Citizenship
December 22, 2023
Reading Time: 6 min

D7 vs Golden Visa in Portugal: which one is better?

Portugal is a very attractive country for relocation, with a lot of options to obtain a residence permit. Among them are the D7 Passive Income Visa and the Portugal Golden Visa.

A key distinction between the two visas is the holders’ tax residency status. The D7 visa holders have to live in Portugal; thus, they become tax residents. Meanwhile, the Golden Visa does not require its holders to reside in the country.

In this article, we explain the differences between the programs and how they can help you become a resident and potentially a citizen of Portugal.

Alina Mishurenko
Alina Mishurenko

Explained the differences between the D7 and the Golden Visa in Portugal

D7 vs Golden Visa in Portugal: which one is better?

D7 vs Golden Visa in Portugal: which one is better?

What are the Portugal D7 and Golden Visa?

The D7 visa is also known as the Passive Income Visa. It is issued to financially independent foreigners who can prove a monthly passive income from sources outside Portugal. Starting on January 1st, 2024, the minimum income rises from €760 to €820 a month.

This program is not suitable for digital nomads, as their income is not considered passive. For them, Portugal launched a Digital Nomad Visa.

The Portugal Golden Visa is an opportunity to obtain a residence permit in the country by investment. The minimum investment is €250,000 for a donation to restore cultural heritage and support the arts. Alternatively, one can invest at least €500,000 in investment fund units, research activities, or business. The latter option allows applicants to return their money in 6—10 years.

Buying real estate is no longer an option to participate in the program after the recent law changes.

Will you obtain a residence permit in Portugal?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain a residence permit in Portugal?

5 main differences between D7 and Golden Visa

1. Application procedure

Applying for a Passive Income Visa is a more complicated process. Even before applying at the Portuguese Consulate in your home country, you will need to obtain your Portuguese taxpayer number, bank account, and accommodation in Portugal. After receiving a visa for an initial four-month term, the applicant needs to travel to Portugal to apply for a residence permit.

The process of obtaining the Golden Visa is a bit simpler, as there’s no need for investors to provide proof of accommodation. The application could be submitted after making the required investment. The procedure can be done remotely, except for a short trip to Portugal to open a bank account at a local bank.

2. Stay requirement

The D7 visa holders get residence permits valid for 2 years and are required to reside in Portugal for at least 1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total within these 2 years to be eligible for residence permit renewal.

Three years later, they can apply for permanent residence or citizenship if they still live in the country for the required amount of time.

The rules are not so stringent for Golden Visa holders. They only need to spend 7 days a year in Portugal to maintain residency, and they are also eligible for permanent residence or citizenship after five years.

3. Proof of income or investment

As mentioned above, D7 visa applicants need to prove a legal regular passive income of at least €820 per month. Passive income can be of any nature, including intellectual property income, dividends, interest, property rental, or pension.

At the same time, they are not required to make any investment in the Portuguese economy, apart from buying or renting residential property. That’s not the case for Golden Visa applicants, who need to invest at least €250,000 but aren’t required to provide any proof of income.

4. Tax requirements

As D7 visa holders are required to reside mostly in Portugal, which might lead to becoming tax residents in the country.

The holders of the Portugal Golden Visa aren’t required to move to Portugal immediately. In that case, they would only need to pay taxes on local sources of income.

5. Fees

The cost of D7 visa issuance is significantly lower. The applicants only need to pay €90 for the visa application per family member and €155 for the residence permit card. For the Golden Visa applicants, the fees are €605 and €6,045, respectively.

Differences between D7 and Golsen visas: a summary

Terms

D7 visa and residence permit

Golden Visa

Investment

Not required

€250,000+

Proof of income

€820 per month

Not required

Proof of accommodation

Required

Not required

Obtaining time

4+ months

8+ months

Mandatory residing

1.5 years in a rowor 16 months in total within 2 years

7 days a year

Family members who could be included in the application

Spouse, children under 21, parents

Spouse, children under 26, parents

Application fee

€90 per family member

605 per family member

Fee for residence permit cards

€155 per family member

€6,045 per family member

How to get a Portugal D7 visa and turn it into a residence permit

Receiving a D7 visa can be a completely remote procedure. After that, the applicant will need to travel to Portugal for a residence permit:

1. Preliminary Due Diligence (1 day). Immigrant Invest’s Compliance Department checks the client against international legal and criminal databases to establish that the applicant will be eligible for the visa. The confidential procedure reduces the risk of rejection to 1%.

2. Getting a Portuguese Taxpayer Number (up to 5 days). The taxpayer number (NIF) is necessary to open a bank account and purchase or rent housing in Portugal. The procedure is remote for the applicant.

3. Opening a bank account in Portugal (2+ weeks). The applicant provides the taxpayer number, the passport, and proof of the legal origin of the funds. This procedure is also remote.

4. Buying or renting housing (up to 2 months). The applicant chooses the property options provided by the real estate experts. This process can be remote as well, but the client can also travel to Portugal to see the property in person.

5. Applying for a D7 visa (up to 4 months). Immigrant Invest lawyers help the client collect all the necessary documents for the application, including:

  • an international passport;

  • a medical insurance policy;

  • two colour photos;

  • a police clearance certificate;

  • proof of accommodation;

  • marriage or birth certificates for family members;

  • a Portuguese bank statement;

  • a NIF registration certificate.

6. Visiting Portugal with the D7 visa (1 day). The visa is issued within 60 days of the application date. It is valid for 4 months, during which the applicant must travel to Portugal to apply for a residence permit at an immigration office.

