Study Visa In Portugal Without IELTS

While going abroad to study, finding the right country can be the most challenging thing. Studies have shown that the decision of choosing a destination is not always driven by undergraduate economy. Many students prefer a Portuguese nation over other countries due to its good educational institutions, potential career opportunities and quality of life. But, finding your way around the application process may be a little tricky if you don’t know all about it. Good news! Here, I’ll walk you through step-by-step to help you with everything related to Portugal visa application.

There are many students and professionals who come to Portugal to study and work. Many of them are planning to apply for a working visa or residency permit in Portugal. However, not everyone has the luxury to spend money on an IELTS test. We will base our discussion today on – AA. But, other resources which you can find on our website include some frequently asked questions such as: portugal student visa success rate and how much bank balance is required for portugal student visa

Study Visa In Portugal Without IELTS


The Westernmost country of Europe is a proud neighbor of Spain, sharing its love for arts, history, culture and most importantly, football. Portugese were some of the first explorers of the world which led to exploration of a large number of countries in Asia, Africa, Australia and America. The county has been one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world as well. But what is it like to Study in Portugal as an international student? Here, we are exploring the options for international students to stay and study in Portugal, as the country is home to some of the most prestigious and highly ranked universities of the world. Case in point: University of Lisbon

Study in Portugal

Universities in Portugal with English Courses:

There are multiple programs and courses available at portugese universities for international students. The most popular courses with international students are General Engineering, Finance, Computer Sciences, and biomedical engineering. The universities accepted and implemented the Bologna Process in 2006, reorganising Portugal’s Universities and polytechnic Institutions as per International standards. Master Degree in Portugal in English are some of the most sought after courses in Portugal. The English-Taught courses are another way to attract more and more international students at universities like University of Lisbon, and the others listed below.

Universities in Portugal

Seven of the Universities in Portugal are listed among the top universities of the world by QS Rankings. Thirteen Universities are ranked among Times Higher University Rankings. Here are top five universities in Portugal as per a number of ranking entities:

  • University of Lisbon
  • University of Porto
  • University of Coimbra
  • Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • University of Aveiro

Here is the list of universities in Portugal: Universities in Portugal

Portugal University Admission

The admission process to study in Portugal is quite simple and not at all complicated for international students. The students will require to fill up the online application form for the course and university they choose to apply. A common requirement to Apply to Study in Portugal would be previous year transcripts and diplomas. An application essay, motivational letter, Entrance exam scores are also required depending on the course. For some courses, you will have to submit a portfolio of your work. It is best to check for the courses and university requirements before you start applying.

Cost of Study in Portugal

Universities in Portugal are considered some of the affordable universities of Europe. As it is the case with most of the countries, the public universities to Study in Portugal are more affordable than private universities for most of the cases. The public universities would cost 1,200 to 1,400 euros a year for a Masters or postgraduate course, while doctorate courses would be around 3,500 to 4,000 euros a year. MBA in Portugal Fees can be anywhere between 13,000 euros to 35,000 euros depending on the course and University. Tuition Fees for the private universities to Study in Portugal vary with the course, university and the location you choose to study at.

Study in Portugal Scholarships

One can study in Portugal with fully funded and partially funded scholarships, even if they are not from Portugal or EU. The international students have plenty of options to choose from scholarships available to study in Portugal. The government, universities and other offering entities provide international students with scholarships in Portugal. The scholarships can be need-based or merit-based depending on the offering entity. Along with education loans and Grants, scholarships are some of the most  preferred ways for international students to fund their study in Portugal.

Study in Portugal without IELTS

IELTS, or the International English Language Testing System is one of the essential English language tests all over the world as the proof of language proficiency. For many, the test is a hurdle to their university admissions. At many universities in Portugal, it is possible to apply without IELTS scores. Yes, you can study in Portugal without IELTS at many universities. Many universities in Portugal do not require IELTS as long as the previous education of the student was completed in English Medium. Keep in mind that for some countries, IELTS or tests like IELTS can not be a requirement by the university, but for the visa application.

Portugal Study Visa

For student visas, students will first have to get an acceptance letter from one of the universities in Portugal. Applying for a Portugese student visa can cost you about 170 euros based on the country of origin. Another important requirement is to show proof of monetary funds, enough to sustain oneself for a year of Study in Portugal, additional to tuition fees. A valid health insurance, language proficiency proof, and confirmed reservation / flight tickets to Portugal are a must.

