Portugal’s D7: A Visa for Retirees, Remote Workers, and the Financially Self-Sufficient

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Portugal has a number of attractive visas and schemes that are designed to entice third country citizens (people from outside of the EU/EEA/Switzerland[1]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/), particularly affluent or self-sufficient people, to Portugal. The most famous two are probably the golden visa and the non habitual residency (NHR) tax regime, but equally enticing for many is the D7 visa and residency permit.

For those wanting to move to Portugal, and meet the financial requirements, the D7 is a very good option because it’s so attainable. While the golden visa requires an investment of several hundred thousand euros, the D7 is aimed at those that are retired or living off their own income [2]https://vistos.mne.gov.pt/en/national-visas/general-information/type-of-visa#people-living-on-their-own-incomeand have an income that’s above the Portuguese minimum wage, which, as of 2021, is around €665 per month [3]https://www.garrigues.com/en_GB/new/minimum-monthly-wage-increases-eu-665-january-1-2021-onwards or €7,980 (665×12). Family members can be added to the application as well, although your income will need to be higher if there’s more than one applicant. The visa is also suitable for those wanting to live in Portugal for religious purposes.

After five years of holding a temporary residency permit you can apply for both permanent residency [4]https://imigrante.sef.pt/en/solicitar/residir/art80/ [5]https://moviinn.com/services/visas/types-of-visa#own-income-visa[6]https://www.cscadvogada.com/residency/d7-residence-visa-for-foreigners and Portuguese citizenship through naturalisation [7]https://eportugal.gov.pt/en/servicos/pedir-a-nacionalidade-portuguesa[8]https://moviinn.com/services/visas/types-of-visa#own-income-visa. Other benefits include:

  • Permanent via-free entry and circulation in the Schengen Area [9]https://www.belionpartners.com/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa
  • Access to Portugal’s Non-habitual tax regime[10]https://www.belionpartners.com/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa[11]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/
  • Access to the Portugal’s public health service [12]https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal
  • Access to schools and education services [13]https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal
  • Ability to work activity as an independent professional [14]https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal[15]https://www.belionpartners.com/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa or as an employee[16]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/
  • Rights as a resident under the Portuguese legal system [17]https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal[18]https://www.belionpartners.com/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa
  • Family reunification [19]https://lamarescapela.pt/en/what-is-d7-visa/ [20]https://moviinn.com/services/visas/types-of-visa#own-income-visa

**Our partners can handle your application for you. Use this form to request a no-obligation quote.**

Accepted forms of income

People apply for the D7 with many different forms of income, but some of the most accepted types include:

  • Real estate [21]https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal and rental income [22]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/ [23]https://tom-bradford.com/the-portugal-d7-visa-for-those-with-passive-income/
  • Intellectual property [24]https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal
  • Financial investments [25]https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal
  • Pensions [26]https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal[27]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/
  • Dividends [28]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/ including dividends from a company that you don’t play an active role in the management of [29]https://tom-bradford.com/the-portugal-d7-visa-for-those-with-passive-income/
  • Income from a remote job [30]https://www.portugalist.com/d7-savings/

Applications with savings alone and no other form of income are less likely to be accepted, even if you have hundreds of thousands in savings. There are exceptions, and it may depend a little on the consulate you apply through, your age, and pure luck, but overall this is a more challenging route.

Which family members can you bring?

  • Spouse or partner [31]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/
  • A minor or incapacitated child [32]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/
  • Children older than 18, who are single and studying in an educational establishment in Portugal [33]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/
  • Dependant parents of the main applicant or their spouse [34]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/
  • Minor siblings, who are legally deemed to be in the care of the main applicant [35]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/

Financial Criteria

How much do you need to support yourself in Portugal?

  • Your income (as the main applicant) needs to be the equivalent of Portuguese minimum wage, which is around €665 per month[36]https://lamarescapela.pt/en/what-is-d7-visa/
  • Secondary applicants (namely a spouse or long-term partner) only require 50%[37]https://atlanticbridge.com.br/en/visto-d7-como-viver-de-aposentadoria-ou-de-rendimentos-em-portugal/[38]https://lamarescapela.pt/en/what-is-d7-visa/ [39]https://tom-bradford.com/the-portugal-d7-visa-for-those-with-passive-income/of the main applicant amount
  • Children under 18 require 30% of the main applicant amount[40]https://atlanticbridge.com.br/en/visto-d7-como-viver-de-aposentadoria-ou-de-rendimentos-em-portugal/[41]https://tom-bradford.com/the-portugal-d7-visa-for-those-with-passive-income/[42]https://lamarescapela.pt/en/what-is-d7-visa/

It’s worth mentioning that while €665 per month is the average cost of living in Portugal, it would be difficult to live in many parts of Portugal, especially Lisbon and Porto, on that. Just finding an apartment in Lisbon for €665 would be a challenge. Most people living on minimum wage do not live particularly well and will most likely either be living with family or getting a lot of help from them.

