Should I Get a Visa for Portugal?
Many Turkish citizens choose to move to live and work in Portugal. The country is politically stable, offers a high quality of life, and is one of the most peaceful nations in the world. Portugal also offers a lot of natural beauty, and has a rich culture and history.
If you travel to Portugal to work, after five years Turkish nationals will be eligible for permanent residency in Portugal. This allows you to live in Portugal without requiring visas and work permits, and also opens up the opportunity for you to work in the EU and EEA. Gaining permanent residency status also allows you to apply for Portuguese citizenship and a Portuguese passport, if you fit the criteria for citizenship through naturalisation.
- Should I Get a Visa for Portugal?
- What is a Schengen Visa?
- Portugal Student Visa from Turkey
- Portugal Work Visa from Turkey
- Other Portugal Long-Stay Visas from Turkey
- Transit Visas for Portugal
- Am I Eligible for a Portugal Visa from Turkey?
- What Documents Do I Need for Portugal Visa?
- How to Apply for a Portugal Visa from Turkey
- How Long Does the Application Process Take?
- How Much Does Portugal Visa from Turkey Cost?
- How can Total Law Help?
What is a Schengen Visa?
The Schengen Area is a political agreement between 27 European nations that allows passport-free travel for the citizens of each nation when they travel to other Schengen nations. Portugal has been part of the Schengen area since 1995.
The Schengen visa is also sometimes known as the EU visa and is the most common tourist visa available in Europe. The Schengen visa is a short-stay tourist visa that allows foreign nationals to enter any Schengen area country for up to 90 days within a 180 day period for tourism or business purposes. The EU visa allows you to travel freely within the Schengen area during its validity period.
As a Turkish national, if you wish to travel to Portugal and/or other Schengen countries for tourism or business purposes, you must apply for the Schengen tourist visa. The benefits of applying for a Schengen visa is that you may also visit other Schengen area nations during the validity period of the visa.
The application process for the Schengen visa usually takes around two weeks, though can take longer if there are any complications with your application or you apply during a busy period. It is therefore important that you do not make any plans to travel to Portugal or any other Schengen country until your visa application has been approved.
Portugal is a popular country for international students to choose for their studies.
Turkish national students are welcome to apply for student visas in Portugal. Please note that the process for obtaining a student visa in Turkey differs depending on whether you are an EU/EEA national or not; if you live in Turkey but are a citizen of an EU or EEA nation, or you have dual citizenship in Turkey and an EU/EEA country, then you should follow the application process for EU/EEA nationals instead.
Turkish nationals can apply for either a Short-Stay Student visa (Type C) or Long-Stay Student visa (Type D). For either option, you will need to provide evidence that you have been accepted to study at a verified Portuguese academic institution and that any tuition fees have been paid.
Turkish students are allowed to work part-time during the course of their studies for up to 20 hours per week during term time, and full-time during the holidays. Please note that if you are studying in Portugal on a scholarship, the rules may differ depending on your circumstances.
You may be eligible to bring your family with you on your student visa. The following family members will be considered:
- Your spouse or partner
- Your children younger than 18 years old
- Your children above 18 years old if they are dependent on you due to disability.
You can apply for a student visa at the Portuguese Embassy in Ankara:
Kırlangıç Sokak No. 39, Gaziosmanpaşa, Çankaya
Short-Stay Student Visa
The Short-Stay visa applies to Turkish students who only intend to stay in the country for less than 90 days within a 180 day period to study at a higher education institution, conduct a research project, or complete a course or training.
Long-Stay Student Visa
The Long-Stay visa applies to Turkish students who intend to stay for longer than 90 days to study, conduct research, or complete training. You should apply for this visa if you plan to do a year-abroad study programme or complete your full higher education course in a Portuguese university. This visa is typically valid for one year but can be extended for up to 5 years.
Once you have arrived in Portugal, Turkish nationals studying in Portugal on the long-stay visa must obtain a residence permit from the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) within 4 months of arriving in the country.
