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Getting a visa to live in Portugal

There are many types of visa which you can use to move to and live in Portugal – some of the lesser known types of visa for Portugal are the Start-up Visa, Study Visa, Employment Visa and the Family Reunification Visa to name a few, but here below we have shared information on the more commonly used visas to consider for anyone wanting to move to Portugal from outside the EU.

First things to note: Citizens of the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and other countries are allowed to stay, work and study in Portugal for 90 days out of every 180 days without a visa.

To live or work in Portugal you need to apply for a visa and go through the official procedures which apply to all non-EU citizens.

D7 Visa

One of the most simple options is the D7 Visa. This is the visa to use if you are a remote worker, digital nomad, retiree or have a regular investment income. You need to show you have sufficient income to qualify for this type of visa, but this income can be in the form of pension, property rental, investment, dividend, savings etc. Unlike the Golden Visa, you don’t need to purchase a property at all!

In order to apply you will need:

– The passport

– Bank statements showing proof of income – Your income needs to be at least be equal to the annual minimum wage in Portugal (currently €7,620) for the first applicant and 50% of the minimum wage for a partner. Though it is commonly thought the better option to ensure you will be accepted it so have €12,000 income per year just to be safe. You might also have the option to apply using proof of accessible savings. In this case you need to prove you have a minimum of €25,380 (€16,920 for the first applicant and €8,460 for a partner).

– Proof of a residential address in Portugal – this could be letter from a sponsor, tenancy agreement for rental (min 1 year) or a proof of ownership of a property. (If you do not have one you can apply for a temporary D7 visa which lasts for 4 months to allow you to find a property and get an address), when you have arrived in Portugal you can book an appointment with SEF who will approve your D7 visa.

– Proof that you have no criminal record

– Proof of insurance

The process for application takes approx 60 days and you need to start your application before you leave for Portugal. Once approved your D7 visa is then valid for a year, after this it can be renewed and then you can renew it every 2 years (you can apply for permanent residency after five years).

Some advantages:

– Tax savings using the non habitual tax residency scheme

– After having a D7 visa for 12 months, any newborn children you have can become Portuguese citizens

– Access to schools in Portugal

For those actually seeking to relocate to Portugal for longer than 6 months per year, the Portuguese D7 Visa offers unrivalled value compared with the Portugal Golden Visa Program.

Golden Visa

The golden visa is thought to be a quicker visa option, whereby you invest in a property worth over €500,000 (or €350,000 for a property over 30 years old needing renovation / €280,000 for property over 30 years old needing renovation in less populated areas) and can gain a permit for a family including all dependent children to live in Portugal.

As of January 2022, purchasing a property in Lisbon, Porto or many areas in the Algarve will no longer qualify you for a Golden Visa, be sure to check for latest information on areas which do and do not qualify!

In order to apply you will need:

To find a property the required relevant amount

– A Portuguese tax number (NIF)

– A bank account in Portugal

– Proof of transfer of funds

– Declaration of compliance

– Proof of insurance

Some advantages:

– It is a well recognised and protected government scheme

– You can travel freely across the 27 Schengen countries

– You are eligible for the Portuguese Passport as well as EU residency after 5 years in the country

– You can stay in the country during and after the process of application

– You only have to invest (up to) €500,000 in property to qualify

– One application is enough for you and any immediate family to all qualify

D2 Visa

Not as well known as the D7 Visa and sometimes known as the Immigrant Entrepreneur Visa, this is a type of visa for people who are citizens outside of the EU that want to live in Portugal having opened / investing in an activity (business) in Portugal.

You do not need to open a huge business in Portugal, you just need to show that you have the intention of being an entrepreneur and holding a business in Portugal, it does not matter if it is a small business at all! Be aware this visa option can take a long time to process, people say they are waiting 6 months or more just for an appointment – that said if you have proof of your appointment this is enough to be considered legally allowed to be in Portugal – as long as you do not leave the country!

In order to apply you will need:

– Show proof of viability using a business plan

– Explain why you chose Portugal

– Show you have capital (or investors with capital) to invest in the company – there are no minimum
– requirements for the amount this should be.

– Passport

– Proof of insurance

– Proof of no criminal record

Some advantages:

– You may be able to put your partner, dependent children / parents and even siblings who are minors with your application

– Access to government support / incentives

– Access to highly qualified employees

– Access to the European Market

Things to consider:

– High Corporate Tax Rate

– Language barriers

– Long waiting time until you get your residency (and become 100% legal)

In summary we hope this overview of some of the more common visas helps get you started on your journey to living in Portugal and that you see it is not as scary or complex as it first sounds! If you have your own story about moving to Portugal using a visa and would like us to share it to help others please send us an email

One thought on “Getting a visa to live in Portugal

  1. You say that it’s better to have €12,000 per year, is this for one person and why, my partner (not married) and I, both make the minimum amount plus a little more, why is this not considered enough sometimes.

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