What type of visa do I need?

You will be applying for a Temporary Stay Visa for Secondary School Student Exchange.

How do I apply for the visa?

You must apply for your visa through the Embassy or Consulate General of Portugal that has jurisdiction over your residential state. Depending on the state you live in, you will either apply in-person or via mail. Please research the directions for your respective consulate before applying.

What documents will I need to collect in order to apply for the visa?

  • Each Portuguese consulate has its own visa application requirements. You will research the documents necessary for your application before you apply. This may include the following:
    • United States Passport, valid for at least six months after your return
    • Visa Application Form
    • Passport-sized Photographs
    • FBI Background Check – for applicants 15 and older upon arrival in Portugal (Must be obtained within six months of departure. Requires an Apostille)
    • Parental Consent Form – Who Needs to Sign?
    • Certificate of Good Health
  • You will also need to contact your consulate for a finalized list of requirements.
  • You will need additional visa support documents from AFS. These will be submitted with your application materials.
  • Your document requirements are subject to change, in accordance with Portuguese immigration law and visa policy. Please do not begin acquiring these documents until you are instructed to do so by AFS-USA

When do I apply for the visa?

If you must apply in-person for your visa, you should be present at the consulate six weeks before your departure with your passport and required documents. If you are permitted to apply via mail, please send all of the required documents at least six weeks before departure.

***It is very important that you apply for your visa as soon as you receive your visa support documents from AFS.

How much will the visa cost?

Visa fees may vary between consulates and change often. Check with your consulate to confirm the amount. Some consulates will require that you pay for the legalization of documents, as well. Year and Semester program students will need to pay €100 for their visa extension while on program.

*Fees and requirements are determined by immigration authorities and are subject to change at any time.

Are there any other expected costs?

There are additional costs involved in obtaining, translating, notarizing, apostilling, or mailing the required documents. There may also be additional costs associated with traveling to the Consulate for an in-person appointment.

Are any of these costs covered in my AFS program fee?

No, your program fee does not cover any of the costs related to obtaining your passport or visa.

Can I travel before the start of my program?

You should not plan any excursions outside of the United States 2 months prior to your program. As stated, obtaining a visa takes time and your passport will be required. If you travel before the start of your program and do not allow enough time for AFS to obtain your visa, you will run the risk of not being able to participate on your program.