Many of you will be familiar with the Portuguese Golden Visa, but the country’s D7 Visa is one you might not have come across. While less widely known, the D7 Visa is becoming increasingly popular amongst Americans, Canadians, Britons, Middle Easterners, and other citizens wishing to relocate to Portugal.
Due to its passive income requirements, the visa has traditionally been most popular with retirees. It is also a great option for investors with passive income streams such as real estate, movable property, intellectual property, or other financial investments. And, since the pandemic and the rise of remote working, the D7 Visa is being increasingly taken up by the remote workers and digital nomads of the world.
Visa holders and their family members can obtain a two-year residence permit, which can then be renewed to a three-year residence permit. After five years, temporary residents can apply for permanent residency or citizenship. It is also worth mentioning that after only one year of Portuguese residency, new-born children can become Portuguese citizens.
Why should I consider the D7 Visa?
The main draw of the D7 Visa – and what distinguishes it from the country’s—Golden Visa—is that visa holders can obtain a path to residency without having to meet minimum investment thresholds. All you need to qualify is proof of accommodation, and a rental agreement will often suffice.
But for those interested in buying real estate in Portugal, the D7 Visa enables foreigners to move to Portugal and purchase property without having to invest the minimum amount, or adhere to the geographical restrictions, of the Golden Visa.
Other benefits include Portuguese residency within 4-5 months, visa-free travel across the entire Schengen Area, and access to the country’s renowned health care and education services.
You can also gain the right to work and do business within Portugal as an independent professional.
Residency for remote workers & digital nomads
Anyone who can meet the minimum passive income requirements and give proof of a stable recurring income is eligible for the D7 Visa, including remote workers, freelancers and digital nomads employed outside of Portugal.
The pandemic saw the rise of remote working on a global scale and forced workers and businesses alike to adapt to an entirely new working environment. Naturally, people began to question if commuting to work was necessary, or whether they are able to perform just as well from home.
With restrictions lifted, many companies are naturally gravitating back to the office, where people can collaborate in-person and teams can benefit from a sense of cohesion. However, there is also a substantial number of businesses that plan to continue working remotely, and this has given rise to a new wave of workers; geographically flexible, these people have the option to move to, and work from, anywhere in the world.
Subsequently, the D7 Visa has seen an influx of applications from remote workers, as well as freelancers and digital nomads. In the early days of the pandemic, the Portuguese authorities were very liberal in granting D7 visas to this emerging group of expats. However, in recent months, applications meeting the requirements have been known to be rejected. We can only assume this is because the D7 Visa is becoming increasingly popular, and authorities are having to be more selective.
Minimum income requirements
As of May 2022, the minimum required recurring income per month is €705+ which works out at €8,424+ per year. Married couples must have a combined passive income of $1,057.50+ pm ($12,690+ annually). Each adult/minor dependent is an additional cost of $211.50+ pm ($2,538+ annually). For a family of four, the minimum requirement is $1,480.50+ pm ($17,766 annually).
The more passive income you earn, the better—particularly as the visa increases in popularity. Your chances of getting a D7 visa will also be higher if you also have sufficient savings to deposit in a Portuguese bank account.
Under the two-year temporary residence permit, you must spend 16 months in Portugal, assuming your time outside of the country is made up of a number of different trips. If you are absent for a single uninterrupted trip lasting six months, you must be present in Portugal for the remaining 18 months.
Under the three-year subsequent temporary residence permit, requirements are similar by proportion. 28 months must be spent in the country unless you are absent for an uninterrupted period of six months, in which case the remaining 30 months must be spent in Portugal.
If you are not able to comply with these requirements, the Portuguese Golden Visa might be better suited to you.
How much will it cost?
While professional service fees for a Golden Visa can amount to over $30,000, you can expect to pay as little as €2,500 in professional service fees for your D7 Visa application as a single applicant or per married couple. This is another huge advantage of the D7 Visa.
If you’re wishing to relocate to Portugal, rather than acquire a holiday home or buy-to-let property, the D7 Visa could be ideal for you. At the moment, it is relatively under the radar compared to other European visa opportunities, but applications are increasing quickly. Therefore, we recommend that anyone interested in the D7 Visa acts fast.
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