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Portugal D7 Visas for British retirees who were denied a Portuguese bank account

The UK is a wonderful country, especially for people who want to build a career. In my younger years, I was just like that. But the older I got, the more I wanted to have a relaxed life in a country with a better climate.

So when I retired, my wife and I thought, "What if we move to another country and try a slightly different way of living in a new place? After all, what else to do but enjoy life when you’re retired?” That’s how we decided to obtain residence permits in the EU.

We didn’t expect to stumble upon difficulties with opening a bank account. But thanks to Immigrant Invest, we found a solution and were able to move to Portugal in just a few months.


Hugo, 68

Retiree from the UK

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

D7 Visa for pensioners from the UK

Portugal D7 Visas for British retirees who were denied a Portuguese bank account

Hugo’s decision to obtain the D7 Visa in Portugal

Hugo and Daisy are retirees from the UK. Before retirement, Hugo was working as a real estate agent, and Daisy was a housewife. When they were young, the couple lived in their apartment in the central area of London.

After turning 60, Hugo and Daisy decided they wanted a quieter life, which was impossible in a big city like London. The couple considered moving to a calmer place and settled in the suburbs. They didn’t sell the apartment in London as it could bring them extra income. Hugo decided to rent it out for £4,000, or €3,400.

However, the couple was tired of the UK and did not live in London. The climate badly influenced Hugo’s health, and his doctor advised him to move to a warmer country.

When looking for an opportunity to move to a country with a better climate, Hugo was hooked by the affordability and laid-back lifestyle of Portugal as well as by its D7 Visa, designed for people with a passive income. Daisy was all for moving to Portugal, as she was always fond of the sea. So, the decision was made.

Problem Hugo faced when applying for the D7 Visa

When the couple agreed on the D7 Visa, Hugo started his research. He learned who was eligible for the visa and what requirements he and his wife were to fulfil.

To obtain the D7 Visa, a foreigner must:

  • be a non-EU citizen;

  • have a passive income of at least €820 for a single applicant and €1,230 per month for a married couple; 

  • rent or buy a property in Portugal for any price.

With a monthly rental income of £4,000 and a pension of £3,850, or around €6,700 combined, Hugo and Daisy had more than enough money to obtain the D7 Visa and live comfortably in Portugal.

The couple started to collect a package of documents that included:

  • passports;

  • a marriage certificate;

  • health insurance for both applicants;

  • police clearance certificates from their country of origin;

  • a NIF registration certificate.

NIF, or Número de Identificação Fiscal, is a taxpayer number that one needs to rent or buy real estate and open an account in a Portuguese bank. Hugo obtained the NIF through a tax representative with whom he was acquainted through his work.

The next step to obtaining the D7 Visa was to open a bank account in Portugal. Upon applying for a visa, the foreigner must provide a bank statement from a Portuguese bank to prove they have sufficient means to live in the country. This is where the problems started.

Hugo provided all the required documentation to the bank: a passport, a taxpayer number, and proof of the legality of his income. He was told that the accounts were usually opened in 2—3 weeks, and he was ready to wait. While his application was being processed, he even started to look for a suitable property to rent in Portugal.

When 5 weeks had passed, and the bank was still considering Hugo’s application, the man started to worry. He addressed the bank, but it couldn’t provide information on when the application would be approved or denied. It was still under the bank’s Due Diligence check.

So, Hugo decided to find out whether other foreigners had had the same problem with Portuguese banks. And yes, he was not alone. Expats were sharing their stories, and some recommended using the help of Immigrant Invest, a company that assists investors and financially independent persons with obtaining residence permits.

Hugo was interested and decided to do further research. He checked the Immigrant Invest website and our cases and read the reviews on the independent resources. Upon doing so, he was impressed by the fact that 99% of our clients obtained chosen statuses.

After considering all the pros and cons, Hugo addressed Immigrant Invest on December 11th, 2023, and continued his journey to the D7 Visa.

The solution to the delay in opening a bank account

The first thing the lawyers did when Hugo addressed Immigrant Invest was conducting a preliminary Due Diligence. It is an essential step before signing a contract with our client, as we need to know the person’s background and be sure we can help. The check was successful, so we signed an agreement with Hugo.

We planned to prepare, alongside other documents, an affidavit proving Hugo had sufficient funds to live in Portugal and that he was currently waiting for approval to open an account from a Portuguese bank.

The Immigrant Invest lawyers collected all the documents, including bank statements from Hugo’s British bank, and filed an application to the Portuguese consulate. Upon applying, the man paid a visa application fee of €90 per person.

We also helped Hugo and Daisy find accommodation by providing them with several options. The couple chose a spacious two-bedroom apartment in Aveiro.



Retiree from the UK

Unfortunately, my initial application for opening a bank account in Portugal was rejected; the bank workers explained that I didn’t pass their Due Diligence. Maybe the Portuguese bank just couldn’t believe a retiree could have such an amount of money. However, they didn’t explain the reason for the refusal.

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter anymore. With the help of Immigrant Invest, my wife and I had obtained our D7 Visas even before getting the rejection. With them, we could open dozens of accounts in Portuguese banks.

5 weeks later, Hugo’s application for the D7 Visa was approved. Even though a Portuguese bank denied opening an account, the couple could enter Portugal with their D7 visas.

Hugo and Daisy didn’t wait any longer, packed their suitcases and moved to Portugal. There, Hugo came to a branch of a Portuguese bank in person, provided required documents and opened a bank account without undue delay.

the D7 Visa for British citizens

The Canal in Aveiro's city centre. Aveiro is a city on the west coast of Portugal with a population of around 80,000 people

Process of obtaining a residence permit after the D7 Visa

Obtaining a residence permit for Hugo and his wife after the D7 Visa took around a month and a half.


December 11th, 2023

Signed a leasing agreement for a year, €870 per month

The couple chose an apartment, our lawyers helped to draw up and verify a leasing contract with a Portuguese local, and Hugo signed it.


+ 1 week

Opening a bank account

The D7 Visa was valid for four months, so Hugo had enough time to prepare the couple’s application for a resident permit.

The package documents the man provided to a bank included a valid passport, proof of their address in Portugal, and a taxpayer number.


+ 5 days

Transferring money and getting a bank statement, €14,750

After opening the bank account, Hugo transferred €14,750, a sum required for a year of living in Portugal, directly from his British account. He also got a bank statement for the last six months.


+ 1 day

Applying to AIMA, €310

Then, the Immigrant Invest lawyers translated and notarised the required documents and filed an application to AIMA, the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum of Portugal.

Hugo paid the residence permit card fee of €310 for himself and his wife.


February 16th, 2024

Approval and obtainment of a residence permit

AIMA was considering the application for around 6 weeks and approved the couple’s application. Issued resident permit cards were sent to the couple’s apartment in Aveiro.

The first residence permits are valid for two years. Then, the financially independent persons can extend it for three years.

Hugo’s and Daisy’s life in Portugal

Hugo and Daisy moved to Portugal after obtaining the D7 Visa and haven’t left it ever since. They have settled in Aveiro, a lovely town set along a lagoon called Ria de Aveiro.

The couple loves the country and definitely doesn’t miss British rains. Now, Hugo and Daisy are exploring different parts of Portugal. Porto is one of their favourite places, and despite being a big city, it doesn’t have as much hustle as London.

Later, Hugo and Daisy plan to travel around Europe and benefit from all the free time they have. They are also waiting for their children to come to Portugal for a visit.

After five years of residing in Portugal, the couple can apply for permanent residency or citizenship if they wish to do so.

This case was provided by our expert

Alina Mishurenko

Editor-in-chief, content creator

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Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

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