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Portugal Visas From Switzerland

Swiss nationals seeking to explore, work, or reside in Portugal face unique visa regulations. We’ve laid out a comprehensive guide to explain these requirements.

If you require tailored guidance or have immediate queries, don’t hesitate to contact the Immigration Advice Service at +44 (0)333 305 9375; our experts at IAS are always ready to assist.


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Can I Travel To Portugal From Switzerland Without a Visa?

Yes, for Swiss citizens looking to explore the sun-soaked beaches, historic towns, or the vibrant culture of Portugal, the journey is made all the simpler. Being part of the Schengen Area, Switzerland, and Portugal share an understanding that allows Swiss nationals to venture into Portugal without needing a visa for short trips.

Specifically, you can enjoy a stay of up to 90 days within 180 days without visa requirements. This arrangement is perfect for those planning holidays, short business trips, or even spontaneous getaways.

But what if the charm of Portugal entices you to extend your visit? For stays beyond the 90-day mark, the process becomes more involved. While the initial 90 days might be hassle-free, any intention to stay longer for work, studies, business endeavours, or even prolonged leisure necessitates exploring appropriate visa or residency permits suitable to your circumstances. Various options suit different purposes, from work visas to study permits or residency options for retirees or investors.

If Portugal’s allure has gripped you and you’re considering an extended stay, you should acquaint yourself with these visa categories and requirements. This ensures your stay remains lawful and allows you to fully immerse in the Portuguese experience without any administrative worries looming overhead.

a city in Portugal

How To Extend Stay Beyond 90 Days In Portugal

For Swiss nationals who’ve tasted Portugal’s vibrant culture, extending their stay beyond the visa-free 90 days becomes an appealing option. However, extending one’s stay requires adherence to specific procedures. Firstly, it’s paramount to identify the primary purpose of the extension. This could range from a desire to work, study, retire, or even an aspiration to relish an extended Portuguese vacation.

Based on the identified purpose, the subsequent step would be to apply for the appropriate visa or residence permit. For instance, those who’ve secured employment should gravitate towards a work visa or employment residency. Students must confirm their enrolment in a recognised educational institution and then apply for a student visa. Retirees or those with a consistent source of passive income might find the D7 (Income Visa) fitting. Alternatively, investors looking to invest in the Portuguese landscape, whether real estate or other qualifying sectors, can consider the attractive Golden Visa program.

Arming oneself with the necessary documentation is the next pivotal phase. This encompasses ensuring the validity of one’s passport, producing evidence of income or financial stability, securing health insurance with coverage in Portugal, and affirming one’s clean criminal record, both in Switzerland and Portugal.

With all the documents, the next logical step is to schedule an appointment, preferably with the closest Portuguese consulate or embassy back in Switzerland. However, approaching the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) office would be prudent if you are already basking in the Portuguese sun. After the rigorous documentation and application process comes the waiting period. Depending on the visa or permit type, processing times may vary, so initiating the extension application is advisable well before the 90-day mark.

Upon the joyous event of visa or permit approval, it’s essential for new extended-stay residents to register with the local Portuguese authorities, typically at the town hall or the corresponding municipal office. Keeping an eye on the calendar is also crucial; visa or residency permits are time-bound, and understanding the renewal requirements can ensure a continuous, lawful stay. For a seamless experience, consulting with experts like the Immigration Advice Service can offer invaluable insights and assistance.

Types Of Portugal Visas For Different Purposes For Citizens Of Switzerland


Swiss citizens enjoy the privilege of the Schengen Agreement, which allows short-term, visa-free travel to Portugal. However, for prolonged stays or specific activities, they must apply for the right type of visa.

The list of Swiss citizens pondering extended durations or distinct endeavours in Portugal:

  1. Golden Visa (Residency by Investment)
  2. D7 Visa (Income-Based Residency)
  3. Student Visa (Academic Pursuits)
  4. Work Visa (Employment Residency)

Let’s explore some of these visa categories, detailing their purposes, eligibility, processing times, and fees.

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Swiss nationals can enter Portugal through various avenues. Reach out to our legal experts for guidance.

Golden Visa (Residency by Investment)


The Portuguese Golden Visa program has captured the attention of investors worldwide. It offers a unique blend of a secure European residence with a relatively low stay requirement, acting as a gateway to a world of European travel and business opportunities. This program is particularly enticing for Swiss investors looking towards the Iberian Peninsula.


The Golden Visa, or Residency by Investment program, was designed to stimulate the Portuguese economy. It allows foreign nationals, including Swiss citizens, to acquire a residence permit in Portugal through significant investment activities. This visa also serves as a potential pathway to permanent residency and even citizenship.