One relocation company, Moviinn, suggests an annual income of around €30,000 for the main applicant and €50,000 for a family [43]https://moviinn.com/services/visas/types-of-visa#own-income-visa. Many people seem to get accepted on less, however.

It’s also “advisable to hold a minimum amount equal to 12 months’ income within a Portuguese bank account[44]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/ and show six month’s worth of bank statements [45]https://simard.com.hk/immigration/portugal_d7_visa/

Other Requirements

Besides the financial requirements, the other main requirement is to not have a criminal conviction that would carry a one-year jail sentence or more in Portugal [46]https://www.uglobal.com/en/questions/applying-for-d7-visa-with-a-dismissed-criminal-record/.

The D7 Process

The words D7 Visa and D7 Residence Permit are used interchangeably because essentially they’re part of the same thing, but it’s worth being aware of the difference.

The D7 Visa, or National Visa, gives you permission to come to Portugal for 4 months[47]https://tom-bradford.com/the-portugal-d7-visa-for-those-with-passive-income/ [48]https://moviinn.com/services/visas/types-of-visa#own-income-visaor 120 days[49]https://www.portugalresident.com/best-ways-for-brits-to-be-able-to-live-in-the-algarve-after-brexit-from-tourist-visa-to-d7-visa-or-golden-visa-whats-the-best-solution-for-you/[50]https://joeinpt.medium.com/portugal-d7-visa-application-process-5dfcbecf12f6. During that period you will book and attend an interview with SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) [51]https://www.sef.pt/en/Pages/homepage.aspx where you’ll be given your temporary residence permit. The D7 residency permit, or temporary residence permit, is then granted for two years [52]https://lamarescapela.pt/en/what-is-d7-visa/[53]https://tom-bradford.com/the-portugal-d7-visa-for-those-with-passive-income/ (some other, perhaps older, articles suggest one year [54]https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal) and then renewed for three years [55]https://lamarescapela.pt/en/what-is-d7-visa/. This permit can then be renewed each time until you’re eligible to apply for permanent residency in year five [56]https://lamarescapela.pt/en/what-is-d7-visa/. Permanent residency is granted for longer periods of time (currently 10 years) but applicants must have at least an A2-level of Portuguese [57]https://www.belionpartners.com/portuguese-language-test. After five years of living in Portugal, it’s also possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship [58]https://www.belionpartners.com/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa. An A2-level of Portuguese is also required for Portuguese citizenship.

Step #1: Apply for the D7 Visa

You apply for the D7 Visa at the nearest Portuguese consulate [59]https://www.embassypages.com/portugal (or VFS Global Office [60]https://www.vfsglobal.com/en/individuals/index.html) in the country where you are resident. It must be applied for at the Portuguese consulate in the country of origin [61]It must be applied for at the Portuguese consulate in the country of origin..

You will typically need:

  • Application form
  • Valid passport (valid for at least six months after your 120-day D7 visa ends)
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs
  • Motivational letter or personal statement explaining why you’re seeking Portuguese residency, where you’re going to stay, and how you’re going to support yourself (see below)
  • Proof of financial means (e.g. pension, contract for a remote job)
  • Criminal records check
  • Authorisation for a Portuguese criminal records check
  • Travel insurance with at least €30,000 coverage (see below)
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal (either a house deed, rental contract, or invitation letter if staying with friends) (see below)

You may also be asked for:

  • Portuguese bank account, funded with sufficient funds
  • 6 months of bank statements
  • A NIF (número de identificação fiscal)
  • Proof of legal status if in a country where you’re not originally from
  • Marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates (if your partner and children are applying as well)

Note: The requirements change from time-to-time and consulates will often have their own particular requirements as will VSF [62]https://visa.vfsglobal.com/one-pager/portugal/southafrica/english/pdf/d7-document-checklist.pdf [63]https://www.vfsglobal.com/one-pager/portugal/uae/english/pdf/dsv-checklist-n.pdf [64]https://www.vfsglobal.com/portugal/singapore/pdf/National-visa-application3.pdf.

Step #2: Come to Portugal, attend SEF Interview, and get your residence permit

If successfully granted, the visa gives you a 120 day (4 months) period in which you can move to Portugal, get settled, and attend an interview with SEF.

Don’t worry if SEF don’t give you an answer within the 120 days in which your visa is valid for Portugal. You are still able to remain in Portugal while you wait for the answer.

Step #3: Live in Portugal on your residence permit

Once you have your residence permit, you are then able to live in Portugal for a specified period of time (which is renewable).

Previously, this was initially for one year but it now seems to be granted for two years initially and then renewed for three years.

After 5 years of living in Portugal, you would be eligible to apply for permanent residency and also, should you wish, Portuguese citizenship.

