Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions

According to Decree Law n.º 22-A/2021, of 17 March, visas and permits concerning the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired after 24th February, 2020 are accepted until 31st December, 2021.

The permits and visas regarding the stay in the national territory are still accepted under the same terms after 31st December, 2021, as long as their holder submits supporting evidence that he already has an appointment for the corresponding renewal.

Order n. º 10944/2020 of 8 November provides that every foreign national with applications pending before SEF, submitted between March 18 and October 15, is deemed temporarily regular in national territory. Foreign nationals in that situation have guaranteed access to every public service, specifically with regards obtaining the National Health Service user’s number and access to the NHS, as well as access to social benefits, rental contracts, employment contracts, opening of bank accounts and hiring of essential public services.

It is not an automatic legalisation. The procedure remains suspended, during its appreciation and processing period, ensuring an equal treatment for foreign nationals.

Foreign nationals who have submitted an Expression of Interest, pursuant to Act 23/2007, as amended, between March 18 and October 15 2020, are deemed legal in Portugal.

Their application document for an expression of interest extracted from SAPA Portal is proof of the regular status of the person concerned. At SAPA webportal you can consult and download the certificate of registration of the expression of interest under articles 88 and 89, n.º 2 (clicking on the QR Code icon) which may be validated within SEF by public and private authorities through an access and reading key of the QR Code.

This document shall be accepted and deemed valid by all public services, specifically with regards obtaining the National Health Service user’s number and access to the NHS, as well as access to social benefits, rental contracts, employment contracts, opening of bank accounts and hiring of essential public services.

Foreign nationals who have pending proceedings before SEF, pursuant to Act 23/2007, as amended, submitted between March 18 and October 15 2020, are deemed legal in Portugal.

The proof of an appointment at SEF or the application receipt for an application submitted are evidence of the regular status of the applicant.

This document shall be accepted and deemed valid by all public services, specifically with regards obtaining the National Health Service user’s number and access to the NHS, as well as access to social benefits, rental contracts, employment contracts, , opening of bank accounts and hiring of essential public services.

Foreign nationals who have pending proceedings before SEF, pursuant to the Asylum Act (Act 27/2008, as amended), submitted between March 18 and October 15 2020, are deemed legal in Portugal.

The procedure remains suspended, during its appreciation and processing period, ensuring an equal treatment for foreign nationals.

According to Decree Law n.º 22-A/2021, of 17 March, residence documents, visas and documents related to the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired as from 24 February, 2020, are accepted, under the same conditions, until 31st December, 2021.

Yes. According to Decree Law n.º 22-A/2021, of 17 March, visas and permits concerning the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired after 24th February, 2020, are accepted, under the same conditions, until 31st December, 2021.

Citizens whose appointments were canceled, due to the suspension of public service, during the last few months, will receive an email from SEF indicating the new date.

Please remember that, according to Decree Law n.º 22-A/2021, of 17 March, visas and permits concerning the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired after 24th February, 2020 are accepted, under the same conditions, until 31st December, 2021.

These documents continue to be accepted under the same conditions after 31st December, 2021, as long as its holder submits supporting evidence of the scheduling for the corresponding renewal.

According to Decree Law n.º 22-A/2021, of 17 March, residence documents, visas and documents related to the stay of foreign nationals in the national territory which have expired as from 24 February, 2020 are accepted, under the same conditions, until 31 December, 2021.

These documents continue to be accepted under the same conditions after 31 December, 2021, as long as its holder submits supporting evidence of the scheduling for the corresponding renewal.

One should consider that, as defined by the law, the holder of a document certifying that a residence card of a family member or the holding of a residence card or of a permanent residence card is not, in any case, a previous condition for access to a right or the compliance of an administrative formality, and may as a beneficiary of the rights of a resident under the Community regime be certified by any other means of supporting evidence.

Pursuing the gradual strategy of lifting containment measures, in the context of combating the of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) will resume, as of April 19, the requests of Portuguese Electronic Passports by pre-booking. You must address the scheduling request through the email: gricrp.cc@sef.pt.
Please mention the following data at your request: Complete name, Citizen’s Card Number, Service Location (Lisbon or Oporto Airport) and the desired date for attendance.

Until 11:59 pm on April 30, 2021, in accordance with Decree n.º 6-A/2021, of April 14, the reintroduction of control of persons at land borders is in force in Portugal. The circulation between Portugal and Spain, in authorised crossing points, is limited to the international carriage of goods, of cross-border workers and of seasonal working nature duly documented, and of emergency and rescue vehicles. The cross-border rail crossing is also suspended, except for the carriage of goods, as well as the river transport between Portugal and Spain.

These limitations do not apply to the entry in Portugal of nationals and holders of a residence permit in Portugal and to the exit of citizens living in other countries.

