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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Visa?

    A Visa is an authorization issued by the representative of the Government of a country permitting a person, not resident in that country, to enter its territory.

  • How do I know if I need a visa?

    Please click here to check whether you require a visa.

  • Can I apply at the Portugal Visa Application Centre if I want to go to Spain, France or Poland? Can I arrange for bookings accordingly?

    If you plan to apply for your Schengen visa at the Portugal Visa Application Centre, your main destination and the maximum period of stay in the Schengen area must be in Portugal only. Please provide proof to support this information.

  • Is the visa valid for the Portugal only?

    No, the Embassy of Portugal issues visas for Portugal and for the other Schengen states. The Schengen visa gives access to 26 Schengen countries in total. However, the Schengen Visa application will only be accepted by the Portugal Visa Application Centre if Portugal is the country of maximum stay. Should the duration of the stay be the same in several Schengen States, Portugal must then be the first point of entry.

  • How can I contact the Portugal Visa Application Centre?

    You can contact the Portugal Visa Application Centre via VFS Helpline, by email or in person. Please see our Contact Us section for details.

  • How early can I apply?

    Applicants can apply up to 6 months prior to their date of travel. The Embassy recommends that you apply a minimum of 3 weeks prior to your date of travel to accommodate any unforeseen processing delays.

  • Can I apply if I have a passport that is more than 10 years old?

    No, third-country nationals, both those who require a visa and those who do not, when travelling for intended stays of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days in the Schengen area, must hold a valid travel document satisfying the following criteria: a) its validity shall extend at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States or, in the case of several visits, after the last intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States, b) it shall have been issued within the previous 10 years.

  • Can the Portugal Visa Application Centre prepare my application for me?

    No, the Portugal Visa Application Centre does not prepare visa applications. It accepts and processes applications in accordance with the Embassy’s instructions. Please don’t visit the visa application Center with incomplete application or documentation.

    Please be advised that our VFS Visa Application Centers have additional services available to assist applicants with application submission process.

  • How do I submit my application at the Application Centre?

    Please go to the How To Apply page for information on how to submit your application. Please see the Contact Us section for timings.

  • Do I have to come in person or can I send the application to the Portugal Visa Application Centre?

    All applicants are required to submit their first application for Schengen visa in person in order to have their biometric data recorded, including fingerprints and a photo.

    The above-mentioned biometric data can be accessed for 59 months thereafter, which means applicants who have given biometrics in the last 59 months are not required to apply in person though we recommend applicants to submit applications in person.

    If you have enrolled biometrics in the last 59 months and wish to send your application by post then please follow the mail-in application process

  • What is the application procedure at the Portugal Visa Application Centre?

    Upon arrival at the visa application centre you will be asked for your appointment letter and passport by our reception staff. Applicants will be asked to take a token at the entrance and be seated in the waiting area. (You can approach our Submission Counters when your token number is displayed). Our officers at the counter will collect your visa application form to check for completion and your photograph to see if it meets the required specifications. Your passport will be checked for validity, empty pages and previous travel information. Your fees will be collected in accordance with the visa category you have chosen, and the documents you submit will be readied in the manner in which they are required by the Embassy of Portugal. Your biometric information will be taken (where applicable), you will be issued a receipt for the fees paid and given an acknowledgement for the submission of your passport. If your application is incomplete then you will need to reschedule your appointment.

  • Which visa category should I apply for?

    The Portugal Visa Application Centre is an acceptance centre and as such is not authorized to advise/recommend any visa type to a prospective applicant. The Applicant will need to ascertain the visa category he/she is eligible for based on the purpose of travel. Please go Here to see a list of the available visa types.

  • What documents are required for a Portugal Visa?

    After deciding the eligible visa category, applicants should log on to the Portugal Visa Application Centre's website Here to check the recommended documents for the Visa category they have chosen. Photocopies are recommended, as documents will not be returned. Submit originals only where specified.

  • What if I do not have all the documents?

    We regret that we are not able to accept incomplete applications. Therefore please ensure that you provide all of the required documents, and that the application form is fully completed and signed.

  • What proof will I have that the Portugal Visa Application Centre has my visa application?

