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| Visas and Residency

General Information
You must obtain a student visa prior to departing for Portugal. As soon as you accept placement, you should start the process for obtaining your visa.

Requirements for student visas may vary by consulate. Please contact the nearest Portuguese consulate for information on what documentation you may require to enter Portugal. For a list of consulates see the Important Links section.

Many consulates require an FBI background check as a part of the visa application. As FBI background checks can take up to 12 weeks to obtain. It is strongly advised that students contact their local consulate to verify the requirement as soon as possible. For more information regarding FBI background checks please visit this link

Visa Application
Below is a list of documents typically required for a student visa application, obtained from the Embassy of Portugalís website. Please be sure to double check for additional requirements and contact your local consulate for the most updated visa forms.

  • Visa application form typed or filled completely and legibly and signed. If applying by mail, signature must be notarized.
  • A recent color photograph must accompany each application form.
  • Certified copies of passport or official travel document valid for at least 3 months beyond date of intended stay in Portugal. The original document must be submitted once visa is approved.
  • Documents confirming enrollment, stating type and length of courses to be taken in Portugal,
  • Confirmed Accommodation: from the inviting institution if on campus or confirmed hotel reservations, stating name, address and telephone number of the hotel, including confirmation number.
  • Proof of financial support,† while in Portugal (usually this is in the form of a bank statement, check consulate for requirements);
  • Criminal Record Certificate (for applicants older than 15), issued by the FBI;
  • Proof of medical insurance valid for Portugal.
  • Payment of any applicable consular fees

You will also need to submit a postage paid return envelope for your passport and visa to be returned to you. It is advisable to use a mail service with a tracking feature.

A Note Regarding the Schengen Area
Portugal is a member of the Schengen area. Students should review the important regulations that dictate travel and visas within the Schengen area.

Important Links
Embassy of Portugal in the US
FBI Background Checks



This information provides guidelines about the visa process. Visa regulations often change, and procedures can vary by Consulate and/or Embassy. Students should verify the current visa application procedures with the appropriate Consulate or Embassy before initiating the process. While every effort is made to ensure these guidelines are updated and as accurate as possible, ISEP cannot guarantee that the visa information posted is the most current.