Earn more than €3,280 per month on average? Able to work remotely, either as a remote worker or a freelancer? You might be able to take advantage of Portugal’s new D8 or digital nomad visa and live and work in Portugal.
Don’t be confused by the nickname. Although often referred to as the digital nomad visa, this is just a nickname and this visa isn’t limited to those that work in tech.
It’s open to anyone who actively earns an income that comes from outside Portugal. It’s also not aimed at those that want to hop from country to country, as many digital nomads do, but those that want to spend the majority of the year in Portugal.
The D8 offers you the chance to obtain residency in Portugal, which means being able to live here on a year-round basis and enjoy the benefits that come with residency, such as access to Portugal’s public health service.
After five years of residency, you will be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship, which means obtaining an EU passport. That passport will then allow you to live, work, and retire throughout the EU—not just Portugal.
The D8 is both a “temporary stay” and “residence visa” for digital nomads.
- The temporary stay option allows you to live in Portugal for up to 1 year.
- The renewable residence visa option allows you to stay for up to 5 years, with the possibility of renewal or exchange for permanent residency after. After 5 years, you will also be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
(Most nomads are likely to pick the ‘Residence Visa’ as the appeal of the D8 is getting to live in Portugal)
|Yes (for 36 months)
|Min 4 month lease
|Min 12 month lease
|Portugal Bank Account Required
|Yes (not all require)
(Note: a number of websites still refer to the D7 as Portugal’s digital nomad visa. These websites can now be considered out of date. Also, some suggest you only need to earn €2,800 p/ month. This information is also out of date).
To qualify for the D8 you need to:
- Earn more than €3,280 per month on average (net income) for an individual.
- Be from a non-EU/EEA/Swiss country (for example, the UK and US are both outside of the EU/EEA and Switzerland).
- Have a clean criminal record.
This is different to the D7, which many websites still refer to as a digital nomad visa. However, the introduction of the D8 clarified that:
- The D7 is for those with a passive income (such as a pension, dividends, or income from a rental property) of more than €820 per month, as of 2024.
- The D8 is for those with an actively earned income (such as a salary or remote job) or more than €3,280 net per month.
What about couples & families?
This amount is for an individual. But what if you are a couple or have children?
According to Sandra Gomes Pinto [source], “there is no specific regime for the digital nomad visa in terms of family reunification. So it should follow the general rules, and the general rules are that you have to show +50% of your income for your spouse and +30% for each child.”
However, Sandra notes that this is unfair on those applying via the digital nomad visa versus others like the D7 as those applying for the D8 already need to show four times the Portuguese minimum wage.
The €3,280 in itself is enough to support a spouse and around eight children. Sandra says some authorities may interpret this in a different way, allowing couples and families to apply with less income, but there is no legal reason to think they should do so.
Option 1) Residence Visa for the Semi-Settled Nomad
Ideal for those that want to live in Portugal, obtain Portuguese citizenship, and take advantage of the “new NHR” regime.
- Income Requirement: Earn at least four times the Portuguese minimum wage (around €3,280 net income p/month in 2024)
- Citizenship: Yes (application possible after 5 years)
This is especially true of those that have been globe-hopping for a few years and are now looking for somewhere to be settled for a large portion of the year.
Requirements for the nomad visa
The main requirement is that you can show a monthly income from a source outside of Portugal that’s equivalent to €3,280 net income p/month. You will need to show evidence of this over at least the previous 3 months.
Amanda Perkins applied for the digital nomad visa in early 2023, and used the following documents:
- Motivation Letter: Why she wanted to move to Portugal
- Travel Insurance: She used Safety Wing
- Flight Itinerary (not the actual ticket): This laid out her desired timeline.
- Accommodation: For short-term stay, you need to provide a 4-month lease. For the long-term lease, you need to provide a 12-month lease.
- Canadian Banking and Investment Amounts: This was to show she had proof of funds.
- Portuguese Bank Account: She also opened a Portuguese bank account and funded it with €10,000 and took a screenshot of that page too.
- Canadian Company Incorporation Documents: She owns my own consulting company so she prepared the T2 tax documents for last year, and also included her balance sheet and income statement for the previous 6 months.
