- Can I study in Portugal?
- What types of Portuguese Study Visas are there?
- What are the eligibility requirements?
- What is the application process for the Student Visa to Portugal?
- What are the costs and processing times?
- Can I work on the Student Visa?
- Can I bring my family to Portugal on the Student Visa?
- Can I stay in Portugal after my studies?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Can I study in Portugal?
Portugal attracts many international students due to its renowned universities, mild climate, low cost of living, and international atmosphere.
Portugal welcomes both EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students but the process of coming to Portugal to study varies depending on their nationality.
Students who are EU/EEA citizens do not need a visa to study in Portugal. They can enrol in a study course and arrive in the country without having to meet any specific requirements and obtain a visa.
However, to be able to stay in Portugal for longer than 90 days, after arrival they must visit the local city council office and apply for a certificate of registration (Certificado de Registo).
To get the certificate, they must bring their national id or passport and their European Health Insurance Card. After the appointment, they will be added to the population register.
The process of coming to Portugal to study is more complicated for those who are non-EEA citizens as they require a Student Visa and a residence permit.
Non-EEA citizens who wish to study in Portugal should apply for a Study Visa to Portugal at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in their home country.
Non-EEA who successfully obtain the Student Visa must also schedule an appointment with the local branch of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) to apply for their Portuguese residence permit after they arrive in the country.
What types of Portuguese Study Visas are there?
Non-EEA nationals planning to study in Portugal can apply for either of the two available types of Student Visas:
- Type C Visa – a short-stay Student Visa intended for international students of researchers who plan to come to Portugal to complete a course or do a research project lasting less than 90 days
- Type D Visa – long-stay Student Visa intended for those who plan to spend more than 90 days in Portugal. This type of visa allows non-EEA citizens to, for example, complete a degree at a Portuguese university, undergo training for a job, or carry out academic research
The short-stay Student Visa grants holders the right to remain in Portugal for a maximum of 90 days within any 180 days. This type of visa can only be extended in exceptional circumstances.
The duration of the long-stay Student Visa can vary depending on the duration of the applicant’s study programme in Portugal. Typically, its initial validity is one year but holders can extend it for up to 5 years provided that they continue to study in Portugal.
Non-EEA nationals who intend to stay in Portugal longer than 90 days must also obtain their residence permit from the SEF after they arrive in the country on a valid Student Visa. They should do this within four months of arriving.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Non-EEA citizens who want to obtain a Portuguese Student Visa must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Have been accepted to study at an academic institution in Portugal (they must be able to provide proof of admission)
- Have a valid passport
- Be of good health (they must perform a medical examination before travelling to Portugal)
- Be of good character
- Do not have a criminal record
- Have enough money to support themselves after arriving in Portugal
- Have paid any tuition fees
As part of the application process, non-EEA nationals must provide supporting documents that prove that they meet these requirements.
Some students might have a sponsor helping them cover their expenses in Portugal. In such circumstances, they do not have to provide proof of their own finances but must submit proof of their sponsor’s financial stability instead.
If you are an international student who is planning to apply for a Portuguese Student Visa, get in touch with our lawyers.
What is the application process for the Student Visa to Portugal?
Non-EEA nationals who determine that they meet the eligibility requirements can submit their application at the Portuguese embassy or Portuguese consulate in their home country.
To apply, they need to provide the following documents:
- Completed visa application form
- Valid passport
- Two passport-sized photographs in colour
- Letter of acceptance from a Portuguese academic institution
- Proof of having enough money to support themselves during their stay (or details of their sponsor)
- Proof of having private health insurance
- Proof of having accommodation in Portugal
- Confirmation of having paid any tuition fees
- Receipt for the visa processing fee
Once applicants submit all the required documentation, immigration officials will determine whether they qualify for the Portuguese Student Visa.
If they need additional evidence to make a decision, they will notify the applicant about it.
What are the costs and processing times?
The total cost of applying for the Portuguese Study Visa depends on the type of visa applicants choose.
