Types of Digital Nomad visas to Portugal
Portugal has been issuing Digital Nomad visas since October 2022. Both freelancers and remote workers on a permanent contract are eligible for it.
Before, the only option to obtain residency in Portugal for digital nomads was the national D7 visa, also known as the “Passive Income visa”.
The Digital Nomad visa is also a national type D visa, which comes in two forms: for a temporary stay and for obtaining residency.
A temporary stay visa allows residing in Portugal for up to a year. This multiple-entry visa cannot be extended or used to obtain residency.
A residency visa, or a long-term visa, is intended for foreigners who are looking to reside in Portugal indefinitely. The visa is valid for 4 months and allows two entries into the country. Once the visa holder arrives in Portugal, they can use it to apply for a 2-year residency.
Difference between a Digital Nomad visa and a tourist visa
The Digital Nomad visa is a national visa that allows a longer, uninterrupted stay than a Schengen tourist visa.
A Schengen visa holder is allowed to stay in Portugal or any other Schengen state for a maximum of 90 days every 180 days, regardless of the visa's validity period. Besides, Schengen visas can be either single entry or multiple entry.
The Digital Nomad visa allows its holder to either stay in Portugal for up to a year and enter the country multiple times or obtain a residence permit and stay in Portugal indefinitely.
A person holding a Digital Nomad visa doesn’t need a tourist visa to enter other Schengen states for short stays up to 90 days every 180 days.
Portugal Digital Nomad visa requirements for applicants
A person can apply for a Portugal Digital Nomad visa if they are over 18 and citizens of a non-EU and non-EEA country.
Applicants must work remotely on an employment contract, a partnership agreement, or a service contract. The monthly income from all the sources must be more than four minimal wages in Portugal. In 2023, the threshold is €3,040.
Arranged accommodation in Portugal is one of the requirements for the visa. When submitting their documents, applicants must provide at least a 3-month rental agreement in Portugal. We recommend having a 1-year long agreement.
Along with the digital nomad, the visa can be issued for their close family members:
- their spouse;
Parents and children over 18 must depend financially on the main applicant to obtain the visa.
When requesting a visa for family members, applicants must show a higher monthly income: an additional €254 per underage child and an additional €380 per adult family member above the minimum requirement.
Each family member must fill in their application form for an accompanying visa and arrange their appointment at the consulate.
Documents for obtaining the Digital Nomad Visa
It’s best if the applicant submits their Portugal Digital Nomad visa application from their country of citizenship or residency. For instance, if a national of India officially resides in Oman, they can apply to the Portuguese consulate in either of these countries.
Typically, national visas are processed in the consulates, but sometimes applicants can submit their documents to visa centres, such as VFS Global.
The standard package of documents includes the following:
- A passport.
- Two document photos, 4.5 x 3.5 cm in size.
- A work contract and other agreements proving that the applicant works remotely.
- A bank statement proving that the applicant monthly receives at least €3,040.
- A proof of sufficient funds to reside in Portugal — a bank statement showing funds equal to a yearly minimum income in Portugal, which for 2023 is €9,120.
- Tickets to Portugal.
- A certificate of no criminal record with apostille, translated to Portuguese.
- A rental agreement in Portugal.
- Health insurance valid in Portugal.
Before submitting the documents, checking the newest requirements for applicants is recommended. They can be requested at the nearest Portuguese consulate.
It is also possible to apply for a Digital Nomad visa from Portugal; for instance, if a digital nomad is visiting the country with a Schengen visa. However, in this case, the visa processing will take around 2 years, during which the applicant is not allowed to leave the state.
Step-by-step process of obtaining the Portugal Digital Nomad visa
Digital nomads obtain their visas in 60 days, provided they submit their application outside Portugal. They will get a residency visa if they plan to stay in Portugal for longer than a year. Once they arrive in the country, they apply for a residency permit. The whole process takes 4+ months.
Applicants submit their documents to the Portuguese consulate in their country of citizenship or residence. Along with the papers, applicants pay a €90 processing fee.
The application processing takes 60 days. After the application has been approved, the visa is stamped in the passport. Aside from that, the applicant gets their appointment date to SEF, the Immigration and Borders Service of Portugal.
At SEF, applicants submit the same package of papers they took to the consulate for the Digital Nomad visa. The fee for processing the residency application is €170.
SEF processes the application within 2 to 12 weeks. Once the residency card is issued, it is sent to its owner by post.
In some countries, consulates do not make appointments at SEF for residency applications. In that case, a Digital Nomad must make the appointment by phone. They can do so by calling this number: +351-217-115-000.
Digital Visa holders get 2-year residency cards. If they want to stay longer, they can renew their permits by submitting similar documents to SEF. After 5 years of residing in Portugal, digital nomads can apply for permanent residence or citizenship in Portugal.
Other ways to obtain residency in Portugal
There are other paths to residency in Portugal. Let’s compare the Digital Nomad visa to other long-term visas to the country.
