Portugal’s D7 Visa: Updated for 2024

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Written by: | Last updated on April 8, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 16 minutes
This article is available in: de_DEen_USes_ESfr_FRpt_PT

Introduced in 2007, the D7 visa has become one of the most popular routes for people from outside of the EU/EEA/Switzerland to move to Portugal.

Why is it so popular? Because applicants only need to show a monthly passive income of €820 per month or more (for a single applicant) from passive income sources such as:

  • A pension.
  • US Social Security.
  • Income from investments.
  • Income from rental properties.

And like most Portuguese residency visas, the D7 allows you to apply for Portuguese citizenship after just five years of living here.

You’ll sometimes see this visa referred to as the passive income visa or retirement visa as pensions and social security. This is simply because it’s especially popular with retirees, however, it isn’t limited to retirees: anyone with qualifying passive income can apply.

Would I Qualify for the D7?

Let’s take a look at the requirements.

There are other requirements (such as a clean criminal record) but from a financial point of view the main requirements are:

  • You’re over 18 (there’s no upper age limit).
  • You have a passive income (i.e. income you don’t actively work for) such as a pension, social security, dividends, royalties, interest, or income from a rental property. Unfortunately, savings or income from a remote job aren’t usually accepted, but don’t worry: there are other residency visas that you could qualify for, such as the digital nomad visa (D8) or golden visa.
  • That income is at least equivalent to the Portuguese minimum wage, which as of 2024, is €820 per month. This is the amount for one person. If you’re including other family members, such as a spouse or dependent child, the amount will be higher (but will be slightly less for additional people).
  • You have at least one year of savings, which means 12 * €820 per month for a single applicant or €9,840 in total.

If you can answer yes, there’s a good chance that you would qualify for the D7 visa.

Can I bring family members?

Family members, such as a spouse or partner and dependent children, can be added to your application. There are two things to consider here:

  1. Are those family members eligible?
  2. Do you (or your partner) have sufficient income to cover those additional family members?

In terms of eligibility, the following family members can typically be added to a D7 application:

  • Spouse or Partner.
  • Dependent children (typically this means children under 18 or in full-time education).
  • Your parents or your spouse/partner’s parents (as long as they are dependent on you).
  • You or your partner’s minor siblings.

As well as eligibility, there are financial factors to consider. For a spouse or partner, you would need to show an additional 50%. For each child, you would need to show an additional 30%.

Monthly passive incomeSavings Requirement
Single Person€820 per month€9,840
Couple€1,230 per month€14,760
Couple Child€1,476 per month€17,712

Will I be Able to Apply for Citizenship?

After five years of residency in Portugal, you will be able to apply for citizenship via naturalisation. This applies if you are on the D7 visa.

In fact, you may even be able to apply sooner. As of 2024, the clock starts ticking from the moment you apply for residency—not when you get your residency card as before. In the past, it could take 6-12 months to move to Portugal and get your residency permit, adding an extra year onto the citizenship process.

Now, by the time you move to Portugal, you will already have earned a few months towards your ability to apply for citizenship.

What about Taxes?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer as everyone’s tax situation will be different. This is due to Portugal having different tax treaties with different countries, and different people receiving different types of income.

Some people may also be taxed under the NHR tax regime, if they moved to Portugal before 2023. However, it’s important to note that the NHR tax regime ended in 2023. While there is a new similar tax regime (dubbed NHR 2.0) this does not specifically mention pensions or social security.

  • Generally speaking, when it comes to pensions and social security, most pensions will be taxed at progressive rates from 14.5% to 48%. These rates are progressive, so that doesn’t mean all of your income will be taxed at 48%.
  • Passive income, such as dividends, is likely to be taxed at 28%.
  • Thanks to Portugal’s tax treaties with different countries, it’s normally possible to apply a ‘tax credit’ if you’ve already paid tax elsewhere.

Again, everyone’s situation is different and you should speak to a tax expert to get an estimation of what taxes you will need to pay.

Benefits of the D7

  • Affordable fees: Typical lawyer fees for the D7 are in the region of €2,000-€3,000 per person, and services vary from a no-frills box-ticking service to a concierge-style service that includes someone who accompanies you to your AIMA appointment. In comparison, the fees for the golden visa are around €10,000 per person.
  • Citizenship: Moving to Portugal on the D7 puts you on the path to Portuguese citizenship, which you will be able to apply for after 5 years of living here (and, as of 2024, the time spent from the point of application counts). And you only need to show an A2 level of Portuguese when you apply, which is just the upper beginner level. You don’t need to show any level of Portuguese to apply for the visa itself (just when you apply for citizenship). Once you have a Portuguese passport, you can move anywhere within the EU.
  • Healthcare: As someone resident on the D7 visa, you’ll be able to enjoy full access to Portugal’s tax-funded public healthcare system. There is also a private healthcare system, which you can pay to use, either directly or through private health insurance.
  • No property purchase requirement: Although you normally need to show an address in Portugal, you don’t need to purchase a property. This allows you to rent for a year or two before you decide to put down more permanent roots in a location.
  • No work restrictions: The D7 doesn’t restrict you from working in Portugal or starting a business, and so many people continue working remotely or earning a little income on the side to supplement their other earnings.
  • Family members welcome: It’s possible to add certain family members to your application (such as a spouse or dependent children). If they are unable to move right now, it’s also possible from them to join you via the D6 or family reunification visa.
  • Schengen travel: As a resident of Portugal, you’ll be able to travel within the Schengen Area (most of Europe essentially) without needing a visa. This doesn’t mean you can spend as long as you want there or move there, but if you come from a country where obtaining a Schengen Visa is normally difficult, this can be a selling point.

