FAQ: Visas and Resident Permit in Portugal

Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by Victor Queiroz

Recently, we started a series of articles aimed to answer in a simple and direct way the most popular questions related to Portugal.

This structure was very receptive and that is why we continued this exercise with the creation of this article where we answered quite common questions related to visas and residence permits in Portugal.

Other than that, we will also address some popular questions related to the initial procedures when the expat arrives in Portugal.

If you have any questions that are not answered in this article, please let us know in the comments. Viv Europe will publish its response as fast as possible.

Also, for more details on this topic, we suggest reading the article “All About Visas in Portugal“.

With nothing else to consider, let’s jump to the questions:

Do I need a visa to move to Portugal?

Under Portuguese immigration policy, citizens who own a EU, Schengen or Switzerland identity (European citizenship) do not need any type of visa to reside in Portugal.

Also, citizens who do not have European citizenship but are authorized to travel to Portugal without a visa, can visit this country and stay there for up to 90 days over a period of 180 days.

These countries are: Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Hungary, Israel, Korea (Rep. of), Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, and Venezuela.

All other citizens will need to apply for a visa, either to visit or reside in Portugal.

There are several types of visas for Portugal, for more information on this topic, click here.

What are the types of visas to move to Portugal?

There are many types of visas for those who plan to reside in Portugal.

Among them, we can highlight the following:

  • Study Visa (D4 Visa) – For those who intend to study in Portugal for more than 1 year.
  • Business Visa (D2 Visa) – For those who want to develop a business in Portugal. A business plan must be created before application.
  • Work Visa (D1 Visa) – Intended for those who already have a Work Contract (or Promise) with a Portuguese employer.
  • Passive Income (Visa D7) – Intended for those with passive income, such as retirement, financial investments, dividends, rents, etc.
  • Among others.

Each visa requires its own documents.

Also, depending on the country where the applicant starts the visa process, different types of documents can be required.

There are several types of visas for Portugal, for more information on this topic, click here.

How does the visa process work?

Normally, the visa process begins with the application at the Portuguese consulate (or embassy) in the country where the applicant resides.

After the visa approval, the applicant will have to travel to Portugal for an interview at the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).

Later on, the applicant will receive the Portuguese Resident Permit and will be able to reside in Portugal during this document validation time.

In some specific cases, the applicant won’t have to go through this visa process and will be able to obtain his Portuguese Resident Permit without applying for a visa.

What documents do I need to apply for a visa?

The documents for the application varies according to the requested visa.

There are, however, some documents that need to be collected, no matter the chosen visa. They are:

  • SEF Form
  • Passport
  • Proof of means of subsistence
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal
  • International Medical Insurance
  • Criminal Background Certificate

If you want to consult the documents requested for the chosen visa, considering the place where you are applying, just consult us by clicking here.

How much are the fees for the visa application?

Depending on the applicant’s location, different values may apply.

Overall, this is the approximate values related to visa procedures:

  • Residence Visa application: 90€
  • Residence Visa application for child between 6-12 years of age: 40€
  • Residence Visa application for child younger than 6 years of age: Free
  • Request of the Residence Permit: 83.30€
  • Issuance of the Residence Permit: 72.20€

How long does the visa procedure take?

This information varies depending on the country where the process was initiated.

In general, if there is no need to explain a rectify any information or include a new document in the process, issuing a visa can take up to 60 days.

Also, after the appointment at SEF, in Portugal, it can take around 1 month so that the applicant can receive his / her Portugal Residence Permit.

What is the visa validation period?

It is important to emphasize that the visa and the resident permit are different documents, therefore they have different validation period.

For example: The visa is intended to allow its holder to enter Portugal in order to apply for a residence permit

It is valid for 2 entries in Portugal, allowing its holder to remain in this country for a period of 4 months.

After obtaining a residence permit in Portugal, this document may also have different terms.

For example, the Study Resident Permit is valid for 1 year while the Passive Income Resident Permit is valid for 2 years.

Once the applicant (and family) arrives in Portugal, can they use the Public Health System?

Not yet, before using the Public Health Service they have to request the Utente Number that can be obtained at the local health center.

More information in our Complete Guide to Portugal.

What services does Viv Europe provide so that I can obtain my visa?

Viv Europe will assist you through the entire visa process, from the moment of the application (in the applicant’s country of residence) to the receipt of the Residence Permit (in Portugal).

This company will help you obtain all the necessary documents for the application, specially those who need to the drafted by lawyers and other professionals, such as:

  • Business plan
  • Company’s Social Pact
  • Contracts
  • Deeds
  • Letters

When choosing Viv Europe, we will appoint a lawyer to be your personal assistant and guide you through the process.

Will I be able to leave Portugal after obtaining my Residence Permit?

Yes. The only restriction is that during the valid period of the residence permit, you can not be absent from Portugal for more than 6 continuous months or 8 non-continuous months.

We hope you can answer all your questions related to visas and residence permits in Portugal.

If you need any guidance on this procedure, Viv Europe can assist you during this entire process.

Also, if you want to exchange information about Portugal, why not join our Facebook group? We are sure that you will be able to have a personal experience on many topics. To have access just click here.

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