Do Citizens of Senegal Need a Visa To Visit Portugal?
You must get a visa to visit Portugal if you are in Senegal or a Senegalese. You will also need a visa to Portugal if you are interested in studying, living, doing business or working in Portugal.
Even though there are many visas available for you, the one you can apply for must be the one that fits your purpose for going to Portugal.
You must apply for a Schengen visa if you want to visit Portugal for leisure, vacation, tourism, business or a religious-related conference. This visa is the most popular visa amongst Senegalese travelling to Portugal.
The Schengen visa allows you to spend 90 days in Portugal. You can visit other Schengen countries with this visa.
One of the reasons why this visa is popular is because it is the Portugal visa that has a short processing time and fewer application fees.
If you are interested in applying for the Schengen visa or any other Portuguese visa, you must prove you meet all the eligibility and financial criteria; otherwise, you will be denied the visa.
- Do Citizens of Senegal Need a Visa To Visit Portugal?
- What Are The Different Portugal Visas?
- Schengen Visa
- What Are The Portugal Schengen Visa Requirements?
- Cost For Portuguese Schengen Visa
- Applying For a Schengen Visa to Portugal: The Process
- Portuguese Schengen Visa Application Processing Time
- Extending The Schengen Visa
- Golden Visa
- D7 Visa (Digital Nomad Visa)
- Study Visa
- Work Visa
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Different Portugal Visas?
The visa Portugal Senegal options for residents and citizens are many. The kind of visa you will apply for depends on your reasons for travelling to Portugal. You have to figure out the type of visa you need, based on your situation, to avoid getting a visa rejection.
Below are some of the visas available for you as a Senegalese:
- Schengen Visa
- Golden Visa
- D7 Visa
- Study Visa
- Work Visa
A Schengen visa is a permit given to non-EU nationals who want to visit Portugal and stay for a short while. The longest time the Portuguese Embassy can approve a Schengen visa is 90 days. This visa is a special one in that it permits entering other countries in the Schengen zone.
With the Schengen visa, you can visit a relative or friend in Portugal. It is the visa you need to apply for if you are attending their wedding, graduation, or just going to visit them.
If you are sick and need medical care from Portugal, you can apply for a Schengen visa. If your company selects you to attend a business or work conference in Portugal, you will need a Schengen visa. It is also the visa to apply for when going to Portugal for religious purposes.
Senegalese citizens who want to take up a course that will not last more than 90 days must also apply for this visa.
Note that you are not permitted to work while on this visa, whether paid or unpaid. Doing so, or overstaying the duration approved by the Embassy, is a breach of immigration laws and will lead to deportation. It will also ruin your chances of visiting any country in the Schengen region again.
Valid Senegalese Passport
The passport must have been issued within the past 10 years and will still be valid 6 months after your Schengen visa expires. It should also have at least 2 blank pages where your visa will be attached.
Evidence of Accommodation
You must show the Portuguese Embassy you have somewhere to stay in Portugal. This can be done by showing them proof that you purchased a residential property, rented an apartment or property, or booked an Airbnb, hotel room or short let. In place of these, you can also get an invitation letter from someone in Portugal, promising to house you for the period of your stay in the country.
You must submit 2 recent passport photographs to the Embassy. Note that your photograph must be clear and show the details of your face.
Schengen Visa Application Form
Every Portugal visa application has to be accompanied by the appropriate application form. You can get this form at the website of Portugal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Note that you must complete and sign this form before submitting your application.
You can also complete the form for a disabled or minor person.
You must show your employment standing when applying for the visa. This is one of the ways the Portuguese authorities use to check those who intend to overstay. You can prove your standing by submitting any of the following as it fits:
- A letter signed by your employer showing they approved of your leave and stating that you will go back to Senegal when the holiday is over
- A letter obtained from school showing you are still a student in the institution and are expected to come back once you finish your trip
- A proof that you pay tax and business licence
- A bank statement outlining how much you have earned in the past 180 days
You must explain to the Portuguese Embassy why you are going to Portugal. This letter must be addressed to the Embassy or Consulate. With this letter, you convince the Embassy that your reasons for visiting Portugal are genuine. It should contain your arrival and departure day. You must also state if you are going to visit other Schengen countries.
