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D7 Visa Portugal: All of the Answers

By Bernardo Barbosa

Published on 9 January 2024

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From the Portuguese Non-Habitual Residency regime to the Portugal Golden Visa, the Portuguese Government introduced several programs for non-EU citizens to apply for a temporary residence permit and, ultimately, obtain Portuguese citizenship. Out of all of them, the D7 Visa Portugal is perhaps the most accessible.

Also known as the Portugal Passive Income Visa and Portugal Retirement Visa, the D7 Visa is perfect for retirees and people living off a steady stable income who are seeking Portuguese residency status.

So, if you were born outside the European Union and dream of living in sunny Portugal, this article is for you! Below, we have all of the answers to your questions about the Portugal D7 Visa.

What is the D7 Visa Portugal?

The Portugal D7 Visa is a Portuguese residence permit attributed to people who wish to live in Portugal without engaging in any specific work there. For that reason, the D7 Visa is often referred to as the Passive Income Visa or Retirement Visa.

After successfully obtaining a temporary residence permit, the D7 Visa holder can apply for a permanent residence permit and Portuguese citizenship. While a favorite among retirees from outside of the European Union, the Portugal D7 Visa is destined for anyone who meets the minimum passive income requirements stipulated by Portuguese law.

Who is the D7 Visa For?

The Portugal D7 Visa is much more than just a retirement visa. It can be attributed to people of all ages and social backgrounds (as well as their family members), as long as they meet the requirement of earning sufficient regular passive income. This regular income must be foreign-sourced income, as people working in Portugal cannot use the money they make in the country to apply for the D7 Visa.

Aside from retirees cashing in on their pensions, many live off passive income. Some forms of passive income covered by the Portugal D7 Visa include income coming from real estate (such as rental income), intellectual property (such as copyright-related revenue), and financial investments (such as stock dividends).

While this income needs to be foreign-sourced income, the D7 Visa holder is still free to work and earn money in Portugal.

In sum, you can apply for the Portugal D7 Visa if:

  • You're not an EU, EEA, or Swiss national.
  • You earn at least as much as the Portuguese minimum wage in passive income monthly.
  • Your passive income comes from outside of Portugal.

Below, we will be learning more about the requirements of the Portugal D7 Visa. But first, let's take a look at some of the main advantages and disadvantages of opting for the D7 Visa.

Advantages of the Portugal D7 Visa

These are some of the most significant benefits of the Portugal D7 Visa:

  • Portuguese citizenship: After getting a Portuguese permanent residence permit, the D7 Visa holder just needs to wait five years to obtain Portuguese citizenship and be granted all the usual rights of Portuguese residents.
  • Visa-free travel: Any Portuguese citizen is free to travel in the Schengen area without an international Portuguese passport, and D7 Visa applicants can do so too once they obtain Portuguese residency and citizenship.
  • Health insurance: Once you've been granted your Portugal D7 Visa, you get to enjoy low-priced health insurance coverage just like all other Portuguese tax residents. You're also free to buy medical insurance to pay for additional medical expenses and access other services partly or fully sponsored by the Portuguese Government, such as the excellent Portuguese national education service.
  • Extension to family members: The primary applicant can choose to include their family members in the visa application process.
  • Freedom to work in Portugal: If he or she meets the minimum passive income requirements stipulated by Portuguese law, the D7 Visa holder has total freedom to work, sell services, and even start a business in Portugal.
  • Affordability: Compared to other Portuguese residence permit programs such as the Portugal Golden Visa program, the Portugal D7 Visa is extremely affordable. The Portugal Golden Visa can cost as much as five to ten times more than the D7 Visa, and we're only taking legal costs into account! While the D7 Visa requires you to establish tax residency in Portugal, it doesn't require you to buy real estate or make huge capital transfers. In most cases, a rental agreement is more than enough to seal the deal.

Disadvantages of the Portugal D7 Visa

There's a lot of good to Portugal's passive income visa, but what about the bad?

