Introduced in 2007, the D7 visa has become one of the most popular routes for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens to obtain residency in Portugal. Every day, Portugalist receives questions about this visa—much more than any other visa, including the golden visa or digital nomad visa. Over the past few years, we’ve helped hundreds of people apply for this visa, and we’re here to help you too.
The D7 is sometimes referred to as the passive income visa or retirement visa as it’s especially popular with retirees, particularly those from the US and UK. However, non-retirees can also apply if they meet the income requirements.
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 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 as accepted these days but don’t worry: there are other residency visas that you could qualify for.
- That income is at least equivalent to the Portuguese minimum wage, which as of 2023 is €760 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 * €760 per month for a single applicant or €9,120 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:
- Are those family members eligible?
- 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 income||Savings Requirement|
|Single Person||€760 per month||€9,120|
|Couple||€1,140 per month||€13,680|
|Couple + Child||€1,368 per month||€16,416|
(Note: due to the Portuguese minimum wage rise in January, as of 2024, a single D7 applicant will need to show a monthly income of €820 per month and €9,840 in savings).
Here’s are some of the other benefits of the D7:
- Affordable fees: Typical lawyer fees for the D7 are in the region of €1,000-€,2,000 per person. In comparison, the fees for the golden visa are around €10,000 per person.
- Citizenship: Like most Portuguese residency visas, 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 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.
- Tax incentives: As you’ll be a tax resident, you’ll be able to take advantage of the NHR tax regime, assuming your income qualifies (social security and pensions typically do).
- 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.
- 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.
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.
|Income type||You 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 €760 per month. 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 Children||You have an additional income of 30% of the main amount, or €228 per month.|
|Portuguese NIF Number||You have a Portuguese NIF number. View this comparison table for companies that offer this service online.|
|Portuguese Bank Account||You 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.
|Savings||Your 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 Portugal||You 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 statement||A statement detailing why you want to move to Portugal.|
|Criminal record certificate|
|Portuguese criminal record approval form||A form stating that you are willing for a criminal records check to be run in Portugal.|
|Marriage and birth certificates||The birth and marriage certificates of anyone included on the application.|
|International medical travel insurance|
|2 X European-sized passport photos|
|Visa application form|
|A Valid Passport|
The process for applying for the D7 can be broken down into a few steps.
|Lawyer Shopping||Attend Zoom meetings and get quotes from multiple lawyers or services. You may also decide to submit the D7 application yourself without using a lawyer.|
|Document Gathering||Gather 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 Trip||This 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 Submission||Submit all of these documents at the consulate or VSF office in the country in which you are resident.|
|Wait||Wait for a decision (which usually takes up to 60 days).|
|Move to Portugal||Come 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 permit||Normally 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.|
|Renewals||You 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 €760 per month or more). |
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 & Citizenship||After 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.|
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-€2,000 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’).
|D7||Golden Visa||D8 (Digital Nomad Visa)|
|Income Requirement||€760 p/month||None||€3,040 p/month|
|Income Type||Passive (e.g. pension)||None.||Active (e.g. remote job, freelancing)|
|Investment Required||No||Yes (€250,000-€500,000)||No|
|Physical Stay||6-8 Months p/year||7 days p/year||6-8 Months p/year|
|Tax residency requirement||Yes||No||Yes|
|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.