The D7 visa has become one of the most popular routes to obtaining residency in Portugal. Why? Because it’s a) attainable and b) affordable.
With the D7, you don’t need to invest your cash like you would with the golden visa or HQA visa, or start a business like you would with the D2 visa. What you need to do is show that you can support yourself in Portugal with an income (ideally a regular, passive income) that’s at least €760 per month or higher (the Portuguese minimum wage as of 2023). That’s much lower than the digital nomad visa, which requires you to have an average monthly income of €3,040 or more.
What are come examples or regular passive income? The most common example is a pension, but other examples include:
- Rental Income
- Social security
Basically, it’s income you don’t actively work for. This is different from the digital nomad visa, which looks for a regular income from a salary from a remote job or for regular income from freelancing work. It’s also different from the golden visa, which allows you to invest your savings into an investment such as a property.
Because the D7 focuses on income like a pension or income from a rental property, it’s often more suited to retirees or those later in life whereas the digital nomad visa is aimed at those who are still at working age. Because of this, you may see people referring to the D7 as the passive income visa or the retirement visa.
At least €760 per month for the first applicant.
50% (€380) for a spouse or partner and a further 30% for each child (€228)
Portuguese NIF Number
View this comparison table for companies that offer this service online.
Funded Portuguese Bank Account
A Portuguese bank account funded with enough money to cover 1 year (i.e. €760*12 for one person). View this comparison table for companies that can help you obtain a Portuguese bank account.
Tip: the cheapest NIF + Portuguese bank account package we can find is Anchorless’ NIF + Portuguese bank account bundle for €389.25, using the discount code PORTUGALIST25.
Proof of accommodation in Portugal
A 1-year lease or deeds to a property
Personal or motivational statement
A statement detailing why you want to move to Portugal
Criminal record certificate
Portuguese criminal record approval form
Marriage and birth certificates
International medical travel insurance
2 X European passport-sized photos
Visa application form (available from SEF)
*The D7 requires you to have an income that amounts to more than the Portuguese minimum wage which, as of 2023, is around €760 per month. However, this is the minimum amount. Some applicants successfully apply with just a little bit over €760 per month. Others are told they need more. Unfortunately, the required amount isn’t black and white and is open to interpretation by different consulates.
For secondary applicants (e.g. a spouse or partner) a further 50% is required and a further 30% for each child.
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 remote workers and freelancers should now apply through the digital nomad visa, which has its own set of requirements.
The most challenging requirements
Assuming you meet the income requirements, and in theory qualify for the D7, there are one or two requirements that can be a little challenging and add to the costs of obtaining the D7. These are:
- The NIF number
- The Portuguese bank account
- Proof of Portuguese accommodation
The NIF number (Portuguese tax number) and Portuguese bank account are two things that can be obtained online or via a lawyer thanks to online companies like Bordr and Anchorless. Both of these things can usually be obtained through an immigration lawyer either.
Bank account + NIF cost
€389.25 with discount code PORTUGALIST25
The proof of accommodation in Portugal requirement, which more and more people are being asked for, is often the most challenging requirement as it usually means doing one of the following:
- Renting a property in Portugal (either by visiting and finding somewhere or over the internet).
- Buying a property in Portugal.
- Showing a letter of invitation from a friend or family member who lives in Portugal.
The process for applying for the D7 can be broken down into a few steps.
- Gather all of the necessary documents (if this includes proof of accommodation in Portugal, it may require you to visit Portugal to rent or purchase a property).
- Submit all of these documents at the consulate in the country in which you are resident.
- Wait for a decision (which usually takes up to 60 days).
- Come to Portugal on your D7 visa, allowing you to attend an interview with SEF where you visa will be turned into a residence permit.
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 Anchorless.
- 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. Note: Portugalist readers can get €300 off their D7 visa application when they use visas.pt with the code plvisa.
- 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.
Comparing Similar Visas
There are pros and cons to the D7, especially when you compare it to other visas like the golden visa or the digital nomad visa.
The D7 vs the Golden Visa
The main benefit the golden visa has offer other residency visas is that you don’t need to live in Portugal, you just need to spend an average of 7 days per year here. However, the golden visa comes with more expensive fees and requires you to invest cash (starting from €280,000) in some form of investment (e.g. residential property, commercial property, or venture capital fund).
Basically, the golden visa is ideal for those that want residency in Portugal and the ability to apply for citizenship later on, but don’t want to spend the majority of the year here. The D7 is a better option for those that are planning on living in Portugal for the majority of the year.
The D7 vs the Digital Nomad Visa
The D7 is aimed at those with a regular and ideally passive income, such as income from a pension, dividends, royalties, or income from a rental property. You typically need to show an income of more than €760 per month.
The digital nomad visa is aimed at those with a salary or regular income from freelancing. You typically need to show an income of more than €3,040 or 4 times the Portuguese minimum wage.
The D7 has a lower income requirement. However, not everyone has the type of income (e.g. a pension or rental income) that the D7 requires.
The D7 vs the D2
Generally speaking, most people compare the D7 against the digital nomad visa or golden visa. However, another visa that you may want to compare it against is the D2.
The D2 is aimed at entrepreneurs or those that want to start a business in Portugal. You’ll typically need to show a solid business plan, experience, and capital, but if you have an idea for a new business (or an existing one you want to expand) this could allow you to move to Portugal.