Portugal Visas

All About the D7 Visa in Portugal

By
Ana Fankhauser
June 21, 2021

Portugal is a beacon for expats looking for EU residency. However, if you do not have the capital needed for an option like the Portugal Golden Visa, you may be looking for a different way to stay in Portugal.

If you earn passive income through a pension, rental property, or online business, you may be eligible for the D7 Visa in Portugal.

Are you looking for a country with a low cost of living, beautiful weather, delicious food, and kind people? Portugal is a wonderful place to live, and the D7 visa can help you stay there long term.

Do you earn a passive income or work online? Keep reading to learn more about the D7 Visa in Portugal.

What is the D7 Visa in Portugal?

The D7 Visa is often explained as being the visa for retirees and pensioners. However, that is not the best explanation! There are many more people who are able to take advantage of this amazing visa opportunity.

If you are wondering how to get a D7 visa, here’s the answer--bring income from outside of Portugal. The D7 Visa in Portugal allows foreigners with outside sources of income to move to Portugal long-term.

How to Get a D7 Visa?

There are many factors to consider when applying for a visa in a foreign country. It is normal if you are unsure about completing the application process on your own. Hiring a visa assistance company or legal counsel can be a worthwhile investment.

The following sections cover the necessary steps and documents for a D7 visa.

Eligibility

The D7 Visa is for anyone who will not be searching for jobs in the Portuguese job market. If you have passive income from rental properties or a retirement account, that is great! But this visa also works if you are a digital nomad or remote worker employed by a company outside of Portugal.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Not be from an EU country
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Be able to prove that you have sufficient funds to care for yourself (using any of the sources of income mentioned above)

Application Process: Part One

First, you must apply for a temporary residency visa at a Portuguese embassy in your home country. The temporary visa will allow you to stay in Portugal for four months. For this step, you want to be sure to book your appointment at the Embassy/Consulate well in advance. Once you have the temporary visa, you can go to Portugal and rent a house, explore your new surroundings, and prepare for the next step of your application.

Application Process: Part Two

Once you are in Portugal, you will need to make an appointment with the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF). This office will give you your visa to stay in Portugal beyond the temporary visa given to you by the Consulate in your home country.

This visa from the SEF will need to be renewed until you have been in Portugal for five years. Then you can apply for either permanent residency or citizenship.

Necessary Documents

Applying for the D7 Visa requires you to present certain documents. The Portuguese government requires the following documents:

  • The D7 application form
  • A valid passport and two passport-sized photographs
  • Proof of regular income (this can be active or passive income originating from outside of Portugal) with six bank statements
  • Proof of a clean record (no past criminal charges) from your home country
  • Valid travel insurance that covers your medical needs
  • Proof of established residence (this can be a rented property, a new purchase, or a letter stating that you are staying with friends)

Income Requirements

For the SEF to give you the D7 Visa in Portugal, you must meet the income requirements. You can be holding the following amounts in a bank account and provide statements to prove this. Or you can prove a regular monthly income from the last year that culminates in the yearly annual minimum.

The income requirements are as follows:

  • 7,200 euros per year for the primary applicant
  • 3,600 euros per year for each additional adult on the application
  • 2,160 euros per year for each child on the application

What are the Benefits of the D7 Visa in Portugal?

There are several benefits to receiving a D7 Visa to live in Portugal (besides the pastéis de nata). These benefits include:

  • Free entry and travel around the EU as long as you have a valid visa
  • Permission to study, work, and live full time in Portugal
  • Access to the Portuguese healthcare system
  • Potential inclusion in the Non-Habitual Resident tax scheme
  • You can include your spouse and children in your visa application

In addition to all of these benefits, you also do not have to invest money (like with the Golden Visa) and the application process is much shorter than other long-term visa options.

Challenges of Applying for the D7 Visa

Every visa application has its own unique set of complications and challenges. If you are thinking of applying for the D7 Visa in Portugal, here are some of the challenges you may face.

Required Time in Portugal

If you have read our article on the Portugal Golden Visa, you know that many visa options around the world do not require long-term stays in the host country. However, for the D7 Visa, you should prepare to stay in Portugal for a significant time each year.

For Years One and Two, you must stay in Portugal for six consecutive months or eight nonconsecutive months. After that, your visa renews for another three years. For Years Three, Four, and Five, you must also stay in Portugal for six consecutive months or eight nonconsecutive months.

At this point, you can either renew for another three-year visa, apply for permanent residency, or apply for citizenship.

Legal Confusion

Applying for any sort of visa, and moving to any foreign country, poses certain challenges. If you are applying and you are uncertain about the D7 Visa requirements and the D7 Visa regulations, please consider hiring outside help to assist you with your application.

A visa assistance service can help you procure your visa, start a bank account, set up your electricity and water, and so much more.

Financial Difficulties

One thing to be aware of is that the income requirements for the D7 Visa in Portugal change every year. The minimums that are set are based on the Portuguese minimum wage. So as the minimum wage rises, so will the income requirements for this Portugal visa.

Additionally, if you are a freelancer or new entrepreneur and you do not already have a steady source of income, you will need to wait to apply for this visa until you can prove you have sufficient income.

How Does the D7 Visa Compare to Others?

Many countries around the world offer visas to retirees, remote workers, and freelancers/self-employed persons. The visas listed below are two of the options that exist in Europe outside of Portugal.

Spain’s Non-Lucrative Residence Visa

The Non-Lucrative Residence Visa in Spain is very similar to the D7 visa in Portugal. However, the visa in Spain is much less friendly for remote workers.

The Spanish visa does not allow working in Spain during your first five years. While no specific rules are surrounding remote work based in other countries, some people have been denied this visa if it is evident that most of their income comes from remote work.

If you are a remote worker and not a retiree, getting a long-term visa in Spain as a path to EU citizenship may not be possible.

German Freelance “Freiberufler” Visa

The Freelance Visa (or the Artist Visa, if you work in a creative profession), allows freelancers and artists to live in Germany for several years. Like the D7 Visa application, you must prove sufficient funds and your initial visa must be renewed.

However, this visa in and of itself will not lead to German citizenship. If you are looking for a path to EU citizenship, this visa would not be a good option for you.

Are You Ready to Move to Portugal?

If you have sufficient income, passive or active, from outside Portugal, a D7 Visa in Portugal is an amazing opportunity for those looking to live abroad, benefit from Portuguese healthcare, and become a citizen of an EU country.

Portugal offers a sunny, beautiful place to live for retirees and digital nomads from around the world--so why not you?

If you are interested in learning more about moving to Portugal, check out our Services to see how we can help you during your move!

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