Portugal visa

The D7 Portugal Visa (How to Beat Brexit)

The D7 Portugal ‘passive income’ visa is an excellent option for online business owners and remote workers interested in relocating to Portugal.

In this guide, we’ll explore exactly who is eligible for this flexible visa, what the benefits are, and how to go about getting it.

What is the D7 Portugal visa?

Many people from outside the EU are familiar with the D7 Portugal visa pathway.

It’s designed for those who want to move to Portugal and already have sufficient financial means to support themselves, without physically getting a job in Portugal. It’s not the same as Portugal’s Golden Visa, and requires no investment of any kind.

‘Financial means’ can be many things, such as income from a pension or rental properties, dividends from a (online) business, royalties, or savings.

Although the D7 visa is known as the ‘passive income’ visa, it’s also suitable for freelancers and remote workers who get paid by companies outside Portugal.

There are many acceptable forms of income for the flexible D7 visa. But the central requirement is that the D7 visa holder can support themselves through income generated outside of Portugal.

How much income is needed for the D7 visa?

So how much income do you actually need to support yourself while living in Portugal?

As of 2021, the Portuguese minimum wage is €665 per month. That might be enough to obtain the D7 visa, but it certainly won’t be enough to maintain a good standard of living in major Portuguese cities like Lisbon or Porto.

We recommend €1,000 monthly as the minimum for a single D7 visa holder, preferably €1,500 or €2,000. The more income you can show, the stronger your application will be.

The goal of the D7 visa is to attract new immigrants to Portugal who can support themselves without taking local jobs or relying on state benefits. It’s a very accommodating visa option and makes Portugal one of the most attractive EU countries overall.

For digital émigrés interested in moving to Portugal, the D7 visa is one of the best options available. We highly recommend it, especially for our British readers keen to get back into the EU, post-Brexit.

In fact, the D7 Portugal visa neatly embodies everything that Digital Émigré represents. It’s a perfect example of a country recognizing the value that digital workers and business owners can bring, and creating a residency route to accommodate them. More countries ought to follow suit.

Is the D7 visa a route to residency?

If you’re looking at Portugal as a long-term option, as most émigrés are, you’ll want to know if the D7 allows you to eventually be eligible to apply for citizenship.

Great news – it does!

The D7 process involves two different steps:

  1. Getting the D7 visa
  2. Getting the residence permit

When you first decide to move to Portugal, getting the D7 visa is just your first step. You’ll need to apply for it at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your current country of residence.

Then, after your application is accepted, you’ll receive a double-entry visa valid for 120 days. During that time, you can move to Portugal and find a property to rent or buy. You should then apply for your residence permit within Portugal.

Getting residency is the second step. Having residency will allow you to live in Portugal for longer periods of time. Your first residency permit will usually be valid for one year. You can renew it for two years each time after that.

Once you hit the magic five year mark, you’re eligible to apply for permanent residency. You could also apply for Portuguese citizenship, subject to passing a language exam and undergoing a criminal record check.

Acquiring citizenship of Portugal would allow you to apply for a Portuguese passport, gaining full EU rights in the process.

If you’re British, the D7 visa is one of the best steps towards regaining the valuable EU rights that Brexit stole from you – namely freedom of movement across the entire European Economic Area.

What are the benefits of the D7 Portugal visa?

  • Live freely in Portugal
  • Get residency in Portugal without making a large investment
  • Travel across the whole EU without any other visas
  • Work remotely for employers or clients in other EU countries
  • Access Portuguese state healthcare
  • Build up time towards the five years required for Portuguese permanent residency or citizenship
  • If you’re a British passport holder, you can eventually regain your EU rights under Portuguese citizenship

What are the limitations of the D7 Portugal visa?

  • You can’t move freely to another EU country. That would require a separate visa from the other country.
  • You can’t exceed the maximum number of days outside Portugal (183 days in a calendar year)

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Holding a passport from a non-EU country
  • Being free of criminal convictions
  • Having a means of passive or remote income sufficient to live on in Portugal

What does the D7 visa process involve?

Getting the D7 visa requires a significant number of documents. For British passport holders, this is where the huge disadvantage of leaving the EU becomes obvious.

To start with, you’ll need to book an appointment at your nearest Portuguese embassy or consulate. Do this as early as possible. Once that’s done, you can start assembling the required documents.

What documents are needed for the D7 Portugal visa?

  • Non-EU passport, with at least six months validity
  • D7 visa application form
  • Two passport photos
  • A Portuguese bank account (Bordr offers NIFs and bank accounts online. Use code DIGITALEMIGRE at checkout to get a discount)
  • Bank statements (from any bank) dating back six months, showing proof of regular passive (or remote) income
  • Proof of accommodation (e.g. property deeds, tenancy agreement, or letter from friends in Portugal if you are staying with them)
  • Proof of a clean criminal record in your current country of residence
  • Letter explaining why you want Portuguese residency
  • Private health insurance or suitable travel insurance for the first 4 months in-country

Proof of income or savings

The Portuguese consulate will want to know that you’ve got sufficient income in your Portuguese bank account for the duration of your residency permit. The most common example is bank statements that show you receiving income from a pension, dividends, or from a rented property.

