Back to top

If you a UE/EEE/Swiss citizen, you have the right to freely move to Portugal with no need for documentation. If you choose to stay longer than three months, then you have 30 days to request a registration certificate or in Portuguese: Certificado de Registo para cidadão da UE/EEE/SUÍÇA. This is done at your local town hall where you are residing in Portugal and will cost €15. You will need to bring with you:

1.    Identity card or passport
2.    A declaration of your employment by a company or proof of self-employment
OR
2.   A declaration that you have sufficient means to support yourself and that you have health insurance

*It is always wise to confirm with local authorities that this information is up to date and accurate.

For non-EU/EEE/Swiss citizens entering the Schengen Area, which is a zone comprised of 26 European countries that allows for the free movement of people within it (see the full list of Schengen countries here), visa requirements depend on your passport. 

You either fall into the group requiring a visa when crossing an external border of Schengen Area or the group that does not need a visa.  Please see here to see into which group you fall.

If you require a visa upon entry, you must file your visa request either 
1)    with the Portuguese Consulate, or 
2)    if you are planning to visit multiple Schengen countries you should apply with the Consulate of the country you will stay the longest, or 
3)    if you are visiting various countries of equal length stay then you should apply with the Consulate of the country you will enter through.

The application must be submitted at least 15 days before your journey and no more than three months before that journey. The application requires:
•    Two passport style photos
•    Your passport
•    Proof of means of subsistence
•    Proof of accommodation
•    Criminal record – if the stay if more than 90 days
•    Return travel 

If you fall into the group that does not require a visa, then you have the right to be in the Schengen for 90 days within a 180-day period. Note that once you leave, you must wait at least another 90 days from your departure date before you can reenter the Schengen without a visa.

If you have extended your tourist visa and are now considering requesting temporary residency, head back to CNAIM for some legal advice and help on what documentation you will need. From there they will send you to SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), our office of borders and immigrants. 

Log on to SEF’s website, create a profile for yourself, and book an appointment with your closest SEF office. This is the most efficient way to do it since calling is not an option and dropping in without an appointment, especially in Lisbon or Porto, is ill-advised. Once you have your appointment and you spoke with CNAIM, start collecting your necessary documentation and dreaming about your longer-term life in Portugal. 
 

If you come to Portugal within your visa or non-visa limit and fall in love, deciding to stay longer – don’t laugh, it has happened before – then you have a little be more work to do. Firstly, you will want to go to your nearest CNAIM (Centro Nacional de Apoio à Integração de Migrantes) office and make an appointment. It is possible to extend a tourist visa for up to 3 times a year. The first extension is usually quite routine; you will need to show them your: 
•    Your passport
•    Proof of means of subsistence
•    Proof of accommodation
•    Declaration of why you are extending your stay

People say that while the first extension can be pretty easy, the second and third ones are harder to come by and require more convincing.