Application process

How to get your visa

Application process

Non-EU nationals must apply for a Schengen visa prior to obtaining a residence permit, which must be brought to Portugal. This allows non-EU nationals to enter and have free movement within the Schengen zone. As stated in the Introduction, EU nationals have up to 6 months upon arrival to apply for a residence permit. 

The process of applying for a type 1, 2 or 3 visa requires that you apply for a Schengen Visa. Do this online  or print it , complete it and submit a paper (pdf) version. An online application lets you track its status in the system. While requirements state that you must complete this application in Portuguese, some Portuguese consulates have accepted them in English.

If completing the paper (pdf) version of the application, prepare two copies of the application form for each applicant with passport-style photos, taken within the last six months, affixed to each copy. If you are not applying in person at your consulate, your signatures on this form must be notarized (certified by a notary). Applicants who are located more than 2 hours driving distance from their respective consulate are permitted to apply via mail.

Finally, you will need to submit one copy of this application per applicant, along with all of the documents listed on the 'Documentation' page, to the Portuguese Embassy’s consulate office that has jurisdiction over your place of residence.

If you file an online application:

your consulate will request that you bring the complete set of supporting documents with you to an in-person meeting.

If you file a paper application:

make an in-person appointment with your respective consulate and bring all supporting documents in duplicate with you.

Note that since May 2014, consulates have collected biometric data (fingerprints and photos) from applicants. This is one reason that in-person appointments are preferable. These records are kept for 5 years and can be used when you file an extension of your stay.

Remember that a Schengen visa application is necessary regardless of your visa type, and you must bring the remaining copy with you to Portugal.

This article was written by Susan Stults Korthase

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