These are the main disadvantages of the Portugal D7 Visa:

  • Legal representation costs: As we'll see, the Portugal D7 Visa application process requires you to get a Portuguese tax number (NIF) and Portuguese bank account before moving into Portugal. This means that you'll most likely need to pay a legal representative to deal with the Portuguese Government on your behalf.
  • Apartment-hunting: Before being granted a permanent residence permit, you need to establish legal residence (i.e., have a Portuguese address) by finding a place to live in Portugal. Doing so while living outside of the country can be very difficult, especially since the rental income market in Portugal is kind of crazy right now.
  • Tax residency: Before getting your Portuguese passport and citizenship, you need to spend more than 183 days per year in Portugal for a few years. This means that you will most likely have to pay personal income tax and meet other local fiscal obligations, just like any other Portuguese resident.
  • Waiting time: You may have to wait at least three to six months before being granted the Portugal D7 Visa. It's a long waiting time, but still significantly less than the Portugal Golden Visa (for example).
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Can You Apply for the D7 Visa?

We have already touched on the topic of the eligibility criteria for the D7 Visa, but now it's time to get the full picture by being a bit more specific. Below, you can find all the information you need to know if you (and your family members too) can apply for the D7 Visa Portugal:

Eligibility Criteria

To be granted a residence permit through the D7 Visa, you need to prove that:

  • You have a source of passive income: Passive income refers to earnings that are generated from activities in which a person is not actively involved or participating regularly. It's income that doesn't require direct, ongoing effort to maintain and, most importantly, that won't just disappear out of nowhere.
  • You have a year of savings and you have deposited it into a Portuguese bank account: The deposited savings need to correspond to at least twelve times the Portuguese minimum salary, which adds up to a minimum of €9,840.
  • You have a clean criminal record: A clean criminal record typically refers to an absence of any convictions or serious offenses. However, what exactly constitutes a clean criminal record might differ based on several factors. In the context of the D7 visa, the clean criminal record documents need to be issued by the country or countries where you've previously had permanent residence.

Requirements for Family Members

There are six types of relatives covered by the D7 Visa, similar to the ones covered by the Golden Visa application. They are:

1. Spouse or legal partner.

2. Dependent child.

3. The applicant's parents.

4. The applicant's siblings, if under 18.

5. The spouse or legal partner's parents.

6. The spouse or legal partner's siblings, if under 18.

Getting a residence permit for your relatives, however, doesn't come free...

The minimum income requirements for each additional relative in your Portugal D7 visa application are also calculated according to Portugal's minimum salary. For each child, you need to add 30% to your minimum monthly passive income (+€246) and one-year savings (+€2,952). For other relatives, the sum amounts to 50% (respectively, +€410 and +€4,920).

So, to sum things up:

Minimum Passive Income Requirements for the Primary Applicant

  • €820 per month.
  • €9,840 in a Portuguese bank account.

Minimum Passive Income Requirements for Other Applicants

  • Additional €246 per month per child.
  • Additional €2,952 in a Portuguese bank account per child.
  • Additional €410 per month per other relative.
  • Additional €4,920 in a Portuguese bank account per other relative.

Application Process: Step-by-Step Guide

Dreaming of that permanent residency in Portugal already?

Here's how you can go from a foreign passive income earner to a full-blown legal-residency Portuguese national in just seven steps:

1. Consider Getting Professional Help

The D7 visa application process can be frustratingly hard to navigate, especially if you have no friends or family in Portugal. You need to get some stuff in order before even being awarded a residence permit, and these can be hard to pull off if you don't find yourself—physically—in Portugal. Additionally, your local Portuguese consulate may not be ideally equipped to help you obtain Portuguese residency.

For this reason, you may want to consider paying someone with professional training (such as a lawyer) to help you with the D7 application process!

2. Get a NIF Number and a Portuguese Bank Account

Before obtaining your initial residency permit, you need to get a Portuguese NIF number and a Portuguese bank account.

This is required to apply for a residence permit via the Portugal D7 Visa and can be easily achieved with the help of a Portuguese legal representative. The Portuguese Consulate in your country of origin can also be a useful resource for this purpose.

Remember to start by getting a Portuguese NIF number, as this will make it a whole lot easier to open a bank account.

3. Find a Place to Live in Portugal

A residence permit is no good without a residence. For that reason, all D7 visa applicants are required to find a place to live in Portugal before being granted their temporary visa.

Unlike the Golden Visa scheme, the Portugal D7 Visa application process doesn't mandate that you have to buy property in Portugal. A rental agreement is more than enough to convince Portugal's Immigration and Border Services of your residency status.

4. Gather all Necessary Documents

Before submitting your D7 visa application to Portugal's Border Services, ensure that all necessary documentation is in order. If you miss just one document, the whole process will drag down and you'll have to wait even longer to obtain your D7 visa residence permit.

Right below, we will tell you exactly which documents are required for a successful D7 visa application.

