Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa [The D8]

/ Last Updated: July 24, 2023 / 35 Comments

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Portugal offers a visa for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and it’s aimed at digital nomads, freelancers, and remote workers. For a long time Portugal has attracted digital nomads, but most non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens obtained residency through the D7 or D2 visas and sometimes the golden visa. As a response to the popularity of Portugal among digital nomads, Portugal has created a special new visa that’s specifically designed for digital nomads, freelancers, and remote workers: the D8 (often just called ‘the digital nomad visa’).

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 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’)

Temporary Stay
Residence Visa
12 Months
24 Months
Yes (for 36 months)
Min 4 month lease
Min 12 month lease
Minimum Salary
€3,040 p/m*
€3,040 p/m*
Portugal Bank Account Required
Some Consulates
Yes (not all require)
Police Clearance
Family Reunification

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 These websites can now be considered out of date.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 This information is also out of date)

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 NHR regime.

  • Income Requirement: Earn at least four times the Portuguese minimum wage (around €3040 p/month in 2023)
  • 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 €3,040 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:

Fiscal Representation
$140 when you use code PORTUGALIST
Less than 1 week
1 Year
From €89 when you use code PORTUGALIST
3-10 days (depending on selected option)
1 Year
Up to 14 Days
1 Year

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 NHR tax regime, the possibility of applying for Portuguese citizenship after 5 years, and access to Portugal’s public and private health system. Oh, and there’s Portugal’s seemingly positive attitude to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, at least while that lasts.

Of course, it’s a good idea to do your research before applying and, if the NHR regime is a major pull, perhaps speak to a professional to make sure your income qualifies (and to see whether NHR is actually the best way to be taxed). It’s also worth reading up what moving to Portugal entails, and what life the typical expat experience as a digital nomad or remote worker is like.

Nomad visa vs the D7

Although the income requirement is higher than what the D7 was, there are a couple of reasons this particular visa is potentially better:

  • Rather than being referred to as a “passive income visa” or “retirement visa,” it’s clear this visa is aimed at digital nomads and freelancers.
  • The residency permit lasts for 5 years rather than 2, so there are fewer renewals.
  • You can apply at a Portuguese consulate in your home country OR through SEF in Portugal.

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.

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 two visas that are most likely to appeal are the golden visa and the D7 visa.

The Golden Visa

Ideal for those that want residency and a pathway to citizenship but full freedom to travel.

  • Income Requirement: Investment options start from €280,000
  • Citizenship: Yes (application possible after 5 years)

For a long time, Portugal’s most famous residency visa was the golden visa. This is a type of visa that offers residency in Portugal in return for making an investment in Portugal. There are a number of investment routes, from investing in hotel redevelopment programs to simply transferring a sum of cash to a Portuguese bank, but the most popular option for a lot of investors is to simply buy a residential property in Portugal (eligible amounts start from €280,000).

Most nomads don’t have €280,000 to invest, but if you do, this could be a very appealing route to residency because it only requires you to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal. Other visas typicallyrequire you to spend 6+ months, which may eat into your plans to travel the globe.

The downside, of course, is the cash you need to invest. Not only do you need to invest at least €280,000 (€500,000 is the typical amount) but there are also other costs, such as government fees, to factor in. However, if you have the money and don’t want to spend the majority of the year in Portugal, it’s certainly an option to consider.

The D7

Ideal for those with passive income, such as income from rental properties.

  • Income Requirement: At least equal to the Portuguese minimum wage (around €760 per month)
  • Citizenship: Yes (application possible after 5 years)

Prior to the introduction of the “digital nomad visa,” when most people talked about Portugal’s digital nomad visa, they were actually referring to the D7 (and lots of websites still refer to this). While this wasn’t initially designed for applicants with income from remote jobs and freelance work, many were able to successfully obtain residency through this visa.

It’s expected now that the D7 will revert to being more of a “passive income” visa, but this may still suit some digital nomads who have income from sources like:

  • Rental income from properties
  • Dividends
  • Royalties
  • Pensions (if an older digital nomad)

The income threshold for the D7 is much lower than the digital nomad visa: most websites say more than the Portuguese minimum wage, which is a little over €700 per month. While you probably need more money to survive in Portugal, in practice, this threshold is about a quarter that of what the digital nomad visa asks for.

However, if you’ve spent any time researching the D7, you’ll know that applying isn’t always straightforward. Different consulates have different requirements and an increasing number require you to have a NIF number, funded Portuguese bank account, and one-year lease (or property deeds) before you make the application.

Spain vs Portugal for Digital Nomad Visas

Portugal isn’t the only European country to offer a digital nomad visa, and many nomads will also be looking at Spain’s visa as well. There are pros and cons to both visas, as discussed here, but some of the biggest selling points of Portugal’s nomad visa are:

  • Citizenship application can be made after 5 years versus 10 years
  • Portugal’s NHR tax regime seems to be a better deal than the tax benefits Spain’s digital nomad visa offers

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.

Originally published: August 2022 & Last Updated: July 24, 2023.