It’s also a good idea to show evidence of having sufficient savings in the bank. This can provide a backup, if your primary income source dries up. So that means Portuguese minimum wage multiplied by the number of months of the D7 visa (four months), so €2,540 in total.

Proof of address in Portugal

This is normally a rental agreement from a landlord in Portugal. You might get away with an Airbnb, if you can persuade the owner to draw you up a rental agreement. Or you could use a rental service like Flatio, which can provide rental agreements for short term stays.

Update (November 2021): many Portuguese embassies now require proof of 12 months accommodation before issuing the D7 visa. This is understandably tricky if you’ve never been to Portugal before. What’s more, many embassies (such as London) no longer accept services such as Flatio or Airbnb, and now insist on a proper rental contract.

We can refer you to one of our partner real estate agents, who are well-versed in helping applicants secure rental properties remotely. They can often arrange video viewings to help you feel more secure in moving forward with the rental.

We can also arrange for a lawyer to review any rental contracts from potential landlords, or prepare a new one for you from scratch. Contact us for more details.

Alternatively, if you have friends or relatives who already live in Portugal, they can write a letter inviting you to live with them temporarily. You can submit this letter at the consulate along with the rest of your documents.

There are also relocation services that appoint a power of attorney to find a property on your behalf without you being physically in Portugal. They can also help you open a bank account and get a NIF (Portuguese tax number).

If you’re outside Portugal and/or need a NIF quickly, Bordr offer a convenient online NIF service. Check out all Bordr packages here, which include opening a Portuguese bank account for you. You can get a discount on all Bordr services using the code DIGITALEMIGRE at checkout.

Health insurance

You will need private health insurance to cover you for the four-month duration of the D7 visa. You could try Allianz or Cigna Global to start with. Travel insurance can also work, as long as the policy includes a) emergency medical cover, and b) repatriation of the body in the event of death.

Once you’ve successfully obtained residency, you’ll be able to join Portugal’s state healthcare system.

If you still want to maintain private health care once you become a resident of Portugal, it’s worth checking out Portuguese insurance companies to find cheaper policies.

Criminal record check

It’s important to present proof that you don’t have a criminal record in any of the countries you’ve lived in. This can take some time, especially if you’ve lived abroad, so leave a good amount of time to get it done.

Also, the criminal record check needs to be recent, no more than three months old. The embassy wants to know that you don’t have any convictions for crimes that would carry over one year of jail time in Portugal.

The D7 visa appointment

Once you have gathered all these documents, you can then attend your D7 visa appointment at your nearest Portuguese embassy or consulate.

Summary

The D7 Portugal visa is the perfect route into the country for digital émigrés.

If you’re British, it puts you on a clear and straightforward path to gaining a permanent foothold back in the Schengen zone. You can beat Brexit and regain your EU rights within five years, via Portuguese citizenship.

No matter your country of origin, moving to Portugal means you get to live in a warm and welcoming country that has sensible leadership, stays politically neutral and doesn’t get involved in international shenanigans.

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25 thoughts on “The D7 Portugal Visa (How to Beat Brexit)”

  1. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to Portugal’s NHR Tax Scheme - Digital Émigré

  2. Pingback: 6 Ways To Keep EU Citizenship After Brexit - Digital Émigré

  3. There’s a contradiction there, if the D7 visa is to enable us to go to Portugal to find somewhere to live, why do we need to provide an address, makes it a catch-22.

    Questions:
    * Looking at the Portuguese Visa site, it says €7500 in the bank
    * Would a ‘promissory contract’ to buy a property suffice?
    I won’t have the money to do any of this until my house in the UK sells, I will then be homeless until I can move to Portugal. And visas can take weeks! Is there any way round this?

    1. Hi Elspeth. This visa was originally designed for people from non-EU countries, who perhaps needed a visa to enter the Schengen area. As a British passport holder, you’ll still be able to enter Portugal visa-free and stay for 90 days. You can use this time to find somewhere suitable to live. Then, once that’s done, you have to go back to the UK and apply for your D7 at a Portuguese consulate. Once the D7 has been approved, you’ll have four months of additional time in which you can return to PT and apply for residency. About the promissory contract, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that. But if you needed something more temporary before committing to buy, a rental contract would also suffice to get the visa. For more advice, feel free to join our Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/digitalemigres

  4. Hi, thanks for this guide. We are trying to find official literature stating that foreign remote work income is OK to satisfy D7 income requirements. There seems to be conflicting opinions on this online?