Study in Portugal after 12th

For the international students who want to start their studies earlier at the graduation level in Portugal, there is a number of courses available to be applied to after 12th. No matter what your academic background is, science, commerce or Arts, there is something for everyone willing to enrol into undergraduate courses in Portugal. The requirements for the Bachelor’s or other undergraduate courses are the same as other courses to study in Portugal after 12th.

List of Portugal Universities Without IELTS

  • University of Lisbon
  • Nova University of Lisbon
  • University of Coimbra
  • University of Aveiro
  • University of Porto

Famous Portugal Universities

  • CESPU – Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Politécnico e Universitário
  • Catholic University of Lisbon
  • Polytechnic Institute of Bragança
  • Oporto Global University – UPT
  • University of the Algarve
  • Polytechnic of Leiria

Fields of Courses 

There are multiple English Speaking Courses available in Portugal Universities.

  • Study Computer Sciences
  • Study Biomedical engineering
  • Study Nursing in Portugal
  • Study Finance in Portugal
  • Study Medicine in Portugal
  • Study Medicine in Portugal
  • Study Finance in Portugal
  • Study Architecture in Portugal
  • Study Management in Portugal
  • Study Nursing in Portugal
  • Study Engineering in Portugal
  • Study Culinary Arts in Portugal
  • Study General Engineering

How To Study in Portugal Without IELTS

English language proficiency is an alternative if you choose to study in a European university that waives IELTS. Instead of submitting your IELTS scores.

What You Need to do Only to Submit the English Language Proficiency Certificate. You need to tell them that Your Previous Degree Institute was is in English.

List of Portugal Scholarships

Below is a list of Scholarships Sponsored by the Portugal Government and the University of Porto.

#1 University of Porto Merit Scholarships

The U.Porto Awards Merit scholarships each year to the students ranked at the top of their class. The Scholarship is Intended for Students Enrolled in a Bachelors, Masters or Integrated Masters Course.

#2 SASUP Scholarships

Students Enrolled in a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Integrated Master’s Course at the U.Porto can apply for the Scholarships awarded by the Social Services of the U.Porto (SASUP).

3# Scientific Scholarship

U.Porto Sponsors and Awards Scientific Initiation Scholarships and research scholarships to holders of Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate Degrees to obtain scientific training in research projects or in national scientific and technological institutions.

Nowadays it’s very easy to get an IELTS certificate. If you have time and desire enough to get it, then you can easily pass all English tests that allow you to get it. The most popular packages for self-tuition are the books. They are the best choice if you have a room at home where you can concentrate on your studies without being distracted.

Portugal Student Visa

Portugal student visa requirements, the step by step application process and FAQs

In this article

If you are accepted into a Portuguese higher education institution, chances are you will have to apply for a Portugal student visa.

Studying in Portugal is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as you get to enjoy a beautiful sunny country, which is rich in culture and history, make new friends, all while getting a high-level education. Not to mention, Portugal has one of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe.

Learn whether you need a student visa for Portugal, the visa requirements, and the application process.

Do I Need a Visa to Study in Portugal?

Yes, if your study course is longer than three months, you will most likely need a visa to study in Portugal. The visa rules for international students in Portugal depend on the nationality of the student and the duration of the course:

  • For a study course longer than three months:
    • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: Student visa required. You will also need a residence permit.
    • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: Student visa not required, but you will have to register your stay with the local authorities.
  • For a study course shorter than three months:
    • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: A student visa is required only for nationalities who typically need a Portugal Schengen Visa. People from many countries, such as the US., Australia, Canada, can enter Portugal with just their passport for up to three months, during which time they can even take a short study course.
    • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: Student visa not required.

Portugal Student Visa Requirements

When you apply for a student visa for Portugal, you will have to submit the following documents:

  • Your valid passport (or travel document).
  • Letter of Acceptance from your university.
  • Proof you have paid the tuition fees. If you have a scholarship, submit a document from your university confirming it.
  • Two passport-size pictures, taken recently. They must follow Portugal picture guidelines.
  • Portugal student visa application form. The Embassy will usually provide this for you.
  • Proof you have enough financial means to sustain your stay. This can be either bank statements, a scholarship, proof of financial aid, or proof of sponsorship.
  • Proof you have accommodation in Portugal. This can be a rental contract, accommodation from your university (dorms) or a letter of invitation from a family member/friend with whom you will live in Portugal.
  • A Certificate of Criminal Records.
  • Proof of Schengen travel health insurance. After you arrive in Portugal, you will also have to get adequate health insurance from a private company.

