This article will discuss how to get the Portugal D7 visa, its eligibility requirements, timeline, and benefits.
Portugal’s D7 visa is an excellent residency route for investors, entrepreneurs, and retirees looking to acquire Portuguese citizenship a few years down the road. Moreover, the country is among the best EU jurisdictions to establish second residency thanks to its lucrative tax schemes and business-friendly environment.
If you want an EU residency leading to citizenship, Portugal’s D7 visa might be the perfect fit for you. Even if it doesn’t catch your eye, the country and the region have plenty of residence and citizenship options to explore. Reach out to us to know all your options before deciding on one that helps you go where you’re treated best.
Portugal – Country Overview
Situated on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, Portugal is among the oldest European countries. The country shares its only land border with Spain. Its two autonomous island chains, Azores and Madeira, have their own regional governments.
Portugal’s current population is 10,112,877. The official language is Portuguese, and the official currency is the euro. Lisbon is the capital and the largest city in Portugal. The city is also the economic and cultural center of Portugal.
The country is home to excellent cuisine, rich culture, and 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From beaches to mountains, the country is highly diverse in terrain. The same can be said about its climate, with a cold and rocky northern coast and year-round-sunny south.
Portugal – Passport
According to the Nomad Passport Index, the Portuguese passport is the fourth-best in the world regarding travel freedom, tax-friendliness, dual citizenship, and general perception. Portuguese citizens enjoy visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 173 countries. At five years, Portugal’s naturalization timeline is one of the shortest in Europe, making it an excellent second citizenship option.
Portugal – Economy
Portugal boasts a diverse history with its fair share of ups and downs. Once one of the world’s wealthiest and most influential countries, Portugal’s economy gradually deteriorated until it was one of the poorest European countries in the 19th and 20th centuries.
In the late 90s, Portugal joined the EU, after which the country experienced reasonable economic growth and high quality of life.
Today, Portugal has a developed, high-income economy with the 14th largest gold reserves in the world. The country also boasts thriving opportunities and a hyper-active services sector.
What is the Portugal D7 Visa?
Portugal introduced the D7 Visa in 2007 to offer non-EU/ EEA/ Swiss citizens a chance to live in Portugal with a pathway to Portuguese permanent residence or citizenship.
The D7 visa is also called the Portugal Passive Income Visa since you must fulfill certain passive income requirements to acquire it.
A D7 visa is a Portuguese dual-entry residency visa valid for four months, during which the visa holder must request a residency permit to stay in the country. Upon request, a D7 visa holder will usually be granted a two-year temporary residence permit.
Once you acquire your residence permit, you can live, study, or work in Portugal without any restrictions.
After two years, the permit can be renewed for another three years. After five years, you may apply for a permanent residence permit or citizenship.
It is an excellent option for investors, entrepreneurs, and retirees who want to establish long-term residency in Portugal and work toward citizenship (if they want).
Minimum Passive Income Requirements for the Portugal D7 Visa
Applicants must demonstrate a minimum passive monthly income of €760 (€9,120 per year) to acquire the D7 visa in 2023. The threshold for the minimum passive income is based on the minimum wage set by the Portuguese government. Moreover, the passive income must be foreign-sourced.
The minimum wage in Portugal for 2023 is €760, but the government usually updates it yearly.
The minimum income requirement also applies to the dependents. An accompanying dependent adult (spouse or parent) must demonstrate 50% of the principal applicant’s income, i.e., €4,560 annually. Each dependent child must demonstrate 30% of it, i.e., €3,040 annually.
Rental income, annuity, pension, share dividends, royalties, etc., are all acceptable sources of passive income an applicant can demonstrate to acquire the D7 visa.
Eligibility Requirements for the Portugal D7 Visa
To be eligible for the D7 visa, you must:
- Be aged 18 or above
- Be a non-EU/ EEA/ Swiss citizen.
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Have health insurance
- Meet the minimum passive income requirements.
- Demonstrate proof of accommodation (rental or purchase agreement)
- Demonstrate a Portuguese bank account with at least €9,120 in savings
Some of the items mentioned above are not explicitly required by Portuguese law. However, in our experience, your inability to fulfill the above criteria can certainly affect your application process.