Step 3: Apply for permanent residency and then Portuguese citizenship

After five years, you’re eligible for permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship. Permanent residency is (currently) renewable every 10 years [65]https://eportugal.gov.pt/en/cidadaos-europeus-viajar-viver-e-fazer-negocios-em-portugal/viver-em-portugal/residir-em-portugal#respermanente rather than the typical two, so thankfully that reduces a lot of hassle.

Specific Points

Health Insurance

When you first move to Portugal for that 120-period in which you wait for an interview with SEF, you’ll need Schengen travel insurance to cover you in case of emergency medical treatment or you need to be repatriated.

According to the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“The insurance should be valid for the entire territory of Member-States and cover the entire duration of stay or transit of the visa applicant. The insurance should be valid only for the duration of the stay and not for the duration of the visa.

“The insurance should cover medical expenses including those of medical repatriation, medical emergency and/or hospital emergency, and the minimum required coverage is 30,000 Euros.”

AXA Schengen is a popular option, but it’s not the only one.

You also need to obtain health insurance prior to your interview with SEF, but, confusingly, some interviewers require it while most don’t. Some people have also been told that they need to keep up a health insurance plan for a period of time after the interview and becoming resident.

It’s confusing, but you may want to think about getting health insurance regardless. It’s not expensive in Portugal, and it means faster referrals and a better chance of getting English-speaking medical staff.

Read more: What type of insurance for I need for the D7?

Proof of accommodation

Increasingly, more and more people are being asked to show a rental contract (or property deeds for a purchased house) at the visa application stage (i.e. before moving to Portugal). While some people manage to get away with 3-6 month contracts, even through Airbnbs or at hotels, others are being asked for as much as a one-year rental contract. This is obviously quite a demanding requirement and you should speak to your consulate or VFS Global office to see what they recommend.

If you have someone who’s willing to offer you accommodation, they can sign a term of responsibility form [66]https://vistos.mne.gov.pt/images/termoderesponsabilidade.pdf. This should be notarised and a copy of the host’s identification should be included with the form [67]https://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com/country-hub/europe/portugal/portugal-visa-and-residency-information/.

Read more about accommodation for the D7

The Motivational Letter

For many people, one of the hardest parts of the application is the motivational letter or personal statement.

It’s a good idea to think about what the person on the other end might be looking for. They probably want someone…

  • Who’ll be an asset to Portugal (this is where you sell yourself in terms of education and previous career)
  • Who has ties to Portugal (mention any friends or family members who live here)
  • Who’s really connected to Portuguese culture and really going to integrate here (mention any Portuguese courses you’re taking)
  • Who has the means to support themselves (mention savings, assets, or a remote job)

Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Although there is a lot of useful information on the internet about applying for a D7 Visa and Residency Permit, the truth is that it’s going to be a lot easier if you pay for an expert to handle the process for you.

Portugal is an extremely bureaucratic country, and unfortunately that means that the system has a lot of grey areas. Someone who manages this service for multiple clients, and has experience with these grey areas, will have a much better chance of getting your application through the system. They’ll also speak Portuguese, which definitely helps.

Costs vary from company to company, but expect to pay somewhere between €1,000 and €3,000, depending on the company and whether you already have certain requirements (like the NIF or a Portuguese bank account). If you have a partner or children, they will incur costs as well, but the costs will be lower than the first applicant.

Minimum Stay Requirements

You can travel around the Schengen Area on a D7 Visa, but how much time can you spend outside of Portugal?

There seems to be some debate around this. Most websites say “6 consecutive months or 8 non-consecutive months each year” [68]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/, however some say per year whereas others say “6 consecutive months or eight months interpolated over the total period of validity of the respective residence permit (i.e. the period of 1 year initially and every 2 years after its renewal)” [69]https://atlanticbridge.com.br/en/golden-visa-ou-visto-d7-para-portugal-saiba-qual-caminho-seguir/.

If you need a residence permit with more travel flexibility, the golden visa only requires you to spend an average of seven days per year in Portugal. Of course, there’s a price for this: the golden visa not only requires an investment of €250k+ in property, funds, or scientific research, but lawyer fees are typically around €10k for the main applicant.

Read more: full comparison of the D7 VS the golden visa VS the D2 entrepreneur visa


Is there a language requirement when applying for the D7 visa?

There isn’t. However, you will need to pass the A2 language exam if you decide to apply for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship after five years [70]https://www.belionpartners.com/portuguese-language-test.

Being able to speak Portuguese – or at least making a very decent attempt – will help you a lot when dealing with various departments in the Portuguese government. Nobody will expect you to speak much Portuguese when you come for your first interview and receive your residency permit, but being able to speak good Portuguese during your renewals will serve you well.

How long does it take to apply for citizenship?

You will be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship after five years [71]https://lamarescapela.pt/en/what-is-d7-visa/. As many of the documents needed are the same as permanent residency, it makes sense to do both applications at the same time. In practice, it can take around two years for your citizenship application to be processed.

Is there an age limit to the D7 visa?