Receipt of Visa Fee
You must submit a receipt proving you have paid the relevant visa fees. If you do not submit your receipt, the Embassy will see it as you not paying the visa fees and won’t process your application.
Ties to Senegal
You must show the Embassy you have reasons to return home when your visa expires. Your application can be rejected if you do not show this. Here are some of the documents you need to prove you have ties to your home country:
- A letter from school that shows you have a course of study to finish
- A letter from work that shows you must get back to work after your trip
- A marriage or birth certificate showing you have a family in Senegal
- A business licence that shows you have a business to run back home
- A flight itinerary that shows you have booked your flight to and from Portugal
Medical Insurance Policy
This is one of the essential visa Portugal requirements. You must have an EU-standard health insurance policy covering up to €30,000 in medical expenses.
Proof of Funds
You must also show you have enough money to take care of yourself while in Portugal. This is typically proven by submitting a bank statement or a sponsorship letter. The amount required to be in your account is unspecified by the Portuguese Embassy, but it is advisable to hold €45 to €75 daily.
Cost For Portuguese Schengen Visa
- 52,480 XOF (West African CFA Franc) for anyone above 12 years.
- 26,240 XOF (West African CFA Franc) for anyone between 6 and 12 years.
- 23,300 XOF (West African CFA Franc) as a service charge to VFS Global.
Senegalese younger than 6 are exempt from paying visa fees.
If you have a relative (child, parent or spouse) who is an EU citizen, you are exempt from paying the visa fees.
Note that the visa application fees are not refundable, even in the case of a visa denial.
Get Your Documents in Order
If you are applying for a visa, you must ensure you have all the necessary documents. This saves you time during your applications.
You can also use the document checklist above to prepare your supporting documents.
If you have your documents in French, it is vital to note that you have to translate your documents into either English or Portuguese before submitting them.
Fill Out the Application Form
Download the application form, complete and sign it. Attach the form to the rest of your supporting documents and get them ready for submission.
Pay Visa Fees
Ensure you pay your visa fees before submitting your application. Pay the visa application fee online using your credit card or via money order or cheque.
Schedule Documents Submission
Even though Portugal has an Embassy in Dakar, applications are not made through the Embassy but through a visa application centre: VFS Global. So, if you are ready to submit your application, you must visit VFS Global’s website and schedule your submission date.
You must submit your document on the scheduled date at the VFS location in Rez-de-chaussée Immeuble ATRYUM Center Km, 8 Route de Ouakam Dakar. Note that the service charge of VFS must be paid in cash.
After the officers in VFS confirm that your documents are complete and in order, they will collect your biometrics. This is mandatory and only waived for diplomats, the disabled and applicants under 12.
Note that you do not need a visa interview for the Schengen visa.
Pick Your Visa
If your application is successful, the Embassy will notify you. You will also be told when and where to pick up your visa.
Portuguese Schengen Visa Application Processing Time
Usually, it takes about 15 days to get a decision on your application. Sometimes, it takes longer than that because of the workload in the visa application centre. Other times, there could be some discrepancies in the document you submitted, and the application centre is trying to get that.
You will most likely experience delays if you apply for a Schengen visa, hoping to travel during the holidays.
The best thing to do is apply early. You should submit your application anytime from 1 to 3 months before your travel date.
Extending The Schengen Visa
Applications for the Schengen visa extension are almost always denied. People who want to spend more time in Portugal usually apply for a long-stay visa or leave the country and apply again after 90 days.
Portuguese authorities have extended Schengen visas in some severe cases. Such cases include a war breaking out in the foreign national’s country or sickness to the point that the applicant cannot take themselves back home.
The golden visa Portugal is open to Senegalese citizens to invest in Portugal. With this visa, you can work, study, live and do business in Portugal. You must have an investment worth €200,000 and €500,000 in Portugal.
The golden visa has a 5-year validity. Upon completing those 5 years, you can apply for citizenship or permanent residence. When you acquire citizenship, you can then apply for an EU passport.
You can travel with your family members, or they can join you after you have gone. Your family can also work, study and do business while they are with you.
The Golden visa program is for the rich. But here are some of the perks that go with applying and getting a golden visa:
If you spend less than 183 days in a year in Portugal, you are regarded as a non-habitual resident (NHR). This means you are exempt from paying taxes on funds you earn outside of Portugal. Again, the money you earn in Portugal will be taxed at 20% instead of 48%.
