Proof of entering Portugal if using eGates?

US citizens can enter Portugal using eGates instead of going through the normal visa line.

Does using the eGate mean there’ll be no stamp in the passport?

If so how do you prove legal entry, or duration of stay in Portugal?

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Boarding pass would suffice

I’ve used e-gates at Lisbon and Porto on my last 2 visits and after the electronic bit you present your passport to a real person behind a desk who stamps it both coming and going.


The eGates were added for arrival after we last arrived in Portugal, but before we departed. I can confirm that upon departure, they still examined and stamped our passport after we cleared the e-gate.

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Yes, this was true for me when I stayed for the month of September. The passport opened the eGate, a guy at a desk stamped the passport and off I went. Upon exiting a month later I went through the regular line and she stamped my passport book and done.

My question is: “How do we properly use our Residency Card in this scenario?” Do we need to go through the regular long line in order to be processed by a person at a computer station in so that we trigger the use of our Residency Card?

The guy stamping the passports after entering the eGates wanted nothing to do with interaction he was just stamping passports, moving people through, he had no computer in front of him.

For proof of stay, you might want to see this thread: 14-Day Requirements: Proofs.

Portugal aims to apply the EU rules regarding border checks and stamping of passports - outlined here: See Section 1 for border check rules, and Section 6.2 sub-section (i) for stamping of passports. In principle, no entry or exit stamp must be affixed “to the travel documents of nationals of third countries who present a residence card provided for in Directive 2004/38/EC.)”

There are, of course, instances where the passport has been stamped despite a non-EU national having a valid EU residence card. During the past 2 years this has happened frequently to UK nationals holding an EU residency card (and some without a card but with a residency certificate or QR code (eg Portugal)). The EU has consequently clarified as follows: Stamping a passport serves to establish whether a non–EU national respected the authorised length of a short stay within the Schengen area, but … the usual limitation of a stay of 90 days in a 180 days’ period in the Schengen area does not apply to [the EU country where a non-EU national has a residency card] irrespective of whether their passport has been stamped or not.

In relation to whether Schengen travel is allowed and duration of stay limits for non-EU nationals with an EU residence card the rules state that "A long stay visa or a residence permit issued by a Schengen State allows you to travel or stay in other Schengen States, while respecting the maximum duration of a “short stay” (a stay of “90 days in any 180 day period”). See question 16 in FAQs at:

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What I was told is that technically you don’t even need the residency card when entering PT. Although it can help things along in certain cases during travel, you don’t need it to be scanned as proof of stay. I assume its all digital anyway and all of this is linked together somewhere on the backend.

It’s not proof of stay that I’m thinking about. I’m reading the documents that “Onward” was kind enough to post and it becomes clear the rationale for the passport stamping/logging entry. Using the eGates triggers the backend to connect the scanned passport number to the date/time of entry and flags the system to attend to the 90/180 rule for the foreign national entering into the EU. At the time of exit the system counts the number of days and flags for overstay. If however one goes to a human and the Residency Card is presented, ****" 6.2. No entry or exit stamp must be affixed in the following cases: ‘**…to the travel documents of nationals of third countries who present a residence card provided for in Directive 2004/38/EC.’ the backend system isn’t flagged to count days against that passport number within the system for overstay at exit. If we are going to stay for 4 months It is pretty important to get this part right, saving 30 minutes at the border by using the eGates assuming that its all fine and risking an EU overstay isn’t something I’m willing to do. I know that it SHOULD be automatic, that these cards/data referenced in the background, but it IS Portugal. It has taken 2 years to get the card I want to use it properly. From what I can tell, you fly to Portugal on your US passport and you enter Portugal with your Residency Card. When you exit Portugal you exit with your Residency Card and you enter the US with your US passport.

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Ah. i see your point.
Yes, so you are right but unfortunately I don’t know the answer or how they deal with that scenario.

For me, I did not see anyone forcing anyone to go through the e-gates at LIS (and it was not allowed for me in any event because I had kids), but I would say if you are concerned, you can go through the regular gates to ensure the proper stamps. The lines were similar when we were there, although imagine the e-gates were faster.

@drsteve I came across this old post during some research and though I would update with my personal findings.

Below the area on the machine where you place your passport, there is a slot where you can insert your card. Unfortunately, its just a hole to insert the card but no instructions or other information so you are totally on your own.
I tried that last time and it was not clear whether it detected and registered the resident card or not. You do have to hand over your passport to the SEF agent to stamp, so there is that evidence that you entered the country.

At this point I have a lot of questions about the process such as – should the card be inserted face up , face down, photo first or whatever?. I have yet to find any instructions on this on the internet, but maybe someone has knowledge of the correct process.

One suggestion I can give is to insert your card BEFORE scanning your passport, otherwise, the door will open and its too late to register your card.

Glad to hear your biometrics was finally approved. Hope to see you in Portugal soon. :slight_smile:

Here is one explanation how to use the egate but its not very thorough:

(Link getting blocked here so search this text on facebook:
Sistema RAPID4ALL alargado aos aeroportos do Porto, Faro e Funchal O Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) expandiu o RAPID4ALL)