the local Consulate of Portugal or VFS Global.

VFS Global is an official representative of the Consulate of Portugal, which functions as an administrative center.

The second stage will only be carried out after granting the Visa (which will be attached to the Passport) and must proceed directly in Portugal, at the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).

Can I apply for a Visa while in Portugal?

Nowadays it’s possible, however, for greater security, we recommend that the procedure starts in the country of residence, before arriving in Portugal.

With the change in Portuguese legislation in 2017, the procedure for obtaining a residence permit has been simplified.

Now expats, even those entering Portugal without the Study Visa, simply need to present the required documents to prove they can apply for Residence Permit, such as:

  • University enrollment
  • Proof of entry into the country legally
  • Criminal Record certificate

It is important to emphasize that this procedure can only be carried out if the citizen legally enters Portugal.

How to choose your University?

The choice of University certainly depends on the candidate’s personal preferences.

As a rule, all Portuguese Universities are of excellent quality, some of which stand out in certain areas of study. Ex .: The University of Coimbra is a renowned institution in the area of law, as well as the University of Minho in the area of engineering.

Some of the most well-known and well-regarded universities in Portugal are:

  • Universidade de Coimbra
  • Universidade de Lisboa
  • Universidade do Porto
  • Universidade do Minho

It is worth remembering that the value of tuition varies according to the choice of the university and the course to be followed.

What is the level of education in Portugal?

The level of education in Portugal is undoubtedly excellent, both in public and private institutions.

According to the QS World University 2021 ranking, recognized as one of the most prestigious international rankings, the University of Lisbon and Porto lead in 357th place. It is among the best universities in the world, as well as:

  • Universidade Nova de Lisboa – 428th position
  • University of Coimbra – 431st position

Do I need to prove my income to study in Portugal?

Yes, you must demonstrate that you have means of subsistence for a period of at least 1 (one) year.

According to the Foreign Law, the means of subsistence is based on the monthly value of 665.00€ (net) per person (currently 2021).

If you intend to bring a family member to Portugal, this amount must be increased by 30% or 50% depending on the family member.

Are there courses in English to apply for a study Visa?

Yes, but not all universities have courses taught 100% in English.

The candidate will be able to access the chosen university’s website for further details.

Here are some excellent examples:

  • Master in Biomedical Engineering at Porto University
  • Energy for Sustainability Initiative at University of Coimbra

How to apply for University accommodation?

Some universities offer a range of accommodation bedrooms, which aim to accommodate so students, professors, and researchers.

However, each university has its application guidelines.

After finishing the course, will I be able to stay in Portugal?

It depends.

According to article 122 of the Foreigner Law, the University student who has completed the course may profit from a 1 (one) year period to search for a job in their area of study or create a company in Portugal compatible with their qualifications.

By doing so, the student can change his / her Residence Permit type from student to a job or business-related visa.

For example, a student who has completed a Master’s Degree in Law can advocate in Portugal and change his / her residence permit.

What is the Erasmus+ program?

Erasmus+ is an academic exchange program from the European Union that seeks to support University and Master’s students and Ph.D. candidates, making it possible to complement their studies at educational institutions in other partner countries.

The requirements depend on the country in which the university is established.

The student can even apply for a scholarship.

Some very important tips:

  • The student’s grades may be considered for the candidate’s selection in the Erasmus+ program.
  • Having a good resume can be a plus.

Having a multicultural study environment can certainly improve knowledge.



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