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 4473-A/2021 of 30 April provides that every foreign national with applications pending before SEF, submitted between March 18 2020 and April 30 2021, 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 2020 and April 30 2021, 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 2020 and April 30 2021, 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 2020 and April 30 2021, 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.

Currently, passport’s requests at SEF are made by pre-booking.

At SEF, please address the scheduling request through the email address gricrp.cc@sef.pt. You should indicate the following data: full name, Citizen Card number, desired location for the appointment (Lisbon / Oporto Airport), telephone, as well as preferred date for the attendance.

Please check the IRN and SEF offices where you can apply for the Portuguese Electronic Passport in mainland Portugal.

Yes, the control of persons at land borders, between Portugal and Spain, ended on April 30th and the freedom of movement between the two countries was resumed. To enter Portugal, through Spain, it is not necessary to submit a supporting evidence of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test.

However, citizens who come from South Africa, Brazil, India or Nepal must comply, forcefully, a 14-days period of quarantine, at home or in a location indicated by health authorities. For the purposes of the current rule, an airport transit in any of these countries is not considered as origin.

The quarantine period is also applicable to citizens who, regardless of origin, come from South Africa, Brazil, India or Nepal, in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Portugal.

These citizens should previously register the data related to the place of stay in national territory at https://travel.sef.pt.

Mobile controls will be carried out by security forces and SEF on vehicles for the collective transport of passengers, motorhomes and light vehicles, in order to inform citizens of the duties to which they are subject.

Currently, till 11:59 pm of the 27th June, as defined in Resolution of the Council of Ministers n.º 74-A/2021, 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) as well as to and from the UK.

– 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, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand, Republic of China and Special Autonomous Regions – Hong Kong, Macau).

– 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.

– Non-essential travel to and from the United States of America.

– 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 12 years old and under, every passenger must submit a negative SARSCoV-2 lab testing of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 72 or 48 hours before boarding, respectively.

Air companies shall allow the boarding of passengers from flights to or calling Portugal mainland only, with the submission, at departure, of a negative SARSCoV-2 lab testing of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 72 or 48 hours before boarding, respectively, in which air companies have the responsibility to check the existence of the mentioned test at departure, without prejudice to a random check, on arrival to the national territory mainland, by Public Security Police (PSP) or the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).

Citizens travelling from South Africa, Brazil, India and Nepal 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, Brazil, India and Nepal, calling or passing through other airports, and passengers of flights, whatever their origin, submitting a passport with an exit register from South Africa, Brazil, India and Nepal 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 III of Order n.º 5848-B/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 SARSCoV-2 lab testing of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 72 or 48 hours before boarding, respectively 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 SARSCoV-2 lab testing  and have boarded to Portugal will be refused to enter.

Citizens from countries with a COVID-19 incidence rate of 500 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants or more must comply with a 14-day prophylactic isolation period at home or place provided by the health authorities.

According to the legislation in force, they must register the data regarding the place of stay in the national territory at http://travel.sef.pt, receiving the corresponding certificate which includes the address of the place of destination in the national territory which must be submitted at the border control. The certificate is for consultation purposed by the health authorities (DGS) to determine the compliance of the prophylactic isolation. Any doubts and questions involving the compliance of the prophylactic isolation must be addressed/clarified within the corresponding health authority of the area of residence.

According to the Resolution of the Council of Ministers n.º 74-A/2021, passengers travelling from South Africa, Brazil, India or Nepal 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 – Football – 13 to 15 June – Lisboa – Women’s National Team B Games: Portugal vs. Zâmbia.
2 – Paddle – 14 to 20 June – Lisboa – Lisboa Open – APT Tour Open.
3 – Tennis – 14 to 20 June – Clube de Ténis da Figueira da Foz – ITF Women’s Figueira da Foz.
4 – Football – 16 to 20 June – Nazaré – Euro Beach Soccer League.
5 – Equine – 17 to 20 June – Matosinhos – Jumping International Competition 1*.
6 – Motor racing – 18 to 20 June – Oeiras – Eco Rally Portugal.
7 – Motorcycling – 19 and 20 June – Marco de Canaveses – Enduro World Championship.
8 – Swimming – 19 and 20 June – Setúbal – Olympic Qualifier of Open Waters.
9 – Athletics – 20 June – Braga – Braga Meeting.
10 – Paddle – 21 to 26 June – Lisboa – Lisboa Masters – APT Tour Master.
11 – Football – 21 to 27 June – Nazaré – FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2021 European Qualifier.
12 – Tennis – 21 to 27 June – Monte Aventino Tennis Compound – ITF Women’s Oporto.
13 – Football – 22 to 24 June – Lisboa – Women’s Sub-16 National Team Games.
14 – Athletics – 23 June – Maia – Meeting Maia City of Sports.
15 – Cycling – 23 to 27 June – Alentejo – 38.ª Tour of Alentejo.
16 – Boccia – 24 to 27 June – Odivelas – 2021 Goalball ParaTour – Euro Grand Prix.
17 – Shooting with Hunting Firearms – 24 to 27 June – C.I. Pevidém – Grand Prix Fedecat Fan 32 + European Championship.
18 – Motorcycling – 25 to 27 June – Vila Real International Circuit – WTCR – Vila Real International Circuit.
19 – Equine – 25 to 27 June – Coimbra – Jumping International Championship 1*.
20 – Gymnastics – 25 to 27 June – Coimbra – Coimbra Gym Fest.
21 – Equine – 26 June – Barroca d’Alva – Endurance International Championship 3*/ Endurance International Championship 2*/ Endurance International Championship 1*.
22 – Gymnastics – 26 and 27 June – Anadia – Trampoline World Cup.
23 – Lacrosse – 26 and 27 June – Lisboa – Lisboa Lacrosse CUP 2021.
24 – Rugby – 26 and 27 June – Porto – Beach Rugby.
25 – Handball – 27 June to 2 July – Nazaré – Traineeship/ Men’s A National Team Game.

Only children under 12 years old do not need to submit a supporting evidence of a negative SARSCoV-2 lab testing of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 72 or 48 hours before boarding, respectively 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 SARSCoV-2 lab testing of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 72 or 48 hours before boarding, respectively, without which boarding is not authorized.

Currently, boarding, landing and shore leaves of passengers and ships’ crew of cruise ships in ports located in mainland national territory is allowed, except passengers which origin or destination are countries to which essential travelling is allowed only  Essential travelling are those traveling made for professional reasons, of study, family reunion, health or humanitarian reasons.

To board, land and shore leaves citizens need to submit a negative SARSCoV-2 lab testing of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 72 or 48 hours before boarding, respectively, except for children under 12 years old.

Passengers and crew members landing definitely in ports located in mainland national territory, from South Africa, Brazil, India and Nepal must comply with a prophylactic isolation period of 14 days at home or in a place pointed out by health authorities. For the purposes of the current rule, an airport transit in any of these countries is not considered as origin.

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

You can consult all the informations here.