Is it possible to create a Virtual Layer through a Python script?

For example, I have a layer 'road', and I would like to perform the SQL query:

FROM road
WHERE type = 'Expressway'

Will this be possible? Is there any example I can refer to?

2 Answers 2


For QGIS 3, instead use QgsProject:

from qgis.core import QgsVectorLayer, QgsProject

sql_query = "SELECT * FROM road WHERE type = 'Expressway'"
vlayer = QgsVectorLayer(f"?query={sql_query}", "vlayer", "virtual")
  • 2
    Given current LTR QGIS version is 3.10, this answer should be the new validated one !
    – sigeal
    Jul 4, 2020 at 10:04

For QGIS 2 you could use something like the following:

from qgis.core import QgsVectorLayer, QgsMapLayerRegistry

sql_query = "SELECT * FROM road WHERE type = 'Expressway'"
vlayer = QgsVectorLayer(f"?query={sql_query}", "vlayer", "virtual")

You can find examples on how to use virtual layers through Python from the author's GitHub:


  • 1
    I got an error in the Python console: 'QgsMapLayerRegistry' is not defined. The SQL statement works when running in the 'Create a virtual layer' dialog. Feb 6, 2017 at 17:38
  • 1
    Did you include the 'from qgis.core import ...' line? What version are you using?
    – ndawson
    Feb 6, 2017 at 19:40
  • @eclipsed_by_the_moon - Yes, you're correct. Edited the post to include the necessary imports (thanks to annoymous user for edit).
    – Joseph
    Feb 7, 2017 at 9:56
  • 1
    @Joseph Thanks for the link provided in your answer!
    – mgri
    Feb 7, 2017 at 9:59
  • @CyT - Most welcome! Glad it worked =)
    – Joseph
    Feb 10, 2017 at 9:56

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