Portugal Student Visa – Requirements, Cost, Photo Specification

Portugal Student Visa

Are you looking for a Portugal student visa? If yes then please keep reading. Portugal is in Southern Europe and famous for its beaches, food, and beautiful countryside. It is the oldest nation in Europe.

Students study in Portugal because tuition is affordable, and students are happy with their experience. If you want to visit or study there, you need to understand the rules and steps involved. 

In this article, we will learn more about the Portugal student visa, eligibility criteria, application process, visa fee, documents required, and more. So, let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • A Portugal Student Visa is required for non-EU students, while EU students need to register after 90 days.
  • Non-EU students must obtain both a Student Visa and a residence permit.
  • Documents needed for the visa include a passport, acceptance letter, proof of tuition payment, photos, financial proof, accommodation details, criminal record certificate, and health insurance.
  • The visa application process involves the submission of documents, payment of fees, and attending an interview.
  • Visa fees include €90 for the visa, €83 for residence permit submission, and €72 for residence permit issuance.
  • Processing time for the visa can vary from weeks to months.
  • The student visa is valid for three months initially, and a residence permit is needed for longer stays.
  • Post-graduation, students can apply for a work permit if they secure a job offer within 30 days of their student visa expiring.
  • Family members can join on the same visa or apply for family reunification later.
  • A student visa does not directly lead to permanent residency 
  • A work permit is required for long-term residence.
  • Work limitations: 20 hours per week during term time for non-EU students; full-time during breaks.
  • Portugal offers diverse higher education options, including universities and polytechnic schools.
  • Researchers can apply for a specific visa based on their employment or study status.
  • Reasons for visa rejection include unclear intentions, insufficient funds, inadequate travel insurance, past visa issues, suspicion of illegal activities, or incorrect documentation.
  • Rejected applicants can appeal or reapply with corrected information.

What Is a Portugal Student Visa?

If you are an international student and want to study in Portugal, you can get a student visa. There are some things you need to do to get it. 

With this visa, you can pick a course you like, whether it is short or long. You can also travel around Portugal for fun. You can also work while you study, but make sure it does not affect your studies.

Can You study in Portugal?

Portugal is a popular choice for students from around the world because of its great universities, nice weather, low living costs, and diverse culture.

Like many other EU nations such as Cyprus, Poland and Croatia, you do not need a visa to study in Portugal, if your are from EU/EEA nations. You can just enroll in a course and come here. But after 90 days, you need to visit the city council and get a certificate.

For non-EEA students, it is a bit more complicated. You need a Student Visa and a residence permit. First, apply for a Study Visa at the Portuguese embassy in your home country.

Once you have your Student Visa, you need to go to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) office in Portugal to get your residence permit.

Do You Need a Visa to Study in Portugal?

If your study lasts more than three months, you will likely need a visa to study in Portugal. The rules depend on where you are from and how long your course is.

For courses longer than three months:

  • If you are not from the EU/EEA/Switzerland, you need a student visa and a residence permit.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens don’t need a student visa, but they must register with local authorities.

For courses shorter than three months:

  • If you are not from the EU/EEA/Switzerland and your country usually needs a Portugal Schengen Visa, you will need a student visa. 
  • But if you are from countries like the US, Australia, or Canada, you can enter Portugal with just your passport for up to three months.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens do not need a student visa at all.

Documents Required for a Student visa in Portugal

When you apply for a student visa to Portugal, you need to provide certain documents:

  1. You will need your valid passport or travel document.
  2. Make sure you have a letter of acceptance from your university.
  3. You must show proof that you have paid your tuition fees. If you have a scholarship, get a document from your university confirming it.
  4. You will need two recent passport-size pictures that follow Portugal’s picture guidelines.
  5. Fill out the Portugal student visa application form. The Embassy will usually give this to you.
  6. You should prove you have enough money to support yourself during your stay. This could be bank statements, a scholarship, financial aid proof, or sponsorship proof.
  7. You also need to show you have accommodation in Portugal. This could be a rental contract, university dorms, or a letter of invitation from a family member or friend you will live within Portugal.
  8. Provide a Certificate of Criminal Records.
  9. You need proof of Schengen travel health insurance. 
  10. After you arrive in Portugal, you will also need to get proper health insurance from a private company.