    The Portugal Visa Application Centre will not issue any documents other than the receipt for fees collected.

  • Will the application center give me acknowledgement of the documents that I have submitted?

    The Portugal Visa Application Centers will not issue any documents other than the receipt for fees collected.

  • What are the applicable fees and how can I pay?

    Every visa application needs to be accompanied by a visa fee for the amount applicable to your chosen visa category. You can also check the visa fees Here. Fees can be paid by debit/ credit card or postal order.

  • Can I make a collective payment for the visa fees and logistic fees?

    Yes, the Portugal Visa Application Centres will accept collective fees made in person at the centre at the time of submission.

  • In what name should the payment in a postal order be made?

    The Postal/money order more Short stay visa application should be in the name of : VFS Global Services Inc.

    The Postal/money order more Long stay National visa D should be in the name of:

    Application to be taken in VFS Washington D.C The Postal/money order should be in the name of: Embassy of Portugal ·

    Application to be taken in VFS San Francisco the Postal/money order should be in the name of: Consulate General of Portugal or Embassy of Portugal.

    Application to be taken in VFS New York City the Postal/money order should be in the name of: VFS Services USA Inc.

  • What is the procedure for the return of my passport?

    VFS Global Services will return the passports by courier services once the application has been processed and visa decision is made by the Embassy of Portugal. We have Next Day Courier Air Service available for dispatch and delivery of packages (does not include weekend/Holiday delivery) the charge for same would be 30 USD. This request it is mandatory at this time due the COVID-19 developments.

  • What documents should I provide to show proof of relationship and my spouse's nationality?

    You will need to provide an original marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate; showing applicant’s name and EEA/EU family member’s name. If this certificate is a non EU document (issued outside the EU) and it is in another language than English or Portuguese, then the certificate needs to be translated by a certified translator in the US.

    When married to a Portuguese citizen, then the marriage has to be registered with the Consulate of Portugal in the US.

    Photocopies of your spouse's national passport can be accepted as proof of nationality.

    Please remember to carry the original documents when making the application in order to verify authenticity.

    Printing Service will be available at VAC locations in case you would like to access our kiosk printer and print missing/required documents, for each document printed the charge would be 1 USD.

  • Will I get my visa at the end of the process?

    The Portugal Visa Application Centre will not be able to guarantee you a visa. The issuance or refusal of a visa is at the sole discretion of the Embassy of Portugal. The Portugal Visa Application Centre cannot influence this decision in any way.

  • If I have to travel elsewhere and my passport is still with the Embassy, is it possible for me to have only my passport back for travel?

    If your passport is with the Embassy and you have travel plans in the meantime, please prepare a covering letter which has your contact and passport information. State the reason why you would like your passport in the interim in this covering letter and bring this to the Portugal Visa Application Centre. Along with this letter, a form needs to be completed and submitted at the Application Centre. Once your travel is complete please return your passport to the Application Centre to permit you application to be processed.

  • What if I decide to withdraw my application?

    Should you wish to withdraw your application completely, please follow the same process but mention that you would like to withdraw your application completely. We would like to inform you that your fees will not be refunded at any stage.

  • Will my fees be refunded if my visa is refused?

    No, all fees are non-refundable and will not be refunded if your visa application is not successful.

  • When can I reapply: is there a timeframe after the refusal that I must wait before reapplying?

    You are free to re-apply at any time if your application has been refused earlier. There is no time gap to be observed after a refusal (to make a fresh application). However, it is recommended that you note the reasons for the earlier refusal before submitting a new application and make amendments where applicable.

  • Can my application be processed on the same day that I submit it at the Portugal Visa Application Centre?

    No, applications cannot be processed on the same day. Requests for Emergency visa processing cannot be accommodated except in an extreme medical circumstance and the Embassy’s decision on this is the final authority.

  • What if I am not happy with the response I receive from the person on the helpline?

    You can ask for the Manager on duty at any time during your enquiry if you are unhappy with the response you have received from the helpline.

    You may also share any feedback about the VFS Global experience (appreciation or complaint) by visiting the Customer Care section of this website.

  • Do I need Travel Insurance?

    Yes, you are required to obtain Travel Insurance (on all occasions).