However, this wouldn’t be a Portugalist article if we didn’t examine both sides of the coin. The D7 does have some cons as well as pros, and it’s important to consider them before applying.

  • Physical Stay Requirements: You’ll typically need to spend 6 months per year in Portugal without leaving the country or 8 months per year if you have gaps (e.g. you visit Paris for the weekend). Exceptions are given in certain cases, e.g. family emergencies.
  • Tax residency: Because you’ll be spending more than 183 days per year in Portugal, it’s likely that you’ll be considered tax resident in Portugal and taxed on your worldwide income. However, it’s important to also realise that Portugal has some tax incentives as well as tax treaties with other countries (like the US and UK) which effectively prevent you from being taxed twice.
  • Address: This visa normally requires you to have an address in Portugal before you apply. For most people that means renting an apartment in advance, which is probably the biggest downside to the D7 as it can mean renting an apartment that you won’t be able to live in. Some Portugalist readers have had to rent apartments for six months before they were able to move to Portugal.
  • Consulate differences: Different consulates may have different requirements (e.g. the consulate in San Francisco may have different requirements to the one in Washington or London. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to get information about what exactly you need, however, a good lawyer will be up-to-date with any unique requirements. This issue isn’t unique to the D7, and you may encounter it if you apply for another visa like the D8 as well.
  • NIF & Bank Account: You will need to obtain a NIF number and open a Portuguese bank account before you move to Portugal. Most people will need to pay a lawyer or company to do this for them, which would set them back around €400. This requirement isn’t unique to the D7.
  • Waiting time: The D7 is very popular and so it can take a few months to get your initial appointment. However, the processing time is generally faster than the golden visa.

However, despite these small downsides, it’s still worth it as it allows you to move to Portugal, live here, and in 5 years apply for a Portuguese passport, which would then allow you to live and work anywhere in the EU.

D7 Requirements Checklist

The following are the full requirements for the D7. Note: these can vary depending on the consulate or VSF office you apply through.

RequirementDetails
Income typeYou have an income that comes from passive sources such as a pension, social security, rental property, dividends, interest, or royalties.
Income (first applicant)You have a passive income of at least €820 per month (as a single applicant). Although this is the minimum requirement, it’s likely that you will need more than this to live in Portugal.
Income (spouse/partner)You, or the second applicant, has an additional income of 50% of the main amount or an additional €380 per month.
Dependent ChildrenYou have an additional income of 30% of the main amount, or €228 per month.
Portuguese NIF NumberYou have a Portuguese NIF number. View this comparison table for companies that offer this service online.
Portuguese Bank AccountYou have a Portuguese bank account. This typically needs to be a bank that has physical branches in Portugal as opposed to an app-based bank like Revolut or Wise.

You might be able to open an account in Portugal. However, cost-wise, it often makes sense to use a company to do this for you. We list companies that offer this service in our article about bank accounts.
SavingsYour Portuguese bank account shows at least one year of savings. For a single person this would be €9,120. For a couple this would be €13,680.
Proof of accommodation in PortugalYou have own a property, have a one-year or longer rental contract, or a letter of invitation from someone resident in Portugal inviting you to stay with them.

For rentals, some people rent sight-unseen over the internet while others come to Portugal. Airbnbs are unlikely to be accepted by most consulates.
Personal or motivational statementA statement detailing why you want to move to Portugal.
Criminal record certificate
Portuguese criminal record approval formA form stating that you are willing for a criminal records check to be run in Portugal.
Marriage and birth certificatesThe birth and marriage certificates of anyone included on the application.
International medical travel insurance
2 X European-sized passport photos
Flight itinerary
Visa application form
A Valid Passport

Application Process

The process for applying for the D7 can be broken down into a few steps.

Find a LawyerWhile some people submit the D7 application themselves, working with a lawyer significantly increases your chances of approval.
Document GatheringGather the required documents, such as birth certificates and a NIF number. If you need proof of address, this may require you to come to Portugal.
Scouting TripThis is optional, but many people come to Portugal to get a feel for it. If you need to rent an apartment for the proof-of-address requirement, this is a good time to do it.
Document SubmissionSubmit all of these documents at the consulate or VSF office in the country in which you are resident.
WaitWait for a decision (which usually takes up to 60 days).
Move to PortugalCome to Portugal on your D7 visa, allowing you to attend an interview with AIMA (previously known as SEF) where you visa will be turned into a residence permit.
Receive residence permitNormally the residence permit arrives in the mail a few weeks later. You are now a resident of Portugal and entitled to the benefits that come with that (such as healthcare and access to Portuguese education). In practice, you will also need to register for the healthcare system and this can take a little while longer.
RenewalsYou residence permit is typically valid for 2 years initially. This means that after 2 years, you will need to attend another interview to ensure you are still meeting the original requirements (e.g. you still have a passive income of €820 per month or more, as a single applicant).

