Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa: Updated for 2024

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Written by: | Last updated on February 28, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 10 minutes

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)

Temporary StayResidence Visa
Duration12 Months24 Months
RenewableYesYes (for 36 months)
AccommodationMin 4 month leaseMin 12 month lease
Minimum Salary€3,280 p/m*€3,280 p/m*
Portugal Bank Account RequiredSome ConsulatesYes (not all require)
Police ClearanceYesYes
Family ReunificationNoYes

(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 These websites can now be considered out of date.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 This information is also out of date).

Eligibility

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)

A lot of digital nomads come to Portugal and end up setting down here, particularly in nomad hubs like Lisbon, Madeira, Ericeira, and the Algarve (particularly Lagos).

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:

  1. Motivation Letter: Why she wanted to move to Portugal
  2. Travel Insurance: She used Safety Wing
  3. Flight Itinerary (not the actual ticket): This laid out her desired timeline.
  4. 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. 
  5. Canadian Banking and Investment Amounts: This was to show she had proof of funds.
  6. Portuguese Bank Account: She also opened a Portuguese bank account and funded it with €10,000 and took a screenshot of that page too. 
  7. 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. 
  8. Criminal Background Check: She purchased a Canadian background check from MyCRC
  9. 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:

CompanyAverage DeliveryBankCostWebsite
Anchorless.io3-4 WeeksMillennium BCP€389.25 with code PORTUGALIST25Visit Website
E-Residence3-4 WeeksNovobanco€437 with code PORTUGALIST*Visit Website
Bordr3-4 WeeksMillennium BCP$460 Visit Website
visas.pt2-3 WeeksNovobanco€395Visit Website
Novomove2-3 WeeksNovobanco€349 with code PortugalistVisit Website

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.

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.

You can contact James by emailing james@portugalist.com or via the site's contact form.

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There are 36 comments on this article. Join the conversation and add your own thoughts, reviews, and stories of life in Portugal. However, please remember to be civil.

Comments

  1. Hi James, Thanks for your response.

    To clarify, I would want my base to be in Portugal, but not a specific place in Portugal; and I would want to travel to other places in Europe. Essentially, I would be working and selling my work as a fine art photographer where landscape is an important element. I am a retired lecturer / photographer, hence having a decent pension and other investments. My photographic work is an easy and enjoyable source of additional income.

    I’ve just bought your book by the way…..Anthony

    Reply
  2. Surely the whole point of wanting a DNV is the flexibility to move…around Portugal and other countries. That would be important for my business. Requiring a 1yr lease at a fixed address negates that (unless I have money to waste). Ideally, I’d want to use my mobile home for my work….which can be done from anywhere I can connect my computer to the internet.

    I do have one question however; I will struggle to make the D8 min income requirements each month; but I also have a passive income that would exceed it. Will it be my total income that is taken into consideration if I apply for a visa?

    Reply
    • Hi Anthony,

      I think using the name “digital nomad visa” doesn’t really help explain what this is. Rather than being a digital nomad visa, this is a visa for people with active income from outside Portugal. A lot of digital nomads in Portugal come here to live and settle down after years of travelling, so I think this was what the perception of a digital nomad was from the point of view of the Portuguese government.

      If you have passive income, the D7 might be an alternative. I’ll drop you an email.

      Reply
  3. I’ve heard that the shorter stay D8 does have family reunification through something called the Temporary Stay accompanying family visa. Is this true?

    Reply
  4. Would anyone be able to provide info on how to do the visa application online and what the reasons would be to avoid SEF? Thanks. Currently in EU and looking to apply directly in Portugal rather than flying to country of origin and back again to the EU ($$)

    Reply
  5. So if you earn less than €2.8k a month is this visa completely ruled out? What visa is the best route for those able to work remotely but not meeting the minimum of €2.8k a month? Are there any other suitable options?

    Reply
  6. Does the proof of accommodation requirement mean you have to rent a place for a year like the D7 or will Airbnb be acceptable?

    Will there be a minimum savings amount?