D7 visa for financially independent individuals allows people with a stable passive income to move to Portugal. In 2023, the threshold for income is €760 per month.
Dividends, interest, royalties, rental income, pensions, and other legal income obtained remotely from outside Portugal are eligible for the D7 visa.
D3 visa to Portugal for highly qualified professionals is intended for scientists, engineers, doctors, IT specialists, lawyers, and other in-demand professionals.
To obtain this visa, applicants must submit a work contract with a Portuguese company and a higher education diploma to prove their qualifications.
D2 visa for entrepreneurs. Foreign nationals who fund a business in Portugal or buy an existing one can obtain a special residence permit.
The documents to SEF are submitted after an applicant has registered a business in the country or obtained the status of an individual entrepreneur.
Comparison of the required funds and expenses to obtain Portugal’s national visas
Each visa allows providing family members with residency in Portugal as well. Visa applications are processed within 60 days, while residency cards are issued within 4 months.
Residents with national visas are obliged to reside in Portugal for at least 183 days per year to renew their permits. After 5 years of living in the country, they can apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
Benefits of the Digital Nomad visa to Portugal
The right to reside in an EU country. Portugal attracts expats from all over the world by its mild climate, stunning culture, access to the ocean and great conditions for remote workers. Aside from that, it is one of the safest countries in the world.
Visa-free travel across Europe. Digital nomads with residency permits in Portugal can freely visit other Schengen countries for short visits. The visa-free rule applies only to stays up to 90 days every 180 days.
Opportunity to optimise taxes. Foreigners who physically reside in Portugal more than 183 days per year can become tax residents of the country and get the Non-Habitual Resident status, which exempts its holder from foreign income tax for 10 years.
Option to open bank accounts in Portugal. Digital nomads with a national visa can easily open an account with a local bank, unlike non-resident foreigners, who are required to provide a long list of supporting documents and a valid reason to open a Portuguese account.
Prospect to become a citizen of Portugal. Foreigners legally residing in Portugal for 5 years and more can apply for permanent residency or citizenship by naturalisation.
Relatively low costs for obtaining the visa. Provided those applicants earn the requested minimum income, the costs for obtaining the Digital Nomad visa are not high. They include €260 of state fees in total, the price of the medical insurance and the rental accommodation.
- There are two types of the Portugal Digital Nomad visa: the Temporary stay one allows staying in the country for up to a year, and the Residency visa allows obtaining a renewable residency permit for an indefinite stay.
- The Digital Nomad visa applicants submit their documents to a Portuguese consulate in the country of their citizenship or residency.
- Digital Nomad visa applications are processed within 60 days. After that, the visa is stamped in the passport, and the applicant gets an appointment date to SEF.
- The long-term Digital Nomad visa is valid for 4 months. Within that time, its holder is expected to arrive in Portugal and submit their documents for residency to SEF.
- The Immigration Service of Portugal processes the application from 2 to 12 weeks. After the residency card is ready, it is sent to its holder by post.
Portugal residency obtained with the Digital Nomad visa is the same as any other residence permit. It provides the same rights to its holder, such as the ability to travel visa-free to Schengen countries, open accounts in European banks, and take advantage of the Portuguese tax system.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, Portugal started issuing special Digital Nomad visas for remote workers and freelancers in October 2022. Before that, they could obtain the D7 visa for financially independent individuals.
To get a Digital Nomad visa, foreigners gather the required documents and submit them to the Portuguese consulate in the country of their citizenship or residence. The processing of the visa takes up to 60 business days.
It is also possible to obtain a visa in Portugal if the applicant is already there. In this case, the process will take around 2 years, during which the applicant cannot leave the country.
The Digital Nomad visa allows residing in Portugal and working remotely for a foreign company. If a digital nomad applies for a long-term visa, they can obtain a 2-year residency permit that can later be renewed.
Residency in Portugal allows its holder to travel to all Schengen countries visa-free, optimise taxes, and open accounts in European banks.
Yes, remote workers and freelancers in Portugal who moved here with a Digital Nomad visa pay taxes there. They must stay in Portugal for at least 183 days a year to keep their residency. That makes them also tax residents of the state.
Digital nomads can obtain the Non-Habitual Resident status that will exempt them from tax on foreign income for 10 years.
Before Portugal started issuing the Digital Nomad visa, remote workers and freelancers were able to move to the country with the following visas:
- D7 visa for financially independent individuals;
- D3 visa for highly qualified professionals;
- D2 visa for entrepreneurs.
Now that the Digital Nomad visa is new, it is not clear if remote workers and freelancers can also apply for those visas.
No, the “Passive Income” visa can only be issued in a consulate outside the country. Applicants can apply to a Portuguese consulate in the country of their citizenship or residency.
The number of states providing special types of visas to remote workers and freelancers grows each year. Aside from Portugal, such a visa is available for residency in Spain, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Georgia, Malta, and Cyprus.
In the Caribbean, digital nomad visas are available in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands.