Residence permit
May 30, 2024
Reading Time: 5 min

Main misconception about the Portugal D7 visa: how to avoid it and get a residence permit

The Portugal D7 Visa attracts foreigners with its convenient requirements: a monthly income of €820 is enough to get a visa and a residence permit. However, many miss an important detail: this income must be passive. Salary and payments for freelance services are not applicable.

A D7 Visa applicant also needs to open a bank account in a Portuguese bank: they have to visit a local bank office in Portugal prior to submitting a visa application.

Portugal has a D7 Visa alternative: the Digital Nomad Visa. This one does not require a passive source of income, and a local bank account can be opened upon moving to Portugal on the Digital Nomad Visa.

Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Explained the common difficulties in obtaining a D7 Visa

Problems with the Portugal D7 obtainment

Main misconception about the Portugal D7 visa: how to avoid it and get a residence permit

What are the differences between the D7 and Digital Nomad Visas?

The D7 Visa requires a passive income, while the Digital Nomad Visa needs an active income. Possible passive sources of income include rental properties, dividends, royalties, or interest on investments.

Any other types of income are not suitable for the D7 Visa. This includes remote work salary or earnings based on a self-employed status.

To get a Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must work remotely for a foreign company under an employment contract or service agreement.

Income requirements for the D7 Visa are lower. D7 Visa applicants must earn at least €820 per month, or €9,840 per year. The income for the Digital Nomad Visa should be at least €3,280 per month.

A Portuguese bank account is required for the D7 Visa application but not for the Digital Nomad Visa. D7 Visa applicants must open a bank account prior to the visa application and transfer a sufficient amount to support one year of life there.

Therefore, an applicant should go to Portugal, for example, on a Schengen visa and visit a local bank office in person to open a bank account.

To apply for a Digital Nomad Visa, foreigners do not need a bank account in Portugal. They can confirm their savings with a statement issued by any bank that is not under sanctions. An account in a Portuguese bank is needed only when applying for a residence permit and can be opened after moving to Portugal on a Digital Nomad Visa.

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Basic conditions for the Portugal D7 and Digital Nomad Visas

In addition to confirming income for the visa of choice, applicants must:

  1. Rent a property for a long period. The minimum rental period is 1 year. It is also allowed to buy residential real estate rather than rent it. There are no requirements for a minimum rental or purchase price.

  2. Stay in Portugal for one and a half years in a row or 16 months in total within two years to be eligible to extend a residence permit.

The family can also move to Portugal. The rule applies to spouses, as well as financially dependent children and parents.

With each added family member, the minimum income and savings increase. For example, a single digital nomad proves to have savings of €9,840. The amount increases by 50% if adding a spouse and 25% if adding a minor. Thus, a family of four with two children under 18 must have €19,680 in their bank account.

The D7 Visa is valid for 4 months: applicants must come to Portugal and apply for a residence permit. The residence permit will be issued for two years with the possibility of an extension.

The Digital Nomad Visa can be a short‑term 1‑year visa: applicants can not extend or use it to obtain a residence permit. Another option is a long-term visa for 1 or more years, allowing holders to apply for a residence permit.

Comparing the conditions: Portugal D7 and Digital Nomad Visas

Condition

D7 Visa

Digital Nomad Cisa

Minimum income

€820 per month

+ 50%, or €410 — per spouse or parent

+ 30%, or €245 — per child under 18

€3,280 per month

Savings

€9,840

+ 50%, or €4,920 — per spouse or parent

+ 30%, or €2,952 — per child under 18

€9,840

+ 50%, or €4,920 — per spouse or parent

+ 25%, or €2,460 — per child under 18

Source of income

Rental of real estate, dividends, royalties, or interest

Salary, payments for freelancer services

Family members who can get residence permits

Spouse, children under 21, and parents

Spouse, children up to 30 years, and parents

Bank account in Portugal for a visa application

Yes

No

Minimum apartment rental period

1 year

1 year

Mandatory stay in Portugal to extend a residence permit

1.5 years in a row

or 16 months in total within 2 years

1.5 years in a row

or 16 months in total within 2 years

Residence permit validity

2 years, can be extended for 3 years

2 years, can be extended for 3 years

Step-by-step instructions on how to get a Portugal residence permit with a Digital Nomad Visa

Obtaining a Digital Nomad Visa takes up to 60 days. When the visa is ready, applicants must come to Portugal and apply for a residence permit. The combined process takes at least 4 months.