    Reply
  7. Looks like this is essentially the D7 but for remote workers and freelancers. I would consider a digital nomad visa to be something that offers some kind of tax exemption. This is more of a residency visa, especially the long-term section. The short-term section (up to 1 year) is a temporary stay visa but as there has been no changes to the tax law it seems that it will also make you tax resident after 6 months. So it’s okay if you want to spend more than 90 days but less than 183 days. But I don’t know why anyone would want to stay between 6 and 12 months as it involves becoming tax resident in Portugal for a short amount of time but still carrying on work for companies outside of Portugal. This is likely to become messy.

    As someone else pointed out you can apply through SEF but avoiding SEF is definitely the best option. Better to apply through the consulate or through VFS who will likely be managing applications for consulates in a lot of places. First step would be to contact the consulate though.

    In terms of documents I’ve been told I’ll need the following:
    Passport photos
    Valid passport
    Proof of income (e.g. services provided for freelancers or work contract for employees)
    Proof of 2820 euros per month income (before tax most likely given people will have different taxes and pension contributions)
    Schengen Travel insurance
    Criminal record certificate for every country you’ve resided for more than 1 year
    Criminal record check from SEF to show no criminal records in Portugal
    Roundtrip flights (presumably not for the long-term stay. This one is also a bit of a pain for nomads since they don’t always know what they’ll be doing in a few months. It’s likely people will book a lot of flights to places outside of the Schengen like the UK or Croatia)
    Documents showing current fiscal residence

    No mention so far of NIFs or Portuguese bank accounts or savings but as with the D7 this could be down to the individual consulate or VFS office

    Reply
  8. This visa is being marketed as a way to move to Portugal and work from the beach but there are a lot of facts that aren’t being considered

    Stay in Portugal for 183 days and you’ll become tax resident there!!
    You’ll have to pay social security too. Most people don’t want a Portuguese pension so they’ll be contributing to social security elsewhere as well.
    The minimum income amount is higher than most people would want. That amount would be fine for Lisbon but they should have lower amounts if you move to other parts of Portugal
    There are cheaper digital nomad visas around the world. Of course this is a visa for an EU country so it should be priced higher than places like Medellin
    Most companies aren’t going to let you go and work from Portugal unless they have a physical presence there. And no company is going to open a physical presence just so you can work from there. The way these digital nomad visas are written about is completely inaccurate.
    Prices in Lisbon are high. Lots of newspapers say you can get an apartment for €700 but this is simply not true. Try double that.

    Reply
  9. I can see why PT government wants digital nomads.

    – They are young unlike the retirees Portugal normally attracts and so are less likely to be a strain on the Portuguese NHS
    – They have their own income and seem capable of finding and getting remote work again unlike retirees who are not skilled in this area
    – They are unlikely to look for jobs locally (see point above)
    – They have enough disposable income to rent and this new system will probably see SEF require nomads to have an official rental contract aka the government gets to see its tax dollars

    But it seems like the government has just accepted that places like Lisbon are going to become unaffordable for the Portuguese. Algarve also seems this way but I guess the Portuguese gave up on the Algarve a long time ago. Lisbon will just be filled with laptop carrying foreigners who don’t integrate with locals or try learning Portuguese.

    It’s like the PT government is downsizing the country, getting all the Portuguese to move out of Lisbon, renting out Lisbon to foreigners and trying to live off the Lisbon income.

    Reply
  10. I have done a lot of digging on this nomad visa and this is what I have concluded.

