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National Visas

What is the difference between a Schengen Visa and a National Visa?

A Schengen Visa allows a foreigner to visit Schengen countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) up to 90 days whereas a National Visa is valid only for Portugal (not the European Union).


What are the different National Visas?

There are Residence Visas, Student Visas, Work Visas and Temporary stay Visas.

  • Residence Visas - Enables the applicant to enter Portugal in order to request a residency permit; this Visa is valid for a period of four months with two entries.
  • Student Visas - Allows the applicant to enter Portugal for the purpose of study, scientific investigation, apprenticeships in educational establishments, firms, or public departments.
  • Work Visas - Allows the bearer to enter Portugal to carry on professional activities for a maximum period of three years.
  • Temporary Stay Visas - Allows the holder to enter Portugal for medical treatment in Health Services. This Visa can also be issued in exceptional cases to family members of those already holding study, work and temporary stay Visas.


Where exactly should I apply for the Visa?

If you live in Massachusetts (Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket Counties) you should come to the Consulate in New Bedford. If you live in Rhode Island, you should also come to the Consulate in New Bedford.

If you live in Massachusetts (Boston, Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex, Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties), ), or in the states of New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, you should go to the Consulate in Boston:


OK. I’m eligible to go to the Consulate in New Bedford. What documents should I present to apply for the National Visa?

  • Visa application form completely and legibly filled. There are two ways:
  • Valid Passport – which must be valid for at least three months after the expiration of the Visa for which you are applying.
  • One (1) recent color photo, Passport size
  • FBI record check (children under 16 are exempt from presenting FBI record checks). It is adVisable to present a CORI – Criminal Offender
  • Record Information – as an FBI record check takes usually a significant amount of time. Presenting the CORI does not preclude the FBI record check, but it will enable the Visa application to move forward, pending the final issuance of the FBI record.
  • Medical insurance or declaration that applicant will acquire it in Portugal within 90 days after arrival
  • Proof that applicant has guaranteed housing in Portugal (rental contract, deed to house)
  • Proof of means of support while in Portugal (i.e., financial statement, pension, scholarship, etc.)
  • Portuguese bank account statement (if applicable)
  • Proof of ownership of property in Portugal (if applicable)
  • Submission of certificate of enrollment in a University or Educational Institution in Portugal (for study Visas only)
  • Declaration outlining the reasons for wanting to obtain residence in Portugal (for residency Visas only)
  • Submission of a work contract approved by the Portuguese Ministry of Labor (for work Visas only)

Also, only if applicable:

To pursue scientific research, teaching activity in higher education institution and highly qualified activity - employment contract, contract of service or scholarship of less than one year;
To pursue amateur sports activity – document issued from the competent federation confirming the sports activity in the country of origin; affidavit of support signed by the host association or sports club regarding housing, health expenses and repatriation costs;
To accompany a family member undergoing medical treatment – proof of family ties; medical report; certificate issued by an official health facility or an officially recognized one ensuring hospitalization or outpatient treatment.

I have filled the Visa application form and have originals and copies of all the required documents. What should I do now?

You can visit the Consulate in New Bedford to submit the documents (originals and copies). At this moment, you will be interviewed.
If the documentation process is complete, it will be accepted. Note that the acceptance of the application does NOT imply the Visa issuance. And a Visa rejection does not result in the reimbursement of the Visa fee paid.


How much does the Visa cost?

  • Residence Visa and Study Visa – $112.34 (cash).
  • Temporary Stay Visa - $94.70 (cash)

Visa fees are payable in cash or money-order only. Visa Fees are payable upon presentation of application and are not refundable, even if Visa is denied or applicant withdraws the Visa request.

More information in detail here: