Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa vs Golden Visa

Deciding between the Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa and the Golden Visa is a pivotal choice for future residents.
April 17, 2024
Ana Fankhauser
April 17, 2024

Deciding between the Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa and the Golden Visa is a pivotal choice for future residents. If you seek to enjoy the Portuguese lifestyle supported by stable passive income, the “Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa vs Golden Visa” debate may appeal to you. Alternatively, if you’re ready to invest in Portugal’s economy and enjoy flexible stay requirements, the Golden Visa could be your golden ticket. This article breaks down each visa’s requirements, benefits, and considerations in the context of Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa vs Golden Visa, ensuring you have the essential information to determine the path that best fits your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • The Portugal D7 visa is targeted at non-EU individuals with a stable passive income, requiring physical presence in the country for six to eight months annually and leading to potential permanent residency and citizenship.
  • The Portugal Golden Visa program caters to non-EU investors through options like real estate, capital transfer, or job creation, offering residence with minimal physical presence and the option for family reunification.
  • Both the D7 and Golden Visa programs provide a pathway to Portuguese citizenship after five years, with contrasting residency requirements and different financial implications for interested parties.

Understanding the Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa

Portugal's D7 Passive Income Visa

The Portugal D7 visa, known affectionately among expats as the Passive Income Visa, is a beacon for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who have their sights set on the Portuguese way of life. Particularly attractive to retirees, entrepreneurs, and those seeking a flexible lifestyle, the D7 visa is a gateway to Portugal for individuals who can reliably sustain themselves through passive income sources.

With the allure of a simpler application process and the promise of enjoying Portugal’s laid-back lifestyle, it’s no wonder that the D7 visa has become a favorite among those who prefer the scent of sea salt over the hustle and bustle of business districts.

Eligibility Criteria for D7 Visa

Obtaining a D7 visa can be likened to gaining access to Portugal’s serene landscapes and vibrant culture. But first, one must navigate a path of financial and legal checkpoints. The key to this path lies in demonstrating a steady stream of passive income, with the main applicant needing to show they can wield a minimum net regular income of €8,460 per year, plus additional provisions for any accompanying knights and maidens (spouses and children).

In addition to financial stability, applicants must have a clean criminal record and secure accommodation within Portugal to successfully apply for residency.

Advantages of Choosing the D7 Visa

The D7 visa is not simply a residency permit; it is a golden key to Portugal’s treasure trove of public services. With it, the doors swing wide open to comprehensive healthcare and education and the freedom to traverse the Schengen Area’s expanse with ease. It’s an especially fitting choice for those in the autumn of their careers, retirees who can enjoy the fruits of a life well-lived, sustained by their pensions in the comforting lap of Portugal.

The D7 visa also offers a clear path to permanent residency, which is a route that many people with a consistent flow of passive income take.

Decoding the Portugal Golden Visa Program

Investment Options for Portugal Golden Visa

The Portugal Golden Visa offers non-EU citizens a chance at residency through various investment options. It can eventually lead to citizenship after five years. This program appeals to those who aim to infuse their wealth into the Portuguese economy and stitch their legacy into the country’s vibrant economic fabric. Some of the investment options include:

Since its inception, the Portugal Golden Visa Scheme has been a golden goose for the country, attracting more than 20,000 individuals and a nest egg of over €5.2 billion in investment through the golden visa Portugal program.

Investment Options for Golden Visa

The Golden Visa program presents a variety of investment options, each providing a unique pathway to residency. Whether it’s through:

  • the purchase of real estate starting at €500,000
  • the creation of 10 jobs that breathe life into Portugal’s workforce
  • a capital transfer that sends ripples through the economy
  • a €500,000 contribution to research or the arts

the choice is as varied as the country’s landscapes. For art patrons and science benefactors, a €500,000 contribution to research or the arts can pave their path to residency.

Even venture capital aficionados can find their niche, investing in funds that spur innovation within Portugal’s borders. Yet, with changes looming on the horizon, the investment tapestry may soon shift, rerouting the flow of funds and directing investors towards new horizons.

Golden Visa Perks

As the name suggests, the Golden Visa comes with numerous benefits. The most lustrous of these is the minimal residency requirement, a mere seven days per year, making it a beacon for those who seek to weave Portuguese residency into their globe-trotting tapestry without needing to anchor themselves to one harbor.

It extends its golden rays to the investor’s kin, offering family reunification that paints a portrait of togetherness against the backdrop of Portugal’s charm. And for those who dream of European escapes, the visa grants unfettered passage across the Schengen canvas, a privilege that frames the Golden Visa as a masterpiece of mobility and flexibility.

Comparing Residency Requirements: D7 vs Golden Visa

Comparing Residency Requirements

When the curtains are drawn and the two visas stand side by side under the spotlight, the starkest contrast shines through their residency requirements. The D7 visa beckons for a substantial presence, asking its holders to immerse themselves in Portuguese life for at least half of each year. In contrast, the Golden Visa requires only a fleeting visit—a mere seven days per year—to keep the residency flame alight.

This pivotal difference casts the D7 as the choice for those who wish to root their lives in Portugal’s fertile soil, while the Golden Visa holds the stage for those who desire the freedom to roam with a Portuguese haven to call home.

Stay Duration for D7 Visa Holders

D7 visa holders must make Portugal a significant part of their lives, staying in the country for six to eight months each year. This commitment ensures their integration into the national community. Stepping away for longer than six consecutive or eight non-consecutive months could unravel their residency status, a cautionary tale for those who wish to call Portugal their permanent haven.

Flexibility for Golden Visa Residents

In contrast, the Golden Visa offers supreme flexibility. Residents are only required to stay in Portugal for an average of seven days per year. A fortnight’s stay over two years is all it takes to maintain this golden thread of connection with Portugal, weaving it seamlessly into a life lived across borders.

This minimal residency requirement is a siren’s call for those not ready to drop anchor in Portugal just yet but eager to chart a course towards future residency or citizenship.

Financial Implications: Assessing Costs and Tax Status

Financial Implications of D7 and Golden Visa

The pursuit of Portuguese residency navigates through financial considerations, where the D7 and Golden Visa each have their own unique financial requirements. While the D7 visa beckons with lower costs and a calling to become a tax resident, the Golden Visa requires a heftier tribute but offers the flexibility of tax residency. Each path has its own financial tapestry to consider, from government fees to potential tax benefits, ensuring that the route to Portuguese residency is not only a matter of heart but also of wealth.

Cost Comparison Between D7 and Golden Visa

The D7 visa is relatively affordable, with costs ranging from €50 to €300, excluding expenses related to property or travel. On the other side of the coin, the Golden Visa demands a king’s ransom in comparison, with application and processing fees that tower over those of the D7.

The specific investment chosen only adds to the golden pile, making it a path for those with deep pockets.

Tax Considerations for D7 and Golden Visa Holders

Portugal’s tax system is complex, offering the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) scheme as an advantageous option for those seeking tax benefits on foreign income for a decade. D7 visa holders must embrace tax residency, staying in Portugal for over half the year, to weave the NHR benefits into their fiscal fabric.

Golden Visa holders, on the other hand, can choose whether to stitch themselves into Portugal’s tax residency tapestry, maintaining the freedom to be taxed only on their Portuguese-sourced income unless they decide to settle permanently.

Application Process Simplified: D7 vs Golden Visa

Simplified Application Process for D7 and Golden Visa

The journey to Portuguese residency begins by navigating through bureaucratic procedures. The D7 visa requires one to obtain a tax number, a bank account, and a home in Portugal. In contrast, the Golden Visa’s path requires the execution of an investment, a testament to one’s commitment to the Portuguese economy.

A process of applications, document submissions, and inevitably waiting for the green light to make Portugal a place to call home characterizes both journeys.

D7 Visa Application Steps

Getting a Portuguese Taxpayer Number (NIF), opening a Portuguese bank account, and finding housing are the first steps in the pilgrimage to getting an initial visa, such as a D7 visa. The application is a dance of paperwork and patience, culminating in the submission at the Portuguese consulate in the applicant’s home country.

With health or travel insurance in hand, the applicant steps into a process that, if navigated with precision and care, leads to the granting of residence permits within three months.

Golden Visa Application Journey

The Golden Visa’s road is paved with gold, beginning with an investment decision that blooms into a portfolio of necessary documents. With a tax number and a bank account in place, the investor plants their golden seed through the investment, then steps into the digital realm to submit their application online, following the golden visa process.

An in-person interview at the nearest AIMA office is the final rite of passage, a moment where the investment is scrutinized and the worthiness of the applicant is affirmed.