Pathway to Citizenship
You can submit an application for permanent residence permit or citizenship after spending 5 years on the golden visa.
Minimum Stay Requirement
You are required to spend a minimum of 7 days straight out of a possible 365 in 1 year.
Access to the Schengen Zone
You and your family can visit the Schengen zone for 90 days without a visa.
You can move to Portugal with your family if you have a golden visa. But there are selected family members you can take and conditions with which you can take them. See them below:
- Your spouse or de facto partner
- Your children are 18 years, and below
- Your unmarried children who are above 18 but are dependent on you. They must also have an offer to study in Portugal
- Your siblings who are below 18 and are your legal wards
- Your spouse or partner’s siblings who are below 18, and are your legal wards
- Your parents, if they are 65 and above, and depend on you
- Your spouse or partner’s parents, if they are 65 and above, and depend on you
Eligibility Requirements for the Golden Visa
When applying for the visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be 18 years and above
- You must not have been convicted of a criminal offence
- You must have obtained the funds for investment outside of Portugal
- You must have an investment in Portugal worth any amount within the range of €200,000 and €500,000
- You must have obtained an NIF number and opened a bank account in Portugal
- You must have an EU-standard medical insurance covering a minimum of €30,000
- You must have enough money to fund your stay in Portugal
- You must present an affidavit that shows you agree to maintain your investment for at least 5 years.
Eligible Investment Routes
You must invest in an eligible route else, your investment will be in vain. Below are the paths you must take before applying for the golden visa:
- Investing €500,000 to start a company or business that can provide 10 new permanent jobs
- Investing €400,000 in an existing company that can provide 8 new permanent jobs
- Investing €200,000 to €400,000 in maintaining or repairing a cultural heritage or symbol
- Investing €200,000 to €400,000 in tech, engineering or science research in Portugal.
These documents must accompany your application for a golden visa:
- Criminal history certificate from the Police in Senegal and every country you have spent 3 months in the past 5 years
- Digital passport not taken later than 6 months
- Signed Affidavit showing that you agree to maintain your investment in Portugal for at least 5 years
- Valid passport issued in Senegal within the past 10 years and valid for up to 3 months after the expiration of your visa
- Birth and marriage certificate proving you have a family
- Evidence you have paid the visa fees
- Duly signed national visa application form.
Fees Payable for a Golden Visa Application
- You will pay €533 as a processing fee.
- You will pay €83 for any family member you intend to travel with.
- You will pay €5325 as the visa application fee.
It will take up to 2 years for your application to be approved.
Senegalese citizens can apply for the D7 visa. This visa is for digital nomads, the self-employed, freelancers, remote workers and passive income earners.
If you get this visa, you can move to Portugal while working remotely. You must ensure, however, that your remote job is not from Portugal. Your income must come from abroad.
Again, you do not have permission to take up paid or unpaid employment in Portugal.
There are 2 types of D7 visas: the temporary stay and residency visa.
You can work remotely in Portugal for 1 year with a temporary stay visa. You can get a 2-year extension with multiple entries into the country. You can also visit other Schengen countries.
This visa, however, does not allow you to bring your family to Portugal. And since it does not give you up to 5 years of stay in the country, it is not a route to permanent residency or citizenship.
The residency visa is an alternative if you want to move to Portugal with your family and if you have permanent residence or citizenship in mind. You get 2 years to work and can get a 3-year extension with double entry into Portugal.
If you apply for the D7 visa in Senegal, you will get an entry permit to stay in Portugal for 120 days. Within this time frame, you are required to convert the entry permit into a residence permit.
Present the following documents to the Embassy to prove you are eligible for the D7 visa:
- Recent digital passport photograph
- Valid Senegalese passport
- NIF number from a tax office in Portugal
- Portuguese bank account
- Birth certificate to prove you are 18 or above
- Health insurance certificate acceptable throughout the EU, and covers up to €30,000 worth of medical expenses
- Criminal record certificate from the Police force in Senegal
- Cover letter explaining why you are moving to Portugal
- Birth and marriage certificates if you are moving with your family.
- 49.197 XOF (€75) if you are applying for a temporary stay visa.
- 59,036 XOF (€90) if you are applying for a residence visa.
- €320 payment for the residence permit.
The Embassy will take 3 to 6 months to decide on the application.
