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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 €760 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 Portugal. This may pose challenges to nationals of sanctioned countries or blacklisted jurisdictions.

Portugal has a D7 Visa alternative: the Digital Nomad Visa. This one does not require a passive source of income or a local bank account.

Problems with the Portugal D7 obtainment

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 €760 per month or €9,120 per year. The Digital Nomad Visa requires a monthly income of at least €3,040.

A Portuguese bank account is required for the D7 Visa but not for the Digital Nomad Visa. D7 Visa applicants must open a bank account and transfer a sufficient amount to support one year of life there. However, access to EU banking is limited to certain nations. 

The EU usually requires enhanced Due Diligence for citizens of countries they deem high-risk for anti-money laundering or other cases, including Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, or Nigeria.

Digital Nomad Visa applicants do not need a bank account in Portugal. To rent or buy real estate and live in the country, they can use an existing or new account, for example, in a Turkish or another European country’s bank.

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 at least 183 days a year to maintain a residence permit and tax residence. 

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 required minimum income becomes higher. For example, with the Digital Nomad Visa, €254 is added per minor child and €380 per family member over 18.

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 

ConditionD7 VisaDigital Nomad Cisa
Minimum income€760 per month
+ €380 per spouse or parent
+ €228 per child
€3,040 per month
Source of incomeRental of real estate, dividends, royalties, or interestSalary, payments for freelancer services
Bank account in PortugalYesNo
Minimum apartment rental period1 year1 year
Mandatory stay in Portugal183 days a year183 days a year
Family members who can get residence permitsSpouse, children under 21, and parentsSpouse, children up to 30 years, and parents
Residence permit validity2 years, can be extended2 years, can be extended

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.

2+ weeks
Collecting documents and applying
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.

Up to 60 days
Getting a Digital Nomad Visa
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 SEF, Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service, is set.

Up to 4 months
Travelling to Portugal and applying for a residence permit
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 €170.

Up to 12 weeks
Obtaining a residence permit card
Obtaining a residence permit card

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

4 benefits of the Portugal residence permit

1. 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.

2. Tax optimisation. Foreigners who spend 183 days a year in Portugal become tax residents of the country and can get a Non-Habitual Resident status

The NHR status is issued for 10 years. For example, it allows paying income tax at a flat rate of 20% instead of a progressive scale of up to 48%. Pensioners also pay the tax at a reduced rate of 10%.

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

4. 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 187 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 €760 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 €3,040 per month.
  4. The Digital Nomad Visa does not require a bank account in Portugal, making it easier for citizens of high-risk or sanctioned countries to obtain.
  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 183 days a year.
  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.

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. However, in practice, access to EU banking is limited to citizens of countries deemed high-risk for anti-money laundering or other cases, including Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, or Nigeria.

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 €3,040 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.

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