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Portuguese Student Visas

With affordable degrees, warm weather, and breathtaking sights, Portugal is a popular choice for students who are looking to study abroad. Before you can begin the journey to your new home, however, there are a few steps that need to be taken to obtain a Portuguese student visa.

You may need help with how to study in Portugal and qualify for a D4 visa (Portugal). At IAS, we can give you the assistance you need. Call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online for immediate help.

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    What Student Visa Do I Need As a USA Citizen?

    The first point to make is that there’s no one-size-fits-all Portuguese student visa. The requirements for studying in Portugal differ between EU/EEA nationals and non-EU/EEA nationals.

    Another factor is the duration of your course. Is it a short-term or long-term course?

    With that in mind, do you need a student visa? If so, which student visa should you apply for? Getting the right Portugal student visa is crucial unless you’re willing to risk your spot at your dream Portuguese university.

    For that reason, you’ll need to learn all about the different Portuguese student visas and who they’re best for.

    Also, you should know their eligibility criteria, application processes, required documents, processing fees, process duration, and more.

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    Types of Portuguese Student Visa

    These student visas allow non-EU/EEA international students to pursue a degree in Portugal. Also, the eligibility criteria and rules differ according to the duration of your stay in Portugal and the type of visa you pursue.

    1. Short-Stay Student Visa

    If you’re a non-EU/EEA international student, you’ll need a Schengen short-term student visa, also called a type C visa, to conduct a research project or study in Portugal for three months (90 days) or less. That can be work training or language courses. Also, it’ll allow you to travel across the remaining 26 Schengen countries.

    To qualify for a Portuguese student visa, you’ll need a letter of acceptance into a Portuguese program to apply for the short-stay visa.

    It’s worth mentioning that the citizens of 61 countries are currently exempt from getting a visa for short-study programs. They include the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

    How Much Does It Cost?

    This visa for Portugal will cost you:

    • €80 for children over 12 and adults
    • €40 for children aged six to 12
    • €35 for Armenian, Russian, and Azerbaijan citizens
    • Nothing for children under six

    However, certain groups don’t have to pay this fee, those being diplomats, scientific researchers undertaking studies, students accompanying teachers on a school trip, relatives of EU/EFTA nationals, and representatives of non-profit organizations under 25 traveling to Portugal for a sports/cultural event or conference organized by a non-profit organization.

    2. Temporary-Stay Portuguese Student Visa

    Non-EU/EEA nationals should apply for this Portugal student visa if they want to stay in Portugal for three to 12 months. It can get them through a study program, student exchange program, vocational training, internship, or student volunteering program.

    Like the previous type, you’ll need an acceptance letter proving that you’re enrolled in a program. In the first three months of your stay, you must also apply for a temporary residence permit with your local SEF office.

    Portugal Study Visa Cost

    For this type D Schengen visa, you’ll pay an entry visa fee of €75 (that’s approximately $82.22). However, you’ll need about €90 ($98.65) for the required temporary residence permit.

    3. Long-Stay Portuguese Student Visa

    Are you a non-EU/EEA national who wants to study in Portugal for over 12 months? You’ll need a type D Schengen long-stay visa (typically valid for up to five years). Your visa may only be valid for a year, but it’s renewable. As long as you meet the Portuguese immigration requirements, you can renew it.

    To obtain the visa, you’ll need to secure a spot at your chosen Portuguese institution for higher education.

    Also, you’ll need a long-term residence permit along with your valid visa, which you can apply for in the first three months of your stay. Portugal residence permits are classified into five types according to the applicants.

    • Higher Education Students: Apply for this residence permit if you’re pursuing a graduate or postgraduate degree.
    • Researchers: This residence permit allows you to conduct scientific and academic research.
    • Secondary School: This type pertains to students of QNQ4, 5-level qualification courses, and professional courses.
    • Trainees: If you enroll in training under a professional training company, you’ll need this permit.
    • Volunteers: Students enrolled in a volunteer program must get this residence permit.

    How Much Does It Cost?

    Like the temporary stay, you’ll be charged for the entry visa and residence permit. That’ll be €90 and €108, respectively.

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      What Is the Eligibility Criteria?

      International students can typically study in Portugal if they get accepted into one of the Portuguese universities and have the tuition fees and needed funds. With the letter of acceptance, they can start preparing their application.

      As for language requirements, proof of language proficiency is required for admission at a Portuguese university. Also, if you’re applying for an English-taught program, you’ll have to pass TOEFL iBT, IELTS Academic, or C1 Advanced.

      Accordingly, getting an acceptance letter means fulfilling the language requirements by default, which explains why consulates and embassies don’t request proof of language proficiency. Still, being able to speak Portuguese can impress visa officers.

      To get more clarification on the eligibility requirements, get in touch with our legal experts today by calling: +1 844 290 6312

      What Documents Do You Need to Provide?

      Here are the required documents for the Portugal study visa and the residence permit.

