Porto, a vibrant city

Below are some useful information to start your new life in Porto.

1. Visa

Are you an EU citizen?

To travel, you must have a valid passport/national identification card. If your stay is longer than 90 days, you must go to the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) to obtain a temporary residency permit, which is initially valid for one year, then for two years.

If you are not an EU citizen

To travel to Portugal, you must obtain a visa issued by the Portuguese embassy/consulate of your home country, 3 months before you plan to travel.

You need a letter of acceptance from ESB to obtain this visa.

A student visa is only valid for the duration of the study period and for a period of one year.

More information in the links below:



2. Health Insurance

It is essential that you are protected and have a European Health Insurance Card so that you can access the National Health System.

In addition to the insurance policy subscribed to by the University, we recommend that you take out another insurance policy that includes coverage and repatriation expenses not included under our insurance policy.

3. Insurance for universities

The University has an insurance policy in place with Fidelidade – Companhia de Seguros, S.A., an insurance which is mandatory for all students.

4. If you are not an EU citizen you need to obtain the following:

Private Health Insurance and keep a copy of the policy available.

Private insurance is necessary for access to regular or emergency medical and hospital care, in public health centres or hospitals in Portugal.

5. Permanent Medical Assistance

Upon arrival, you will need to register at the Health Centre in your residential area to ensure that you have permanent medical assistance.

The following documents are required:

  • Residence permit
  • Valid passport/national identification card
  • After registering, you will be allocated a health system identification number that allows you to access the National Health Service.

Católica has a service available where you can find all the information and support you need to help in these matters.

6. Citizen Portal

The citizen portal is your gateway to all official matters related to your stay. Here, you can address almost any issue.

7. Monthly Travel Pass

If you really want to enjoy the city, you will need to be able to move around the city.

The most suitable option for you is the Porto 13_15 Andante Pass (Andante Porto 13_15), only available to Porto residents and students, which you can request from the School. However, there is also another type of Andante pass option available that allows you to load as many transportation titles as needed for individual trips.

Travel pass issue points:

  • Andante stores (Lojas andante)
  • Train Ticket Offices (Bilheteiras CP)
  • Automatic Vending Machine and PayPal sales points

8. Opening a Bank Account

Portugal is part of the European Union and the euro is the official currency. Listed below are the requirements to open a bank account and obtain a card so that you can access your money through ATM services:

  • Valid passport/national identification card
  • Tax number (NIF)
  • Residency permit
  • AP roof of enrolment from the University

9. Student accommodation options in Porto

Católica Porto does not have student residences.

Nonetheless, there are private accommodation options available, adjusted to suit your needs.

To ensure that you find the most suitable option, we suggest that you indicate what type of accommodation you are looking for as soon as you contact the International Office.

We recommend that you refer to Católica Porto’s partner for any accommodation matters, just follow the link provided https://studentathome.net/ .

10. Tips from a former student