EU Residency by Passive Income

Get affordable residency using remote work or online business

Are you a remote worker or online business owner?

Several countries in Europe also offer residency pathways via passive income (also known as retirement visas, or ‘residency by independent means’).  

This could be a good fit for you if you have passive income from overseas rentals, dividends, investments, royalties, or pensions. 

Some countries, most notably Portugal, also include salaried income from remote work outside the country in their definition of “passive income.” 

If your current target country doesn’t include this option, you could set up as a limited company and convert your current employer into a client, invoicing them for services instead of being paid a salary. 

Using this structure, you can then extract your income as dividends, instead of salary. Dividends are always considered passive income.  

The compatibility with online work means that residency by passive income is an extremely interesting option for digital nomads, remote workers and online entrepreneurs. 

Countries currently offering residency by passive income include: 

  • Portugal 
  • Luxembourg 
  • Austria  
  • Greece  
  • Malta  
  • Italy  
  • Spain 

Can ‘digital nomad’ visas be used as a pathway to citizenship? 

Several EU countries, including Estonia and Croatia, have introduced digital nomad visas, responding to the recent wave of remote working triggered by the pandemic. Even though this is an exciting development, it’s not useful for people aiming for citizenship.  

Most digital nomad visas have a finite lifespan (typically 6 months to 1 year). As you can’t renew them beyond this, digital nomad visas can’t be used to stay in the country long enough to become eligible for citizenship. 

Benefits of residency by passive income

  • Become resident in a country without the need for a large upfront investment
  • Natural fit for digital workers, online entrepreneurs and those with rental income or pensions from abroad
  • Accessible to anyone who can create the required passive income levels – for example, with an online business
  • Affordable income levels in different countries, starting from just 1,000 EUR per month (in Portugal)

I thought Brexit meant the end of my EU dream. But thanks to Digital Émigré, I discovered Portugal’s D7 passive income visa. I was able to get residency in Portugal with the dividends from my online business.


Portugal D7 applicant

Get residency with passive income

We’ve done extensive research on all passive income residency pathways across the EU. All have different characteristics, and we can recommend the best fit for your needs.

Portugal’s D7 passive income residency route is one of the most flexible available in the EU. We recommend it for most clients, unless you have a strong preference for a country other than Portugal. 

If you’d prefer to save time and stress by hiring a professional to handle the whole thing for you, we can help via our trusted network of immigration lawyers, carefully selected for their reliability, extensive experience and high success rates.  

My original plan was to get a UK passport. But I wanted EU freedom of movement, so I chose Portugal instead. I hired Digital Émigré because of Samantha’s extensive knowledge of Portugal immigration. Samantha and the team helped me to get super clear on…


Hong Kong, Portugal Golden Visa

Ready to explore your Passive Income residency options?

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