The D7: Portugal’s Passive Income Residency Visa

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James Cave / Last Updated: February 1, 2023 / Posted in: Visas & Residency

Portugal has a number of attractive visas that are designed to entice third country citizens (people from outside of the EU/EEA/Switzerland), particularly affluent or self-sufficient people, to Portugal. Of these, the D7 visa (sometimes nicknamed the retirement visa or passive income visa) has quickly become one of the most popular residency visas to apply for.

The reasons for that is that it’s more attainable than other residency visas. The golden visa, for example, requires you to make an investment in Portugal – which, for most people, simply means buying a property – and that requires a lot of cash upfront. If you’re buying a property, the cheapest option is €280,000 plus fees. Not all of us have that kind of cash to invest.

D7Golden Visa
Minimum Stay Requirement6-8 months per year7 days per year
Financial requirementsRegular income (e.g. pension)Cash to invest or donate, starting from €250,000
Family reunification possibleYesYes
Citizenship possibleYesYes
NHR PossibleYesYes

It’s also seen as more attainable than other European residency visas, and so is seen as one of the easiest ways to move to Portugal due to the fact that you only need to show a regular income that’s more than the Portuguese minimum wage (which is just over €700 per month[1] In reality, there doesn’t seem to be an exact figure, €700 or otherwise, and this is merely the minimum amount. Some applicants successfully apply with just a little bit over €700 per month. Others are told they need more. What does seem to be clearer is the amount needed for the secondary applicants, which is 50% of the figure the main applicant requires, and 30% for children.

That income can come from several sources, but the most commonly suggested are:

  • A pension or social security
  • Financial investments (e.g. dividends)
  • Rental income
  • Royalties or intellectual property

Applying with just savings seems to result in rejections, but some people are successful.

“We only showed savings… no income. We are a family of two adults and one eight-year old. After setting up our Portuguese account we transferred 30,000 USD to that account for the three of us which converted to a little over 25,000 Euro. For US savings, we showed a savings account with an additional 39,000 USD along with a CD account where we have 100k USD. I am not sure it was necessary but we did not want to take the chance of getting rejected and having to appeal.” – Charli

In the past few years, many people with remote jobs or freelance income have successfully applied for the D7. However, it is expected that those people will apply for the new digital nomad visa instead.


The requirements change regularly, but not necessarily officially, and they don’t change across every consulate at the same time. A few years ago, you didn’t need a NIF or personal financial number, a funded Portuguese bank account, and a 1-year rental contract before applying. Nowadays, most applicants find that these things are standard – but, again, it seems to depend a lot on where you’re applying from.

Thankfully there are now several companies that can help you obtain a NIF and bank account remotely.

NIFBank AccountTotal
Bordr$140$340$470 (includes discount)

Funding the bank account with savings can be an issue for some as some people may have a qualifying regular income, but may not have any savings to hand. Another confusing issue is the amount required.

The address in Portugal requirement, which many people are being asked for, is a little challenging. This typically means:

  • Renting a property in Portugal (either by visiting and finding somewhere or over the internet)
  • Buying a property in Portugal
  • Staying with a friend or family member and showing an invitation letter

Unfortunately, there aren’t many easy ways of getting around this particular requirement if it’s asked for. Most people either visit Portugal on a scouting trip and find a property to rent or rent a property sight-unseen over the internet.

Other requirements

The other requirements are, thankfully, not quite as challenging even if it can take a while to obtain all of these documents.

The required documents can vary slightly depending on the consulate, but for New York transplants Allison and Dustin and their children, they required the following:

  • Visa application form (available from SEF)
  • Passport
  • 2 X European passport-sized photos
  • NIF number
  • Funded Portuguese bank account
  • Proof of means of sustenance
  • Proof of accommodation
  • FBI criminal record certificate
  • Portuguese criminal record approval form
  • Marriage and birth certificates
  • International medical travel insurance
  • Personal or motivational statement
  • Flight itinerary
  • Proof of legal status (if a third-party national living in another country)
  • References (not all offices)

Example Costs

Although the government fees on the D7 are very 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 E-Residence. Some law firms charge as much as €1,000 per NIF
  • Application fees:
  • Lawyer fees: If you use a lawyer, expect to pay more than €1,000 in legal fees, 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

Do-It-Yourself or Use A Lawyer?

If you’re using a lawyer to apply, 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 for the first or main applicant.

The downside of using a lawyer is the additional cost. The upside is that they submit D7 applications on behalf of their clients on a regular basis and know what’s likely to be accepted and what isn’t. As mentioned, the requirements differ from consulate to consulate. Very few, if any, of these consulates specifically state what they’re looking for – but if you’re a lawyer who submits multiple applications per week, you’ll have a very good idea of what those are.

Pros & Cons of D7 Vs Golden Visa

If you have both savings to invest (e.g. in a property) and a regular income, you may be trying to decide which is better: the D7 visa or the golden visa. Here are a few of the pros and cons of the D7.


