Just like it happens everywhere when you need to move, settling in Portugal may sometimes seem like a process in which there are more questions than answers. This section is made for you to try to understand the migration process an international student needs to follow in the country:

  • If you are not a European citizen, you will need to get a student visa in your country's Portuguese Embassy or Consulate. All students are advised to start the process with as much anticipation as possible since the process takes, on average, two months. 

  • Most of the time, the student visa given to you in your country will be valid for three months.  Notice that even if you do not need a visa to visit the European Union, you need the Student Visa since it is necessary for everyone who will stay in the country for over three months.

  • Once you arrive in Portugal, you must make an appointment with SEF to get your residence card. Notice that if you do not enter the European Union through Portugal (say you had a connection in Madrid, so your seal of entrance is the Spanish on your passport) you are very likely to get a fine of around 30 euros at SEF. When making your appointment, you should try to get help from ISEG when booking. Talk to us for more details once you're here. Please do not wait until the last minute to make your appointment with SEF (i.e., do not wait until your student visa is about to expire since appointments are not that immediate ). Learn more details about your appointment here.

  • Notice that you will have to make a payment when visiting SEF. This payment can be from 30 to 160 euros depending on the agreements that your country may have with Portugal. 

  • The documents that you will need to take to your appointment with SEF will be very similar to the ones you have to present when getting your student visa. See here the documents required for your first appointment and here for the appointment to renew your residence for the second year .

  • If you're renewing residence, even if it's not clearly stated, SEF may ask you for your grades in the past year. 

  •  Keep in mind that ,in case you do not have a full contract for your appartment (arrendamento), the document that proves that you have a place to live in Portugal should come from your "Junta da Freguesia". For this, you need to go to their respective office (depends on where you live), request the form for this purpose and take it there with all the necessary information.  For the form to be valid, You will need the signature of two people registered as voters in the same "Junta da Freguesia" (as well as copies of their IDs- notice we said COPIES: scans, printed pictures, etc are commonly rejected, and we're talking from experience!). Once you present the document, it will be ready in 48 hours, so you must make arrangements  keeping this in mind before your appointment. Cost: 5 euros!

  • Your residence card will be granted for one year, so you will need to renew it after that. Everything discussed before continues to apply (including the payment).

  • In Portugal, you are very likely to need a bank account with a local bank. ISEG has an agreement with Caixa Geral de Depósitos for you to get your bank account without having to pay any annuities. In order to take advantage of this, you need to go to the bank office in Santos, where they will help you out.