1

2+ weeks

Collecting documents and applying

The applicant submits documents to the Portuguese consulate in the country of citizenship or legal residency. A fee of €90 is paid at the consulate.

2

Up to 60 days

Getting a Digital Nomad Visa

The consulate reviews the visa application within 60 business days. The visa is stamped into the applicant’s passport, and the appointment with AIMA, Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum of Portugal, is set.

3

Up to 4 months

Travelling to Portugal and applying for a residence permit

The applicant submits documents for a residence permit immediately upon arrival in Portugal. The required documents are the same as for the Digital Nomad Visa. The fee is €197.

4

Up to 12 weeks

Obtaining a residence permit card

AIMA reviews documents for 2—12 weeks. Then, it sends the issued residence permit card by mail.

5 benefits of the Portugal residence permit

1. Convenient way to obtain residency in the EU. To get a visa followed by a residence permit, an applicant does not have to look for a job in Portugal, create a business plan, or invest in the country’s economy. Purchasing or renting real estate and proving income and savings is enough.

2. Residency at the lowest expenses. Getting a D7 or a Digital Nomad Visa is cheaper than a residence permit by investment. Expenses include only purchasing or renting property and paying state fees; investing at least €250,000 isn’t required.

When applying for a D7 visa, an applicant also pays to visit Portugal to open a bank account.

3. Visa-free travel within Europe. Holders of a Portugal residence permit can visit the states of the Schengen Area without a visa for up to 90 days out of 180.

4. Access to education and healthcare. Residence permit holders and their families can be treated in local clinics; children receive free school education.

5. Opportunity to obtain Portugal citizenship. Residents can apply for citizenship after 5 years of living in the country.

The Portuguese passport allows the holder to travel to 172 countries and choose any country in the European Union to live in.

Lisbon is the best city for digital nomads

Lisbon is the best place for digital nomads, according to Instant Offices 2023. The city has a warm climate, numerous co-working spaces and more than 7,000 Wi-Fi access points for remote work

Key takeaways on Portugal’s D7 and Digital Nomad Visas

  1. The main distinction for applicants is the amount and sources of income.

  2. For a D7 Visa, it is enough to earn at least €820 per month, but the sources of income must be passive.

  3. For a Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must work remotely under an employment contract or service agreement with a foreign company. Their income must be at least €3,280 per month.

  4. Applicants do not need a bank account in Portugal to apply for a Digital Nomad Visa. The account is required only when obtaining a residence permit and can be opened after getting a visa and moving to Portugal.

  5. In addition to proof of income, applicants must rent an apartment or house for at least 1 year. Another option is to buy residential real estate. There are no requirements for a minimum purchase or rental price.

  6. Both D7 and Digital Nomad residence permits require staying in Portugal for at least 1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total within two years.

  7. Family members can move to Portugal with the main applicant. The rule applies to spouses and financially dependent children, and parents. With each family member added, the minimum income requirement grows.

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Will you obtain Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why can it be difficult to get a Portugal D7 Visa?

    A D7 Visa applicant must open a bank account in Portugal and transfer a sufficient amount to support one year of life there. An applicant has to go to Portugal, for example, on a Schengen visa and visit a local bank office in person to open a bank account.

  • Why is the Digital Nomad Visa considered a D7 alternative?

    While both visas do not require foreigners to work in the country or invest in its economy and need foreign income. The main distinction is in the source of income: it must be passive for the D7 Visa and active for the Digital Nomad Visa.

  • Who can get a Digital Nomad Visa?

    Citizens of countries outside the European Union or the European Economic Area can get a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa. Applicants must work remotely under an employment contract or a service agreement with a foreign company. Their income should be at least €3,280 per month.

  • Can I get a residence permit in Portugal through a Digital Nomad Visa?

    Portugal offers two types of Digital Nomad Visas: short-term and long-term. You cannot get a residence permit with the short-term type, but with the long-term type, it is allowed. The entire process takes at least 4 months.