Portugal Schengen visa interview
Published on: 03 May 2021

If you are applying for a Schengen visa from Portugal, you may be asked to attend a Schengen visa interview as part of your Portuguese visa application process. Today’s blog will therefore teach you how to pass Portugal Schengen visa interview questions. Read on to discover the general Schengen visa interview questions and answers, as well as country-specific Portugal visa questions related to your travel, and Portugal visa questions related to your studies or work. In addition, today’s blog will prepare you for Portugal visa interview questions and answers about you and your family or friends, and also provide a quick overview of the General required documents for a Portuguese visa application. 

Schengen visa interview

  • If you are applying for a Schengen Portuguese visa, you will likely be asked to attend an interview at the Portuguese Embassy, Consulate, or visa application center where you are submitting your application. 
  • The Schengen visa interview is usually the final stage of your application process. They are usually scheduled to coincide with your general visa appointment, where you will officially submit your complete application, pay your visa fee (unless you have already paid it online) and provide your biometric information (unless you have previously and recently submitted it). 
  • Visa interviews usually do not last longer than 20 minutes. 

How to pass Portugal Schengen visa interview questions

  • If you are worried about your Schengen visa interview questions and answers, don’t be! Almost everyone who applies for a Schengen visa is asked to interview—especially those who have never applied for a Schengen visa before. 
  • When responding to all of the questions, keep in mind that the ultimate purpose of the Schengen visa interview is to determine whether or not the applicant is a good candidate for a Schengen visa. A good candidate is someone who: 
    • Is travelling for the reason they say they are
    • Does not overstay their visa (i.e. will leave Portugal/the Schengen area before their visa expires) 
    • Can financially afford their trip (i.e. has enough money to afford the entirety of their stay in Portugal/the Schengen area)
    • Does not present a security/criminal risk to Portugal/the Schengen area
    • Will abide by all of the terms and conditions of their visa             
  • In trying to determine whether you fall into the above categories, your interviewer will ask you a variety of questions. 
  • In order to find out whether or not you will overstay your visa, your interviewer will ask you questions about your life in your home country, your friends and family, and your understanding of the Schengen visa terms and conditions. 
  • Someone who has familial, social, financial, and professional ties is considered less likely to overstay their visa or seek asylum in Portugal/the Schengen area. 
  • Therefore, during your interview, you should strive to present yourself as someone who has deep ties to your hope country. In responding to Portugal visa interview questions and answers about you and your family or friends, emphasize your social ties. If you are close to your parents, are married, and have children, you will be considered more likely to want to return to your country. 
  • Similarly, in answering Portugal visa questions related to your studies or work, keep in mind that a candidates who owns their own home, has a stable job, or is enrolled at university is more likely to be considered a good candidate than someone who is unemployed and renting. 
  • Similarly, in asking you questions about your Schengen visa terms and conditions your interviewer is trying to determine whether you understand how long you can stay, and whether you intend to respect your visa validity period. Demonstrate your awareness of the Schengen visa requirements and validity period by talking about the 90-180 rule. Even if you haven’t yet purchased your return ticket, talk about your general timeline for the trip. Ideally, you can mention an event/meeting in your home country that you need to return for; something significant and personal, like a family wedding or an exam.   
  • In order to determine whether or not you can financially afford your trip, you may be  asked very specific questions about your job and salary. Keep in mind that your interviewer knows exactly what the cost of living in Portugal is. In asking you questions about your financial status, your interviewer is assessing whether you can specifically afford the type of trip you are planning. In responding to financial questions, try to demonstrate your knowledge of what things cost in Portugal (housing, transportation, food, etc). Talk about how you have budgeted your expenses, such as how much money you have allocated for housing. 
  • In responding to the Portugal Schengen visa interview questions, try to demonstrate your awareness of the country and emphasize your specific reason for travelling there. Talk about what you intend to do in Portugal; all of the things you want to see in the country. If your purpose of travel is tourism, talk about all of the sites you want to see and the various cities you want to visit. 
  • For example, don’t be alarmed if your interviewer asks why you need to spend so much time in Portugal—they simply want to hear how you will be spending your time there and whether your reason for traveling is genuine. The more color and detail you can give about your trip, the more it will be considered legitimate in the eyes of your interviewer. 
  • Finally, don’t be alarmed if your interviewer asks you whether you have ever committed a crime/been a member of a terrorist group. These are standard questions all asked of all applicants. Respond honestly and assure your interviewer of your good character and lack of criminal/terrorist history. 

Other tips:

  • Show up on time—lateness is never appreciated! Plus, it could result in your interview being cancelled. 
  • Answer every question truthfully. Lying during any part of your Schengen visa application process, including during your interview, is grounds for rejection.
  • Speak confidently and look your interviewer in the eye
  • While there is no need to dress up, make sure you appear neat and put together for your interview! 

General Schengen questions

  • All Schengen visa applicants, regardless of where they are applying to or from, will be asked to respond to basic biographical questions about themselves. 
  • The purpose of these questions (in addition to all the reasons outlined above), is to check that the answers on your application match the verbal answers in your interview. While you should be honest if someone has changed, you should otherwise try to be consistent in your answers. 
    • These will likely include some or all of the following: 
    • Where were you born?
    • Where do you live now?
    • Do you live alone? 
    • Do you have a partner/spouse?
    • Are your parents still living and are you close to them? Where do they work?
    • Do you have siblings?
    • Do you have children?
    • Where do you work? 
    • What is your monthly salary?
    • Have you ever been arrested? Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a terrorist organization?

Portugal Schengen visa interview questions

In addition to the above general questions, your interviewer will likely ask you Portugal visa questions related to your travel: 

  • These questions will be about your trip and your intended stay in the country, and could include any of the following: 
    • Why do you want to come to Portugal?
    • What is your reason for travelling to Portugal?
    • How are you entering Portugal?
    • Where are you staying in Portugal?
    • Do you know anyone in Portugal?
    • Do you know how much things cost in Portugal? 
    • Why do you need to spend so much time in Portugal? Why can’t you apply for a visa of a shorter duration. 

Visa validity questions

  • Finally, you may be asked questions about your visa terms and conditions. As previously mentioned, this is just to make sure that you understand where you can go and what you can do with your visa. Possible questions include the following: 
    • Do you know how long your Schengen visa is valid for?
    • Do you know how long you can stay in Portugal on your Schengen visa?
    • Where else (aside from Portugal) do you intend to travel on your visa?
    • What other countries is your visa valid for?
    • Have you purchased travel medical insurance?

Required documents

  • Please note that the answers you give in your Schengen visa interview should match the information contained within any of the general required documents for a Portuguese visa application for submission. Required documents/materials include the following: 
    • Passport
    • Passport size photos (2) 
    • Schengen visa application form 
    • Schengen visa supplemental forms (based on what type of visa you are applying for)
    • Proof of accommodation
    • Proof that you can financially afford your trip 
    • Proof of travel/medical insurance 
    • Schengen visa fee (80 EUR for most applicants) 
  • For a complete list of required and supplemental documents, click here.
  • Please note that any documents you submit that are not already in Portuguese, English,  or another commonly accepted language like Spanish will likely need to be accompanied by an official translation into one of those languages. 
  • Contact the Portuguese Embassy/Consulate responsible for processing your application for clarification on this matter.
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