Required Documents for Students
As well as other documents, you will be required to include the following as part of your application:
- Proof of enrolment at an approved academic institution
- A no-objection certificate from your school or university
- Advertisements of your course or institution.
Required Documents for Work Visas
If You are Employed
You will need the following documents if you are employed and applying for a visa to Portugal:
- Employment contract
- Recent bank statement from the 6 months
- Leave permission from the employer
- Income Tax Return form.
If You are Self-Employed
- Proof of your business licence
- Company bank statement from the past 6 months
- Income Tax Return form.
If You are Retired
- Pension statement from the past 6 months
- Proof of regular income through owning a property for the past 6 months.
Short-Term Work Visa
The Portugal Short-Term Work visa is available to Turkish nationals who have been offered an employment contract of less than one year. The visa will be valid for at least the duration of your contract with the option to extend for up to a year.
The Short-Term Work visa is best suited to jobs in the following industries:
- Amateur sports
- Religious work or training
- Performing arts or show business
- Professional training
- Seasonal work.
Long-Term Work (Residency) Visa
The Portugal Long-Term Work visa is available to Turkish nationals who wish to work in Turkey for an extended period. You will need to apply for a residence permit within 4 months of arriving in Portugal. The validity period of the Long-Term Residency visa will depend upon your work contract, though usually is valid for 4 months to 1 year with the option to extend or reapply after expiry.
The Long-Term Residency visa is best suited for those who have been offered work or are coming to Portugal to work in line with the following:
- For investment purposes
- Long-term employment with a Portuguese company
- Long-term transfer to a Portuguese branch of an international company
- Long-term research
- For long-term self employment.
In order to be eligible for a work visa, you must be able to submit the following as part of your application:
- A valid work permit applied for by your employer on your behalf
- Proof of relevant qualifications in line with the job role
- In the case of a transfer, you must have worked for the company for at least 12 months
- Proof of salary offer above the Portugues minimum wage.
Portuguese Work Permit
In order to apply for a long-term work visa, you must have a Portuguese Work Permit. This is a document that proves that the job you will be taking on is valid, legal, and meets the requirements of your work visa and residence permit. Due to high unemployment rates in Portugal, the job that you have been offered must be a role that cannot be fulfilled by Portuguese, EU, EEA or Swiss citizens.
Professional Training, Internship, or Volunteering visa
The Professional Training, Internship, or Volunteering visa allows you to take on unpaid internships or volunteering schemes, or attend professional training based in Portugal for a period usually longer than 12 months.
Family Reunion Visa
The Family Reunion visa is available to non-EU or non-Schengen nationals who have family members living in Portugal and wish to join them.
You may be eligible for this visa if you fit one of the following criteria:
- Are a spouse or legally recognised partner of someone living in Portugal
- Are the child of a person living in Portugal (usually this only applies to children under 18 or those who are dependent on their parent due to disability)
- Are the parent of a person living in Portugal, including parents of the spouse, and are dependent on your child for support
- Are the dependent minor siblings of a person living in Portugal.
The Retirement visa available for Turkish citizens who can prove they can financially support themselves long-term without working and will not require support from the Portuguese state.
You will need to prove extensively that you have enough passive income or savings to support yourself for the duration of your stay in Portugal.
If you are coming to Portugal for a long-term religious placement, this visa may be the best one to choose.
Golden Visa (Soon To Be Discontinued)
The Portugal Golden visa was available to foreign nationals from non-EU countries who wished to invest significant sums of money into the Portuguese economy. The visa offered permanent residency rights and eventual citizenship application rights.
Please note that this visa will soon be discontinued.
A Portugal Transit visa is an immigration permit that citizens of foreign nationals who do not come from a Schengen area country must apply for when stopping over at a Schengen airport to change flights or mode of transport on your way to another non-Schengen nation.
There are two types of Transit visas that Turkish citizens can apply for when transiting in Portugal:
- The Airport Transit Schengen visa
- The Schengen Visa for Seafarers
- The Transit Visa
Do I Need a Transit Visa for Portugal?