      Student Visa

      The required documentation isn’t dependent on the type of visa. So, you should prepare the following documents for the Portugal student visa process:

      • A completed application form, which you can download from the website of the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country
      • A valid passport or travel ID whose expiration date is at least three months after your planned return from Portugal with at least one blank visa page
      • Two recent, identical passport-sized photos in color (according to the Schengen requirements)
      • An acceptance letter from a Portuguese higher education institution or education system
      • Proof of accommodation arrangements (on campus or else)
      • Proof of medical insurance that covers your stay
      • Proof of sufficient financial resources (like bank statements with a minimum of €40/$43.85 a day)
      • A bank receipt proving you’ve paid the visa application fee
      • Return flight details (valid travel ticket from Portugal)
      • Details of your plans (like a copy of your travel itinerary)
      • Proof of no criminal records (depending on your home country)

      Residence Permit

      Getting residence permits requires the following documents:

      • Completed application form
      • A valid passport with a photocopy
      • Two recent passport-sized photos in color
      • Proof of adequate accommodation
      • Proof of medical insurance
      • Proof of income or financial means to support the stay
      • Proof of registration at a Portuguese university
      • Proof of paying any applicable tuition fees

      For assistance with Portuguese Student Visas as a US citizen, get in touch with us today. Contact Us

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        How Do You Apply as a US Citizen?

        To initiate the visa application process, you should visit the Portuguese embassy or your local consulate. Other options include applying at a visa application center and resorting to the online e-visa service.

        Although the list above gives you a good idea of the documents required, the visa application process differs slightly across countries. Thankfully, the embassy will explain the student visa requirements to you.

        You might need to schedule a visa interview via the website to learn about these requirements. Additionally, it can help you understand whether you need a visa or not, the type of visa required, and the length of the visa application process.

        After confirming the necessary documents with your Portuguese consulate or embassy, you can submit your visa application.

        Make sure you have copies of your documents in case you need them. Also, you’ll have to pay the application fee, which may be up to €170.

        Typically, applications for temporary visas are reviewed within 30 days of the submission date. In some cases, it can be 60 days before applicants get a decision.

        After receiving your Portugal student visa, you might need to fulfill some health requirements (like getting vaccinated).

        When arriving in Portugal, you should apply for a temporary residence permit at an SEF bureau if your stay is over three months.

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        Do EU/EEA Nationals Need a Portugal Student Visa?

        No, they don’t need a visa to study in Portugal, and they don’t need a permit to work either. Instead, they can come to the country with a national identity card or passport and a valid European Health Insurance Card. Then, they’ll be added to the population register.

        Nevertheless, if their stay is over three months, they’ll need to report their arrival in the first four months. In other words, they must get a certificate of registration or Certificado de Registro.

        Can You Work in Portugal With a Student Visa?

        Yes, getting a visa to study in Portugal enables you to work in the country, but you’ll need to inform the SEF beforehand.

        Of course, EU/EEA nationals can study and work in the country without a student visa. Also, their work hours are unlimited.

        As for non-EU/EEA students, they can only work up to 20 hours a week during school, which allows them part-time employment only.

        As for holidays and non-study periods, they’re allowed to pursue full-time employment.

        How Can IAS Help?

        With Portugal being a popular destination for international students, many want to get their university degree in Portugal.

        Unfortunately, some applicants don’t meet the eligibility criteria and are unable to get their visas. Others apply for the wrong visa and are denied entry to the country. As a result, they lose their spots at their dream universities.

        With that in mind, it’s crucial to submit an excellent application form, which you can do with the help of our immigration lawyers. We’re professional, experienced, and understanding immigration advisors, and we have a long history of guiding US citizens to get their short-stay visas for Europe visits.

        At IAS, your Portuguese student visa application is in safe hands. We’ll guide you through the application process, telling you which visa type you need, helping you collect the needed supporting documents, and assisting you with your application form.

        Our Application Package will give you a smooth and stress-free experience. After all, your caseworker will help you meet the eligibility criteria and submit your forms on your behalf.

        Is your deadline closing in? Are you worried you’ll miss the beginning of your study course? If you need a student visa fast, you’ll appreciate our Fast Track Package. With premium service, our lawyers will prioritize your case so that your application is submitted as soon as possible.

        To learn more about how we can help you and get help with your application process as a US citizen, call us on +1 844 290 6312, or reach out to us online today.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  No, getting a student visa for Portugal has its challenges, and it’s typically easier to get student visas for Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, or New Zealand. Still, if you know which documents to prepare, you can have a smooth Portugal study visa process.

                  If your application is rejected, filing an appeal or complaint is an option. You should do so in less than 15 days of getting the application outcome, and it should be at the same institution where you submitted your application, whether that’s the SEF or the Portuguese embassy or consulate.

                  You can extend your stay in Portugal with proper employment. Apply for a residence card or permit for work or self-employment within 30 days of the expiry date of your visa/permit. Even better, a highly skilled worker can apply for an EU Blue Card, which gives you the right to live and work in an EU country.


                  To get a Portugal student residence permit, apply for it within three months of arriving. Check your visa for the appointment date; if it’s not there, contact SEF to schedule it.

                  The D4 Visa is for foreigners studying in Portugal briefly. However, if you use the D4 Visa, you won’t be allowed to work in the country.