Located in the southwestern part of the European continent is Portugal, a country known for its rich history and culture. It’s also an excellent destination for higher education, with some of its prestigious universities gaining a 9.5/10 rating for student satisfaction.

If you’re interested in enrolling in any of Portugal’s world-class universities, you will need to obtain a student visa in Portugal. Below, you’ll find the necessary application requirements – plus the processes of getting the visa.

What documents do you need to apply for a student visa in Portugal?

As with most European countries, students coming from the following blocs/nations only need a passport or valid identity card for Portugal:

  • EU
  • European Economic Area
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Andorra

If you’re not from any of these countries, then you will need to prepare the following documents for your Portugal student visa application:

Application form

You will need to provide the following for this form:

  • Personal data
  • Travel document
  • Purpose and intended dates of stay
  • Financial information

Make sure to write your answers legibly on this form.


It should be valid for three months more than your intended end of a stay in Portugal. It should have at least one blank visa page as well.


Requirements for photos are as follows:

  • Measures 35 by 45 mm
  • Colored
  • The head should take 70% to 80% of the photo
  • Neutral facial expression
  • Bright color background, although light gray is recommended

Make sure to affix one image on the application form.

Proof of status

If you reside in another nation other than your home country, you should submit documentation of your status, i.e., residence permit, green card (US), etc.

Criminal Record

This document should be issued by the authority in your country of nationality or residence.

Request for consultation with the Portuguese Criminal Registry

This is only applicable to students aged 16 and above. Do note that this is only valid for three months, so make sure to request it if you’re ready to apply.

Proof of admission or eligibility

This should show that you have been accepted to a university program.

Academic qualifications

Documents such as diplomas or transcripts need to be validated. This will be done by the Portuguese Embassy in your home/residence country.

Additional documents for Ph.D. students/researchers

If you’re applying for a Portugal student visa for doctorate research purposes, you will need to submit additional documents, such as:

  • Contract of employment or service
  • Hosting agreement form
  • Proof of research scholarship, if applicable

Means of subsistence

Your finances should cover the minimum monthly salary amount of EUR 665 or $790. Your funds should cover the total cost and more if you’re bringing your spouse and/or children with you.

If someone is sponsoring you, they may provide a statement of responsibility saying that they will shoulder your studies. It may be given by somebody living outside Portugal, even a foreign national residing within the country.

Scholars and students from Portuguese-speaking nations are exempt from submitting this document.

Proof of accommodation

You should submit a document that proves that you have somewhere to live in Portugal. It could be a rental contract, proof of down payment, etc.

Health insurance

The insurance should be able to cover your entire stay in Portugal. The minimum coverage amount mandated is EUR 30,000 ($35,650). It should be able to shoulder the cost of repatriation, if ever.

Vaccination records

The Portuguese government may require students to undergo vaccinations before they enter the country. Examples include shots for Diphtheria and Tetanus.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

How much money do you need for a Portuguese Student Visa?

The student visa application will cost you EUR 90 or $225

The request for criminal registry consultation, on the other hand, will cost you EUR 5 or $6.

You also need to pay EUR 84 or $100 when applying for a residence permit (see below.) You then need to pay another fee for receiving the permit. This costs EUR 72 or $85.

Steps on Applying for a Student Visa in Portugal

Before you could study in Portugal, you will need to follow this procedure on applying for a student visa for Portugal.

1. Prepare the application documents.

It would help if you had the papers mentioned above ready. The most important document to have is your letter of acceptance, as the Embassy will look into this.

2. Look for the Embassy where you should lodge your application.

Not all countries have Portuguese consulates. To know where you should apply for your Portugal student visa, click this link.

3. Schedule an appointment.

Since processing takes time, it’s best to start at least three months before your intended departure.

4. Pay the fees.

The Embassy will send you instructions on how or where to pay the student visa fee.

5. Attend your appointment date.

During your appointment, you will need to submit the documents stated above.

6. Wait for the visa issuance.

The Embassy’s processing time for student visas for Portugal ranges from one to three months. As mentioned, it’s best to start three months before your departure – even earlier, if you have completed the documents already.

7. Receive the visa.

Once you have the visa, you may fly to Portugal to start with your studies. Remember: this visa is only valid for three months, so you need to use it within these dates.

8.  Obtain a residence permit.

After arriving in Portugal, you need to apply for a residence permit or Autorização de Residência. You need to schedule this with the SEF (Immigration and Borders Service) office near your university.

To get this permit, you will need to submit the same documents used in your visa application. They are:

  • Passport with visa
  • Two passport-size photos
  • Academic registration documents
  • Means of subsistence/proof of funds
  • Health insurance certificate
  • Lodging certificate
  • Criminal registry form
  • Vaccination records

Apart from granting you free movement through the EU and EEA, a residence permit will give you the right to work in Portugal. You may augment your finances by working for 20 hours a week during the school semester. On summer breaks, you may even work full time.


I hope that this article on getting a Portugal student visa was helpful. If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.