Eligibility and Requirements

Investment Choices:

  • Job Creation- Establishment of a Portuguese business that creates at least 10 job positions.
  • Capital Transfer- A transfer of €1 million or more to a Portuguese bank or into shares of Portuguese companies.
  • Research Activities- A minimum investment of €350,000 in scientific research activities in Portugal.
  • Agriculture- A minimum investment of €500,000 in agriculture or agrarian-based industries.

Additional Requirements: For the D7 Visa, there are several additional requirements that applicants need to meet. They must possess a valid passport and, if needed, a Schengen visa. Applicants must have proof of health insurance that is valid in Portugal. Additionally, evidence of their investment activity should be provided to substantiate their claim of steady income.

Applicants should also have an unblemished background, meaning the absence of criminal convictions in their resident country and Portugal. Lastly, to maintain this visa’s validity, there’s a residency requirement: individuals should stay in Portugal for at least 7 days during the initial year and at least 14 days in the following two-year periods.


  • Freedom of Movement- The permit allows free movement throughout the Schengen Area, granting access to 26 European countries without needing an additional visa.
  • Family Reunification- Immediate family members, including spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents, can also qualify for residence permits.
  • Path to Citizenship- After five years of holding the Golden Visa, investors can apply for permanent residency and, after one more year, Portuguese citizenship (subject to certain criteria).

Processing Time

While the processing time can vary, it usually lasts 3 to 6 months. Ensuring all documentation is accurate and complete is essential to avoid unnecessary delays.


The initial application fee is approximately €533. Upon approval, the fee is around €5,325 for the main applicant. There are also additional fees for family members and subsequent renewals.

a man in a business suit

D7 Visa (Income-Based Residency)


The D7 Visa, colloquially known as the Income Visa, has garnered significant attention amongst foreign nationals wishing to reside in Portugal based on stable sources of income. This visa can be a suitable choice for Swiss citizens seeking a serene European retreat without necessarily working or investing heavily.


The D7 Visa, or the Passive Income Visa, caters to individuals with consistent income sources, from pensions, property rentals, dividends, or any other passive revenue. The primary idea is that applicants should have a steady income, ensuring they can support themselves without seeking employment in Portugal.

Eligibility and Requirements

Proof of Income: The primary requirement is a steady income, with a rough guideline suggesting an income equivalent to the Portuguese minimum salary (around €700 per month) for the main applicant and half of that amount for each dependent.

However, having income well above this threshold can bolster the application’s chances. Sources of income can include pensions, rental revenues, financial investments, or any other passive income.

Residence Requirement: Applicants must secure or rent a property in Portugal, proving their intention to reside there.

Additional Requirements: To apply for the D7 Visa, applicants must have a valid passport at the ready. Additionally, they should present proof of health insurance that encompasses coverage in Portugal. Another crucial aspect is the individual’s background; applicants must ensure a clean criminal record in Switzerland and Portugal, and the supporting certificates should be no older than 90 days.

Furthermore, evidence, such as pension slips, rent agreements, or bank statements, to validate the claim of a consistent income stream, needs to be provided during the application process.


  • Long-term Stay- Initially valid for one year, this visa can be renewed for two subsequent two-year periods, after which one can apply for permanent residency.
  • Freedom of Movement- Once approved, individuals can freely travel across the Schengen Area
  • Path to Citizenship- After five continuous years on the D7 visa and fulfilling the residency requirements, one can apply for permanent residency and, eventually, Portuguese citizenship.

Processing Time

On average, the application process can take 2 to 4 months, though this can vary based on the completeness and accuracy of the provided documents.


The application fee for the D7 visa hovers around €100, with subsequent renewal fees being slightly lower. Additional fees might apply for biometrics and document verification.

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Whether it’s for business or leisure, we can assist you in obtaining a visa from Switzerland to Portugal. Contact us for assistance.

Student Visa (Academic Pursuits)


Being outside the European Union but within the Schengen Area, Switzerland offers its citizens a certain ease of travel to countries like Portugal. However, Swiss nationals require a proper student visa for extended academic pursuits. Below, we provide an in-depth guide for Swiss students keen on studying in Portugal.


The Portuguese Student Visa is designed for non-EU nationals, including Swiss citizens, who wish to undertake academic courses, be it undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctoral programs, in Portuguese educational institutions. This visa is also applicable for technical and vocational training.

Eligibility and Requirements

Admission Letter: Students must secure an admission letter from a recognised Portuguese educational institution before applying for the visa. This letter should mention the course duration and other details.

Valid Passport: Swiss students should have a valid passport extending at least three months beyond their intended stay in Portugal.

Proof of Financial Stability: Students should demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay without resorting to employment. This can be done through bank statements, scholarship letters, or financial guarantees.

Health Insurance: Proof of comprehensive health insurance coverage valid in Portugal is essential.

Clean Criminal Record: Swiss applicants must ensure no criminal convictions in Switzerland and Portugal, with relevant certificates provided.