Required Documents for the Portugal D7 Visa
The following are the required documents to obtain the Portuguese D7 visa:
- Filled-out application form
- Passport or another valid travel document
- Two passport photos
- Valid health insurance
- Clean criminal record
- Portuguese NIF (income tax number)
- Letter of intent
- Proof of accommodation (rental or purchase agreement)
- Proof of means of subsistence
The list of documents mentioned above is not exhaustive, and you may be asked to submit additional documents depending on your income source or other factors.
Step-by-Step Procedure for the Portuguese D7 Visa
The application process for the D7 visa starts in your country of residence or origin and ends in Portugal, where you receive a Portuguese residence permit. The following are the major steps you’ll have to go through to obtain Portuguese residency through a D7 visa:
- Book an appointment with the Portuguese consulate or embassy in your country of origin or residency.
- Gather supporting documents for your application.
- Submit the application along with the relevant documents at the embassy.
- If approved, you’ll typically receive your dual-entry D7 visa via mail. The D7 visa is valid for four months from the date of issuance and allows you to enter Portugal under the status of an Applicant for D7 Residency.
- Once in Portugal, you must attend your appointment with the Portugal Immigration and Borders Service (SEF). SEF authorities will ask you to demonstrate several documents, including your NIF number, Portuguese bank account details, purchase or rental agreement, etc. They’ll also collect your biometrics data.
- Pay the residence permit fee.
- Collect the residence permit via mail at your Portuguese address.
D7 Visa Minimum Physical Presence Requirements
An applicant for D7 residency must establish tax residency in Portugal, meaning that they must live in Portugal for four to six months each year to maintain their residency.
Any consecutive absence longer than six months or non-consecutive absence longer than eight months can put you in hot water with the authorities at the time of renewal.
Portugal D7 Visa Timeline
The Portugal D7 visa application process comprises two stages – the Portuguese consulate application process and the SEF residence permit process.
The Portuguese consulate application process may take four to eight weeks, while the SEF proceedings may take six to eight weeks to complete.
Portugal D7 Visa Renewal
The Immigration and Border Services (SEF) renews Portuguese residence permits.
Your first D7 residency permit will be valid for two years. After two years, you’ll need to renew the permit if you wish to prolong your residency in Portugal.
To renew your residence permit, you must:
- Continue to meet the conditions of your existing residence permit.
- Demonstrate proof of accommodation.
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Still qualify for the D7 visa (fulfill passive income requirements, etc.)
If you meet all necessary conditions for renewal, your residence permit will be renewed for another three years.
How to Obtain Permanent Residency and Citizenship in Portugal through D7 Visa?
After five years of legal residency in Portugal, you can apply for Portuguese permanent residency or citizenship. A Portuguese permanent residence permit must be renewed every ten years.
Neither permanent residency nor citizenship will be granted automatically after five years of legal residence. You’ll need to apply for both of these privileges.
Moreover, once you get your permanent residence permit, you will no longer need to meet the D7 visa requirements.
As a Portuguese citizen or resident, you’ll be able to qualify for a range of benefits that we will discuss below.
Benefits of Acquiring the Portugal D7 Visa
Excellent for Retirees
The retirement pension is an excellent source of income for the D7 visa since its passive and continuous. Many retirees treat the D7 visa as a retirement visa thanks to its retiree-friendly requirements and benefits.
The D7 visa is also an excellent option for retirees who want to purchase Portuguese real estate and settle long-term in an EU jurisdiction.
Access to Quality Healthcare and Education
The EU has one of the world’s best healthcare and education systems.
The D7 residence permit allows non-EU citizens to give themselves and their families a chance at an excellent standard of living, including quality universal healthcare and credible education, among other perks.
Lisbon is the heart of Portugal’s entrepreneurial and digital nomad community. The city is an excellent start-up hub with plenty of co-working spaces, chic cafes, and an overall business-friendly environment. Its proximity to beaches, vibrant culture, and colorful streets make it a nomad favorite.
