Updated 31.03.21

Healthcare rights of migrants

Asylum seekers: Asylum seekers and their family members are entitled to health care provided by the National Health System. 

Access to health care encompasses medical care and medication, and is available from the moment the asylum seeker applies for asylum. Asylum seekers have access to the SNS free of charge for emergency health care, including diagnosis and treatment, and for primary health care, as well as assistance with medicines, to be provided by the health services of their residence area. 

They are entitled to health care until a final decision rejecting the asylum application unless required otherwise by the medical condition of the applicant.

Asylum seekers detained at the border do not qualify for this. They can however cooperate with public entities and/or private non-profit organisations to ensure the provision of health care services.


Refugees: Have the right to medical assistance and access to medicines for basic health needs and for emergency and primary health care at the same level as Portuguese citizens.


Undocumented migrants: Have the right to receive healthcare for no, or a moderate, fee. Access involves an administrative procedure and is subject to a prerequisite involving the period of stay.

HIV testing and treatment

Testing: Free for all. Testing is anonymous and confidential. However, identification is generally asked after a positive HIV result.

Use the aidsmap European test finder to see where you can get tested for HIV. 

Treatment: Free for insured people.

Country Statistics

Total Population: 10,196,709


Estimated migrant population: 837,257


Estimated refugee population (2019): 2,375


Estimated number of undocumented migrants (2019): 32451 


Main migrant populations (2020): Angola, Brazil, France