  • Doesn’t require you to invest hundreds of thousands of euros in a fund, property, or anywhere else
  • If you do buy a property, you don’t have to worry about the location eligibility rules that the golden visa now has (properties purchased in places like Lisbon, Porto, or most of coastal Portugal no longer qualify)
  • Seemingly faster approval process than the golden visa
  • Fees are much lower than the golden visa
Government Fees
D7Around €90
Golden VisaAround €6,000 per person (excluding renewal fees)
Excludes lawyer fees, if you decide to use a lawyer


  • Typically requires a regular income, ideally passive, such as a pension (although some people have been successful with just savings)
  • Requires you to spend the majority of the year (6-8 months) in Portugal unlike the golden visa, which only requires you to spend an average of 7 days here


  • Getting to live in Portugal
  • Being able to apply for permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship after just 5 years
  • Being able to travel within Europe’s borderless Schengen Area (D7 requirements and each country’s maximum stay requirements permitting)
  • Ability to apply for Portugal’s NHR tax regime, which may offer lower rates of tax compared to what you’re paying now
  • Access to Portugal’s national health service
  • Access to schools and education services in Portugal
  • Ability to work as an independent professional
  • Family reunification

Additional reading

Want to read even more about the D7? We have a lot of articles.


  1. Fantastic read the information given in the read has been a great help I have been in Portugal Four times this year looking at property.What I would like to no is if I buy a piece of urban land and site a lodge / removable home its classes as a permanent home to obtain my Visa. This is all so I can retire in Portugal.

  2. The law is changing and it'll go to the simpler format of 6 months with no breaks or 8 months with breaks. You can probably get away with going to Spain by road but flying outside of the country and outside of Schengen is going to be too obvious.

  3. I'm getting conflicting information about the amount of time I need to be in Portugal for the D7 visa. Some say it's 8 months per year in Portugal, others say no more than 8 months away from Portugal each year. Can you clarify and point me towards the appropriate law?
    I am intending job sharing for a few years, probably working month on/month off or 6 weeks on/6 weeks off.

  4. Hi Lisa,

    I applied for the D7 and had much less than 30,000 in a savings account. I actually had less than the minimum that people suggest (think its 8,500 Euros). I had a good income from a job though. I think they take into account your income and I've heard that it depends on where you live as well. We are moving to a remote place where rental prices are not high so maybe they are more comfortable with that than say Lisbon. Also the consulate you apply for makes a difference. They all have their own rules.

  5. We have been advised that we should fund our bank accounts with €30k to €50k to qualify for the D7. This is much more than the blogs say. We are concerned about moving so much money to a foreign bank account.

    • When people are asked to show an address in Portugal, they normally need to show a rental contract or the deeds to a property they own rather, so they're being asked for something semi-permanent (at least as long as the rental contract) rather than just any address.

  6. Hi, I am Atinuke Ejibunu. I am originally Nigerian, meaning that I have a nigerian passport but I reside in the Netherlands. I am really interested in migrating to Portugal but I am curious as to how that works.
    If I can find a remote consultancy role with my contract being for lets say 2 years, can I apply for the D1 visa if I am paid beyond the minimum wage, let say I am paid 2200 euros gross per month. Would that be sufficient. Thanks

    • Hi Atinuke

      A lawyer can confirm, but I believe the D1 is for employment in Portugal whereas people typically use the D7 for remote jobs. Again, a lawyer can confirm and can also tell you what amount would likely be needed (there's no set figure really). I think they look at more than just the salary, but also job security, for example, which a new role wouldn't have. However, given that your income would be above the minimum wage here in Portugal, it may be enough.

  7. For those with questions about the bank account, the amount needed is:

    €8.460 for the main adult applicant
    €4.230 or 50% for any additional adults (e.g. partner)
    €2820 or 30% for any children

    Some people say that you increase your chances of being approved by adding more money to your bank account. There is probably some sense in this.

  8. Hi everyone, I hope you are doing, I applied for D7 and got it then i got the residency permit for 2 years, now I am living in Portugal, I work for a company in Lebanon and I receive my income there, my question is? Is it mandatory to contribute in social security? Or it's optional since I don't work for a portuguese company.. thanks a lot

  9. Hi James
    We have an appointment at the consulate in Manchester on 1st July 2022. Do you know once the D7 visa is approved by the SEF in Portugal how long do you have before you actually have to move to Portugal.

    • Hi there

      How did you get your appointment at the consulate pls?
      We’ve tried everything, but the VSF site doesn’t work despite multiple attempts, and the telephone is a no go.
      We have all our paperwork and are desperate for an appointment, although preferably in London rather than Manchester …

      Help please!


  10. Hello,
    I have a question on whether the authorities would accept income from crypto wallets instead of bank statements?

    Maybe this is technical, but freelancers working in crypto can choose to get paid in crypto. Therefore the salary that matches the contract arrives in crypto wallets.

    Have you seen this examples for freelancers?


  11. 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)?


    • I understand we're not allowed to work for a Portuguese company while obtaining the d7 (the 120 day period) but can work for one once we have residency. How hard will it be to find a job with a Portuguese company then?

  12. 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....

  13. 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:

    • Hi Konrad, I am also wondering about the D7 visa and if one's income actually has to be passive or not. Have you found anything more about this? Thanks in advance!

  14. 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,

    • 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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

      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 and also the cost of food and drink at a supermarket website like

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

      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 🙂

            • 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 🙂

  22. 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?


  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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?

  27. Dear James,

    Thank you for your very informative website!

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


  28. 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,

      The UK's withdrawal from the EU properly ends at the end of this year. Of course, getting to Portugal between now and the end of the year is a challenge for a lot of people.

  29. 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!

  30. 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!


  31. 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?


  32. 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.

    • 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"?

      • 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!

      • 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.

  33. 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


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