Step by Step Procedure on How to get a student visa in Portugal This Year 

Written by Michael Nz. on May 6, 2022

7 min read
1 Comment

Portugal, located in the southwestern part of the European continent and known for its rich history and culture, is a country where you can easily get a student visa. It has been ranked as one of the best places to study, with some of its prestigious universities receiving a 9.5 / 10 student satisfaction rating. 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 requirements for the visa application and application process, the type of visa you need, and even the processing time have been carefully outlined. Let’s begin. 

Types of student visas 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 enrolled in a study course of fewer than 90 days.
  • Long-term student visas: This visa allows you to study for more than 90 days, for example at a university or language school.

How student visas work in Portugal

If your study course lasts longer 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 lasting 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: You do not need a student visa, but you need to register your stay with the local authorities.

For a course of study of fewer than three months:

  • Non-EU / EEA / Swiss Citizens: A student visa is only required for nationalities applying for a Schengen visa for Portugal. Many countries, including the United States, Australia, and Canada, allow visitors to enter Portugal with a passport only for up to three months, during which time they can also take a short course of study.

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

If you are in Portugal on a student visa, it allows you to bring dependents with you. You need to be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to support them and yourself.

Eligibility requirements or criteria in Portugal

Students from the following blocks/nations, like most other European countries, only need a valid passport or 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 student visa application in Portugal:

Request form

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

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

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


The following are the requirements for the photos:

  • It measures 35mm by 45mm
  • Colored
  • The head should represent 70% to 80% of the photo.
  • The facial expression is neutral.
  • Although a light gray background is preferable, a bright colored background is acceptable.
  • Make sure you include at least one image on the application form.
  • Proof of your 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 (USA), and so on.

RELATED: How to Obtain a Student Visa for Canada| Step-by-step procedures

Crime record

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

Request for consultation with the Portuguese Criminal Registry

This only applies to students aged 16 and over. Please note that this is only valid for three months, so apply for it as soon as you are 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, need to be validated. The Portuguese Embassy in your country of residence/residence will take care of this.

Documents for Ph.D. students and researchers

If you are applying for a student visa in Portugal for a Ph.D., you will need to submit additional documents, such as

  • Contract of employment or service
  • Hospitality contract form
  • Proof of a research grant, if applicable

Means of subsistence

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

If someone sponsors you, they can provide a statement from respondents stating that they will pay for your studies. Someone living outside Portugal or a foreigner 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 present documentation that proves that you have a place to live in Portugal. It could be a rental agreement, proof of account, or something else.

Health cover

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

History of vaccinations

Before entering the country, the Portuguese government may require students to receive vaccinations. Vaccinations against diphtheria and tetanus are two examples.

How long is the student visa in Portugal?

You must go to Portugal after receiving the 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 the studies.

The student visa issued by the Embassy is only valid for 12 months and can only travel to Portugal. You must obtain the 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 90 EUR (approximately $225).

A request to consult the criminal register will cost you 5 EUR (approximately $6).

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

How to apply for a student visa in Portugal?

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

1. Prepare materials for application

It would be helpful if you have the above-mentioned documents ready. Your acceptance letter is the most important document to have, as the Embassy will review it.

2. Find the Embassy where to submit the application

Not all countries have a Portuguese consulate. To find out where you should apply for the student visa in Portugal.

3. Make an appointment

As the process takes time, it’s best to start at least three months before your scheduled 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 it.

5. Be on time for your appointment

It is necessary to bring the above documents to the appointment.

6. Wait for the visa to be issued

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

7. Obtain a visa

You can fly to Portugal to start your studies after receiving 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 need to apply for a residence permit, also known as Autorizaço de Residência. You must make an appointment with the SEF office (Immigration and Borders Service) closest to your university.

To obtain this permit, you must present the same documents that you used to apply for the visa. I’m:

  • Passport and visa
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Documents for academic enrollment
  • Proof of funds/livelihoods
  • Health insurance certificate
  • Accommodation certificate
  • Vaccination register Criminal register form

A residence permit will give you the right to work in Portugal as well as guarantee free movement throughout the EU and the EEA. You can supplement your income by working 20 hours a week during the school semester. During the summer, you might even work full time.

Student visa processing time in Portugal

Processing a student visa can take anywhere from a few weeks to three months, depending on the country of residence, the specific embassy, and the completion of the application. As soon as you receive the acceptance letter from the university, the application process begins.

Can I get a student visa in Portugal without IELTS?

Many Portuguese universities would allow you to study without IELTS. Therefore, although an IELTS is required, it is not mandatory to have one in order to obtain a student visa in Portugal.

Work 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 taking a short course (up to three months) and only have a Schengen visa.


How long does it take to get a Portuguese student visa?

Processing a student visa can take anywhere from a few weeks to three months, depending on the country of residence, the specific embassy, and the completion of the application. As soon as you receive the acceptance letter from the university, the application process begins.

Is IELTS required for a student visa in Portugal?

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

Is it possible for international students to work in Portugal?

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

Can I work and study in Portugal?

Working in Portugal as a student Non-EU students with a Portuguese student visa and residence permit can work in Portugal, subject to SEF approval. You can also request permission to conduct research.

Is it acceptable to take a study break in Portugal?

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

How many bands will be needed for Portugal?

Individual institutions have no set criteria for accepting gang scores. However, a test score of at least 5.5 is required. A higher IELTS Band score will increase the chances 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 work residence permit, you and your employer must meet the requirements for a work visa in Portugal.

If you find work, you must apply for a work visa before the student visa expires. SEF will not accept your application if submitted within 30 days of the visa expiration. If your visa expires, you must go home and apply for a work visa from your home country.

One thought on “Step by Step Procedure on How to get a student visa in Portugal This Year 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.