First step, what you need?

First things first: The visa acquisition procedure does not happen only when you arrive in Portugal. It’s divided into two phases, the first one happens in your country and the second when you arrive in Portugal.

In this post, I’ll tell you more about the second phase, after arriving in Portugal.

Now, let me introduce you to SEF: Serviços de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras which means Frontiers and Foreign Services.

SEF is the institution responsible for issuing visas in Portugal, regardless of its typology. You will have to schedule a meeting and present your documentation. They will validate, approve and convert into your visa.

There are several types of visas: entrepreneur, golden visa, personal income visa, work, internship, and study visa.

The VISA required depends on the purpose of your trip and, also on the time you want to stay in Portugal.

I will focus on the student visa, for those who wish to take the whole bachelor in Portugal:

The first step is to be admitted to the course you are interested in. Subsequently, you will have to follow the steps detailed in the post above.

After your arrival, you should look which SEF is the closest to your rented house/room and go as fast as possible to schedule the meeting and deliver your documents, once you have been in Portugal for three years you will receive a residence visa (long stay).

Scheduling with SEF can take time, the sooner you settle your visa the sooner you will be able to visit your family and travel through Europe! Hurry up!


And what are the conditions for granting this visa?

  1. Your passport must be valid and present an expiration date higher than 6 months.
  2. If you are a minor, you will need a document where your parents authorize you to live here.
  3. You will also need proof of income that covers your expenses here, as well as a proof of your accommodation.

Documents you should bring with you:

Letter of acceptance in the course, documents indicated and provided by the Portuguese consulate in your city, updated criminal record and a written document where you will authorize the SEF to consult your Portuguese criminal record (yes, two criminal records, one from your country of origin and one from the country of destination).

What about Health Insurance?

If you are not covered by the National Health Service in Portugal, you must have a valid health insurance from home or acquire one here (private).

Visa conditions may change slightly depending on your country of origin, but I believe that now you have a better idea of how it works. Plan your trip in advance and visit the Portuguese consulate in your city as fast as you can to validate all this information.

Don’t forget: your documentation must be authenticated in this same consulate to be valued in Portugal. Find out how here.

Suggestion: The photos that will appear in your document are taken on time in SEF, however, I advise you to take two 3×4 photos for prevention. If there is a problem with the photographing machines you will not have to re-schedule and delay your process.

If you still have some doubts, let me know and I’ll help you!

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