No, the D7 visa is available “regardless of age.” [72]https://www.cscadvogada.com/residency/d7-residence-visa-for-foreigners

Can I work on the D7?

Although the D7 is aimed at those who have their own source of income, it doesn’t limit you from also working[73]https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/.

How long can I stay in Portugal on the D7?

Although the visa has to be converted to a temporary residency permit and the residency permit has to be renewed, it essentially allows you to stay in Portugal forever.


1, 73 https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/
2 https://vistos.mne.gov.pt/en/national-visas/general-information/type-of-visa#people-living-on-their-own-income
3 https://www.garrigues.com/en_GB/new/minimum-monthly-wage-increases-eu-665-january-1-2021-onwards
4 https://imigrante.sef.pt/en/solicitar/residir/art80/
5, 8, 20, 43, 48 https://moviinn.com/services/visas/types-of-visa#own-income-visa
6, 72 https://www.cscadvogada.com/residency/d7-residence-visa-for-foreigners
7 https://eportugal.gov.pt/en/servicos/pedir-a-nacionalidade-portuguesa
9, 10, 15, 18, 58 https://www.belionpartners.com/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa
11, 16, 22, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 44, 68 https://www.sovereigngroup.com/portugal/portugal-passive-income-d7-visa/
12, 13, 14, 17, 21, 24, 25, 26, 54 https://www.portuguese-nationality.com/residency/the-d7-visa-portugal
19, 36, 38, 42, 52, 55, 56, 71 https://lamarescapela.pt/en/what-is-d7-visa/
23, 29, 39, 41, 47, 53 https://tom-bradford.com/the-portugal-d7-visa-for-those-with-passive-income/
30 https://www.portugalist.com/d7-savings/
37, 40 https://atlanticbridge.com.br/en/visto-d7-como-viver-de-aposentadoria-ou-de-rendimentos-em-portugal/
45 https://simard.com.hk/immigration/portugal_d7_visa/
46 https://www.uglobal.com/en/questions/applying-for-d7-visa-with-a-dismissed-criminal-record/
49 https://www.portugalresident.com/best-ways-for-brits-to-be-able-to-live-in-the-algarve-after-brexit-from-tourist-visa-to-d7-visa-or-golden-visa-whats-the-best-solution-for-you/
50 https://joeinpt.medium.com/portugal-d7-visa-application-process-5dfcbecf12f6
51 https://www.sef.pt/en/Pages/homepage.aspx
57, 70 https://www.belionpartners.com/portuguese-language-test
59 https://www.embassypages.com/portugal
60 https://www.vfsglobal.com/en/individuals/index.html
61 It must be applied for at the Portuguese consulate in the country of origin.
62 https://visa.vfsglobal.com/one-pager/portugal/southafrica/english/pdf/d7-document-checklist.pdf
63 https://www.vfsglobal.com/one-pager/portugal/uae/english/pdf/dsv-checklist-n.pdf
64 https://www.vfsglobal.com/portugal/singapore/pdf/National-visa-application3.pdf
65 https://eportugal.gov.pt/en/cidadaos-europeus-viajar-viver-e-fazer-negocios-em-portugal/viver-em-portugal/residir-em-portugal#respermanente
66 https://vistos.mne.gov.pt/images/termoderesponsabilidade.pdf
67 https://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com/country-hub/europe/portugal/portugal-visa-and-residency-information/
69 https://atlanticbridge.com.br/en/golden-visa-ou-visto-d7-para-portugal-saiba-qual-caminho-seguir/
Written by
Article originally published on 14 August, 2020 / Last Updated: July 28, 2021

77 thoughts on “Portugal’s D7: A Visa for Retirees, Remote Workers, and the Financially Self-Sufficient”

  1. Hi James!

    My cousin is a US citizen and currently in Portugal . He is suppose to leave before the 90 days is up, around Nov 20, but would like to stay longer. Is there a way he can apply for a visa to stay longer so he doesn’t have to leave Portugal? If so, what kind of visa would he apply for and where would he apply for it?

    If he does have to leave Portugal and return to the states to apply for the visa can he go back to Portugal once the interview is booked in Portugal or does he have to wait the 90 days to return (180 days minus the 90 days he was there)?


    • Hi Elizabeth

      I guess he needs a Schengen Visa extension. Unfortunately, I think this is only granted in exceptional circumstances.

      He could return and apply for the D7, yes. However, this is a visa for people that want to live in Portugal long-term. Is that your cousin’s goal or does he simply want a longer vacation in Portugal?

      My guess is that it’ll take at least 90 days for him to get the visa granted anyway.