A Transit visa, compared to an airport or seafarer visa, allows the visa holder to travel through Portugal or other Schengen territories for no more than 5 days by car, bus or aeroplane when travelling onward to a non-Schengen country.
Do I Need an Airport Transit Schengen Visa for Portugal?
An Airport Transit Schengen visa allows you to stay within the international transit area at an airport of a Schengen country. This type of transit visa does not allow you to leave the airport to enter the country you are transiting in. For example, you will not be allowed to leave to sleep in a hotel overnight whilst you wait for your onward flight.
When you apply for an Airport Transit visa, you must also apply for the Schengen visa too, in case you need to leave the airport to take your onward flight from a different country.
If you are travelling from a non-Schengen area country to another non-Schengen area country and have a connecting stopover flight in Portugal, you must apply for two visas:
- The Airport Transit Schengen visa, and
- The Schengen Tourist visa.
Please note that Turkish citizens are not required to obtain an Airport Transit Schengen visa when transiting through Portugal. However, other you will be required to apply for the Airport Transit Schengen visa if you transit through one of the following Schengen countries:
- Czech Republic
If you are a Turkish passport holder but fit one or more of the below criteria, then you will be exempt from needing to apply for an Airport Transit visa in any Schengen airport, including ones located in one of the countries listed above. You are exempt if you:
- Are the family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- Have been issued a visa for one of the following countries:
- An EU or EEA country
- A Schengen country (i.e. you have a Schengen visa)
- United States of America
- Have been issued a valid resident permit for one of the following countries:
- An EU or EEA country
- A Schengen country
- United States of America
- The Principality of Andorra
- San Marino
- Have a diplomatic passport
- Are a flight crew member for a contracting party to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation.
Do I need a Transit Schengen Visa for Seafarers?
A Transit Schengen visa for Seafarers is a visa available to seamen and women to disembark at a seaport in a Schengen country for a limited time period until they continue their onward journey to a non-Schengen nation.
You will be required to get obtain a Transit Visa for Seafarers as a non-Schengen national seafarer under the following circumstances:
- You intend to join a vessel that is docked in a Schengen port or will dock in a Schengen port at some point in the journey
- You intend to transfer from one vessel to another that is or will be docked in a Schengen port at some point
- You are obligated to disembark due to holiday, the end of a work contract, sickness, repatriation, urgent family matters, or any other mitigating circumstances.
As well as the documentation outlined later in this page, you will need to submit the following as part of your visa application:
- Original copy of your Seaman’s book
- Photocopy of your Seaman’s book
- Your employment contract, including the navigation company/ship.
Am I Eligible for a Portugal Visa from Turkey?
Turkish citizens cannot apply for a visa on arrival and therefore must apply before travelling to Portugal.
The eligibility criteria for a Portuguese visa differs depending on the type of visa you apply for. Generally, all visa applicants from Turkey must meet the following criteria:
- Have a valid passport or travel document
- Have a clean criminal record
- Proof of onward travel out of the country
- Proof of your reasons for travelling to Portugal
- Proof that you can financially afford your time in Portugal.
What Documents Do I Need for Portugal Visa?
Each Portuguese visa option available to Turkish nationals and other non-EU citizens has a different set of documents that it requires you to submit as part of your visa application.
The application process for a visa for Portugal for Turkish nationals is lengthy, and requires a large sum of documents that must be submitted as evidence with your application. We understand how stressful this can be.
- A fully complete visa application form
- A valid passport with at least two blank pages for the visa to be inserted
- Two recent passport photographs
- A cover letter stating your intentions for travelling to Portugal (and any other Schengen state if applicable), including length of stay,
- Proof of civil status (such as marriage or civil union certificates, divorce certificates, birth certificate of children, etc.)