Accommodation Proof: Details of where the student will reside during their academic tenure in Portugal, whether university dorms, rented apartments, or with family/friends.

Duration: The Student Visa is typically granted for the course duration. However, it’s initially given for a year and can be renewed annually based on academic performance and other criteria.


  • Work While Studying- Students on this visa can also seek part-time employment, subject to certain restrictions, to support themselves.
  • Schengen Mobility- The student visa allows travel within the Schengen Area, facilitating trips to neighbouring countries.
  • Pathway to Residency- Prolonged academic stays can potentially lead to residency pathways, given certain conditions are met.

Processing Time

Typically, the processing time for a Portuguese student visa is between 2 to 3 months. However, during peak admission seasons, this might extend slightly.


The average application fee for a Portuguese student visa is around €170, but this is subject to change and might vary slightly based on the consulate’s discretion.

a student with a bag holding a notebook and a pen

Work Visa (Employment Residency)


As part of the Schengen Area but outside the European Union, Switzerland has certain nuances when its citizens seek employment in EU countries. If a Swiss individual wishes to work in Portugal, understanding the nitty-gritty of the Employment Residency Visa becomes pivotal. Below, we provide a comprehensive guide on the Portuguese Work Visa for Swiss job seekers and professionals.


The Employment Residency Visa, commonly called the Work Visa, is tailored for non-EU nationals, including Swiss citizens, aiming to work in Portugal. This encompasses long-term employment contracts and short-term gigs across various professions and industries.

Eligibility and Requirements

Job Offer or Contract: Foremost, applicants need a confirmed job offer or a valid employment contract from a recognised company or employer based in Portugal.

Valid Passport: The passport should have a validity that extends at least three months beyond the intended stay in Portugal.

Qualification Documents: Relevant documents that verify the applicant’s qualifications, experience, and skills match the job role in Portugal.

Proof of Accommodation: A confirmed address in Portugal through rental agreements or letters from hosts.

Health Insurance: Comprehensive health insurance that offers coverage in Portugal or proof of enrollment in the Portuguese Social Security system.

Clean Criminal Record: A background check ensuring no criminal convictions in Switzerland and Portugal, with valid certificates attached.

Application Form: A duly filled visa application form with all the required details.

Duration: The Employment Residency Visa, once approved, is initially granted for a year. It can be renewed for subsequent two-year periods. The applicant can apply for permanent residency after five continuous years on this visa.


  • Integration in Portuguese Society- Working in Portugal provides a rich cultural and professional experience, enabling closer integration into Portuguese society.
  • Schengen Mobility- The work visa facilitates unrestricted travel across the Schengen Area.
  • Social Benefits- Depending on the employment contract, visa holders may be entitled to various social and financial benefits per Portuguese regulations.

Processing Time

The processing duration for the Portuguese work visa generally ranges between 1 to 3 months. However, starting the process well in advance is advisable, considering potential delays.


The standard fee for the Work Visa application is approximately €100-€120, but it might vary depending on specific circumstances and the consulate’s discretion.

Ready to start on your Portuguese adventure? Whether you’re looking to study, work, or invest, our experts are here to guide you every step of the way. Call us now at +44 (0)333 305 9375 and set your Portuguese journey on the right path. Your dream life in Portugal is just a phone call away!

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Planning to study or work in Portugal? We’ve got you covered. Reach out to our expert team to start your journey today.

Portugal Residency Permits & Visas


Portugal offers many opportunities for those looking to explore, work, or settle in its picturesque landscape. Understanding the residency permits and the pathway to obtain them is fundamental for Swiss nationals. Here’s a comprehensive guide:

Portugal Residency Permits

Residency permits grant foreign nationals the right to stay in Portugal for extended periods, allowing them to engage in various activities, such as work or study. They’re typically categorised into two types:

Temporary Residency Permit: This is for individuals who wish to stay in Portugal for longer but haven’t yet hit the 5-year mark. Such permits are initially valid for a year but can be renewed subsequently.

Permanent Residency Permit: After continuously living in Portugal for five years under a temporary residency permit, one can apply for a permanent residency permit.

How to Apply for a Permanent Residency Permit:

Ensure you’ve lived in Portugal for five continuous years with a valid temporary residency.

You’ll need:

  • Proof of uninterrupted stay in Portugal for the required duration.
  • Valid passport and other identity proofs.
  • Proof of regular income to sustain your stay.
  • Health insurance coverage in Portugal.
  • A clean criminal record from both Switzerland and Portugal.

Submit Application: The application can be submitted to the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF). It’s advisable to book an appointment in advance, as walk-ins might not always be accommodated.

Attend Interview: Once your documents are assessed, you’ll be interviewed at the SEF office. This is more of a formality to check the authenticity of your application.

Wait for Approval: After a successful interview, your application will be further processed. It might take a few weeks to months for the authorities to grant the permanent residency permit.