    – I believe the visa will ask 2820 per month and not the smaller figure. You must have hit this amount in 3 of the last 4 months. This is €33,840, which isn’t that giant a salary. Some people are complaining about it but it’s not a lot. Most people in North America and a lot of Europe will be bringing this home.
    – The application will be through the consulates so you would apply in your country of residence. Some people said that you could apply through SEF if you were already in Portugal but from what I’ve heard SEF are not an organisation you want to deal with. Maybe its better to go home and apply if you’re already here 🙂
    – If you spend more than 183 days you will become a tax paying resident in Portugal. I think a few people coming on the 12 month visa could get caught out with this. Most will be still paying tax in another country. It will be possible to only pay tax once if there’s a double tax treaty between the countries but this is much too much paperwork for the average digital nomad.
    – It could be a good deal if you want to come to Portugal for more than 90 days but less than 183 days as you won’t need to start paying Portuguese taxes yet. Maybe you need to tell the Portuguese government that you are staying less than 183 days otherwise the tax man will send you a letter in the mail
    – If you do become a tax resident you could apply for NHR. For those with big salaries this could be very nice. But with the cost of social security I couldn’t see that it was any better than paying tax in Germany on 100k. I believe it is better than paying tax in Ireland. BUT these figures do not take into account deductions (like healthcare) which do not seem possible on NHR. You will also need to pay social security at 21% on the 80%.
    – Nobody is talking about the fact that employers will not want their employees working from Portugal as it will mean social security contributions in Portugal. Big paperwork pain in the a$$!
    – Some people are saying you can come to Portugal and pay no tax. This doesn’t seem to be true. Sad!
    – You could come to Portugal and not tell your employer that you’ve applied for this visa as a job contract letter can be enough. But it’s going to get messy when Portugal starts asking for taxes and social security and you’ve already paid these elsewhere. You can claim back if there’s a double taxation treaty but this sounds like another pain in the A$$.
    – BUT I think this is a good visa for those that want to move to Portugal and are willing to become tax resident there. It’s clearer than the D7 and it has a specific income amount. You can get citizenship if you go this way.
    – NOBODY knows anything about this visa including lawyers and people in SEF. This seems to be common in Portugal but it is worrying. The whole thing was announced to grab news headlines without any consideration on how the thing will work. Again this seems to be common in Portugal.
    – Nothing has been mentioned about minimum stay requirements. This will likely be 6 or 8 months of the year. That’s definitely less flexibility than most digital nomads (even those that want to move to a European country) want. It’s not clear whether this will be tracked if you travel on land though.
    – It’s not clear what happens if you have to travel for work. Can you spend less than the 6-8 months in the year? This will affect a lot of digital nomads especially those that have businesses that involve travel by their nature.
    – This visa will offer all of the same benefits that other visas offer (studying, healthcare, family reunification, etc)
    – Other digital nomad visas like the one in Bali don’t tax you but you don’t get benefits like healthcare so it depends on your goals. Also Portugal is a European country with all of the benefits that come with that. Bali is a developing country.

    Reply
  11. You haven’t commented on the socio-economic effects of digital nomads in Portugal. Higher house prices, higher rents, more strain on resources like public transport, non-integration within Portuguese society and earning differences between foreigners and natives…

    Reply
  12. Ok, so I work for the US company. US companies can legally hire people abroad (as remote workers too) only if they have a physical presence in the country, or hire an Employer of Record. There is no third way. In both cases local subsidiaries must run a locally compliant payroll – practically a domestic companies that hire. When it comes to taxes and social contributions.
    It is so easy to say that the visa is aimed at people who work for the foreign companies, but when it comes to proof, those companies will have to resort to local hiring, or no hiring at all – despite the fact that remote worker’s salaries are coming from the US. Portuguese government can adopt a law about pink unicorns, but there are practical legal steps that must be obeyed, and that is where it really gets messy in Portugal.

    Reply
  13. Again, there will be issues with this, namely tax issues. Foreign companies cannot, in great majority of cases, allow their workers to work remotely without having a physical presence in the country, or using Employer of Record – and in both cases those entities run a local payroll despite the fact that the foreign company is paying the salary.
    If anyone is smart enough to understand how to deal with this, I am all ears.

    Reply
  14. Again, there will be issues with this, namely tax issues. Foreign companies cannot, in great majority of cases, allow their workers to work remotely without having a physical presence in the country, or using Employer of Record – and in both cases those entities run a local payroll despite the fact that the foreign company is paying the salary.
    If anyone is smart enough to understand how to deal with this, I am all ears.

    Reply
  15. Hey guys,

    This was a good informative article but now it’s been 5 days from 24th Sept but not able to find any info on this new DNV for Portugal. Neither VFS nor Google returns anything but this article.Does anyone has any official source of this info?

