What Happens If Your Portuguese Visa Application Is Rejected?

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Last updated on March 5, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Facing a visa application rejection can be disheartening, especially when your dreams of moving to Portugal are on the line.

While there are routes to appealing a rejection, prevention is better than the cure here. Namely, it’s much better to get things right the first time around than to go through an appeals process or re-apply.

It’s easy to make mistakes if you’re applying yourself. There is an abundance of outdated or incorrect information online, and if you follow the wrong article, you could easily make a mistake.

For example:

  • Many articles still suggest the D7 is suitable for digital nomads (The D8 is now the visa for freelancers and remote workers).
  • Many articles still list the financial requirements for the D7 as €760 even though the Portuguese minimum wage has since increased. (This also applies to other visas like the D8 and D2 as they are tied to the Portuguese minimum wage as well.)
  • Some articles still state you can purchase a property and qualify for the Portuguese golden visa, even though this is no longer an option.

Sometimes the mistakes are more nuanced. For example, some state that you only need a six-month rental for the D7 or D8. This is partially true as some consulates may only require a six-month lease, however, if you apply at a consulate where they require a 12-month lease, you’re likely to get rejected.

The best way to avoid making a mistake like this is to work with a lawyer.

Understanding Your Right to Respond

Portuguese administrative law offers a safeguard for applicants: the right to defend your application before a final decision is made.

According to Sandra Gomes Pinto, “It’s important to understand that, according to Portuguese administrative law, whenever the authorities are planning to do something that might jeopardise your chances of approval, you are always entitled to defend yourself before that actually happens [source].”

“For example, we had an American D8 client that didn’t have a written labour contract, which isn’t a mandatory requirement in the US or Portugal. However, AIMA requested that he had one. We were able to intervene and work on behalf of our client to make sure they were approved.” 


While a planned visa rejection can be a setback, it’s not necessarily the end of the road. By understanding your rights, and seeking professional guidance, you can improve your chances of turning that potential rejection into an approval.

However, this is a complicated area and you need someone to fight your ground. Working with a lawyer is the best way to do this. Given the possibility of a visa rejection, and the abundance of incorrect information online, it’s a good idea to work with a lawyer from the very beginning.

However, if you haven’t done so, it’s still possible to enlist the services of a lawyer at this point.

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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.