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D4 – Student Visa in Portugal

On top of being a beautiful, sunny country, that’s full of history and culture, Portugal also stands out for its overall triumph in the higher education realm – being home to many universities, both public and private, and offering a very wide range of programs. So it is only natural that many people from all over the world want to move to Portugal for university. However, all the documentation that’s needed might make the process look a little stressful. We are here to tell you all about the Portugal D4 or Student Visa and how you can easily further your education here. Come find out more!

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO

Do you want to study in Portugal? Get the process done by a local expert!

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The Student Visa in Portugal

Well, it is in the name. The D4 or Student Visa is aimed at Non-EU citizens looking to further their education in Portugal. That are three types of this Visa:

  • Short-Term: Suitable for those looking to take a short course of up to 90 days. However, this is only applicable to those who would also need a Portugal Schengen Visa. People with passports from these countries, can stay for up to three months in Portugal without a specific visa grant;
  • Temporary Stay: For programs lasting three months to a year, like Erasmus+;
  • Long-Term: For any non-EU citizens looking to long-term study in Portugal, for example, for a master’s degree – which is common. It has the duration of one year, but, like other visas, can be renewed, as long as you haven’t finished your studies.

How can I apply for a student visa (D4) in Portugal?

In order to get your student visa (any of the types offered), you must submit a request for it at the Portuguese embassy of your home country, at which point you must already have a Letter of Acceptance from the university or learning institution you applied to. These are the steps:

  • Gather the necessary documents needed;
  • Schedule an appointment to submit the application form at the Portuguese embassy;
  • Pay the required student visa application fee;
  • Wait for the visa to be processed (should take 1-2 months);
  • Travel to Portugal (you have three months, after receiving your visa approval);
  • Schedule an appointment with the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA) in order to get your residence permit (only applicable for the Temporary Stay and Long-Term student visas).
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What documents do I need to apply for the student visa (D4) in Portugal?

  • Valid ID and/or passport;
  • Two passport-style photos of yourself;
  • Health insurance;
  • Criminal record;
  • Letter of acceptance from your new university or learning institution;
  • The student visa application form;
  • Proof that you have enough financial means to support yourself during your stay (e.g.: scholarship, bank statements,…)
  • Proof of residence in Portugal (rental contract, for example).
How much does a student visa cost in Portugal?
Short-stay visa

Free for:

  • Family members of EU/EFTA citizens
  • Students accompanying teachers during a school trip or exchange
  • Scientific researchers
  • Representatives of non-profit organizations who are participating in conferences or events organized by non-profits
  • Diplomats
  • Children under six


  • €80 for adults and children over 12
  • €40 for children aged 6–12
  • €35 for people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia
Temporary-stay visa

The temporary-stay student visa will cost you €75 when you submit your application and around 90€ when you need to get your residence permit, after travelling to Portugal.

Long-term student visa

The long-term student visa can cost you €90 to apply (depends on the Portuguese embassy of your home country) and around €108 to get your residence permit at AIMA.

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Family reunification under the Portuguese student visa

The family members who qualify to come with you to Portugal under your student visa:

  • Your spouse or registered partner;
  • Children under 18;
  • Children over 18 who are still dependent on you.

It is important to note that, when bringing family with you, you must prove that you have enough financial resources to sustain them and yourself. And, of course, they need to submit their own documentation and pay the fees.

Can I stay in Portugal with my student visa after I finish my studies?

You can, as long as you get a job or show concrete proof of a job offer – but you will need to change the nature of your visa. Once you get a job, your residence permit will be updated to a residence permit for work purposes – i.e. a work visa. At this time, you can look into applying for the Digital Nomad, Entrepreneur or the Highly-Qualified Professional visas.

It is very important to take care of this at least 30 days before the expiry date of your student visa. If the visa does terminate before you have sorted out your situation, you will need to apply for a new visa from your home country.

Can I work in Portugal with my student visa?

Yes! Your student visa residence permit allows you to work part-time (20 hours per week) during the semesters, and full-time during breaks and the summer.

Work opportunities for foreign students in Portugal

As previously said, during the semester you can only work part-time. Any city with a university is sure to have a lot of restaurants, so picking up shifts that fit your class schedule and workload is definitely a great and popular option.

During summer break, since you can work full-time, you have a broader plethora of job options to choose from. This is peak tourism season, so you can easily find a job either in food service, costumer service (e.g.: clothing stores) and hospitality. Moreover, since these jobs are tourism-oriented, you most likely won’t need to be able to speak a lot of Portuguese (however, it is still recommended).

It is important to note that if you start working, you have to pay income tax and social security, which means that you must get a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF) and a Portuguese Social Security Number (NISS). So, if you are on a scholarship or getting some sort of funds while in Portugal, you should check the terms and conditions of your situation before you take up employment. Good luck!

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO

Do you want to study in Portugal? Get the process done by a local expert!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Terms and conditions here.

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