Can You Apply for the D7 Visa Without Passive Income?

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Written by: | Last updated on February 29, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes
This article is available in: en_US

Portugal’s D7 visa is one of the most attainable ways that non-EU citizens can obtain residency in an EU country. Applicants only need to have as much as the Portuguese minimum wage which, as of 2024, is €820 per month. But one of the challenging aspects of the visa is that the income needs to be passive – something like a pension, dividends, or income from a rental property. 

But what if you don’t have a passive income?

The first thing that you could consider doing is applying for another visa, like the digital nomad visa. This visa is aimed at those with an actively-earned income, such as a salary or income from freelancing. The requirements are harder: you will need a monthly income of around €3,280 per month, which is at least 4 times higher than those for the D7. However, if you are a remote worker or freelancer, it’s probably the most suitable visa for you. 

What if you have savings? Some Portugalist readers have successfully applied for the D7 with just savings, but many others have been rejected. Often, it comes down to the decision of the person reviewing your application. 

“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

If you do have considerable savings, the best option may be to apply for the golden visa. This allows you to invest in a property (or other types of investments) and in return obtain residency in Portugal. The fees for the golden visa are higher than those for the D7, but the upside is that there is a lot more flexibility with physical stay requirements and you only need to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal. 

If none of these options suit, then it’s worth speaking to a lawyer. They can take a look at your income and savings and try to suggest the most suitable visa for you. As they deal with visas on a regular basis, they’ll have a good idea of how likely your visa application is of being accepted. 

Using a lawyer obviously does add costs, but it means the application you submit will be more likely to be accepted.

Finally, there’s the option of just submitting a visa application and hoping for the best. It’s the route quite a few people take. Some are successful, some are not. It’s generally a route a lawyer would advise against as they would suggest you work with them to get your application right in the first place and not try to go through the appeals process – which often requires the help of a lawyer anyway. 

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.