  2. Would it not be more helpful to get more detail, information, from people who did and did not get D7? The woman who’s been denied but seems to have more than enough financial requirements from her spouse, but thinks it may be because of an erroneous background check, we would like to know how your appeal went. For those who are seeking the D7 now, from all I’ve seen approved in the last 6 months, it’s October 2021 now, the common denominator was income, proof of much more than the minimum wage of about 700 euro and substantial savings, minimum of 30000 euro plus. In balance this means if you had 6 figure savings and passive income of 3++× the minimum and all other requirements. You’re going to get approved. Let’s be honest here and frank. This is not even close to reality for most. But for the privaleged who meet these unwritten requirements congratulations. I hope you do adapt and integrated with respect. Certainly Portuguese people recognize the changes good for the foreign immigrants with money and the bad that the locals cost of living and quality of life is becoming to expenses. Again in balance I hope that all who seek a better quality of life try to participate in where’s best to make the world a better place for all and not the few….

  3. Hey James,
    You stated that income from a remote-job is sufficient for the visa, yet on every official website usually only passive income is stated as eligible. Do you have an source for the eligibility of remote-workers or is it just your experience?

    • Hi Konrad,

      I’m trying to get a source for this. I haven’t got one yet, but hope to find one in the future as, yes, it’s more based on people’s stories than from any lawyer’s website. In the meantime, you can see in this article that the reply from the VSF office in Washington DC stated that remote income was one of the acceptable options: https://www.portugalist.com/d7-savings/

  4. Hi James,

    I’m in the process of applying for the D7 Visa for the purposes of attending university for a Master’s Program. I’ve found multiple versions of the “required” documents for the D7 and I hadn’t yet come across the NIF and Portuguese Bank account just yet.

    Are both of these items a new 2021 requirement?

    Thanks a million,

    • Yep, I’ve put them under things you may be asked for. It varies from consulate to consulate, and there are differences between what consulates and VSF Global want, but it seems to be something they’ve started asking for more and more in the past 12 months.

      I’d speak to your consulate and see what they want and then work from there.

      • Thank you James.

        I am applying through VFS Global so that may account for the difference in requested documents.

        Is there any benefit of applying with VFS Global instead of directly to the consulate?

        • Hi Vega,

          Do you have an option of applying through either? Often it’s one or the other.

          It depends more on the individual consulate than being a case of consulates vs VFS. Some are known for being more difficult than others.

  5. James Cave
    Thank you for your article.It has helped me a lot.
    How can I prove that I am a remote worker and that I need a lawyer? Thank you.

    • Hi Bryan,

      I would imagine a job offer/contract and pay slips could be used to show you’re an employee and have a regular wage coming in. I don’t know if you would necessarily need to prove your ability to work remotely.

      I didn’t understand the second part of your question. Are you asking if you need a lawyer to prove this?

  6. Hi James, thank you very much for such an informative source! It is really becoming my Bible for the move. Do you know if, for proof of accommodation in Portugal, a consulate would accept a letter from a friend who is a Portuguese citizen stating that I will be staying with them for indefinite period of time while I look to purchase a property? Also do you by any chance know what is the approximate processing time of the visa eg how long your passport is at the consulate (I am planning to apply to a consulate in either Britain or Russia where I have citizenships). Would really appreciate your views/info. Thank you very much for your help! Inessa

    • Why not just get them to say you can stay there for the whole length of the temporary residency permit (2 years)? You can mention you’re looking to buy in your personal letter of motivation.

      I think you apply where you’re resident not where you have citizenship butr could be wrong.

  7. Hello! Great article! I have two questions, first is about rental agreement. Is it possible to present a hotel reservation for a month or two in consulate and – a year contract during the second appointment in Portugal already or should i need to fly to Portugal on a tourist visa and secure a yearly lease before applying for D7, but….who will sign it with a tourist for a year and even if i find such opportunity – what happens if visa is denied, so we lose 2 months rent? Second – I’m an american citizen, but i lived in many countries and even right now im in Europe, so…what about criminal record? Should it be applied from my last country of residency or from each country i ever lived?…thanks!

  8. Hi James, your article is spot on information- very rare to find on internet with so clearity .

    I’m interested for D- 7 visa and looking to take the application through a experienced relocation lawyer.
    I have job and can work remotely. My monthly salary is 900 euros and mine and my wife’s saving ( government bonds) are over 10000 euros . I have 2 kids . Do you suggest that I should apply for D7 if my finances fall to the funds requirement for D-7.
    Many thanks again for replying all the queries.

    • Hi Malay,

      This is a question for a D7 lawyer, which I am not.

      However, I can tell you that the minimum monthly salary requirement for a husband and wife and two kids would be around €635 + €367.5 + €190.5 + €190.5, which would be €1,383.5.

      Personally, I think Portugal is more expensive than this to live in and wouldn’t want to try and support a family of four of this salary. As well as meeting the D7 requirements, I think you should also consider the cost of living in Portugal. You can estimate some of the main costs by looking at rental prices on olx.pt and also the cost of food and drink at a supermarket website like continente.pt.

  9. Hi James,
    Thanks for a great article. My family and I (3) are thinking to move to Portugal on D7 visa route. We hold Canadian passport.

