Portugal, besides being a great tourist destination, with history, culture, natural landscapes and gastronomy, is also an appealing destination to study, especially in higher education. Portuguese Universities, some of which are already centenary, have trained researchers and renowned professionals all over the world, often occupying prominent places in various world rankings.
Thus the Student Visa is very popular for all non-EU citizens seeking recognised higher or postgraduate education.
Article 91 and following of Law 23/2007, of 04 June, define who can request this Visa, as can be seen in its first two points:
1 – A higher education student who holds a residence visa issued in accordance with the provisions of article 62 and fulfils the general conditions of article 77 is granted a residence permit, provided that he presents proof:
a) Enrolment in a higher education institution;
b) The payment of tuition fees, if applicable;
c) Means of subsistence, as defined in the ordinance referred to in subparagraph d) of no. 1 of article 52;
d) That he is covered by the National Health Service or has health insurance.
2 – The residence permit granted under this article is valid for one year and renewable, for equal periods, if the holder continues to meet the conditions for granting it.
Initially the citizen must choose one of the educational institutions, where he/she must then consult the respective edict that defines the enrolment procedures and necessary documents. This application will be made exclusively online, not requiring the citizen to travel to Portuguese territory beforehand.
The documents required may vary from one institution to another, but basically they are diplomas, equivalence of grades, academic transcripts, letters of introduction, among others. All of them must be apostilled.
Once the application has been accepted and duly enrolled, the candidate may then submit the documentation to request the D/ Visa at the consular section nearest to his/her country of residence.
As soon as the visa is issued the citizen may enter Portugal and make an appointment by telephone with SEF to collect biometric data (photo and fingerprints) for the production of the temporary residence permit card. This card is renewed annually according to the duration of the course to be taken.
After the end of the course you can: make a new graduation; return to the country; find a job or create a company in Portugal changing the reason in the temporary residence permit card to the most adequate one. At the end of the 5 years you can then ask for a permanent residence card or submit the documentation to request Portuguese nationality.