A Guide to Portugal’s Different Residence Permits (D1-D9)

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Written by: | Last updated on February 9, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 6 minutes

Portugal offers a number of residency visas that allow you to move to Portugal and obtain residency here.

The most popular is probably the D7, which is aimed at those with a passive income such as a pension, however it’s not the only option. You could also start a business in Portugal via the D2, support yourself with a salary from a remote job via the D8, or take up a job in Portugal via the D1 or D3 visas.

Note: EU/EEA/Swiss citizens normally follow a different process.


The D1 is aimed at professionals who can show acceptance of an offer of employment in Portugal. In order for the visa to be granted, the company advertising the position will need to show that the position was advertised in Portugal and within the EU and that they were unable to find a suitable candidate who’s a Portuguese or EU citizen.

While you do not need to be a highly qualified specialist to qualify for this visa, the company hiring does need to show that they were unable to find someone suitable within Portugal or the EU, which is obviously quite difficult unless you have very unique skills.


The D2 is aimed at entrepreneurs, or those with an entrepreneurial spirit, that want to move to Portugal and start a business, transfer an existing business to Portugal, buy a company in Portugal, or purchase a stake in a company in Portugal. It is sometimes referred to as the entrepreneur visa or business visa.

If you have a business idea, this could be a great opportunity to start that business — and start a new life in Portugal. You’ll need to show a solid business plan, and ideally relevant experience as well as capital to inject. There is no minimum investment amount, which is one of the main selling points of this visa over other European entrepreneur visas, but it should be an adequate amount for the business you intend to build.

Read more about the D2

D3 (HQA Visa)

The D3 is more commonly referred to as the Highly Qualified Activity Visa or HQA and is aimed at highly qualified professionals from specific industries who wish to be employed in Portugal.

It’s suitable for those that already have an offer of employment, providing that offer is for at least 12 months and the renumeration is at least 1.5 times the Portuguese minimum wage.

Unlike the D1, the employer does not need to show that they advertised the job in Portugal and Europe but were unable to fill it. However, this visa does need to show that you have specific qualification.

HQA Visa for Investors

The HQA visa for investors and entrepreneurs offers residency in return for starting a business in Portugal with at least €175,000 of capital and the backing of an approved Portuguese incubator. Although some firms are marketing this as the new golden visa, this visa is specifically aimed at highly qualified professionals.


The D4 is aimed at international students that want to study in Portugal for a at least a year or more. Because of this, it often isn’t suitable for many language courses, which are often only for a few months at a time. It is also suitable for interns and volunteers, as well as those attending attending professional courses at educational institutions, as long as the project or studies last for more than 1 year.


The D5 is aimed at international students who are already studying in another European country that want to transfer their studies to Portugal or study in Portugal for a period (e.g. to spend a year studying in Portugal as part of a transfer or sandwich program).


The D6 is the family reunification visa. It is aimed at those non-EU citizens (e.g. those from the USA or India) who are resident in Portugal that want to bring a family member to Portugal. Approved family members include a spouse or partner, dependent children, and dependent parents.

EU citizens (e.g. those from France or Ireland) can also bring family members to Portugal, but the process is slightly different.

Read more about the D6


The D7 is aimed at those with a regular, and ideally passive, income. The most commonly suggested income sources are a pension or social security, income from a rental property, royalties, or income from dividends. Although not exclusively aimed at retirees, it is often called the retirement visa or passive income visa.

Applicants need to show an income that’s at least equivalent to the Portuguese minimum wage (€820 per month in 2024) but the higher the income, the more likely they are to be accepted.

Read more about the D7


More commonly known as the “digital nomad visa,” the D8 is aimed at remote workers who have a regular income that comes from outside of Portugal, usually in the form of a salary or regular income from clients.

Applicants need to show at least 4 times the Portuguese minimum wage, which equates to around €3,280 (€820*4).

As with most other residence permits, it’s likely to appeal to people that want to live in Portugal long-term (e.g. 5 years or more), however the visa also makes provisions for those that want to live in Portugal for up to 1 year.

Read more about the digital nomad visa

D9 (Golden Visa)

The D9 or ARI (usually referred to as the golden visa) is a visa program that offers residency in Portugal in return for making an investment in Portugal. Investments can take many forms, such as investing in a business or venture capital fund, but the most appealing option for most people is likely to be investing in a fund.

The minimum investment amount is typically €500,000. It’s also possible to make a donation to a qualifying organisation for as little as €200,000 (although typically €250,000). Although this route is slightly cheaper, most people opt to invest rather than donate.

Read more about the golden visa


Citizens of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) are eligible for a residence permit that allows them to stay in Portugal for up to one year, with the possibility of renewal in two-year increments.

The CPLP countries consists of Portugal, Cape Verde, Brazil, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, and Mozambique.

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 3 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.


  1. Any chance a professional salary from work outside of Portugal/EU, but only for a few times a year, could be approved for a D7? In essense, work 3-4 months outside Portugal/EU, then live in Portugal 8-9 months of the year?

  2. So which one is appropriate for a student who wishes to attend the Curso Anual de Portugue^s para Estrangeiros at Coimbra or Lisbon University ?

    This Course is full time, and for one or two semesters.

    But even if you sign up for both semesters that is from late September to early June. Not quite a year.

    But there must be a Visa appropriate to this Course otherwise how could anyone from outside the EU attend it ?


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