    I think I should have enough income and saving to support my D7 application. I currently work remotely & also run an online business with total income over $5000 per month. I also have saving over $100k to support my family and I if needed.

    I have a few questions:
    – Should I apply the D7 visa in Portuguese embassy or could I apply in a Portuguese consulate.. which actually closer from where we live.

    – Should I include my spouse and son in the D7 application.. or is it better to add them under family reunification instead?

    – I have a friend who lives in Portugal, and she is willing to provide a proof of place to live in Portugal while I search for my own place once we land in Portugal. What kind of statement do I need from my friend?

    – About a Portuguese bank account. How do I open a Portuguese bank account if I haven’t landed in the country yet?

    – Similar question to NIF. How to get one before I land in the country?

    Thanks so much.

  10. Hi James! 😊 Please help, in desperate need of a good Portuguese Attorney! My family and I (3) was denied our application. 1st due to insufficient income. My husband has a US Military Disability income of over $2200 monthly and he works remotely with an income of $3600 net monthly, we also have a 401k with over $20,000 in the account. We sent in proof of all documents.. 2nd my FBI report showed a criminal offense back in 03/1991 where I received probation and a fine. The consulate denied saying I was imprisoned for 1 year which is not true. They also didn’t take any of our income documents under consideration. We will be appealing the decision!

  11. Hi James,

    After we acquire Portugal permanent residency, do we still need to be in Portugal for a mimimum of 183 days per year to keep the PR? I’m thinking about living in Spain after getting Portugal PR since I won’t be qualified for the Non-lucrative visa of Spain. I’m a non-EU citizen. Thank you.

      • Hi James.

        Thanks for reply.

        One more thing, 2020 with the pandemic has stirred an anti-Asian trend globally, plus the impacts of the Chinese wealth on Portuguese economy, being an older Asian Canadian, I wonder if the Asian Portuguese community has been experiencing anything like that? Thank you.

        • Hi Mike,

          This is a global trend, as you say, and I don’t think anywhere is free from racism unfortunately. Anecdotally, Asian people I know living in Portugal haven’t suffered from it, certainly not in the same way as in other countries, so hopefully that’ll continue.

          Programs like the golden visa aren’t loved by a lot of local Portuguese as it’s been one of the things that has pushed house prices up in Lisbon and Porto, but again I haven’t seen a public backlash and definitely nothing specifically against Asians. I’m aware of the issues against Asians in Canada due to house price increases there, for example, and haven’t seen anything like that in Portugal.

          • Hi James,

            Really appreciate your candid reply. I was afraid you may not feel comfortable to respond due to the sensitive subject.

            Accidentally I stumbled upon this post
            , and under Portugal Permanent Residence –> Non-European, EEA and Swiss Citizens – Non-Golden Visa Holders
            it says “in practice,.. Portugal’s minimum stay requirements should not be a major concern.” Jusot want to confirm with you if it is correct. Thank you again.

            • No problem.

              Racism in Portugal is a topic I’ve considered writing about, but it’s so subjective. I will work out how to tackle it one day, though 🙂

              As for the minimum stay requirements, it does seem like most people don’t get asked to prove they’ve met the minimum requirements (again anecdotally). That could change in the future, though. If you don’t want to spend much time in Portugal, the golden visa is better as it only requires an average of 7 days per year.

              • Hi James,

                Thanks again for your reply. Regarding racism, yes, I totally agree those perceptions tend to be subjective by nature and vary from one man to another. If you’re not ready to share it publicly, I wonder if you’d be confortable to share them with me just casually perhaps by emailing me. I’m old enough to know this is just one man’s experiences / opinion and won’t take anything personally should there be anything touchy. Thank you again for your replies. I really appreciate that 🙂

  12. Hi, fab blog!

    A few Qs:
    – Can one satisfy the income requirements with savings? The answer appears to be yes, but the amount is unclear (according to your and other’s blogs)
    – Would a monthly allowance equivalent of 2000E per month be sufficient?
    – Can one take up employment with a Portuguese company on this visa? It looks like the answer is no, at least not before obtaining a residency at the 5 year point?
    – Would this visa (+ permit) ever require an individual to make an investment in a Portuguese company?

    Do you know where I can find the law in English? The information provided on the site is super vague.

    • The savings issue is very unclear. I’m currently writing an article on it and have spoken to people who’ve been accepted with savings but plenty who haven’t. Age seems to be a factor.

      €2000 could be sufficient, but it’s hard to say without knowing other details (e.g. age, where you plan to live, etc). Also, I don’t know if there’s any rhyme or reason to whether savings are accepted or not.

      Yes, you can take up employment, but I think the aim of the visa is to attract people who have either their own income or a remote job (i.e. people who won’t take a local job here).

      No requirement to invest in a Portuguese company.

  13. James,

    Great article! What if I want to apply and bring my girlfriend? Can my income be sufficient enough or does she have to make the minimum amount as well?


