There are a lot of reasons to visit the Algarve; there are beautiful beaches, delicious foods, beautiful scenery and a lot to see, do, and experience. It’s easy to see why it’s such a popular holiday destination. Whether you are travelling from the UK or further afield, Portugal has a lot to offer and you certainly aren’t alone in planning a trip to this gorgeous part of the world. However, you do need to think about the visa process and being granted permission to enter the country. Luckily, this is usually a simple and straightforward process. Below, we have taken a look at what you need to do before visiting the Algarve.
Visiting the Algarve, Portugal From the UK
If you are planning a visit to the beautiful Algarve region in Portugal from the UK, you may need to obtain a visa beforehand. This will depend on whether or not you are a UK citizen, as the rules are different depending on where you are from. If you’re a UK citizen, you don’t need a visa to visit the Algarve region in Portugal for a period of up to 90 days. This is because those from the UK can travel freely within the Schengen area without a visa for up to 90 days, and this remains to be the case even though the UK has left the EU. So, you can arrive in Portugal without a visa, and stay for as long as 90 days.
Visiting the Algarve, Portugal From Elsewhere
If you’re not a UK citizen, or if you’re planning to stay in the Algarve for longer than 90 days, you may need to apply for a visa. The type of visa you need will depend on your reasons for visiting and the duration of your stay. You will need to look into whether each visa is right for you, as some have specific requirements, and some have limitations on what you can do on that visa. For example, not all visas will allow you to work, and many only permit entrance to the country once. There are several types of visas available, some of which we have listed below.
Schengen Visa – If you’re planning to visit the Algarve as a tourist, you can apply for a Schengen Visa. This visa allows you to travel freely within the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a six month period. You are automatically granted this if you are travelling to Portugal as a UK citizen, but you will need to apply for it otherwise. To apply for a Schengen Visa, you’ll need to visit the Portuguese Embassy in the UK or the Consulate General of Portugal in London and provide the following: A completed Schengen visa application form, a valid passport with at least two blank pages, two recent passport-sized photos, evidence of travel arrangements (flight tickets, hotel bookings, etc.), travel insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000 and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Portugal.
Long Stay Visa – If you’re planning to stay in the Algarve for longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a long stay visa. There are several types of long stay visas available, including student visas, work visas, and retirement visas. To apply for a long stay visa, you’ll need to visit the Portuguese Embassy in the UK or the Consulate General of Portugal in London and provide the following: A completed long stay visa application form, a valid passport with at least two blank pages, two recent passport-sized photos, proof of travel arrangements (if applicable), proof of accommodation in Portugal, evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay, and any additional documents required for your specific visa type. Long stay visas can vary hugely, and it’s important to familiarise yourself with what yours permits you to do.
If you need a visa to travel to the Algarve, avoid leaving your application to the last minute. It’s important to note that the visa application process can take several weeks, sometimes even longer, so it’s best to apply well in advance of your date of travel.
Portugal Has a Simple and Straightforward Visa Process
If you have been through the visa process for another country previously, you might know how complex and confusing the process can be. There are a lot of hoops to jump through, and some countries have very specific entry requirements, but Portugal does things differently. Though Portugal certainly has some key rules and regulations surrounding visas, most people find that they are able to get a visa without a second thought. If you are travelling as a UK citizen, the process is simple and straightforward, and you don’t need to do anything beforehand.
Getting a visa for Portugal becomes slightly more complicated if you want to stay for longer than 90 days or you are travelling for a specific reason, such as to study, work or retire. But, even so, there is a lot of information out there to help you through the process. As long as you start the application process in good time, you shouldn’t find the process to be a stressful one.
Of course, if you are travelling to the Algarve on holiday – as most people do – and you are from the UK, you don’t need to give visas a second thought. You can simply book a flight, board and wait to enjoy your holiday.