During the 5 years you live in Portugal, you will need to focus on learning Portuguese to at least an A2 level as this is typically required for a citizenship application. It’s also highly recommended that you develop ties with the Portuguese community (e.g. membership of clubs) and are able to demonstrate this on your citizenship application.
Permanent Residency & CitizenshipAfter 5 years of residency in Portugal, you will be able to apply for both permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship. Once submitted, the Portuguese citizenship application can take 1-2 years to be approved.

Example Costs

Although the government fees on the D7 are low, that doesn’t mean it’s completely free. The following are some of the costs you should factor in:

  • NIF and bank account costs: Around €300-€350 through companies like Bordr or Anchorless.
  • Lawyer fees: If you use a lawyer, expect to pay €1,000-€3,000 in legal fees, per person although this figure will typically include costs like your NIF, bank account, and application fee.
  • Criminal records checks: You’ll need to pay for criminal records checks in the country you’re living in now and, even though you haven’t lived there yet, Portugal
  • Flight & accommodation costs: If you come to Portugal to find an apartment or just to see if it’s right for you, you’ll need to consider the travel costs of a short visit
  • Travel and/or health insurance:
  • Obtaining certificates: If you don’t already have copies of certain documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, you’ll need to request these.
  • Passport photos: A small costs, but still a cost.

Comparing Similar Visas

There are pros and cons to the D7, especially when you compare it to other visas like the golden visa (officially the ‘ARI’) or the digital nomad visa (officially the ‘D8’).

D7Golden VisaD8 (Digital Nomad Visa)
Income Requirement€820 p/monthNone€3,280 p/month
Income TypePassive (e.g. pension)None.Active (e.g. remote job, freelancing)
Investment RequiredNoYes (€250,000-€500,000)No
Physical Stay6-8 Months p/year7 days p/year6-8 Months p/year
Tax residency requirementYesNoYes
Typical Fees€1,000-2,000 p/person€10,000 p/person€1,000-2,000 p/person

Essentially, this means:

  • The golden visa offers the most flexibility but has the highest fees as well as requiring you to invest anywhere between €250,000 and €500,000. Expect to pay fees of around €10,000 per person on top of your investment.
  • If you want to move to Portugal now and spend the majority of the year there, look at the D7 or D8 (digital nomad visa). However, if you want more flexibility, choose the golden visa as this only requires you to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal.
  • If you have a passive income, such as a pension, it’s likely that the D7 will be the best visa for you. If you have a job, it’s likely that the D8 or digital nomad visa will be the best visa for you.
  • If you have savings and no income, opt for the golden visa.

Where Should You Live

The D7 allows you to live anywhere in Portugal, so the world (or at least Portugal) is your oyster. That said, there are a few parts of the country that are especially popular.

Beach in the Algarve

The Algarve – With more than 300 days of sunshine and some of the best beaches in the world, the Algarve has long been a popular destination for people to move to, particularly retirees.

Nazare beach from above

The Silver Coast – The coastal area between Lisbon and Porto offers a more traditional and authentic alternative to the more touristy Algarve. It also benefits from close proximity to Lisbon and Porto, depending on where you live.

madeira hills

Madeira – This Portuguese island off the coast of Africa is famous for its year-round mild weather, walking trails, and beautiful fauna. It’s also a popular destination for retirees and, increasingly, digital nomads as well.

FAQs

If I rent a property, do I need a 6 or a 12-month lease?

It depends on the consulate. Some places accept a six-month lease, while others require a 12-month lease as a minimum. Note: that even if a six-month lease is allowed, it can be hard to find a landlord that wants to rent for that short a period[source].

Is it possible to work or do freelancing work on the D7 visa?

Yes, although the D7 requires you to have your own source of passive income to qualify, it does not restrict you from working or freelancing once you have residency in Portugal[source].

How do I get my AIMA appointment?

It varies. Sometimes the appointment is given automatically, following your appointment at the consulate, and sometimes you need to get in touch with AIMA to arrange an appointment. If that’s the case, you’ll need to phone AIMA or, the easier option: have your lawyer call AIMA to get an appointment on your behalf. Many law firms actually employ people just to phone AIMA to try and get through[source].

What happens if my visa is rejected?

In Portuguese administrative law, it’s important to remember that you’re entitled to make your case if the authorities are about to take a step that could harm your chances of success[source]. It’s recommended that you work with a lawyer at this point.

Should a couple apply on the same application or two independent visas?

The challenge of applying separately is the costs. If a husband and wife apply for a D7, for example, the amount required is the main amount 50%. However, if there are two separate applications, each would have to show €820 (the amount for the main applicant)[source].

Can I move to Portugal if I have a criminal record?

The crime would have to have a prison sentence of more than one year in Portugal to affect your D7 visa application. However, it is important that you make note of this in your personal statement. A lawyer can not only help write a suitable personal statement but also can include the applicable Portuguese law[source].

Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.