Photo Specifications for Portugal Student Visa

When you are getting your photo taken for your visa application, remember these rules: 

  • You need two copies of the photo. The size should be 35mm by 45mm. 
  • It should be in color and taken in the last three months. 
  • Your head should be in the middle of the photo and fill about 80% of the space. 
  • The background should be plain white or grey. 
  • You should have a neutral expression on your face. 
  • If you wear glasses, make sure they are not too thick, and if you need them for your eyesight, that’s okay. 
  • You can wear headgear for religious reasons, but it shouldn’t cover your face. 
  • If you have facial hair it is okay too.

How To Apply for a Portugal Student Visa?

To apply for a student visa for Portugal, follow these steps:

  • First, get your Letter of Acceptance from the university you will be attending.
  • Then, find out where to submit your application by checking the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
  • Next, schedule an appointment or interview with the Embassy.
  • Complete the Portugal Student Visa application form.
  • Gather all the documents needed for the application.
  • Pay the required student visa fee. The Embassy will tell you how to pay.
  • On your appointment day, submit all your documents. If the Embassy is in another country, you might be able to mail them instead.
  • Now, you wait for the visa to be processed.
  • Once you receive the visa, you can travel to Portugal.
  • After you arrive, make an appointment with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) to get your residence permit. This permit lets you stay in Portugal for your studies, but you may need to renew it after a year.

Portugal Student Visa Interview Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions during the Portugal student visa interview:

  • If you are thinking about studying in a Schengen country, you should be prepared to talk about your education and plans. 
  • If you have received any awards or scholarships, tell them about it. 
  • They want to know why you chose the university and program you did, so be ready to explain. 
  • You must about your future studies. Do you want to pursue a master’s degree or even a doctorate? 
  • Be honest if you have applied to other universities and if you have been accepted. It is important to give all the information to the authorities to avoid any problems.

What Is a Portugal Student Visa Fee?

When you apply for a student visa, you need to pay some fees. Here is what you will have to pay:

  • First, you pay €90 at the Embassy for the visa.
  • Then, you pay €83 to submit your residence permit application at the SEF.
  • Finally, you pay €72 to get your residence permit from the SEF.

Keep in mind that these fees might change depending on where you apply.

Portugal Student Visa Processing Time

When you apply for your student visa, it can take some time for them to process it. It might take a few weeks or up to three months. 

This depends on where you live and which Embassy you apply to. So, it is important to start the application process as soon as you get your acceptance letter from the university.

Duration of Portugal Student Visa 

Once you get your visa from the Portuguese Embassy, you will need to head to Portugal. There, you will apply for a residence permit at the SEF. This permit is valid for a year. You can renew it every year until you finish your studies.

The visa you get at the Embassy is only good for three months. During that time, you can travel to Portugal. But within those three months, you must sort out your residence permit. Once you have the permit, it replaces the visa.

Please remember, you must apply for a renewal or extension of your visa at least 30 days before it expires.

Can You Stay in Portugal After Your Studies?

If you are in Portugal on a student visa and want to stay after your studies, you will need a job offer. Once you have a job offer, you can apply to change your visa to a work permit. But there are rules for getting a work visa in Portugal. 

You must apply within 30 days after your student visa expires. If you don’t, your application might be denied. If you don’t get a job offer before your student visa ends, you will have to leave Portugal. But if you get a job offer later, you can apply for a work visa from your home country.

Can You Bring Your Family to Portugal on the Student Visa?

If you have a Portuguese student visa, you can bring your family members with you. This includes your spouse or partner, kids under 18, and older kids who rely on you because of a disability. 

You can add them to your visa application or they can apply for a family reunification visa later. Once they are here, they can stay as long as your student visa is valid and they will have the same rights as you.

Does a Student Visa Lead to Permanent Residency in Portugal?

Living in Portugal as a student would not count towards getting permanent residency. To become a permanent resident, you will need to find a job as a highly-skilled worker. 

Then, you will switch to a temporary work permit. It is also called a Work Visa. It is valid for one year and can be renewed for up to five years. After working for five years on this permit, you can apply for permanent residency.

Can You Work With a Portugal Student Visa?

If you are from the EU/EEA and studying in Portugal, you can work freely without any extra permits. You get to choose how many hours you work each week and what kind of job you do.

But if you are from a non-EU/EEA country, there are some rules. You can work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during school breaks.