Pathway to Citizenship: From Temporary Residency to Passport

Portugal’s residency programs offer more than just temporary residence; they serve as a pathway to citizenship. After five years of legal residence under the golden sun or among the whispering pines, holders of either the D7 or the Golden Visa can claim Portugal as their own, not just in heart but in passport too.

This passage is one of time and commitment, a journey that winds through the cobblestone streets and along the sandy shores, leading to a place in the Portuguese lineage.

Permanent Residence Through D7

The route to permanent residency for D7 visa holders is lined with olive branches and the sweet scent of orange blossoms. It begins with an initial two-year stay that blooms into successive renewals, culminating in eligibility for permanent residence once five years have been woven into the tapestry of their Portuguese life.

The path then leads to the threshold of citizenship, where a knowledge of the Portuguese language is the key to unlocking full membership in the Portuguese family.

Citizenship via Golden Visa

The Golden Visa holders, meanwhile, traverse a golden path that sparkles with the promise of citizenship. They must nurture their investment in Portugal’s soil for five years, after which the golden blooms of residency can be picked and transformed into the fruit of citizenship.

This journey, while paved with gold, requires the same dedication to time as the D7, proving that in Portugal, commitment to residence is rewarded with the country’s embrace, no matter the path taken.

Living in Portugal: Realities for D7 and Golden Visa Residents

Life in Portugal is a vibrant blend of history, culture, and modern conveniences, providing a lush backdrop for D7 and Golden Visa residents to build their lives. The D7 visa not only opens the door to Portugal’s healthcare and education systems but also allows residents to contribute to the economy as independent professionals.

In contrast, the Golden Visa offers:

  • A vibrant expatriate community
  • Co-working spaces where business and pleasure blend seamlessly against the backdrop of Portugal’s dynamic cultural and social environment
  • Securing a comfortable dwelling is a cornerstone of this life, with a spectrum of options from the sun-kissed villas of the Algarve to the historical apartments in the heart of Lisbon.

Integration into Portuguese Society

Integrating into Portuguese society involves immersing oneself in family-friendly cities like Lisbon, which offer a multitude of activities and a strong sense of community for both families and individuals. The digital nomad scene, particularly thriving in Lisbon and the Algarve, pulsates with energy and innovation, attracting a global community that finds solace and synergy in Portugal’s embrace.

This communal tapestry is woven with the golden threads of inclusivity and support, making Portugal not just a residence, but a home.

Accommodation and Property Rental

Securing a place to call home is a crucial step in establishing residency in Portugal. D7 visa applicants must secure their nest, be it through property ownership, an invitation from a resident, or a signed lease that serves as a foundation for their application. The rental market is a tapestry of options, with one-year leases often the norm, and the importance of registering with the Portuguese tax authority adds a layer of officialdom to the process.

While platforms like Airbnb offer temporary respite, it is the long-term contracts that solidify one’s standing in the eyes of Portuguese consulates. For those looking to plant deeper roots, purchasing property is a viable option, though a sojourn in Portugal is advised to truly understand where one’s heart lies within the country’s diverse landscapes.

Family Matters: Reunification and Education

Portugal’s residency visas nurture family unity by allowing loved ones from different countries to live together under the same roof. Both the D7 and Golden Visa acknowledge the heart’s need for closeness, facilitate family reunification, and ensure that children’s education is a thread that continues unbroken in the move to Portugal.

This commitment to family and education is but one of the many reasons Portugal stands out as a destination for those looking to relocate, providing a nurturing environment for the young and stability for the entire family.

Bringing Family Members to Portugal

The fabric of family is sacred in Portuguese society, and the residency programs honor this by allowing the main applicant to bring their:

  • spouse
  • children
  • dependent parents
  • dependent siblings

to Portugal. This process of family reunification is a testament to Portugal’s values, ensuring that the tapestry of life is woven with all its integral threads intact.

Whether it is through the D7 or Golden Visa, the reunion of loved ones under the Portuguese sun is a process that reaffirms Portugal’s commitment to family unity.

Schooling Options for Dependents

Education is the loom upon which the future is woven, and for dependents of D7 Visa holders, the threads of learning are abundant and diverse. Portugal extends its educational tapestry to include vocational training, offering a practical pathway for children to develop skills that will carry them forward.

The high standards of education in Portugal ensure that each child, each future citizen, is well-prepared for the trades and professions that will shape their lives and contribute to the fabric of Portuguese society.

Remote Working in Portugal: A New Era

As the world gears towards a future where work knows no borders, Portugal positions itself as a destination for digital nomads and remote workers, offering a blend of productivity and leisure in its scenic environment. The introduction of the remote worker visa is Portugal’s nod to this new paradigm, a recognition of the ever-evolving landscape of work and life.

This visa, distinct in its income requirements and purpose from the D7 and Golden Visa, is the latest thread in Portugal’s growing tapestry of residency options, tailored for those whose office is wherever they lay their laptop.

Digital Nomad Visa vs D7/Golden Visa

The Digital Nomad Visa, or D8, is Portugal’s response to the global shift towards remote work. Unlike the D7 and Golden Visa, this visa requires proof of income specifically generated from remote work, with the threshold set at four times the Portuguese minimum wage. This flexibility allows digital nomads to weave their work seamlessly into the Portuguese lifestyle, whether they choose the temporary stay of up to one year or the long-term renewable residency permit.

Moreover, it grants them the same privilege of Schengen Area travel, a perk that allows the seamless integration of work and wanderlust.

The Appeal of Portugal for Remote Job Holders

Portugal’s appeal for remote workers lies in its temperate climate, affordable cost of living, and rich cultural landscape, all of which combine to create an ideal setting for remote work. The burgeoning expatriate community and government initiatives provide a supportive network, making Portugal an attractive backdrop for those whose work knows no bounds.

Whether it’s through the D7, Golden Visa, or the new Digital Nomad Visa, Portugal offers a palette of options for remote job holders seeking a balance of work, life, and leisure in a country that welcomes innovation and cherishes tradition.


In the tapestry that is Portugal’s residency options, each thread — the D7 Passive Income Visa, the Golden Visa, and the Digital Nomad Visa — offers a different hue, a different texture, and a different strength. From the sun-kissed villages of the Algarve to the bustling streets of Porto, these visas offer a canvas for individuals from all walks of life to paint their Portuguese dreams. Whether it’s through passive income, investment, or remote work, the choice ultimately weaves into a narrative that is uniquely yours, a story set against the backdrop of Portugal’s rich heritage and welcoming spirit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a golden visa and a D7 visa?

The main difference between a golden visa and a D7 visa is the residency requirement. A golden visa holder only needs to stay in the country for 7 days, while a D7 visa requires 6 consecutive or 8 non-consecutive months of residency in Portugal without the need for an investment.

What is the minimum passive income requirement for the D7 visa?

To qualify for the D7 visa, the main applicant must show a minimum net regular passive income of €8,460 per year, with additional provisions for accompanying family members.

Can Golden Visa holders work in Portugal?

Yes, Golden Visa holders have the right to work in Portugal, as well as enjoy other benefits such as family reunification and travel within the Schengen Area.

What are the stay duration requirements for D7 visa holders?

D7 visa holders need to reside in Portugal for six to eight months each year to maintain their residency status. This can be done consecutively or non-consecutively.

Are there any tax benefits for D7 or Golden Visa holders?

Yes, both D7 and Golden Visa holders can benefit from the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) tax regime in Portugal, which provides tax advantages on foreign income for up to ten years.

About Movingto

Movingto is a leading immigration law firm that specializes in helping individuals and families navigate the complex process of relocating to Portugal. With a team of experienced lawyers and immigration experts, Movingto.io provides tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of each client.

Why Choose Movingto?

  • Expertise and Experience: Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of Portuguese immigration law and years of experience assisting clients with various visa applications, including the D7 Visa, Golden Visa, Startup Visa, and Family Reunion Visa.
  • Personalized Approach: We understand that every client's situation is different. Our lawyers take the time to listen to your goals and provide personalized advice and guidance throughout the process.
  • Comprehensive Support: Movingto.io offers a comprehensive range of services beyond legal advice, including assistance with document preparation, property search, and relocation planning.
  • Competitive Fees: We offer competitive fees and transparent pricing so that you know exactly what to expect.
  • Exceptional Client Service: Our team is committed to providing exceptional client service. We are responsive, attentive, and always available to answer your questions.

Whether you are an entrepreneur seeking to establish a business in Portugal, a retiree looking to enjoy the country's favorable tax regime, or a family seeking to reunite in Portugal, Movingto.io is here to guide you every step of the way.

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