    • Hi Hector,

      50% of the main amount if on the same application. If you’re not married, you do have to show evidence that you’re in a long-term relationship (utility bills from a shared address, for example).

  14. HI, great article. Can you tell me if I go for the D7 visa to temp residency permit for my wife and I, do both of us need to be in Portugal for that? Also, if granted the D7 residency permit, do we have to be in Portugal for 183 days each year, thus having to pay taxes or can we do 180 days legally? Lastly, if we are US citizens and want to spend time in both locations, how many times may we leave the EU region per calendar year, for example both travel to US for our other home.

    • Hi Carl,

      1. You normally apply for the D7 in the country you’re resident.
      2. Yes, you need to spend 6 months consecutively or 8 months with gaps in Portugal to maintain your residency.
      3. You would have to pay taxes in Portugal, but there may be some taxes that could be paid elsewhere through NHR
      4. I believe as often as you like as long as you meet the requirements of 6 months consecutively or 8 months with gaps

      • Thanks for the answers James. But, from what I can find out, six months (180 days) and six months (183) are significantly different in the tax world. If I am only in Portugal for 180 days, I don’t think I am obligated to file Portuguese tax. If I am in Portugal for 183 days, now I think I am a tax resident and have to pay income tax. I was referring to the D7 residency permit for if both of us need to be in Portugal for the waiting period? I understand we need to apply for the D7 Visa in the US.

        • Hi Carl,

          It’s possible, but I would seek professional advice on this one (aka not me!). I can put you in touch with an accountant or tax lawyer, if needed.

          Note: the 183 rule is just one way of determining residency. If you have other ties (e.g. your main house is in Portugal) they could determine you’re fiscally resident in Portugal.

  15. I am a UK Citizen on Old age pensions which amount to £15,000 per annum. I am resident in France at the moment but would like to relocate to Portugal. I am married to a non-EU person. Can you advise what I should do. Many thanks.

    • Hi James,

      It does sound like the D7 could be a good option for you and your partner. The application should be made at your nearest consulate in France and you’ll most likely need to contact them for the forms (very few have these forms on their websites). Alternatively, I can pass your details onto an immigration lawyer who can help you prepare the application.

  16. Hi James – Extremely informative write-up. Thanks!

    I am very interested in seeking residency in Portugal and would likely go the D7 route (with NHR). A few specific questions for now…

    My long-time partner and I have three children, all in their early 20’s, and I’d hope for them to join us in the quest for Portuguese residency. What requirements must they fulfill? Additionally, my partner and I (both ‘retired’) have never married (or registered as domestic partners) – would this be a major issue? We are both on our home’s title – we own it outright, and it’s in an excellent real estate market.

    We are both joint tenants on our brokerage accounts as well. Our stock holdings are quite decent, but most are not income producing, nor have substantial dividend income. Would it be necessary to convert some of these stocks into high dividend paying securities? Or would our stock totals and house value be sufficient?

    I would be interested in hopefully starting the process in the first half of 2021 if feasible, so all up-to-date information would be greatly appreciated. Also, as it stands now would Covid be a huge hindrance coming from the U.S. ?

    Thank you!

  17. Hello! Great article. Can you give me the name of a few companies or lawyers who are the best to work with US Citizens to apply for the D7 and move from the US to Portugal?

  18. Dear James,

    Thank you for your very informative website!

    What is the amount of social security contribution payable by D7 visa residents?


  19. Thanks James,
    I have a US and UK passport. Is one preferable over the other to move to Portugal? Will Brexit change things for people moving to Portugal on UK passports?

    • Hi Harry,

      With a UK passport, you can move to Portugal until the end of the year and get a 5-year residency certificate. After that, you can apply for the passport. No need for visas, etc.
      With a US passport, you will need to jump through a lot more hoops e.g. applying for the D7.

      The UK passport is only useful until the end of the year, though, assuming the UK takes on a 3rd country status similar to the US once the withdrawl period ends.

      Of course, getting to Portugal between now and the end of the year is a challenge for a lot of people.

  20. James,
    We (2 adults, 2 minor children) arethinking of moving to the Lisbon area initially. We have enough in savings to satisfy the requirements. I’ve seen conflicting info online. Must we have a lease before submitting the D7 application in the US? Do we need to open a bank account in Portugal and transfer a year’s worth of living expenses or can we do this once we land there and begin our residency, acquire the tax ID, etc? Especially given Covid it seems odd to rent somewhere that we can’t and won’t use until our visa is approved and we have no way of knowing how long that will be. Ift course, if this is the only way, we will do it, but how long of a lease do we need? We expect that we will use it as a base to explore and then pick an area to settle. Also, if you can forward the contact info of someone who can help us with the bank account and rental that would be helpful. Thank you!

    • Hey Nic,

      Normally you do need to have an address in Portugal, whether from a rental or a friend’s house. I agree during covid times there should be a bit more leeway with regards to the things that you mentioned, but I’m not sure if this is happening in practice. I will try and find the best people to help with the rental, bank account, and everything else.

