Entering and leaving Portugal

Identification documents to enter Portugal

European Union citizen

Any EU citizen can enter Portugal by presenting a valid identity card or passport.

Family members of EU citizens who do not have European nationality

As a general rule, family members of EU citizens who do not have European nationality may enter Portugal by presenting a valid passport. In some cases, depending on the rules in force in the EU, it may be necessary to present an entry visa: persons concerned are therefore advised to consult the Portuguese consulate in their country of origin before travelling to Portugal. If a visa is required, the Portuguese authorities grant every facility for foreign nationals to obtain one free of charge as quickly as possible.

Family members of EU citizens who do not have European nationality and who are required to present an entry visa may enter Portugal without a visa, provided they have a valid residence card.

Leaving national territory

EU citizens and their family members have the right to leave Portugal simply by having a valid identity card or passport with them.

If a non-EU family member presents their residence card on leaving national territory, an exit stamp is not placed in their passport.

If EU citizens and their family members intend to leave Portugal permanently or for an indefinite period, they are not required to communicate their decision or revoke their residence certificate or card. The right of residence, if already permanent, is lost if the person spends more than two consecutive years outside national territory.

Loss of right of free movement or residence

EU citizens and their family members may lose the right of free movement or residence in Portugal if they are regarded as a threat to public order, security and health. This threat must be real, current and sufficiently serious to affect Portuguese society.

Previous criminal convictions that citizens may have had are not in themselves a reason to justify their being regarded as a threat to public order or security.

Before a decision is taken to expel someone from national territory on grounds of public policy or security, the length of residence of the citizen concerned in national territory, their age, state of health, family and economic circumstances, social and cultural integration in the country and the extent of their links with the country of origin are taken into account.

Decision to expel from national territory

EU citizens or their family members who lose their right to free movement or residence are notified in writing so that they clearly understand the decision to expel them from national territory and the respective consequences.

The notification must specify the court or administrative authority with which the person concerned may lodge an appeal, the time‑limit for the appeal and, where applicable, the time allowed for the person to leave the territory of the Member State.

Family members of an EU citizen

For residence purposes, the following are regarded as family members of an EU citizen:

  • the spouse or partner
  • a direct descendant under 21 years of age
  • a direct descendant who is a dependant of the EU citizen, their spouse or their partner
  • a direct ascendant who is a dependant of the EU citizen, their spouse or their partner.
Assistance services

For more information or if you need help, please contact the SEF Contact Center:

  • phone: (+351) 808 202 653, at working days from 8h to 20h
  • phone: (+351) 808 962 690, at working days from 8h to 20h
  • e-mail: gricrp.cc@sef.pt
  • fax: (+351) 214 236 640.