- Criminal Background Check: She purchased a Canadian background check from MyCRC
- Signed Portugal Release to check Portuguese Criminal System: This is a document (found here) which allows the Portuguese government to run a background check in Portugal.
She also showed a NIF number. There is some debate as to whether or not this is needed, but in a recent Portugalist webinar, Portuguese lawyer Sandra Gomes Pinto also recommends obtaining a NIF when applying for the digital nomad visa.
The following are examples of some companies that can obtain you a Portuguese NIF number:
|€389.25 with code PORTUGALIST25
|€437 with code PORTUGALIST*
|€349 with code Portugalist
Aside from meeting the minimum income requirements, the trickiest requirement is likely to be the Portuguese bank account (if required) and the proof of accommodation in Portugal.
There are companies that can help you open a Portuguese bank account remotely (see the comparison table here). For the proof of accommodation, you will normally need to either come to Portugal and find an apartment to rent or rent sight-unseen through an agent.
Portugal is a great place to have as a nomad base. There’s a big nomad scene (particularly in Lisbon), the weather is good, the beaches are fantastic, it has a great quality of life, and the timezones work well for international work. Then there are benefits like the possibility of applying for Portuguese citizenship after 5 years, and access to Portugal’s public and private health system.
Of course, it’s a good idea to do your research before applying, particularly reading up what moving to Portugal entails, and what life the typical expat experience as a digital nomad or remote worker is like.
Option 2) Short Stay Visa for the Globe-Trotting Nomad
Ideal for those that want to stay in Portugal for longer than the Schengen Visa allows.
- Income Requirement: Earn at least four times the Portuguese minimum wage (around €3040 p/month in 2023).
- Citizenship: No, unless the person moves to a longer-term visa.
The most common type of digital nomad is the nomad who hops around the world, sometimes staying in a new place for a few days, sometimes for a few months. They usually do this on tourist visas and so their limitation is how long that visa allows them to stay. Most don’t stay longer than 6 months to avoid the risk of becoming a tax resident somewhere else (or whatever that country’s tax rules are).
In Portugal (or anywhere in the Schengen Area) that limitation is typically 90 days in every 180 days. That means they can come to Portugal for 3 months, but they have to leave the Schengen Area for 3 months before they can come back again. 3 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.
It’s thought that the new digital nomad visa will allow you to come to Portugal for up to 1 year, making it ideal for those that know they want to come to Portugal for a longer period of time than the Schengen Visa allows. It’s also ideal for those that want to come to Portugal and do everything above board rather than hoping the murky rules about working in another country don’t come back to bite them.
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 6 months. While those staying long-term will be happy to make the transition to paying taxes in Portugal, those staying for a shorter period of time may not feel the hassle is worth it.
Will I be Able to Apply for Citizenship?
After living in Portugal for five years, you can apply for citizenship through naturalisation.
You might be able to apply even earlier. Starting in 2024, the time counts from when you apply for residency, not when you actually get your residency card like before. In the past, it could take 6-12 months to settle in Portugal and get your residency permit, which meant waiting an extra year to apply for citizenship.
Now, by the time you move to Portugal, you’ll already have a few months that count towards applying for citizenship.
Other Visa Options
As well as the digital nomad visa, there are several other residency visas that may suit nomadic professionals who are looking for residency in Portugal as well as a path to citizenship.
- The D7: This is aimed at those with a passive income, i.e. an income they don’t actively work for. If you have income from rental properties or investments, for example, this could be worth considering, especially as the minimum monthly requirements are lower.
- The Golden Visa: This is aimed at those with cash to invest, typically €500,000 or more. The benefit is that you only need to spend an average of seven days per year in Portugal to maintain your residency.
- The D2: This visa is aimed at those that want to start a business in Portugal. Although the minimum monthly requirements are lower, lawyers typically discourage people from applying for this visa as the requirements and more vague and the person reviewing it has a lot more discretionary powers to say yes or no.
What About Those with an “EU Passport”?
If you hold a passport from an EU country like Spain or Ireland, you don’t need to apply for a visa to come to Portugal on either a short or long-term basis. However, if you’re planning on staying long-term, you will need to apply for residency and check what the tax implications are, particularly if you stay for longer than 6 months.