Portugal has become the leading destination for persons and families looking for residence within the European Union (EU) member states. The country offers a steady social and political environment, excellent and modern infrastructure, clear and transparent tax policies, state-of-the-art public health, advanced educational system, favorable investment environment, and a low cost of living. These attributes have made most foreigners preferred Portugal to other EU countries. The government has provided many attractive schemes and visa options to entice non-EEA/EU/Swiss citizens, mainly self-sufficient or affluent foreigners intending to relocate.
The D7 Visa is a fantastic option for foreigners looking to settle or retire in Portugal. It’s aimed at providing foreigners that have passive means of income the opportunity of relocating to Portugal. If you are a non-EEA/EU/Swiss citizen with a stable passive income and want to know how to acquire or process the Portugal D7 visa as an individual or a family, you are in the right place.
What is Portugal D7 Visa (Passive Income Visa)?
Also known as Portugal Passive Income Visa or Retirement Visa, Portugal D7 Visa is a unique form of visa that grants foreigners with a stable passive income the Portugal residence right or permits and an option to relocate or retire in Portugal.
The Portuguese government introduced the visa in 2007 and had since become the most sought-after visa by non-EU nationals seeking to relocate to Portugal. The visa will allow you and your family to obtain a residence permit and grant you access to all the associated benefits.
Who is Eligible for the Portugal D7 Visa?
The Portugal D7 visa is meant for foreigners with stable passive income, including retirees seeking relocation to Portugal. The passive income could be from real estate rental properties, pension, social security income, remote job, intellectual property, own business, or other investments.
The essence is to have the minimum require stable income to maintain or sustain yourself while in Portugal. So, if you are a retiree, freelancer, or a business owner and you are looking to relocate to Portugal or together with your family, all you need is to have a reliable passive income source to qualify for this fantastic opportunity.
Portugal D7 Visa Vs. Portugal Golden Visa
Though the D7 and Golden visa share some common advantages, they are uniquely different in so many ways. The difference includes:
With the D7 visa, you are expected to permanently relocate to Portugal and stay for 6 to 8 months yearly. For the golden visa, you only need to visit for 7 days annually.
No capital investment is required for the D7 visa, whereas you need a minimum of €250,000 EUR capital investment for the Golden Visa.
The application process for a D7 visa usually takes between 3 to 4 months, but the golden visa process takes between 6 to 8 months.
You need a stable passive income for the D7 visa. But not the same with a golden visa.
You need to rent or buy a property (accommodation) with a D7 visa. You can lodge in a hotel with a Golden Visa.
Benefits of D7 Visa in Portugal
Visa-free entry to 26 countries
One of the Portugal D7 visa's key benefits is that it gives you freedom or visa-free entry and circulation to 26 EU countries within the Schengen area. With this, you are entitled to enter Portugal and access about 26 neighboring countries within the EU.
Full list of countries in the Schengen Area:
When you acquire the Portuguese residence permit via the D7 visa, your family can join or reunite with you under the Portugal reunification law. As a holder of this permit, you have the right to include members of your family residing in another country. All you need is to apply for family reunification to the Portuguese SEF (Immigration and Borders Service) and provide legal proof of your relationship with the family member(s) you wish to add to this program. See the list of family members that you are eligible to request family reunification for with the Portugal D7 visa.
Your partner or spouse.
Your children below the age of 18.
Your or spouse/partner disabled children.
Children above the age of 18 (that are reliant on you or your spouse).
Your minor siblings.
Your or spouse's parents.
Resident's privileges and right
As soon as you acquire the D7 visa and enter the country, you and your family will be entitled to enjoy various residents' privileges, including:
The country's national health care service
The national education service or school
Legal protection, including the court of law
Work or carry out professional activities as an independent professional, etc.
Privilege to become a Non-habitual Resident (NHR)
The Portuguese NHR program is a unique scheme that offers significant tax incentives to foreigners and investors. Under the NHR program, foreign residents and investors can enjoy reduced tax rates and exemption in some cases. As a D7 visa and resident permit holder, you are eligible to apply and become an NHR resident and start enjoying all the benefits that come with the scheme.
Opportunity to become a citizen or to get a permanent residency.
With the Portugal D7 visa, you have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency or citizenship after five years. At first, the D7 visa is only valid for two entries and gives you the right to stay in the country for a maximum period of four months. The Portuguese SEF will later give you a residence permit (card) with one year validity period. After spending five years in the country, you can apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
Portugal D7 Visa Requirements
Minimum stay Requirement
During the first two years of acquiring the D7 visa, you are expected to spend at least 12 to 16 months in Portugal. You also are expected to subsequently spend at least 28 months in every three years in the country. The authorities may invalidate your permit if you are away from the country for six consecutive months.
The permanent residency permit or citizenship will require you to stay in the country for at least 30 months every five years. The authority might invalidate your permit if you are absent from the country for 25 consecutive months.