Those who choose to apply for the short-stay Student Visa must pay €75 (£65) and those who wish to get the long-stay one must pay €90 (£78). This fee is used to cover the costs of processing the visa application.
On top of the visa application fee, applicants must pay around €90 (£78) for their temporary residence permit.
As for the processing times, most applications for the Study Visa to Portugal are processed within 60 days. However, the waiting time can be longer if the Portuguese embassy where the applicant is applying has a heavy workload.
Similarly, if the applicant forgets to provide some of the required documents, the processing time can be delayed.
Can I work on the Student Visa?
EU/EEA nationals who come to Portugal to study have the right to work without any restrictions. This means that they do not have to obtain any permits and they can choose how many hours per week they work or what type of employment they engage in.
Students who come from non-EU/EEA countries, on the other hand, are allowed to work alongside their studies but with certain restrictions. They can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during school holidays.
It is important to note that non-EU/EEA nationals who are in Portugal on the Student Visa do not have to apply for any additional permits to be able to work.
Keep in mind that if you work in Portugal throughout your studies, you might have to pay income tax, depending on how much you earn.
And, if you receive a scholarship to help you cover the costs of living in Portugal, the rules regarding seeking employment might be different.
Can I bring my family to Portugal on the Student Visa?
Holders of the Portuguese Student Visa have the right to bring the following family members to Portugal with them:
- Their spouse or partner
- Their children (including adopted ones) younger than 18 years old
- Their children older than 18 years old who are financially dependent on them due to a disability
Those who want to bring their loved ones to Portugal can include them in their initial Student Visa application. Or, their family members can apply for the Family Reunification Visa later.
Once your eligible family members come to Portugal to join you, they will have the same rights as you and they will be able to stay in the country for as long as your Student Visa is valid.
Can I stay in Portugal after my studies?
Those who come to Portugal on the Student Visa can stay in Portugal after their study course finishes only if they have an offer of employment.
Those who have received a job offer before their Student Visa ends can apply to change their student residence permit to a residence permit for work purposes.
However, to be able to do that, they must meet the conditions for a Portuguese Work Visa.
International students who wish to remain in Portugal after their studies and work must submit their applications within 30 days of their Portuguese Student Visa expiry date. Otherwise, the SEF will most likely reject their application.
Those who fail to submit their application on time, as well as those who do not secure a job offer before their studies end, must leave Portugal when their visa expires.
If they receive a job offer in Portugal at a later date, they can apply for a Work Visa from their home country.
How can IAS Help
At IAS, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who have helped many clients apply for various Portuguese visas, including the Student Visa. They can analyse your circumstances and help you determine whether you are eligible to apply for it.
Our lawyers can guide you through each step of the application process, answer all your questions, and help you gather all the necessary documentation. Thanks to the professional help of our lawyers, you can maximise the chances of your visa application being approved.
Last modified on August 18th, 2023 at 7:17 am
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Those who want to obtain the Portuguese Student Visa must undergo a medical examination before they arrive in Portugal. They also must provide proof confirming that they have private medical insurance.
There are no specific language requirements for the Portuguese Student Visa. However, each university has its own language requirements for admission.
To be able to obtain the Student Visa to Portugal, applicants must have been accepted to study at an academic institution in Portugal. So, before you submit your application for the Student Visa make sure to check what language tests you need to pass to get enrolled at your chosen university.
The Portuguese Family Reunification Visa allows family members of non-EEA nationals living in Portugal with a residence permit to join them in Portugal.
Those who are in Portugal on the Student Visa can bring the following family members to Portugal through the process of family reunification:
- Their spouse
- Their children younger than 18 years old (including adopted ones)
- children older than 18 years old who are dependent on the person living in Portugal due to illness or disability
To be able to bring their loved ones to Portugal through the process of family reunification, those residing in Portugal must prove that they have enough money to support their family members after they arrive. They also need to prove that they have adequate accommodation for everyone who plans to join them.