The country has also proved its mettle against economic instability by always coming out of it better than before. Portugal’s vast consumer market and EU membership makes it an excellent corporate base to run business activities and access the regional markets.
Fast-Track to Portuguese Citizenship
Moreover, getting Portuguese citizenship will also make you an EU citizen allowing you to work, study, and live anywhere in the EU. It will also qualify you for all the perks of EU citizenship, like quality healthcare, an excellent business environment, and immense travel freedom.
According to the Nomad Passport Index, the Portuguese passport ranks fourth globally and allows visa-free travel to 173 countries worldwide.
Immense Travel Freedom
As a Portuguese resident, you can travel the EU Schengen zone visa-free, making it an excellent option for freedom seekers and travel enthusiasts.
Bring the Family
Portugal allows the primary applicant to include family members in the D7 application as long as they are dependent on the applicant.
You can include your parents, spouse, or children in your application. Once in Portugal, they’ll qualify for all the perks of Portuguese residency, like excellent healthcare and education.
Portugal’s Non-Habitual Tax Residence Program
Portugal requires D7 visa holders to establish tax residency in Portugal, making their worldwide income subject to Portuguese tax rates. The concern? Standard tax rates in Portugal can go up to 28% and 48% depending on the nature of income.
The high tax rates discourage many people from choosing the D7 route, but it shouldn’t. Why? Because in 2009, Portugal introduced Non-Habitual Residence (NHR) program, enabling foreign individuals to become Portuguese tax residents while legally reducing or eliminating their tax liabilities on most foreign-sourced income for ten years.
D7 visa holders can also register for the NHR program to enjoy the following tax benefits:
- No Taxes on Foreign Income
Portugal doesn’t tax the foreign-sourced income of NHR holders, including salaries, dividends, royalties, capital gains, rental income from foreign real estate, etc. Moreover, foreign-sourced retirement benefits are also tax-exempt for NHR holders.
- Reduced Tax Rate on Portugal-Sourced Income
Portugal-sourced income (including self-employment) of highly qualified individuals is taxed at a flat rate of 20%.
- Reduced Pension tax
Foreign-sourced pension is taxed at 10% instead of the standard pension tax rate, which is progressive and can go up to 48%.
Moreover, no gift, inheritance, or wealth tax exists for NHR holders in Portugal.
By registering for the NHR program, a D7 visa holder can expect to reduce or eliminate their tax liability in Portugal, making the standard tax rates irrelevant to their situation.
For details, you can take a look at our article on how you can pay zero tax in Portugal as a Non-Habitual Tax Resident.
Should You Obtain the Portugal D7 Visa?
If you are a non-EU national looking to stay long-term in an EU jurisdiction, the D7 visa is an excellent option for you. It is also suitable for people looking to gain EU citizenship in five years.
Retirees can also benefit from this visa as the income requirements and the perks are all very retiree-friendly.
One of the most significant concerns for D7 applicants is the tax liability once they become Portuguese tax residents. Applicants with that concern can apply for the Non-Habitual Tax Residence program to reduce or eliminate their tax liability on most foreign-sourced income for ten years.
The D7 visa comes with various personal and corporate benefits for the right person. Moreover, combined with the NHR program, one can also expect to save tons of tax money.
However, if you cannot afford or want to live in Portugal for four to six months yearly, the D7 route is not for you.
In that case, you will need to explore other residency options in the country or the region. The good news? You will find many – too many perhaps. However, the wide variety of options doesn’t mean they’re all good for you. All they do is add to your confusion and complicate your life. That’s where we come in.
At Nomad Capitalist, we assess your personal and corporate portfolio to curate a tailored holistic strategy that addresses all your issues. We explore all your options so you don’t have to, and devise a solution that works best for you. If you want a hands-off approach to your offshore woes, reach out to us today. We’ll help you go where you’re treated best.
How to Get the Portugal D7 Visa in 2024: The Ultimate Guide FAQ
No. The Portuguese government discontinued the Portugal Golden Visa recently.
Portugal’s personal income tax rates are progressive, ranging from 14.5% to 48%.