The D7 Portugal Visa (How to Beat Brexit)

Portugal visa

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 option.

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 come in many forms: income from a pension or rental properties, dividends from a (online) business, royalties, or savings. Although the D7 is often dubbed the ‘passive income visa’, it’s also suitable for freelancers and remote workers getting 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 2020, the Portuguese minimum wage is €635 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.

€1,000 monthly would be the recommended minimum for a single D7 visa holder, preferably €1,500 or €2,000. For a successful D7 application, the more income you have, the better.

The goal of the D7 scheme 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 after Brexit.

In fact, the D7 Portugal visa neatly embodies everything that Digital Émigré represents. It’s a perfect example of a country recognising 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 Portugal 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 gain temporary and eventually permanent residency.

Great news – it does!

The ‘D7’ tag covers two different (but related) things:

  1. The D7 visa
  2. The D7 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 consulate in your current country of residence.

Then, after your application is accepted, the visa will be valid for 120 days. During this time, you can move to Portugal and find a property to rent or buy. You should then apply for the D7 residence permit within Portugal.

Getting D7 residency is the second step. Having residency will allow you to live in Portugal for longer periods of time. Your first 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 citizenship, subject to meeting language and criminal record check requirements.

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

Therefore, the D7 should be of particular interest to British digital émigrés, after the end of 2020. If you’re British, the D7 is the best first step towards regaining the valuable EU rights that Brexit stole. That includes freedom of movement across the entire Schengen zone.

What are the benefits of the D7 Portugal visa/residency?

  • Live freely in Portugal
  • Travel across the whole EU without any other visas
  • Work remotely for employers or clients in other EU countries
  • Access Portuguese state healthcare
  • Remain in the Schengen area for over 90 days
  • 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/residency?

  • You can’t move freely to another EU country. That would require you to apply for 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. Then 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
  • Proof of regular or passive income (e.g. bank statements showing pension payments or dividends)
  • Bank statements dating back six months
  • Proof of accommodation (e.g. property deeds, tenancy agreement, or letter from friends in Portugal if you are staying with them)
  • Proof of criminal record check
  • Letter explaining why you want Portuguese residency
  • Private health insurance

Proof of income or savings

The Portuguese consulate will want to know that you’ve got sufficient income in your 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 service like NomadX, which can provide rental agreements for short term stays.

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).

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. 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 runway to get it done. The consulate wants to know that you don’t have any convictions for crimes that would carry 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 consulate.

Summary

The D7 Portugal visa and residency option 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.

If you’re from another non-EU country, it gives you the opportunity to acquire an excellent second citizenship in the EU. Once you have it, you’ll be able to live, work, study, and retire freely across 27 countries.

What’s more, you get to live in Portugal, a warm and welcoming country that has sensible leadership, stays politically neutral and doesn’t get involved in international conflicts.

Questions about the D7? Chat to our team

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

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

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  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 [email protected].

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  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.

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  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 [email protected].

      Thanks,
      Samantha

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  10. I’m in my 30s, I don’t have a passive income (rentals, pensions etc) but I do have savings (>200K USD). Also I make a couple hundred bucks a month through a brokerage account but I don’t know how anyone could consider stock market returns as “steady” income lol.

    Will the above suffice to get D7 or does it absolutely have to be a passive income above minimum wage?

    1. Samantha North

      It really depends on what the individual immigration officer says in your case. Most of the time, they want to see passive income above minimum wage coming in on a regular basis. So I’d be reluctant to advise you to apply without having that. Could you leverage any of that chunk of savings to boost your regular passive income? Alternatively, you might want to look at the D2 visa path, which we sometimes recommend for those primarily with savings. If you’ve got more questions, just shoot me an email on [email protected].

  11. Hi,
    We are looking at applying for the d7 visa (both have been approved by our uk companies to work remotely in Portugal). I have read this can be a problem as the company would need to pay social security for us in Portugal, even though we would be paying tax and national insurance still in the uk. Please can you confirm if this is the case?

    1. Hi Joanna,
      The key factor to consider here is whether you will make managerial decisions on behalf of the company while being a resident of Portugal (e.g. if you’re a director). If not, if you’re merely an employee, there should be no need for your UK company to pay social security in Portugal. You’ll be paying national insurance in the UK anyway. This is covered by the double taxation agreement between the UK and Portugal. However, I’m not an accountant, so, if in doubt, please also seek professional advice on your specific situation.

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