- Biometric information (this is often done during the application process when you submit your documents)
- Proof of a flight into and out of Portugal within the validity period of the visa
- A medical examination document proving the applicant is in good health
- Proof of private medical or travel health insurance valid for the entire Schengen area, with a minimum of 30,000 euro coverage
- A letter confirming your employment or enrollment at a Portuguese company or institution, if applicable
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal – this can be a hotel reservation, a letter from a friend or family member proving you will be staying with them, or a rental agreement if you are applying for a long-term visa
- Proof of good character, with no political or criminal affiliations in another country
- A clean criminal record
- Proof of finances, in that either:
- They can financially support themselves for the duration of their stay in Portugal, or
- They have a sponsor that is financially supporting them to cover their expenses whilst in Portugal.
- Proof of payment for the visa
- Evidence of previously being approved for a Portugal visa or for a visa for other nations, especially EU.
How to Apply for a Portugal Visa from Turkey
You will need to apply for any Portugal visa at the Portuguese Embassy in Turkey:
Kırlangıç Sokak No. 39, Gaziosmanpaşa, Çankaya
If you are a Turkish citizen living in a different country, you will need to apply from your closest Portuguese embassy or consulate.
You will be required to gather all the documentation required for the specific visa you require and complete the relevant application form. You may need to book an appointment to apply – please note that you may need to book an appointment several months in advance as the wait times can be lengthy.
You may also be required to attend an interview, or submit further documentation than is stated in the visa requirements depending on your personal circumstances.
Applying for a visa for Portugal as a Turkish citizen is a complicated and lengthy process. We understand how frustrating it can be. Total Law can help you through your entire application process. Contact us today by calling us on+44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.
How Long Does the Application Process Take?
Each Portuguese visa type for Turkish nationals varies in how long the application and processing time will take. For example, the Schengen visa can be granted after as little as two weeks, or could take up to 6 months to process depending on your circumstances. Work and student visas generally take around 2 months to process.
It is therefore important that you apply well in advance of your planned travel dates so as not to be disappointed.
How Much Does Portugal Visa from Turkey Cost?
Each visa has a different cost depending on which visa you choose and your age, or whether you are eligible for a reduced fee.
Generally, all visa applications cost €80 to €90 as a processing fee.
If you are applying for a long-stay visa type, once you have obtained your visa and have travelled to Portugal you will need to pay around €83 to submit your residence permit application and around €72 to collect the permit.
Please note fees are subject to change and do not include document retrieval or translation costs, travel costs associated with visiting the Portuguese embassy for your visa application appointment, or any other additional costs incurred during the process.
How can Total Law Help?
Whether for tourism and leisure, business, work, study or investment purposes, Portugal is a popular choice for many Turkish citizens. Portugal has a well-developed economy and is an exciting and interesting place to spend time. The country is full of history and has a rich culture, as well as stunning beaches and a temperate climate to enjoy. It’s no wonder so many foreign nationals choose to apply for a visa to Portugal.
When it comes to the Portugal visa application, there can be a lot of confusion around what documentation you need as part of your visa requirements, as there are many required documents and some can be difficult to obtain. You may also be unsure about whether you are applying for the right visa for your particular circumstances.
It can be even more difficult to apply for a visa to Portugal if you have a criminal record or have had issues with obtaining visas from other countries in the past.
That’s why Total Law is here. We have a team of expert immigration lawyers that can advise you on your unique set of circumstances and help you throughout the visa application process.
Contact us today by calling us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.
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At the time of writing, Turkish nationals must apply for a visa for Portugal in-person at their local Portuguese embassy or consulate. If you are applying from within Turkey, you should go to the Portuguese embassy in Ankara:
Kırlangıç Sokak No. 39, Gaziosmanpaşa, Çankaya
The Portuguese immigration system is in the process of modernising its accessibility for non-Schengen nationals to apply for visas, and you Schengen visa applicants will be able to apply online in the near future.
In general, you can expect a decision for your Schengen visa application within 2-4 weeks of submitting your Portugal visa application. In exceptional circumstances, it may take up to two months to process. It’s therefore important that you are careful with making your travel arrangements whilst your application is being reviewed so as not to be disappointed.