The SEF will also take 14 days before they can issue you a residence permit after the interview with them.
Note that the wait times could be longer if the Embassy has much workload.
As a Senegalese, you can conduct research or study in Portugal with a Portuguese study visa.
If your course will not last more than 90 days, you must apply for a short-term study visa with a validity of 90 days.
If your course takes more than 90 days, you must get a long-term study visa. The validity of the long-term study visa is 1 year. However, it can be extended till you are done with your course.
The study permit is not a route to permanent residence or citizenship, but your family members (spouse and children) can join you in Portugal while you study.
- 49.197 XOF (€75) if you are applying for a short-stay visa.
- 59,036 XOF (€90) if you are applying for a long-stay visa.
Upon getting to Portugal, you have to pay:
- €83 to obtain a residence permit from the SEF.
- €72 after the SEF issues you the residence permit.
It could take 1 to 3 months for you to get a response on your application.
It is always advised that you apply for a study visa immediately after getting your acceptance letter. This is so that wait times do not prevent you from joining your class early enough.
If you are applying for a study visa, you have to present the following documents:
- Acceptance letter sent to you from the school
- Senegalese passport issued in the last 10 years and must still be valid up to 6 months after the expiration of your study visa
- Proof of tuition fee payment. In place of this, you can show evidence that someone or an institution is funding your study. This proof could be a sponsorship letter, scholarship, or funding certificate
- Evidence you have a place to stay in Portugal
- Proof you have enough money to cater for your daily expenses in Portugal
- Medical insurance policy certificate that has at least €30000 value
- Recent digital passport photograph
- Filled out national visa application form
- Cover letter outlining your reason for moving to Portugal
- Criminal history certificate from Senegal
Note your documents must be translated and legalised if they are not in English or Portuguese.
If you want to move to Portugal and work, you must apply for a work visa. However, before that, you must get a Portugal-based employer job offer. The work visa is valid for 1 year and can be extended as long as your employer wants to have you around.
After working for 5 years, you can switch to permanent residence or citizenship and get your Portuguese passport.
To start the application, your employer has to seek the permission of the Labour authorities in Portugal to hire you. If they get a go-ahead, you can begin the application from your end.
You will be issued a residence visa that will take you to Portugal and let you stay for 4 months. You must change the residence visa to a residence permit within this period to keep staying in Portugal.
Your family can also join you as well.
It is valuable to note that this visa ties you to one employer and his location. You cannot change jobs or move outside of the location of the job. If you must, your prospective employer must seek the approval of the Labour authorities to hire you. If they get that permission, you must reapply for another work permit.
If you do not follow this process, you risk removal from the country and a possible ban from re-entry.
Portugal also has the Job Seeker Visa for Senegalese, who do not have a job yet but would like to find one in Portugal. The visa is valid for 4 months, and you must get a job within this time.
If you want to prove you are eligible for the work visa, attach the following documents to your application:
- Valid Senegalese passport
- Criminal history certificate from the Police in Senegal
- Marriage and birth certificate if you intend to travel with your family
- Job offer from an employer in Portugal
- Health insurance policy worth at least €30000
- Bank statement showing you have enough money to take care of your living expenses in Portugal
- Evidence you have somewhere to stay in Portugal
- Consent form permitting the SEF to run a criminal check on you.
- 59,036 XOF (€90) as visa application fee.
Upon getting to Portugal, you have to pay:
- €83 when applying for a residence permit
- €72 when the residence permit is issued to you.
It may take up to 60 days before the SEF gives your employer the green light to hire you.
It may take up to 90 days to get a response to your application from Senegal.
Immigration Advice Service is a leading immigration service team that can help you make your Portugal migration dreams come true. At IAS, we have experts well-versed in Portuguese immigration laws. This makes us the best choice for handling your immigration needs, such as advising you on the proper visa to apply for, documents to submit and the associated costs.
We know how daunting visa applications can be, so we are available to help maximise your visa approval chances. Again, if you face a visa denial, we have a team of competent lawyers who can help appeal your case in Portuguese courts.
Last modified on October 9th, 2023 at 12:03 pm
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The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is an electronic permit attached to the passport of people who can enter the EU or Schengen zone without a visa. On the other hand, the Schengen visa is a permit attached to the passport of those who cannot visit the EU or Schengen zone without a visa.