All Vietnamese citizens who want to travel to Europe, whether for business or pleasure, need to apply for a Schengen Visa. This visa gives the holder the freedom to travel within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Securing a Schengen Visa makes it easy for Vietnamese nationals to see the breathtaking sights of Europe, attend to business matters, and explore the diverse cultures of the continent.
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen Visa is a visa that allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area consists of most of the European Economic Area as well as several adjacent countries including Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. Altogether, there are 26 countries in the Schengen Zone.
Within this area, there are no border checks or restrictions on movement. This facilitates seamless travel between member states and allows Schengen Visa holders to visit as many countries as they like. Schengen Visas are valid for 90 days in each 180-day period, and you’ll need to apply for your visa before leaving Vietnam.
How Can I Get a Schengen Visa from Vietnam?
The easiest way to fill in your Schengen Visa application is via the online e-VISA platform set up by the Portuguese Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This portal is designed specifically to facilitate the efficient application for a Schengen Visa for Vietnamese citizens, upload the required documents, and track the progress of your application.
Once you have submitted a Schengen Visa application, Vietnamese citizens will be given a personal access code for the portal. This allows applicants to update information, attach supporting documents, and monitor any requests made by the issuing authority.
The four stages of the application process that you’ll see listed on the site are:
- Under examination
- Granted or refused
- Visa issued
The e-VISA is available on the Community Portal and the Visa Portal and can be viewed in five languages: Portuguese, English, French, Ukrainian and Russian.
What is the Schengen Visa Application Fee?
Currently, the Schengen Visa fee Vietnamese citizens are required to pay is €80 for an adult and €40 Euros for a child aged 6-12. Children under 6 years old can apply for a free visa. This fee must be paid when applying for the visa and is non-refundable.
The Portuguese Government is working to develop the e-VISA portal in order to allow applicants to pay the administration fee online. Until this feature is fully functional, applicants who apply for a Schengen Visa in Vietnam will need to pay the visa fee at the nearest Portuguese Consulate.
What are the Schengen Visa Requirements for Vietnamese Passport Holders?
In order to secure a Schengen Visa from Vietnam for Portugal, you’ll need to submit the following documents:
- Schengen Visa application form. This must be fully filled in, signed and dated.
- A covering letter outlining the details of your trip.
- Your national identification card. You should submit a copy of this document as well as the original.
- Proof of accommodation in your destination country. If you don’t know where you’ll be staying for your entire trip, you should give the address of the hotel or apartment that you have booked in your arrival country.
- Proof of flight reservations. This should show evidence that you’ve booked return flights to the Schengen Area. It should include your names, your flight numbers, and the dates of your trip.
- Proof that you have purchased currency for your destination country. In most cases, this will be euros when travelling to the Schengen Area.
- Proof that you’ve arranged medical travel insurance for your trip. This should cover you up to at least €30,000.
- A valid Vietnamese passport. One that has at least three years left until it expires.
- Two passport photos. Must have been taken within the last six months.
Once you have all of the above documentation as Schengen Visa requirements for Vietnam, you can submit them via the Portuguese online visa portal and get your application underway.
Stays Longer than 90 Days – Does a Vietnamese Passport Need a Visa for Europe?
The Schengen Visa only allows the holder to stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days in any 180-day period. It’s designed for people who want to visit the Schengen Zone for leisure, however, it is also commonly used by professionals who need to travel for business and who only require a short stay.
If you want to remain in the Schengen Area, or any one of its member states, for longer than 90 days, or if you want to work during your visit, you’ll need to apply for a specialist visa. Most countries in the Schengen Area offer a choice of long-term visas. However, there is no Schengen-wide visa application process, and cases are judged on an individual basis. Working visas are a possibility in some European countries, but in others, they are not.
Additionally, these visas will generally not allow you to travel freely within the Schengen Area. For more information on long-term visas, you will need to contact the respective embassy of the country you plan to travel to.
As each country within the Schengen Area issues its own long-term visas, requirements for Vietnamese citizens can vary from country to country. In most cases, you’ll need to provide either proof of employment, proof of study, or proof of finances in order to qualify.
The Portuguese Golden Visa Program — Unrestricted Access to the Schengen Area and Much More
There are, however, alternatives available for individuals and families who are looking to spend more time in Europe and enjoy long-term access to the Schengen Area. Golden Visa schemes, such as Portugal’s Autorização de Residência para Actividade de Investimento program (ARI), provide a host of benefits along with unrestricted access to the Schengen Area through investment.
Citizens of Vietnam can apply to this program by either investing in real estate or eligible venture capital funds. In Portugal, the minimum investment required for the Golden Visa program is €350,000 for venture capital funds and €500,000 for real estate projects.
Unlike the standard Schengen Visa, Vietnamese citizens who gain the Golden Visa can access full citizenship, permanent access to the Schengen Area, and a range of tax benefits. This makes it an ideal option for those who want to secure future access to Europe for business, education, or even just permanent residence or retirement.
The Benefits of the Golden Visa Program in Portugal
Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme is one of the most accessible and flexible of its kind in the Schengen Area. One of the most important benefits of the scheme is its minimal residency requirements. Holders must spend just seven days in Portugal during the first year they hold their visa and 14 days in the country during each subsequent year.
What’s more, dual nationality is permitted under the scheme. This allows holders to keep their Vietnamese passport while enjoying unrestricted access to the Schengen Area.
The key benefits offered by Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme include:
- Portuguese residency permit
- Portuguese Citizenship after five years of legal residency
- Visa-free access to the Schengen Zone
- Access to high-quality education and healthcare systems
- 10-year tax relief program
- Minimal residency requirements – Applicants only have to be physically present in Portugal for 14 days per year.
- Family security – Golden Visa benefits extend to the holder’s dependent children and parents.
For Vietnamese citizens looking to relocate or set up a business in Europe, the Portuguese scheme offers easy entry to the Schengen Area. It also provides a range of other benefits that make investment a very worthwhile vehicle.
For more information on how to apply for a Golden Visa in Portugal, contact Planeur today. We offer comprehensive advice, guidance, and help with your application alongside access to reputable investment vehicles and other investment opportunities in Portugal.