You do not need any extra permits to work if you are in Portugal on a student visa. Please remember, if you work while studying, you might have to pay taxes depending on how much you earn. 

And if you get a scholarship to help with living costs, the rules for working might be different.

Higher Education for Students in Portugal

Portugal has an amazing education system with two main parts: universities and polytechnic schools. Universities offer degrees like bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate, while polytechnics focus more on practical skills and job training. 

There are famous universities in Portugal like the University of Lisbon and the University of Algarve. It is known for their good education and research. 

Polytechnics, especially in Porto and Braganca, teach practical skills to help you find a job. Portugal’s universities are popular because they collaborate with other countries on research and have students from all over the world.

What is a Student Visa for Researchers?

If you are a non-EU citizen accepted into a doctorate program or a researcher in Portugal, you can apply for a researcher visa. 

This visa is for people who will be working in recognized institutions by the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science

To apply, you will need one of these documents: a job contract, a service contract, a research scholarship, or a hosting agreement.

Why Is Portugal Student Visa Rejected?

If your visa gets rejected, it could be because they are not sure why you are coming or if you will go back home, or maybe you do not have enough money to cover your expenses or the right travel insurance. 

Sometimes, if you had trouble with a Schengen visa before or if there are suspicions about you being involved in illegal stuff, your visa might not get approved. Also, if your travel documents are not right, or if they look fake, that could lead to problems as well.

When they reject your visa, they will tell you why in a letter, and you cannot get back the money you paid for the application. But you can either ask them to check again or apply again.

If you want to ask them to check again, they will tell you what to do in the rejection letter. You should do it if you have proof to show they made a mistake. You have to send this to the Portugal Embassy within the time they say in the letter.

But if you cannot show any new proof or you do not have a good reason to ask them to check again, it might be better to just apply again later. But this time, make sure to fix whatever made them say no and give them more information when you apply.

Portugal Student Visa Summary

Portugal Student Visa Description
VisaStudent Visa & Residence Permit (over 3 months)
EligibilityEU/EEA: Register after 90 daysNon-EU/EEA: Visa & Permit Required
DocumentsPassport, Acceptance Letter, Proof of Funds, Accommodation, Insurance
Application1. Get an Acceptance Letter2. Find Embassy & Apply3. Interview (possible)4. Submit Application
Fees€90 + €83 + €72 = €245 (Can Vary)
ProcessingWeeks to 3 months
Visa Duration3 months (single entry)
Residence Permit1 year (renewable)
Extending StayApply 30 days before expiry
Staying AfterJob offer & work permit required
Bringing FamilyFamily reunification visa possible
WorkEU/EEA: No permit needed
Non-EU/EEA: Up to 20 hours/week (term time)
Rejection ReasonsUnclear purpose, insufficient funds, inadequate insurance
After RejectionAppeal or reapply later

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I get a student visa for Portugal?

To get a student visa for Portugal, you need to do a few things. First, go online and make an appointment through the SEF website. Then, get your documents ready. You will need to fill out an application form, have a valid passport, bring passport photos, and show that you have enough money to support yourself.

2. Can I work in Portugal with a student visa?

If you are studying in Portugal and have a student visa, you can also work part-time. As long as you are enrolled in a full-time program that lasts at least a year, you are eligible. During the school year, you can work up to 20 hours a week. When you have breaks, you can work full-time.

3. How long can I stay in Portugal with a student visa?

With a short-term student visa for Schengen, you can spend up to three months (which is 90 days) in Portugal. During this time, you can do things such as research projects, study, work training, or language courses.

4. What are the types of student visas available in Portugal?

In Portugal, different student visa types are available. This depends on what you want to study and how long you plan to stay. These visas are designed to fit different academic goals and programs, so you can choose the one that suits you best.

5. Can you bring your family along while studying in Portugal?

If you are studying in Portugal and have family members like your spouse, kids, or dependent adult children with an illness or disability, they can come with you using your student visa.


Studying in Portugal can be an amazing experience. You get to learn a lot, experience different cultures, and have great job opportunities later on. But, it is important to know about getting your student visa and residence permit. 

You must understand the costs, whether you can work while studying, and if you can stay longer after your studies end. This will be helpful for further planning. 

Sometimes, there might be challenges like visa denials, but do not worry. There are ways to handle them and we have mentioned them in our article. With the right information and preparation, you can easily get a Portugal student visa.

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