Residency/citizenship for USA early retiree?

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  • #19486 Reply

    Hey guys, I’m an American currently living and working in Italy for a US-based company, interested in early retirement in Portugal.

    To apply for citizenship in Portugal it looks like you need at least 5 years of residency — but what type of residency visa/permit should I be looking at to cover this 5 years, and how much savings or income is required? Do brokerage and retirement accounts factor into that savings? I guess I just want to know what’s needed to legally start the move to Portugal to start the 5 year clock and if I’d be eligible based on savings and investments. I’m also interested in applying for the NHR scheme.

    Also, I’ve got an EU drivers license (Italy) valid for 10 more years, would I need to convert that to a Portuguese license or could I keep the Italian one since it’s EU?

    Thanks in advance!

    #19489 Reply
    James Cave

    Hi Geographer,

    It sounds like the D7 visa could be a good option for you. It’s a visa/residency permit aimed at those who can sustain themselves on their own income such as a a pension or any form of retirement account.

    Your accounts combined would need to bring in at least €800-1000 per month, but the more, the better. Both savings and income are looked at, and it helps if you have 1-2 years worth of savings as well.

    That would put you on the path to citizenship after 5 years. You can also apply for NHR once you become resident in Portugal. On most funds that you can withdraw in retirement, the tax rate is a flat 10%.

    As for the driving licence, you would be able to register the Italian driving licence and continue to use it until it expires before you need to switch to a Portuguese one since it’s also from the EU.

    Here’s an article about the D7:

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