Pay the Fee: On approval, you must pay a fee to obtain the permanent residency permit.

Portuguese Visas for Extended Activities:

Before considering residency permits, some Swiss nationals might need a specific visa to enter Portugal for an extended activity. These visas can range from work study to even investment purposes. Once in the country with the appropriate visa, individuals can transition to a residency permit if they meet the requirements.

Business and Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Portugal, with its strategic location and vibrant economic ecosystem, stands as a fertile ground for entrepreneurs and business professionals. For those interested in setting up new enterprises, collaborating with local firms, or exploring the burgeoning tech ecosystem, there’s a business visa framework that facilitates such endeavors.

Scholastic Adventures and Knowledge Expansion

Beyond its sun-soaked beaches and historic sites, Portugal is home to centers of academic excellence. Swiss scholars and learners seeking to immerse themselves in specialised courses, research, or collaborative educational projects will find dedicated student and research visas. These allow not just for formal education but also for participation in conferences, workshops, and seminars that fuel intellectual growth.

Arts, Culture, and Heritage Exploration

Recognising the magnetic pull of its rich cultural tapestry, Portugal offers visas tailored for artists, performers, and culture enthusiasts. Whether it’s to participate in an art residency, perform in music festivals, or explore and document the vast historical legacy, there’s a visa to ensure artists and creators from Switzerland can engage deeply with Portugal’s cultural soul.

Investment and Economic Collaboration

To further bolster its economic landscape, Portugal welcomes Swiss investors through specialised visa channels. This is not restricted to just monetary investment. It extends to those willing to bring in innovative technologies, sustainable practices, or even collaborative business models that can contribute to the local economy and job market.

In essence, Portugal’s extended activity visas act as a bridge, ensuring that every interest, passion, or professional pursuit of Swiss nationals finds a conducive environment and the necessary legal framework for realisation.

Portuguese Citizenship Overview


Embarking to obtain Portuguese citizenship can be rewarding for Swiss citizens. Not only does it grant the rights and privileges of a Portuguese national, but it also provides the freedom to live, work, and travel throughout the European Union. Here’s a concise overview of what this entails.

Eligibility for Portuguese Citizenship

Generally, you must have legally resided in Portugal for six consecutive years before applying for citizenship.

Applicants must demonstrate basic proficiency in the Portuguese language. This often involves taking a language test.

As expected, applicants must have a clean criminal record in Portugal and Switzerland. Some minor infractions may be overlooked, but serious crimes could disqualify a person from obtaining citizenship.

Application Process

This includes proof of residency, a valid passport, a birth certificate, evidence of language proficiency, and a criminal record check.

The application can be submitted at the local Registry Office (Conservatória dos Registos Centrais) in Portugal.

The application will undergo a thorough review once submitted. This can take several months.

If your application is approved, you will be granted Portuguese citizenship and can then proceed to obtain a Portuguese passport and ID card.

Advantages of Portuguese Citizenship

As a Portuguese citizen, you can live, work, and study anywhere in the European Union.

You’ll gain the right to vote in national and European elections.

The Portuguese passport is one of the most powerful globally, allowing visa-free access to numerous countries.

Our top immigration lawyers can assist you in becoming a Portuguese citizen hassle-free. Contact us today.

How Can IAS Help?

Considering a move to Portugal? The journey from Switzerland to a Portugal destination is filled with legalities, documentation, and procedural intricacies, especially when it comes to the Portugal visa application process.

The Immigration Advice Service (IAS) is here to make this transition smoother for Swiss citizens planning an extended stay or permanent relocation. Our services range from personalised consultations that align perfectly with your visa needs, to meticulous document verification, ensuring your application stands the best chance of approval. Our assistance doesn’t end there; we’ll be with you every step of the way, even offering post-visa guidance to help you settle in.

With our extensive experience across various visa types and a solid commitment to maintaining your confidentiality, IAS is the trustworthy partner you need. Let us help you on your Portuguese journey with confidence. Reach out to us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 for unwavering support.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

No, Swiss citizens do not require a visa to travel to Portugal for short stays up to 90 days within 180 days. This is due to Switzerland’s participation in the Schengen Agreement, which facilitates passport-free travel across its member countries, including Portugal.

Portugal’s visa is essentially a Schengen visa. Once issued by any Schengen country, like Portugal, it allows you to travel freely throughout the entire Schengen Zone, subject to the 90/180 rule (90 days within any 180 days). However, if you apply for a Schengen visa through Portugal, you must first enter the Schengen Area via Portugal or spend most of your stay there.

Switzerland is a member of the Schengen Agreement, which means its citizens do not need a Schengen visa to travel within the Schengen Area. Conversely, citizens of most Schengen countries, including Portugal, can travel to Switzerland without a visa. However, non-Swiss residents may have different visa requirements based on their nationality and the purpose of their stay.

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