On this page, you will learn everything you need to know as a student who will start at Forward College in September. Learn more about:

  • Financial Aid
  • Accommodation in Lisbon
  • European Health Insurance Card
  • Visa Application for Non-EU students


Financial Aid

You can apply to financial aid by emailing who will send you a specific form to fill. You will be asked to provide documents for both you and your parents/guardians such as the household’s tax return and pay slips from the past three months. If you live alone or van only present your own revenues, please say so in the email. 

Financial aid is granted on a case-by-case basis and is calculated based on your financial background/needs, as per the indications on your financial aid form. It is a combination of a scholarship and a zero-interest loan. The financial aid can cover a small part up to the full amount of the tuition fees.

Should you have any remain questions, Omar explains the details about our financial aid programme and help you understand how you can benefit from it in the webinar session below.

Watch our financial aid webinar

Book your accommodation

Forward College has a special agreement with Xior Benfica through which a certain number of rooms are blocked for Forward College students before they open their sales for students from other universities. Therefore, your room reservations are processed differently from students of other universities: it is done manually by Xior. 

 The available room options are: 

  •  Standard Suite: 580€* 
  • Good Suite: 605€*
  • Standard Studio: 730€*

*Prices may differ for academic year 24/25

 Please find more details on each room type here and note that there is very limited availability for the standard suite and the standard studio.

To book a room at the Student Residence Xior Benfica, please follow the following procedure:

1. Forward students will need to create a customer account at and fill it out with their personal data. This will allow Xior Benfica to have Forward students data registered in their system prior to the reservation.

2. Students must send an e-mail to including the following information:

  • that they are from Forward College
  • the user name they chose when creating the customer account
  • the e-mail address associated with the customer account
  • the type of room they want to book (standard suite, good suite or standard studio)
  • the respective rental period (11 or 12 months)

Please only send ONE email including all the required information mentioned in the bullet points above.

3. After Xior associates the reservation made by them to your customer account, you will receive an email with a link so that you can proceed with your reservation and payment. To make the reservation you will need to pay two rents (first and last months) and a security deposit of the same value of one month of rent. The security deposit is returned at the end of the stay if the room remains in good conditions.

After making the payment, you will receive a booking confirmation by email. Prior to your arrival you will also receive an email from Xior Benfica with the instructions for check-in.


European Health Insurance Card (for EU students)

As an EU national, you should have an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during your stay under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as citizens who live in Lisbon, Paris or Berlin. EHICs are issued by your national health insurance provider. To find out how to apply from your country of residence, click on this link and follow the directions to order your card. 

You can also apply for private student health insurance. Although this is not compulsory, we encourage Forward College students to apply. The cost is EUR 18-25 monthly.

All non-EU students must apply for private health insurance. See more information about this under the tab ‘Visa application for non-eu students’

Please contact us if you would like further advice.

Visa Application for Non-EU students

As a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, you will need to apply for student visas and residence permits as you move across the Forward Campuses in the EU. The information below will help you navigate through the visa application process, but keep in mind that the process varies a lot across different countries and that you will need to follow through most of the steps by yourself, using the documents provided.

Depending on where you are applying from, it can take from a few weeks to three months for a student visa to be processed. Therefore, start your visa application as soon as possible, ideally as soon as you receive your Letter of Acceptance from Forward College. This will be sent to you once you accept your offer and pay for your deposit. We strongly recommend that you submit your visa application at least two months before your scheduled arrival date. 

Important: If you are applying late, and there is the possibility that your visa will not arrive on time for the start of the semester, make sure to contact the campus manager Eduardo Guerreiro so that we can make accommodations based on your case.

In order to come to Portugal as a student, you have the choice between applying for a Temporary stay E6-visa (less than a year) or a Residency D4-Visa (more than a year). For your stay in Lisbon with Forward, both visas work just as well, but we recommend applying for the Temporary stay E-visa for study purposes (E6), because the bureaucratic process when you arrive in Portugal will be way easier. Important: there is a difference between a “Short Stay” and a “Temporary Stay” visa.

  • Temporary stay visa for Bachelor’s Study purposes (E6)

Your Temporary stay visa will allow you to enter and stay in Portugal for less than a year. If you are the holder of a Temporary visa, you won’t need a Residency Permit.