According to Order n.º 3838-B/2021, citizens who come from Brazil, South Africa or from countries with an incidence rate of 500 cases or more per 100 thousand inhabitants (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Hungary, Netherlans, Poland, Sweden) must comply, forcefully, a 14-days period of quarantine, at home or in a location indicated by health authorities. Citizens who left South Africa less than 14 days ago are considered to be travelling from that country.

These citizens should previously register the data related to the place of stay in national territory at https://travel.sef.pt. The collected data will be forwarded by SEF to the Directorate General for Health, in order to aid the Portuguese public health authorities tracing the citizens forced to prophylactic isolation.

There are the following authorized crossing points:

Permanent crossing points (24/7):
– Valença
– Vila Verde da Raia
– Quintanilha
– Vilar Formoso
– Caia
– Vila Verde de Ficalho
– Castro Marim

On working days from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.:
– Marvão

On working days from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.:
– Monção
– Melgaço
– Montalegre
– Vinhais
– Ponte da Barca

On working days from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.:
– Miranda do Douro
– Termas de Monfortinho
– Mourão
– Barrancos

 On Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.:
– Rio de Onor

Currently, as defined in Order n.º 3838-A/2021, of 15 April, several restrictive measures of air traffic to and from mainland Portugal, are in force.

Therefore, the following air traffic is authorised:

– Every flights from and to the European Union countries, and from the Schengen Associated Countries (Lichtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland). Travelling from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden (countries with an incidence rate of 500 cases or more per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days) and with origin in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania and Switzerland (countries with an incidence rate of 150 cases or more and less than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days) is only allowed for essential reasons.

– Every flights from countries with a positive epidemiological assessment, according to Recommendation (EU) 2020/912 of the Council, of 30 June 2020, and amendments thereto (Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Ruanda, Singapore, Thailand and special autonomous regions – Hong Kong, Macau), as well as the entry in Portugal of residents of the previous mentioned countries, whenever they have endeavoured transit or international transfers only at airports within countries which are not included in the list of countries with a positive epidemiological assessment;

– Every flights from and to non-EU countries or which are not Schengen Associated Countries, exclusively for essential travelling, which means those to allow the transit or entry into Portugal of citizens travelling for professional reasons, study, family reunification, for health or humanitarian reasons;

– Flights supporting the return of nationals or holders of a residence permit in mainland Portugal, as well as of humanitarian nature, which have been recognised by the competent services at the foreign affairs area and by the competent authorities in civil aviation, and as such, flights dedicated to the return of foreign nationals staying in Portugal to their home countries, as long as such flights are promoted by the competent authorities of such countries, as per request and previous agreement, and within the principle of reciprocity.

Except for children of 24 months old and under, every passenger must submit a negative SARSCoV-2 (RT-PCR) lab testing of 72 hours before boarding.

Citizens from Brazil, South Africa or countries with an incidence rate of 500 cases or above per 100 hundred thousand inhabitants (Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden) must comply with a prophylactic isolation period of 14 days at home or in a place pointed out by health authorities. These measures are applied to every passenger arriving to Portugal from flights from the abovementioned European countries, whatever country they began their travelling. In addition, passengers of flights originally from South Africa and Brazil, calling or passing through other airports, and passengers of flights, whatever their origin, submitting a passport with an exit register from South Africa and Brazil within 14 days before their arrival to Portugal.

First of all, these citizens must enter data as to the place of stay in the national territory in the following link: http://travel.sef.pt. The data collected are sent by SEF to the Directorate-General for Health to assist the Portuguese public health authorities in locating the citizens forced to prophylactic isolation.

The following are exempted from compliance of the prophylactic isolation, in which their movements must be limited as to the essential of the purpose of entering in the national territory:

  1. Passengers in essential travelling and with a period of stay in the national territory not exceeding 48 hours, as confirmed by the return ticket, in which their movements must be limited as to the essential of the purpose of entering in the national territory;
  2. Passengers travelling exclusively for sports activities within international professional competitions, as provided in annex IV of Order n.º 3894-A/2021, provided the compliance of a set of proper measures as long as the maximum reducing of contagion risks is ensured, in particular avoiding non-sport contacts, and the compliance of rules and guidelines provided by the Directorate-General for Health;
  3. Passengers included in foreign delegations travelling exclusively to the participation in meetings under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

National citizens, European Union citizens and from the Schengen Associated Countries or foreign nationals legally staying in the national territory, and their family members, as well as diplomats accredited in Portugal who fail to submit a negative RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 test and have boarded to Portugal, will be forwarded to proceed to the test on arrival, in facilities inside the airport, at their own expenses, and are subject to an administrative offence as provided in n.º 2, article 3 of Decree-Law n.º 28-B/2020, of 26 June, in its current worded. They must wait in a proper place inside the airport, until the notification of the result.