    1. Hi Junior. I’ve recently spoken to a Portuguese immigration lawyer, who has confirmed that foreign remote work income IS suitable for the D7. If you need further clarification, I’m happy to put you in touch. Please drop me an email on hello@digitalemigre.com.

  5. Pingback: The Portugal Golden Visa Program: Ultimate Guide for 2021 - Digital Émigré

  6. I’m interested that you say you need to purchase four months health insurance. On another site I read that you need it for to he first year before renewal.

    1. Hi Chris,
      The health insurance is to cover you for any eventualities before you become officially resident, after which you can then access the Portuguese state healthcare system. Four months is the length of time they give you between arriving in Portugal on your D7 visa, and lodging your application for residency. As part of that process, you’ll be able to apply for a healthcare number. But, with current COVID-related delays in processing residency application, having private health insurance for a longer period might be wise.

  7. Pingback: Best UK bank accounts for British expats and émigrés | Digital Émigré

  8. Hi,
    Is the U.K. state pension payable under this scheme please?

    We would have £1300 monthly plus about £100 monthly other income. Would this be sufficient? We’d have about £40k in the bank and enough to relocate and buy a hone without a mortgage.

    1. Hi Dave,
      Yes, your UK pension is absolutely fine for D7. For each 12 month period of residency you’ll need at least 7,200 EUR for the first applicant and a further 3,200 EUR for the second (i.e. spouse). When applying for the D7 visa, you’ll have to show proof of at least six months of income, e.g. your pension payments and savings statements. The numbers you provided sound fine to me. If you need further advice please drop a mail to hello@digitalemigre.com.

      Thanks,
      Samantha

  9. Hi
    Clarification if savings can be classed as passive income, we are not yet near to retirement age (58&53) but have approx £40k in savings and another £30k in private pensions which we can draw down as a cash lump sum if needed. We have owned a holiday home (bought outright) for 5yrs so accommodation is not an issue. I do work remotely in the UK & there is a possibility that I could continue this in Portugal, although ideally we would like to stop working & enjoy Portugal. So the question is would our savings & pension lump sum count as passive income

    1. Samantha North

      Hi Louise, it really depends on the policies of the embassy where you submit your D7 application. All of them interpret the requirements in a slightly different way. Ideally, you’d be able to show a six-month history of passive income, such as from remote work.
      I’d suggest using your remote work income to strengthen your application, then once you’ve successfully got your residency permit, you could think about giving up work and living on your savings/pension.

  10. Thanks for all the useful information. May I ask, how do they check that you have spent the minimum amount of time in Portugal to get it renewed?

    1. Samantha North

      The immigration authorities could ask for proof of time spent in Portugal, such as travel tickets, bank statements showing in-country transactions, receipts from within the country, and so on. It’s unlikely this would happen, but it’s worth being prepared. Basically, you should aim to make Portugal your primary country of residence.

  11. Thanks for the details, I have a couple of questions
    1. If you have very big savings ( > 100,000 Euros ) and no passive income, would that qualify?
    2. Do you have to submit property documents for showing rental income? If my tenant is directly transferring to my bank account every month and I can show 6 months statement, would that suffice or would I need any additional documents?

    1. Hi Sunny,
      1) We recommend having a source of regular passive income rather than just savings.
      2) You would need to show a rental contract between you and the tenant to prove the source of the funds.

  12. Dear SAMANTHA NORTH,
    I am Samiul Alim, living in Poland. I am an Entrepreneur & founder of LLC company in Poland. I am currently shareholder & employed as Proxy of my founded company with salary basis which is officially 1086euro approximately each month. I have also extra income from companies. I am authorized to take care of the company remotely.
    In addition, I am also able to prove that I have savings in my Polish bank accounts about 11000 euro at this moment.

    I read all your blogs & watched video of D7 visa. But I am unable to find answer of my questions.

    I already have legal entry on 10/06/2021 & SEF Entry into Portuguese immigration & Boarder Service’s system on 25/06/2021.
    I already have Social number, MI number, Finance number. My ground to entry into SEF is article 88.2.

    In this circumstances, can i apply again SEF ENTRY for D7 residency?

    If yes, how can you help me in this process. & in my case, how much do you take service charge for D7 residency Card process in Portugal ?

    One more questions about SEF appointment, within how many days is it possible to get SEF appointment for finger print?
    Generally, if i start the process now, how many days will take the process to get residency in Portugal?

    I am sorry to ask you many questions, but if i know the clear information, i am ready to co-operate with you.

    Thank you.

  13. Hello dear sir and madam we looking for D7visa for my family members to portugal please tell me this process how long take time and how much cost all process

    1. Hi John, thanks for your comment. The timeline depends on the specific embassy, but ranges from 60-90 days. The cost depends on the exact services you need and how many family members will be on the application. Please email us at hello@digitalemigre.com
      Thanks

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