  • Long stay residency visa for Bachelor’s Study purposes (D4)

Your Residency Visa will be valid for four months. During that period, you will only be allowed two entries and will be required to request a Residence Permit with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Services (SEF), which will replace your visa. Important in this case is that when you receive your D4-Visa, you should automatically have an appointment with the SEF scheduled for you. Make sure you have this information, because it will spare you a lot of headache.

→ You can find out more about the different types of visas on this website.

Here is an outline of how your application process is going to look like (once again, be aware that this process varies according to your country, and therefore it is important to check your official country specific information):

1 – Receive your Letter of Acceptance (you cannot apply without it.)

2 – Find out where to submit your application on the official website.

3 – Follow the instructions given by the institution to which you are submitting your visa.

Usually the visa application steps will be:

4 – Schedule an appointment/interview

5 – Compile the documents needed and pay the required fees

6 – Attend the interview

7 – Wait for your visa to be processed

  • Proof of Acceptance in a Study Program – this is your Proof of Enrolment provided to you by Forward College.
  • Proof of Accommodation – this is the invoice of the reservation of your room at student residence Xior Benfica.
  • Travel Insurance – you must be insured for the Schengen Area with a coverage of at least 30.000€.
  • Proof of means of Subsistence – this is usually a bank statement, a proof of sponsorship from your parents/legal guardians and their bank statements, proof of scholarship, etc. See this link.

→ For more information about visas, check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the official SEF website.

→ For any problems relating to visa procedures, contact Eduardo Guerreiro.

Residence Permits

The information below only applies to holders of D-type Residence Visas or to non-EU/EFTA citizens who entered Portugal without a visa. Holders of a Temporary Visa (E6) do not need a residence Permit.

Holders of a residence D-Type Visa are only allowed two entries in Portugal during three months. During that period, the visa has to be replaced by a Residence Permit after an interview with the Immigration and Border Service (SEF).

Under the Immigration Law, the SEF is now obliged to automatically book you an appointment for an interview, when a positive decision is made regarding a request for a residence visa. Once you receive your D-Visa make sure to take note of the date of the appointment for your residence permit request interview!

If you do not have a visa (eg. holders of other Schengen residence permits), or if you were not automatically booked an appointment when you obtained your visa, then upon your arrival in Portugal you must contact SEF (only by phone, see contacts below) and request an appointment to apply for your residence permit. We recommend that you do this very soon after your arrival, rather than risk leaving it until near your expiry date, as there is a long waiting time of up to three to four months.

Schengen Travel Insurance (for non-EU students)

If you need a visa to travel to Europe, you will have to get travel insurance. This is a mandatory part of the visa application process. If you do not have a valid travel health insurance policy, the Embassy will automatically reject your request for a visa.

As it is required at embassies for the visa application, most insurance companies (e.g. MondialCare, AXA, Europ Assistance) offer policies designed specifically to meet the Schengen travel health requirements. When you apply for a visa, the Embassy will ask to see proof of a purchased Schengen travel health insurance plan. This usually goes by the name of “travel insurance certificate” and your insurance company will give it to you when you subscribe to one of their plans.

Your plan should cover these basic costs: cost of medical treatment (in-patient and out-patient medical treatment, doctor visits, hospitalisation, surgery, prescription medication, emergency dental care), cost of repatriation or evacuation (if you become gravely ill or get into a serious accident which requires medical attention from your home country, travel insurance covers the cost of repatriation). This is what a basic policy has to cover to be valid for a visa application.

Please note that some insurance companies offer additional, more comprehensive coverage, such as insurance for your trip or liability. The cost of travel insurance can vary greatly depending on your individual circumstances. The minimal coverage has to be for the whole Schengen area and have the mininum coverage of 30 Euros. A basic coverage plan for 1 year is estimated between EUR 200 and 500.

Please note that this requirement may be waived in the case of a Bilateral/International Agreement between Portugal and the country of origin concerning medical assistance that qualifies certain beneficiaries with recognized insurance, as for example in the case of Brazil (PB4) and the United Kingdom (S1). Reference

→ Find out more about the Schengen travel insurance below: