Yes. All children, whatever is their situation under the laws of the host country, have full access to education and every right to attend school and enjoy it as any other child.
School education develops in three levels:
Pre-school education is optional and is for children with ages between three years and the age of registration to primary school (six years).
Primary School is universal, mandatory and free, including three cycles:
1st Cycle: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years
2nd Cycle: 5th and 6th years
3rd Cycle: 7th, 8th and 9th years
Secondary school is mandatory and contains a three-year cycle (10th, 11th and 12th school years).
For a global vision of the Portuguese Education System and the several teaching types, visit the Portuguese Education System, you can consult:
Identification document and card of the child, or birth certificate, National Registry of Minors;
Registration form filled, with a photograph. This document is given by the school and, if you have any problem filling it, the assistant will certainly help you;
Vaccination book, health centre card and “ficha de ligação”. This form, filled by the Health Centre, allows detect, at an early stage, visuals and hearing problems, for example. Therefore, is very important to register in the Health Centre of your residence area;
Copy of a document from the Health Subsystem (Cards from SNS, ADSE, SAMS...) etc.;
If you have any problem to obtain those documents, place that same problem to the school.
In the school of you residence area, no registration can be refused, since it is inserted in the compulsory education, unless, all the vacancies are filled. In that case, the school will forward the student to another school of the area and ultimately it is the DGESTE responsibility to find a solution.
All minor foreign citizens, legal or not, with ages between 6 and 18 years old, have access to education with the same rights the law assigns to minors legally living in national territory.
Portugal has specific legislation for the registration for illegal minor foreign citizens, regulated by Decree no. 67/2004, 25 March, allowing them access to education, as minors in a regular situation in national territory.
There is specific legislation to obtain equivalences. The equivalence should be requested to the director of the school of the residence area or the one you want to attend, being regulated byDL nº 227/05, 28 December.
The situations not predicted in the Decrees, are competence of the Directorate-General for Education.
The ones interested should always present, between other documents, the qualification certificated translated to portuguese and notarised by the home country Consulate or Embassy in Portugal, or the Portuguese Consulate or Embassy in that country, or with the Hague Convention Apostille
The attendance of primary or secondary school is mandatory for students with ages between 6 and 18;
The mandatory attendance, mentioned above, ends the attainment of the course diploma of the secondary school or regardless the attainment of any cycle or level of education diploma, in the school year in which the student makes 18 years old.
Pre-school education is universal for all children from the year they turn three years old.
The government has the duty to ensure the existence of a network of preschool education, allowing the registration of all children covered and ensure the frequency is conducted in a non-chargeable system of teaching component.
In pre-school education, vacancies existing in each institution, for registration or registration renewal are filled taking into account existing vacancies and priorities defined by law.