Minimum Passive Income Requirement
Although your savings and net worth are usually considered during your Portugal D7 visa application, the Portuguese authorities are more interested in your ability to conveniently accommodate and sustain yourself without being reliant on salaried income in Portugal. For this reason, the Portuguese government has made a stable passive income the critical requirement for obtaining the visa.
Additionally, you are expected to provide proof that your passive income has been steady for the past three years and that it will remain constant for a long time. See the minimum passive income requirement as of 2021 below.
Individual – €635 EUR per month or €7,620 EUR per year
Married Couple – €1,271 EUR per month or €15,252 EUR per year
Each additional dependent (minor) – €318 EUR per month or €3,816 EUR per year
Each additional dependent (adult) – €191 EUR per month or €2,292 EUR per year
Portugal D7 Visa Process
Step 1: The Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF) and a Bank Account
The number one step before any legal process in Portugal is to acquire the Portuguese NIF. This number is the taxation number you will be using to pay your tax to the government. You may require the service of an attorney to acquire this number without having to travel to Portugal.
After getting your tax identification number or NIF, you will need to open an account with a Portugal bank, and you can also do this remotely.
Step 2: Secure an accommodation for yourself
After getting your NIF and opening an account, the next stage is to arrange where you will stay when you get to Portugal. Securing an accommodation is a crucial part of the Portugal D7 visa application process. The Portuguese authorities expect you to have secured adequate accommodation in the country before applying for the visa. However, you can acquire this by renting or purchasing a property.
Step 3: Apply for D7 Visa at your Country's Portuguese Consulate
The next stage of the D7 visa application is to book an appointment (online) with the Portuguese Consulate or Embassy in your current country. On the day of your appointment, you are expected to present some necessary documents to support your D7 application. These documents may vary from region to region, but in most cases, the following documents will be required:
A valid passport (with at least ten months validity)
Two recent passport-sized photographs (colored)
A declaration that clearly states reasons for acquiring the Portuguese D7 visa.
Travel and health insurance coverage
Criminal record certificate obtained from your current country
Evidence of your accommodation in Portugal.
Proof of having the minimum required stable passive income.
You have to note that you may need to provide approved translations of your supporting documents. However, the Portuguese consulate will provide you with certified translators contacts that will help you with this. If your application is approved, the consulate will offer you a temporary visa (valid for four months) to guarantee you twice entry into Portugal.
Step 4: Apply for your Residence Permit in Portugal
After obtaining the D7 visa, you will need to travel to Portugal to apply for a residence permit. The first step in this stage is to book an appointment with the Portuguese SEF for an interview. Here, you will be asked to provide some key documents, including your passport, proof of accommodation, health insurance policy, and proof of sufficient passive income. The result of this is a renewable 1-year residence permit.
Portugal Residence Visa for Foreigners
As stated earlier, the Portugal passive income visa or D7 visa is open to all non-EEA/EU/Swiss citizens. For this reason, the Portuguese authorities have made Portugal D7 visa available for Americans, Indians, UK citizens, Russians, South Africa, remote workers, retirees, etc.
FAQs About Portugal D7 Visa
1. How can I obtain a D7 visa in Portugal?
To get the D7 visa, you need to visit the nearest Portugal consulate or embassy in your current country and provide the necessary documents, including proof of stable passive income, etc. For more information, check the D7 Visa Process section above.
2. D7 or Golden visa for Portugal – which one to choose?
The D7 visa is way cheaper than the Golden Visa. You don't need any capital investment to obtain it, whereas you need a minimum of €250,000 EUR capital investment to qualify for the Golden Visa. See the D7 visa vs. Golden Visa section above for more information.
3. What is Portugal's D7 visa income requirements?
The minimum income requirement for a D7 visa is as follows:
Individual – €7,620 EUR per year;
Married Couple – €15,252 EUR per year;
Each additional dependent (minor) – €3,816 EUR per year;
Each additional dependent (adult) – €2,292 EUR per year.
4. Can I benefit from the Portuguese health care system with a D7 visa?
Yes! As a Portugal D7 visa holder, you are entitled to all residents' benefits, including the health care system. See the benefits section above for more information.
5. How much does the Portugal D7 Visa cost?
The actual fees for the Portugal D7 visa are relatively small. The Portuguese government fees are usually from €50 EUR to €300 EUR per individual. However, the main costs are on accommodation, relocation, professional fees, etc.
6. How long does it take to acquire the Portugal D7 Visa Resident permit?
The process of acquiring all the necessary documents typically takes about 30 days, provided you hire a specialist to help you out in the collection of the required documents; else, you might spend several months on this.
After submitting your application at the embassy or consulate, the embassy will take up to 60 days from the day of submission to process your four months or temporary visa. The process may take longer if anything goes wrong, like a mistake in filling a form, missing form, etc.
In Portugal, the time it takes to obtain your residence permit depends on the location you intend to stay. In places like Porto or Lisbon, getting an appointment with the Portuguese SEF usually takes an average of 120 days. Other less populous cities might only take like 20 days or a little more.