As a non-resident, one is allowed to remain in any European country which has signed the Schengen Agreement for a total of 90 days out of every 180 days. Considering that Portugal is part of this agreement, the short answer to the question of how long you can stay in Portugal as a non-resident is 90 days in a 180-day period (tourist limit).
This means you are allowed to remain inside the country’s borders for approximately three months and must then refrain from re-entering the country in the following three months (until the 181st day from the first time you stepped in). It is important to note, however, that this period may be exceeded and that the specific procedure to extend one’s stay in the country will vary depending on the nationality of the citizen in question.
How Long Can I Stay in Portugal as a non-resident?
In the case of EU/EFTA nationals
The above-mentioned period applies to how long you can stay in Portugal as a non-resident — EU citizens are entitled to reside in Portugal for up to 90 days without further formalities other than holding a valid identity card or passport.
EU/EFTA nationals as non-residents, when staying in Portugal for longer than 90 days, do not require a residence permit but do need to register with the SEF.
In the case of Third State nationals
If you are not an EU/EFTA citizen and wish to know how long you can stay in Portugal as a non-resident, you are legally allowed to remain in Portugal for the above-mentioned 90 days in a 180-day period.
This 90-day time frame starts counting the minute a foreign national first enters Schengen and the 90 days does not need to be consecutive; it is treated as cumulative.
It does not matter if this period was spent between various countries as long as they are all part of the Schengen area.
Additionally, third-state nationals may leave the Schengen area and re-enter it during the 90 days. However, after the second exit, the visa expires unless the citizen in question holds a multiple-entry visa (“MULT” on the sticker): this visa allows for a third-state national to enter and exit the Schengen area an unlimited number of times.
In case you are a third-state national and wish to stay in Portugal for a longer period (exceeding 90 days), you shall have to apply for a residence visa.
Residence visas’s are available in different forms to suit your specific needs. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal or professional advice of any kind.
Rosana Rodrigues is a co-founder and partner of TFRA Law Firm. Her work mainly involves advising foreign investors in Portugal, particularly in areas of Corporate and Tax law. She has also worked extensively in Shipping law… Read more