Nationals of third-country who are not legal residents in Portugal who fail to submit a negative RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 test and have boarded to Portugal will be refused to enter.

Professional sports activities, or equivalent, of a competitive nature are currently allowed providing that no public is present and complying with the specific guidelines of the Directorate-General for Health.

Considering that several international sports competitions are already scheduled to be held in Portugal, which imply the movement of athletes, coaches and their teams, including delegates and referees, of several European countries, it is important to ensure the necessary conditions for their participation in the mentioned sports competition, as far as measures currently applied to air traffic.

Therefore, and as provided in Order n.º 3838-A/2021, passengers from Brazil, South Africa or countries with an incidence rate for Covid-19 of 500 cases or above per 100 hundred thousand inhabitants (Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden) arriving to Portugal exclusively for the below mentioned sports activities of international professional competitions, are exempted from the mandatory prophylactic isolation, as long as the compliance of a set of proper measures for the maximum reducing of contagion risks is ensured, in particular avoiding non-sport contacts, and the compliance of rules and guidelines provided by the Directorate-General for Health.

List of competitions:

1 – Sailing – 10 April to 7 May – Vilamoura – European Sailing Championship and ILCA Vilamoura International Championship.
2 – Tennis – 12 to 25 April – Oeiras – ITF WOMEN’S Oeiras.
3 – Table tennis – 21 to 25 April – Guimarães – European Individual Olympic Qualification.
4 – Equestrian – 22 to 25 April – Abrantes – International Education Competition.
5 – Padel – 22 to 25 April – Coimbra – 2nd Open Star Padel Indoor.
6 – Sailing – 23 to 25 April – Monsaraz – Iberian Raceboard Championship.
7 – Sailing – 23 to 25 April – Cascais – 3rd Cascais Dragon Winter Series.
8 – Motorcycling – 24 and 25 April – Estoril – FIM CEV International Championship.
9 – Motorboating – 24 and 25 April – Lourinhã – Freeride World Championship.
10 – Tennis – 26 April to 2 May – Estoril – ATP 250 Millennium Estoril Open.
11 – Motorsport – 30 April to 2 May- Portimão – Portuguese Grand Prix in F1.
12 – Karate – 30 April to 2 May- Lisbon – Karate Premier League.
13 – Shooting – April 30th to May 2nd – Tavira – Tavira International Tournament.

Only children under 24 months old do not need to submit a supporting evidence of a negative RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 test made within 72 hours when boarding.

Be aware that foreign citizens without legal residence in Portugal who make a stopover at a national airport must wait for the connection flight in a proper place inside the airport.

Under the rules approved to address the current epidemiological situation, the entry in Portugal of nationals from the European Union, from Schengen associated countries and relatives from the corresponding families is allowed, under Directive 2004/38/CE of the European Parliament and Council of 29 April, as well as third country nationals with legal residence in a Member State of the European Union.

If the situation is not within the previous paragraph, the purpose of the travelling must hold a duly established essential function or need. In case of couples, the relationship must be stable and long lasting. For the purpose, every element which may prove as declared must be assessed, such as evidence of regular visits and meetings, joint travelling, common assets, joint accounts, administrative documents for the same address, amongst others.

The essential nature of the travelling does not hinder the need of compliance with the requirements provided by the Law for the admission in the national territory, in particular the need for a visa if the purpose of the travelling is family reunification.

The assessment is case-by-case considering the documentation/grounds submitted at the border post, including the proof of the family relationship claimed or other elements the passenger considers relevant.

The verification of every documentation, as well as the compliance of every requirement provided in articles 9 and following of Law n.º 23/2007, of 04 July, and article 6 of the Schengen Borders Code, is made at the moment of the effective border control only, terms under which there is no prior issue of a declaration confirming or authorizing the travelling.

The decision for the authorization of boarding is of the sole competence of air companies which, within the current pandemic situation, will request when boarding a proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 (RT-PCR) testing of over the last 72 hours, without which boarding is not authorized.

The rules in force for the Autonomous Region of Madeira can be found here. As far as the Azores, the information is available here.​

Until 23:59 p.m. of 30 April 2021, the interdiction of landing and shore leaves of passengers and crews from cruise ships in national ports is in force (Order n.º 3803-B/2021), excluding national citizens or holders of residence permits in Portugal or for exceptional or urgent cases, upon authorization from the health authority, namely for humanitarian, health reasons or for immediate repatriation.

The berthing of cruise ships in national ports for supply, maintenance and lay-up is now allowed, as long as it has no passengers and for operation with the minimum ship’s crew only

You can consult all the informations here.

The High Commission for Migrations made availabe a Practical Guide with questions and answers and also a flyer with practical information.