5. Submit your D7 Visa Application

Step five is to submit your Portugal D7 Visa Portugal to the Portuguese border authority, i.e., the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF), and wait for your residence permit.

Waiting time is usually a few months, but can vary.

6. Apply for a Renewal

Your residence permit is just a temporary visa. Two years after being issued your D7 Visa, you are required to apply for a renewal. This re-application process is mainly necessary for informing the relevant authorities that you still receive sufficient passive income.

If you no longer fit the D7 Visa original requirements, your residency permit won't be renewed.

7. Obtain Portuguese Citizenship

Everybody wants to get their hands on a much-coveted Portuguese passport, and getting Portuguese citizenship is the end goal of any D7 Visa application.

To officially become a Portuguese citizen and obtain a Portuguese permanent residence through the D7 Visa, you must:

  • Maintain a Portuguese residency for at least 5 years.
  • Maintain a clean criminal record.
  • Fill out all other mandatory citizenship requirements, such as completing a Portuguese language test.

By becoming a Portuguese national, you can access advantages all Portuguese tax residents enjoy, such as tax benefits, permanent legal residence, state-sponsored health insurance, and visa-free travel.

Documents Required for the Application Process

Step four of the D7 Visa application process is to gather all of the following documents:

1. SEF application form.

2. Passport issued by your country of origin.

3. Clean certificate of criminal records issued by your country of origin and all other countries where you have maintained legal residency.

4. Application for consultation of the aforementioned criminal records by SEF.

5. Proof of Portuguese residency, i.e., proof that you have rented or bought a house in Portugal.

6. Document proving that you have sufficient passive income to qualify for a residency permit.

7. Portuguese bank statement proving that you have sufficient savings to qualify for a residency permit.

8. Proof of health insurance coverage.

9. Proof of travel insurance coverage.

10. Two passport-size photos (identical).

How Much Does the D7 Visa Cost? (An Estimate)

Compared to alternatives such as the Golden Visa application, the D7 Visa application is pretty low-cost. However, it's essential to know what to expect when applying for a residence permit in Portugal.

Main D7 Visa Application Costs

  • Legal fees (if you decide to use a lawyer): €1,000-€2,000
  • Getting a NIF number and Portuguese bank account: €80-€140
  • Finding a place to live: 5-10% commission for property acquisition or at least €2,500 for professional relocation services (they can help you find a rental in Portugal)

Other D7 Visa Application Costs Worth Considering

  • Savings required for obtaining a residency permit: at least €9,840
  • Health insurance: €400-€1,000 annually
  • Travel insurance: €30-€250 per week

Portugal Passive Income Visa: A Round-Up

To round things up, we have summed up the 15 most important things we have learned today about Portugal's much-coveted passive income visa:

1. The D7 Visa grants a residency permit to anyone with enough passive income who desires to get permanent residency in Portugal.

2. You cannot be an EU, EEA, Swiss, or Portuguese resident to apply for the D7 Visa.

3. The D7 Visa grants permanent residency not only for you but also for qualifying family members.

4. You need to earn at least as much as Portugal's wage minimum to qualify for permanent residency with the D7 Visa.

5. If successful, your D7 Visa can ultimately grant you Portuguese citizenship.

6. You must renew your D7 Visa permanent residency permit two years after being granted a residence visa for the first time.

7. To get the residence visa offered by the D7 Visa scheme, you need to deposit at least €9,840 into a bank account located in Portugal.

8. Advantages of the D7 Visa include tax benefits, free Schengen-area access, access to excellent state-sponsored health and educational services, and more.

9. Before even being considered for a temporary residency permit with the D7 Visa, you need to have a Portugal NIF number and deposit account.

10. To qualify for citizenship in Portugal via the D7 Visa, you need to spend at least 183 days per year in the residence associated with your temporary residency permit.

11. The overall cost of applying for the D7 Visa falls anywhere between €1,500 to €7,500 (and it's much higher in case you decide to buy property instead of finding a rental).

12. Compared to other residency visa programs in Portugal, the D7 Visa is much more affordable.

13. The monthly minimum passive income requirements of the D7 Visa are equivalent to the minimum salary in Portugal.

14. The minimum savings requirements (to be deposited in a Portuguese institution) of the D7 Visa are equivalent to twelve Portuguese minimum wages.

15. The D7 Visa application is ultimately reviewed by SEF but needs to be authorized by the Portuguese Consulate. Refer to this page to find the nearest Portuguese Consulate.
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Written by Bernardo Barbosa

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