Any US citizens ever get a visa extension in Portugal?

Just found out it’s possible to get a 90 day tourist extension for Portugal. Spoke with the office of immigration on the phone, they said some officers even allow for the extension to be good in the rest of Schengen. Anyone done this?

And while I’m at it, any cool towns/smaller cities to check out in Portugal?

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Were you able to arrange the extension and did it allow travel within the rest of Schengen? I’m looking to apply for this but it seems like you need a good reason for the extension. E.g. on here - Thanks

@fussen yes, I was. I made an appointment via phone in the Aveiro office of Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras. It was definitely a process. We applied for a tourist extension - this is a thing. We had to prove we had enough funds (I think it was 30 euros a day for the 90 day extension) proof of residence (this was tricky, because we were only in Aveiro for a week. We needed to go to a local office with our airbnb host and he essentially wrote us a makeshift lease. It is very bureaucratic and silly- they just needed the paperwork, so we complied), and probably a few other documents I’m forgetting. It is a 90 day extension for portugal, and cost roughly 100 euros. While it is for Portugal, I have since traveled to Tenerife, and I am in Seville now. I’m leaving Seville for the US in a month, so hopefully it won’t be an issue departing from Spain. We shall see…

@jammingsloth Does the Portuguese visa extension permit travel to the other Schengen countries? If not, there’s a chance of getting barred from the Schengen Area for several years if you depart the Area from any country other than Portugal. Spanish border officials have a reputation for being fairly lenient on overstayers departing the Schengen Area, but it could be worth spending a few hundred dollars to nullify the risk of a ban by leaving from Portugal.

@dvc I asked this a couple times and couldn’t get a straight answer. Final word is they don’t know and it depends on the official. So far travelling between Portugal and Spain has not been an issue (within Schengen). But I agree, the issue would arise departing Schengen. If it comes to it, I think they will understand if I say I couldn’t get a reasonable flight out of Lisbon.

@jammingsloth Would love to know how your departure went. Did you have any trouble at your port of exit?

Am planning to go the visa extension route and am wondering if hopping around Schengen is a good/bad idea.

@jammingsloth would also like to hear how this worked out for you, cheers

I’m Canadian and succesfully applied for an extension in Portugal earlier this year. I applied for an extension of about 60 days & got it.

  • The Portuguese visitor visa extension is ONLY for Portugal (you cannot travel outside Portugal into other Schengen countries if you’re already beyond your allowable Schengen stay) and does NOT permit work.
  • The offices do vary in their understanding of what’s allowable & how they enforce it. If you have the choice of picking the city you’ll apply in, you might want to endure the painful process of trying to call each individual office to clarify the options/requirements. Then pick the location based on that.
  • Knowing that, in general, visa processes can take time (we’re familiar with weeks for processing for other kinds of visas), we showed up in Portugal 3-4 weeks before my 90 days max’d in Schengen. Mistake. My office (Albufeira) wouldn’t even consider an application from me until 2-3 days before my 90 days. I would encourage you to show up a week or so in advance & go in to meet with someone, make them give you a list of what’s needed, & try to confirm expectations and make your actual application appointment after that.
  • 2-3 days before my 90, I had an appointment, went in for it & then it took 2 more visits (including one wasted trip because the manager who said he’d be there didn’t show - typical stuff) to finalize. Try to stay near the office. It will save you grief.
  • The office I used would only give me the visa with evidence of an air reservation DIRECTLY from Portugal to MY HOME country. They would not allow even a connection in another country, Schengen or not. I called several Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras offices around the country and they gave me varying answers. But my local office was absolutely adamant about this.I actually still believe they were incorrect & that as long as my flight itinerary had no flights landing in a Schengen country (the UK, Croatia, Australia…), it should have been fine. The office in Lisbon, for example, interpreted it that way when I called them.
  • I did not have to have a lease. I did have to show tourist accommodation reservations for my entire stay, though (airbnb’s, hotels, etc.). The manager of the office conveyed to me that he agreed that as a tourist, that was understandable & acceptable.
  • They accepted print-outs of my bank account balances from my online banking & seeing a credit card statement that showed my credit limit with room.

Hope that helps.