    Thanks

    Reply
  16. Any official updates on where to find the application details associated with this, or any details at all? VFS isn’t updated and I cannot find anything online except for this post.

    Reply
  17. Any official updates on where to find the application details associated with this, or any details at all? VFS isn’t updated and I cannot find anything online except for this post.

    Reply
  18. The long stay version of this looks to be similar to Spain’s digital nomad visa which they just announced but perhaps better. It takes 10 years to get citizenship in Spain vs 5 in Portugal. The Spanish visa might offer a better rate of tax for the first 4 years (15% base rate) but this is the base rate and so Portugal’s NHR flat rate of 20% might be better. Both seem to offer family reunification.

    Lots of EU counties trying to attract digital nomads now. Portugal will need to make sure this is competitive.

    Reply
  19. I wonder if the minimum income requirement will be more than the (inaccurate) €700 per month figure that was given for the D7. Given that most digital nomads live in Lisbon it seems unlikely they would be able to survive on €700 per month. A reasonable room seems to cost at least €400 per month and an apartment at least €900. You could move to another part of Portugal but I have yet to meet many digital nomads in the center of Portugal.

    Reply
    • Good point. The other digital nomad hotspots (Ericeira, Lagos, and Ponta do Sol) all have higher than average rents as well.

      A lot of nomad visas in other countries have set minimums (e.g. €24,000 for Malaysia) and some have minimum savings requirements as well. It will be interesting to see if Portugal has a minimum amount.

      Reply
  20. This seems promising but as usual the proof will be in the pudding. There is only a line or two in the law. It will be down to interpretation and that’s where everything gets messy in Portugal. It would be great if this was as painfree as the USA’s ETSA but my guess is it won’t be.

    Basically the 6 month digital nomad visa will be an extended tourist visa. It means people can come and stay here for 6 months and spend money by renting Airbnbs and spending money in restaurants and at the supermarkets. It will be interesting to see which group become more valuable to the economy. Short term tourists might only come for a week and spend a lot of money but nomads will potentially be here for six months so may spend more money in that time.

    Reply
  21. @Stuart Wood

    SEF won’t cope. Portugal loves to issue new visas or talk about how it wants more foreigners moving there but they never mention the fact that their immigration system is completely backlogged. Yes you can move to Portugal but once you move here you’ll wait months and maybe even years to get an appointment with SEF. You can stay here of course but you won’t be able to travel or leave the Schengen Area while you’re waiting on an appointment.

    Reply
  22. @George

    It’s a visa for those with an income. Savings isn’t an income. I imagine it’ll be like the D7 where savings generally weren’t accepted as they were looking for regular passive income.

    Also starting an Etsy shop may not be enough. They will probably be looking for proof that you can support yourself.

    Reply
  23. Good morning I found this information very informative I would like to look into it a bit more I have visited Portugal before many years ago now that I have reached my Senior Status I would love to spend more time there or possibly live there for an extended time again many thanks for this information
    Kind Regards,
    E.Floyd Forth Jr.

    Reply
  24. Interesting that a new visa type can be introduced at short notice, but biometric cards for resident ex pats have still not been rolled out after two years and there is still confusion at border crossings using the QR codes. I wonder how SEF will cope with this additional workload!

    Reply
  25. If in the process of setting up an online business (on Etsy for example) could we still apply for this visa with bank savings rather than a monthly income? I’ve been trying to contact the consulate in London but the phone just rings off the hook for 2hrs!

    Reply
  26. Thanks for the article and this info about DNV. I was thinking of applying for a D7 and was not aware at all that Portugal is coming up with a dedicated DNV. Now I would rather go with DNV and hoping it doesn’t have any complicated requirements specially when it comes to salary required.

    Is there a way I can subscribe to your posts on the site so I can keep myself updated, I did not find any subscription service?

    Reply
  27. So this makes Portugal more appealing than other European digital nomad destinations like Gran Canaria, Barcelona, Berlin, Riga etc where you can only get the 90 day schengen entry. But is this separate for schengen? Can I come to Portugal for 180 days on the digital nomad visa and then go to a schengen country like Spain for 90?

    Reply

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