Visas: An Ongoing Portuguese Affair

3 Easy steps to secure a Portuguese holiday extension

Portuguese Holiday Extension

I could waffle on about how we got here, but I think a more useful topic of conversation would be, how we intend to stay… Our first target was to secure a Portuguese holiday extension visa, but that still wasn’t enough, we wanted more. This is an ongoing process that I will update regularly as we progress through the hoops to eventually obtain work visas in Portugal.

For the past 5 or so months, Sam and I have been blissfully banished to the Portuguese sun to enjoy warmth while the rest of the northern hemisphere was covered in snow… or other cold shivery-inducing things.

However, while our UK working visas have served us well thus far, once we stretched our tootsies over the Schengen boarder (an area encompassing 26 member states allowing for borderless travels between them), our Aussie passports were back in charge to state where we could and could not go and more importantly, how long we could stay there. So, for those of you that don’t know, an Aussie passport gives you visa free entry into the Schengen area for 90 days over a 180 day period. Period starts as soon as you cross over the Schengen boarder somewhere and ends 180 days later, and for 90 of those days, consecutive or no, you may travel border free within that area, if you wish. Keep in mind, it is not 90 days per country, your period starts as soon as you enter into ANY of the member states.

After getting to Portugal though, it wasn’t long before we realised we didn’t want to leave. Thus, our mission began with a short-stay holiday visa extension and is continued by a Portuguese working visa. As the title indicates, this is an ongoing affair. I’ll start with the easy part:

3 Step Portuguese Holiday Extension Visa

For when you just can’t get enough and want to stay in Portugal for more than your legal limit of Schengen time. Here’s how to do it right, and I’ll try to keep it short-and-sweet, just like the extension. A little handy hint before we start; if you happen to have a Portuguese friend that’s happy to help you, it’s going to make the process exponentially easier.

Step 1: Locate your local SEF. It’s the department within Portugal which handles immigration, and will also be the department you need to ask for approval to stay longer than the allowed 90 days.

Step 2: Make an appointment by phoning them. To do this it would be super helpful to get that Portuguese friend we spoke about to make the call for you as the initial part of the phone call is automated and very much Portuguese. Then should you require an english operator, it will significantly increase holding periods on the phone. Current phone numbers dated as per this blog post are:

  • Landline: +351 808 202 653
  • Mobile:    +351 808 962 690
  • Important: Do this well before your Schengen Visa is due to expire, and leave enough time post appointment for another appointment incase you need to present them with more information.

Step 3: Gather all the necessary documentation as listed below

  • Your passport with at least 6 more months left before expirey
  • Copy the ID page of your passport
  • Two copies of passport sized photos
  • A ticket proving that you will leave the country at the end of the extended visa, and enter a country you are legally allowed to enter i.e. not another Schengen country. This can be via plane, bus or ferry. Though keep in mind your visa will be for Portugal only and thus a ferry out of Spain will mean you’ll need a visa to drive through Spain as well to avoid any issues on the Spanish border.
  • Proof of accommodation. This can be as easy as a contract for an apartment, a hotel receipt, or a letter from a home owner/renter stating they will provide you with accommodation for the designated period. If you choose the last option you will also need a copy of the home owner/renter’s ID and a copy of a recent utility bill addressed to their home.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to survive for the remainder of your stay. Print your last bank statement, or if you have a credit card they might take a copy. For us the bank statement was enough. Alternatively, you can provide a signed letter from an institute or person that is supporting you financially. To be approved you need to have at least the equivalent of the Portuguese minimum wage per month for each month that you extend your stay by.
  • The cost of the visa extension was just under 100Euros each in our case, though I believe it may be more should you stay longer than our extra 73 days.
  • Criminal history checks. We didn’t need any, however, if you have a name commonly used in Portugal, you might be asked for one.

Remember, this visa is purely a Portuguese holiday extension visa, it will not allow you to work in Portugal. So, just have fun! It’s the easiest thing to do there. Stay tuned for more posts on our residency visa progression.

Ate breve 🙂