  21. Is this a typo:

    “Who is not eligible for a D7
    Those from outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland (they already have an automatic right to residency in Portugal).”

    This means the D7 is ONLY for those in the EU and anyone outside that has automatic right to residency? Huh?

    • Perhaps it could be better written.

      The D7 is not for people within the EU/EEA/Switzerland as anyone from those countries automatically has a right to residency in Portugal. It’s for those that don’t come from one of those countries.

      • Did you mean to type “inside” but you mistakenly wrote, “outside”?

        Did you mean this?

        “Who is not eligible for a D7
        Those from “INSIDE” the EU, EEA, or Switzerland (they already have an automatic right to residency in Portugal).”

  22. Hi there,

    I am almost finished with my post-graduate education in the U.S. and am very interested in moving to Portugal. Ideally, I’d like to do so as soon as possible, but–as I’ve been a full-time student for most of my life–I don’t have much money. If I were to find a remote job here in the States that paid around $2000-3000/month, do you think I’d have a shot at getting the D7 visa once I hit the six-month mark? Or is that just wishful thinking?

    This is easily the most helpful article I’ve found thus far, so I’d greatly appreciate your insight!


    • Hi Anna,

      I don’t think it’s wishful thinking, but a lawyer or relocation specialist can confirm (let me know if you’d like details of one). The minimum is around €800-1000, so you would meet that requirement.

      • James,

        That’s so good to hear–I was wondering whether I’d need to work for a longer period of time before my income would be considered stable enough to qualify for the visa.
        I will likely be back with more questions in the future, as this dream becomes more of a reality.

        Again–I greatly appreciate your insight. Thanks for the response!

  23. Hi James,

    Just to confirm, let’s say I have $50,000 in savings in the bank and I want to come to Portugal with my young daughter and wife. Can I obtain a D7 Visa?


  24. Wow, after reading so many articles about the D7, I really believe this is the most clear and detailed one, I have one concern, does the D7 work with an active income(salary from a remote job) besides a good amount of money in the bank around 20 000 euro? Or should always be a passive income? Thanks.

    • Hi Ahmad,

      Although it’s often called the “passive income” visa, a lot of people who are on the visa do some form of remote or self-employed work.

      • James,
        Will the funds from the remote work count as the “passive income” or is this only a means of additional income to live in Portugal? Would having enough funds to meet the minimum requirement in a Portuguese bank account be considered “passive income”?

        • Hi Cameron,

          Having sufficient savings in a Portuguese bank account is one way people apply for the D7, yes, but it’s trickier. You can also apply based on your income from remote work.

          • So if I have both, a remote job with around 3000$ Monthly salary, and savings around 20 000 euro in a Portuguese bank account, I should have not problem in getting the visa right? I already started the process with a lawyer in Portugal.

            • My family and I (3) was denied or application. 1st due to insufficient income. My husband has a Military Disability income of over $2200 monthly and he works remotely with an income of $3600 net monthly, we also have a 401k with over $20,000 in the account. We had proof of all documents.. 2nd my FBI report showed a criminal offense back in 03/1991 where I received probation and a fine. The consulate denied saying I was imprisoned for 1 year which is not true. They also didn’t take any of our income documents under consideration. We will be appealing the decision!

          • Hi! Thanks a lot for all the information!
            I would like to ask you if it’s possible to apply for this visa *only* with my savings (more than the minimum amount requiered). (I’m from Chile)

            Thanks again!

            • Hi Carola,

              Savings are tricky because it’s not seen as guaranteed in that sense that someone could put a huge amount of money into their account, get the D7, and then move the money again. In contrast, a pension or even a job is a regular payment so it’s a little easier to see what the future would look like. That’s not so say that it would be impossible to get the D7 with savings along, but that it might be more challenging.

          • I was advised by Immigration lawyers in Portugal that really the passive income/remote work option is really the only way to get the D7 Visa. I have 400k in just cash savings and was told that would not be sufficient to obtain the D7 Visa alone.

            • My family and I (3) was denied or application. 1st due to insufficient income. My husband has a Military Disability income of over $2200 monthly and he works remotely with an income of $3600 net monthly, we also have a 401k with over $20,000 in the account. We had proof of all documents.. 2nd my FBI report showed a criminal offense back in 03/1991 where I received probation and a fine. The consulate denied saying I was imprisoned for 1 year which is not true. They also didn’t take any of our income documents under consideration. We will be appealing the decision!

      • One more thing, I believe the Portuguese government has updated some rules, now you get the visa for two years and next for three years, you should update this in your article.

  25. Very helpful article! I was wondering if you had any advice at all about setting up a 6 month lease while being here in the states? I found some on AirBNB but then read your comment about that not being accepted as much anymore. Thanks again

    • Hi Garrett,

      Some councils accept them and others don’t, which isn’t a particularly helpful answer I know. What part of Portugal are you thinking of moving to?



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