Exploring the Short Stay Option on Portugal’s D8 Visa

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Last updated on June 4, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

Are you a freelancer or remote worker interested in spending more time in Portugal? Want to spend longer than the 90/180 days in Schengen Visa allows but limited by your non-EU/EEA/Swiss passport.

Then you’re in luck!

In 2022, Portugal introduced the D8 visa, which is aimed at remote workers and freelancers. There are two parts to the visa: a long-term visa that allows you to move to Portugal, and the short-stay option that allows you to stay in Portugal for up to 12 months.

This article will discuss the short-stay option. For the long-stay option, or residence permit, see this article on the D8.

Who’s This For?

This section of the D8 (or digital nomad visa as it has been nicknamed) is for remote workers and freelancers who want to stay in Portugal for up to one year.

In Portugal (or anywhere in the Schengen Area) that limitation is typically 90 days in every 180 days. That means you can come to Portugal for three months, you they have to leave the Schengen Area for three months before they can come back again.

Three months is enough time for a lot of people, but if you fall in love with Portugal and make friends here, it can be heart-breaking if you have to leave. Many people try to get extensions for the Schengen Visa but this can sometimes be challenging.  

Requirements

  • Earn an income at least four times the Portuguese minimum wage (around €3,040 p/month in 2023).
  • Show a lease of at least four months.
  • Police clearance.

Some consulates may require you to show a Portuguese NIF number and a Portuguese bank account, funded with at least one year of savings.

Citizenship Possibilities

If you only stay in Portugal for one year, you won’t be able to qualify for citizenship through naturalisation as this requires five years of legal residency in Portugal. However, you can switch to the renewable residence visa.

Initially granted for two years, this can be renewed for a further three. After five years of residency in Portugal, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship.

Family Reunification

Family reunification (bringing family members on the same visa) is not possible on this visa. If you want to bring a family member, such as a spouse or partner, they would need to apply for their own visa. Alternatively, family reunification is possible on the renewable residence visa.

Tax Implications

If you’re thinking of going down this route, it’s worth speaking to an accountant or lawyer to discuss the tax implications of staying in Portugal for more than six months.

Normally, someone is likely to become tax resident in Portugal after spending 183 days in Portugal. However, other factors apply, and it is a good idea to speak to a lawyer or accountant to get their thoughts.

Places to live

If you’re thinking about spending a year in Portugal as a digital nomad, there are a few places that stand out:

  • Lisbon: The number one hotspots for digital nomads, not just in Portugal but in Europe as well.
  • Algarve: With its warm weather and beautiful beaches, this is perfect for nomads that want to get away from it all, to surf, walk and maybe write that book.
  • Madeira: Known for its walking and year-round mild climate, this destination has grown to become a popular destination for digital nomads, particularly around Funchal and the Ponta do Sol area.
  • Ericeira: Located close to Lisbon, this surf hotspot is popular with young professionals that want to be close to Lisbon and Lisbon Airport, but prioritise surfing and smaller town living for their day-to-day.
  • Porto: Portugal’s second city is growing as a digital nomad hotspot. It may get wetter winters that Lisbon but what it lacks in mild winters, it makes up for in affordability, authenticity, and small city charm.

Unlike the long-term version of the D8 visa, the short-term option only requires you to show a four-month lease. This allows you to spend a few months in a few different parts of Portugal.

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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.

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