How to Apply for a Portugal Student Visa?

To apply for a Portugal student visa, you have to contact the Portuguese Embassy responsible for your country of residence. You must already have the Letter of Acceptance from your university.  Here is an outline of the application process:

  1. Get the Letter of Acceptance from your university.
  2. Find out where to submit your application. You can find out by visiting the website of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  3. Schedule an appointment/interview with the Embassy.
  4. Complete the Portugal Student Visa application form.
  5. Collect the documents needed for the application.
  6. Pay the required student visa fee. Again, the Embassy should inform you in regards to the payment method (online, via bank transfer, cash etc).
  7. On the date of your appointment, you must submit the required documents. If the Embassy is in another country, you may be able to mail the documents instead.
  8. Wait for the visa to be processed.
  9. If you receive the visa, you can travel to Portugal.
  10. After you arrive, you must schedule an appointment with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) to get your residence permit.  The residence permit allows you to live in Portugal for the duration of your studies, although you may need to renew it after one year.

Processing Time for a Portugal Student Visa

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to three months for a student visa to be processed, depending on your country of residence, the specific Embassy, and whether everything is in order with your application. Make sure you start the application process as soon as you receive your acceptance letter from the university.

How Much Does the Portugal Student Visa Cost?

When you apply for a student visa, you have to pay a fee for the visa at the Embassy as well as a residence permit from the SEF:

  • Embassy fee – €90
  • To submit the application for a residence permit at the SEF – €83
  • To receive the residence permit from the SEF – €72

Note: The fees are an approximation and may be subject to change from country to country.

Can I Bring Family Members With Me?

If you are in Portugal with a student visa, then you are allowed to bring your dependent family members to live with you. You must be able to prove that you have enough financial resources to provide for them as well as yourself. The family members who qualify for a family visa are:

  • Your spouse or registered/domestic partner.
  • Your minor children (including adopted children).
  • Your adult (unmarried) children who are dependent on you as a result of an illness or disability.

Your family members may apply alongside you and travel to Portugal together, or they may apply for a reunification visa after you have settled in Portugal.

Duration of a Student Visa in Portugal

After you receive your visa at the Portuguese Embassy, you have to travel to Portugal and apply for a residence permit at the SEF. The residence permit for studying is issued for one year, and you can renew it annually until the end of your studies.

The student visa you receive at the Embassy is only valid for three months and you can use it to travel to Portugal. Within those three months, you have to get your residence permit settled, after which the permit replaces the visa.

Make sure you apply for renewal/extension of the visa at least 30 days before expiry.

Can I Stay in Portugal After My Studies?

You can stay in Portugal once you finish your studies only if you have a job offer. You and your employer must meet the requirements for a Portugal work visa in order for you to switch from a student residence permit to a working residence permit.

If you do find a job, you must apply to switch to a work visa before the student visa expires. The SEF will not accept your application if it is submitted within 30 days before the expiry of the student visa. If the visa does terminate, you will have to return home and apply for a work visa from your home country.

Does a Student Visa Lead to Permanent Residency in Portugal?

The time you lived in Portugal as a student does not count towards permanent residency. In order to become a permanent resident, you will have to get a job offer as a highly-skilled worker and switch to a (temporary) residence permit for work (Work Visa), which is valid for one year and can be renewed for up to five years. After five years of working on a temporary residence permit, you can apply for permanent residency.

Can I Work With a Portugal Student Visa?

Yes, if you have a residence permit for studying in Portugal, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the semester and full-time during semester breaks and holidays. If you are following a short course (up to three months) and only have a Schengen visa, you are not allowed to work.

EU/EEA/Swiss students are allowed to work in Portugal without restrictions.

Can I Study in Portugal With a Dependent Visa?

If you are in Portugal as the family member of a Portuguese citizen or working resident, then you are allowed to study (and work) in Portugal as well.

Student Visa for Researchers

Another type of student visa for Portugal is the researcher visa. The Portugal researcher visa is issued to non-EU citizens who have been accepted into a doctorate level study program or as researchers in an officially recognized institution by the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science.

When you apply for a researcher visa, you must have one of the following documents, as related to your situation:

  • Contract of employment
  • Contract of services
  • A Scientific Research Scholarship
  • Hosting Agreement

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