7. Applying for a residence permit (1 day). Immigrant Invest book an appointment for their client, with our representative accompanying them to the immigration office.

8. Receiving a residence permit card (2+ weeks). The card is sent to the applicant’s registered address in Portugal. It is valid for two years and can be renewed for three years if the applicant remains in compliance with the terms of the program.

Turning Portugal D7 visa into a Golden Visa

The D7 visa will not be renewed if the holder fails to meet the residence requirement. Fortunately, they will be able to apply for the Golden Visa on the usual terms.

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

Obtaining the Portugal Golden Visa: a step-by-step guide

Unlike the D7 visa application process, investors need to make two short trips to Portugal during the obtainment of the Golden Visa. Apart from that, however, the procedure is remote and takes around 8 months.

1

1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

A certified Anti Money Laundering Officer conducts a mandatory and confidential check of the client against international databases. The procedure helps reduce the risk of rejection to 1%.

2

3 weeks

Selecting investment option

Immigrant Invest consults the client on all investment options available.

3

2 to 5 days

Travelling to Portugal

The investor visits Portugal to receive a taxpayer number and open an account at a local bank. Immigrant Invest representatives will accompany the client for any help with documents and translation.

4

1 to 2 months

Fulfilling investment condition

After opening a local bank account, the applicant transfers the money to it and then redirects it to complete the investment.

5

1.5 to 2 months

Preparing the documents and submitting the application

Immigrant Invest lawyers provide the client with an individual list of documents they’ll need to gather for the application. They also help fill out the required government forms and translate all the documents.

After the full package is prepared, E-copies of the documents are sent to the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum of Portugal (AIMA).

6

1 day

Attending the AIMA office

An appointment with the AIMA office is booked beforehand. The investor and the family members included in the application need to travel to Portugal to submit the original documents and fingerprints for resident permit cards.

7

4 to 6 months

Approval and receiving the residence permit cards

After AIMA completes the check of the investor’s documents and approves the application, the resident permit card fee is paid. The cards are prepared for two weeks and are issued directly to the investor or to their representative, who then sends them to the applicant.

Receiving Portuguese citizenship after D7 or Golden Visa

Both the Passive Income Visa and the Golden Visa offer a path towards Portuguese citizenship within five years.

In both cases, it starts with an initial residence permit for two years. The D7 visa holders will be eligible to renew it for three years if they reside in Portugal for 1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total under the previous 2-year permit.

Obtaining permanent residence or citizenship after a three-year residence permit requires to spend in Portugal 2.5 years in a row or 28 months in total within 3 years.

The Golden Visa can be renewed for two years, meaning that its holders need to update it twice. They don’t need to permanently reside in Portugal throughout this period, with the minimum stay requirement set at just 7 days a year.

Key things to remember about D7 and Golden Visa in Portugal

  1. The D7 visa, or Passive Income Visa, requires proof of accommodation and a legal passive income of at least €820 per month, as well as a permanent residence in Portugal for 1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total within two years if the applicant wants to renew the residence permit. After receiving the D7 visa in their home country, the applicants travel to Portugal to apply for a residence permit there.

  2. The Portugal Golden Visa can be obtained through a minimum investment of €250,000. The whole procedure is remote, except for a short trip to open a local bank account. They are not required to be present in the country for more than seven days a year to retain their residence permit.

  3. The D7 visa holders become tax residents in Portugal if they maintain their stay requirements. Investors who receive the Golden Visa, however, are not obliged to be tax residents in the country.

  4. Both programs offer a path towards obtaining Portuguese citizenship five years after obtaining the initial residence permit.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain Visa D7 in Portugal?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Visa D7 in Portugal?

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the Portugal D7 and Golden Visa?

    The D7 visa is also known as the Passive Income Visa and is available to foreigners with a stable passive income. The monthly income threshold is €820 in 2024. The Golden Visa is a program that allows foreigners to obtain a residence permit for a minimum investment of €250,000.

  • How different are the D7 and Golden Visa?

    Apart from the cost of obtaining, the main difference between the two programs is the requirement of residence in the country. The D7 visa program suits those applicants who are prepared to live for 1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total within two years in Portugal and be tax residents in the country. Golden Visa holders need to be present in the country for only seven days a year, with no tax residency requirements for them.

  • How much does obtaining a D7 or a Golden Visa cost?

    The D7 visa applicants don’t bear any costs except buying or renting residential property, as well as a total of €245 in government fees. The Golden Visa program requires a minimum investment of €250,000 as well as at least €6,394 in government fees.

  • How long does it take to get a D7 visa?

    It could take at least 4 months to obtain the D7 visa, after which the applicant needs to travel to Portugal for a residence permit.

  • How long does it take to get a Golden Visa?

    The process of obtaining the Golden Visa could take between 8 and 10 months.

  • Can I get a Golden Visa after the D7?

    Yes, if you can’t maintain the minimum stay requirement of 1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total within two years, you can apply for a Golden Visa. For that, you’ll need to make a minimum investment of €250,000 and visit Portugal for at least 7 days a year.

  • When can I become a Portugal citizen after a D7 or a Golden Visa?

    In both cases, you will be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship five years after obtaining the residence permit. Throughout these five years, D7 visa holders must reside in the country for most of the year.

  • Which of the D7 or Golden Visa is a better option for retirement?

    Pension qualifies as passive income for obtaining the D7 visa. If a retiree receives at least €820 per month, they can qualify for the Passive Income Visa. However, the Golden Visa may be more suitable if the individual does not wish to spend most of the year in Portugal and become a tax resident in the country.