Originally published at: Portugal D7 Visa for Foreigners: The Complete Guide
Portugal offers foreigners a visa called the D7 Visa. It’s also known as the passive income visa.
Retired foreign citizens and foreigners in general living on a regular income can benefit from this.
In this guide, you will find all the details on this visa.
What Is D7 Visa Portugal?
D7 Visa, aka Passive Income Visa, is a special visa granting residence rights to foreigners.
It especially attracts foreign retirees, investors, remote workers, and freelancers living off of their monthly income. This is why it is also called a passive income visa.
Passive income is income that takes little to no effort to earn and maintain. Passive income includes those gained from investments, pensions, real estate rentals, movable properties, and such others.
The requirement is that you need to prove that you have the minimum required amount of income to maintain your life in Portugal.
Type Of The Visa: Residence Permit
The D7 Visa is basically a residence visa allowing you to obtain a residence permit in Portugal. As a first step, it is valid for two entries and grants you the right to stay in Portugal for a period of four months.
Later, when you are in Portugal, you apply for the actual residence permit from the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), bringing additional documentation.
When SEF approves your residency permit, you will receive a residence card which is valid for two years. After this period, you can renew it every two years. Finally, you can apply for a permanent residence permit in Portugal at the end of five years.
When you obtain a residence permit through a D7 Visa, your family members also have the right to obtain it as well. This is based on the family unification statute.
The holder of a residence permit is entitled to include members of his family living with them in another country. The members need to depend on or cohabit with the applicant. It is regardless of whether the family ties were before or after the resident’s entry into Portugal.
Below you can see which type of family members can benefit from the visa:
- Your spouse or partner
- Your minor or incapacitated children of the couple or of one of their spouses/partners
- Children of age who are dependent on the couple or one of the spouses, who are single and studying in an educational institution in Portugal
- Your parents of the resident or their spouse/partner, if they are dependent on them
- Minor siblings, if they are under the tutelage of the resident, according to a decision by the competent authority of the home country. The decision must also be recognized in Portugal as well.
You can make the request for family reunification at SEF in Portugal. The members must prove their relationship with you, and their accommodation, and means of subsistence as well. When their application is approved, they will obtain a residence card as well. The right of residence duration will be the same as yours.
Rights and Advantages of D7 Residency
As the holder of this residence permit, you are entitled to some rights in Portugal. There will be no need for a specific authorization regarding your foreign status. Below you can see the rights obtained from this visa:
Benefits of D7 Visa
- Having access to the National Healthcare Service
- Having access to the Portuguese National Education Service and schools
- Having access to Portuguese Vocational schooling, initial and further professional training, and retraining
- Having access to and protection from the Portuguese Law and legal system
As a D7 residence visa holder, on average, you need to spend a minimum of six consecutive or eight non-consecutive months in Portugal, per year.
Income and Investment Requirements
To obtain a D7 Visa you don’t need to make an investment in Portugal. However, you do need to demonstrate proof of income.
Your minimum monthly income must be at least equal to the Portuguese minimum wage. If you want to include other people, you need to supply the extra following amounts as well:
- For adults, 50% more, and
- For children under 18 years of age, 30% of the minimum wage.
You should also note that your application may still be denied even if you meet the minimum requirement. So, it is advisable to present an income that is at least twice the required minimum amount.
It is important to note that your passive income must be documented, and a stable one. Also, it must be easy to understand for the consular officers. The consulate will accept your salary, investments, pensions, and benefits in total as an income.
For every single applicant, the government fee is around €400. If you choose to use a legal professional to apply for the D7 visa, then there will also be a legal fee associated with your application.
As mentioned above, the D7 Visa requires you to stay in Portugal for at least half of the year. In addition, you need to have a home, either rented or your own. So, you need to become a tax resident in Portugal.
Luckily, you can benefit from the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program in Portugal, if you were not a tax resident within the previous five years. It provides exceptions on your foreign income and reductions on some of your Portuguese income. For example, your foreign pension will be taxed only at a rate of 10%. Also, if you perform a high-added-value job in Portugal, you will be taxed at a flat rate of 20%. What is more, it lasts for ten years. In order to benefit from the NHR program, you need to apply for it by March 31st of the next year of your arrival.
D7 Residence Application Process
The application process consists of two steps.
First, you must go to the Portuguese consulate or embassy in your home country. You need to apply for a visa there. The related authorities will issue the initial visa.
Along with proof of income and a clean criminal record, you need a Portuguese bank account, as well as proof of long-term accommodation in Portugal.
So, it means that you need to rent or buy property in Portugal before you apply for the initial visa. If you have friends or acquaintances in Portugal, they can also prepare a statement as proof of accommodation. It must state that you live with these individuals in the same place. When your application is approved, you’ll obtain a four-month double-entry visa to Portugal.
Second, you must apply for the actual residence permit from SEF, pursuant to which they will give you an appointment date.
This means that you need to provide additional documentation and attend a personal interview. If you cannot attend SEF on the determined day and time, or if you want to delay your appointment, you can request a new date via phone. You should also note that this is only possible when entering Portugal through the D7 Visa, and not with a tourist visa.
After your documentation is complete and the interview is successful, the residency permit will be approved. Then, you will receive a residence card which will be valid for two years. After two years, you need to renew it.
While applying for the visa, you will need to submit the following documents:
- Application form (you can find it on SEF’s website)
- Passport or another valid travel document
- Two passport size photos. They must be with a blank background, and easily verifiable
- Valid travel insurance. It must cover all medical expenses, including immediate medical assistance and potential repatriation
- Application for Criminal Record consultation by Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF)
- Certificate of criminal record issued by your country of origin or the country you resided for more than a year
- Proof of adequate accommodation
- Proof of health insurance
- The document stating the amount of pension, or proof that you have a sufficient income to live in Portugal. As stated above, the amount must be at least the Portuguese minimum wage for you as the applicant. Also, for a twelve-month period, it must be
- 50% of the subsistence wage for second or more adults, and
- 30% of the subsistence wage for each child.
You should also note that you need to provide a bank statement covering the last six months.
The examination of documentation lasts around one month. It may be longer than that if this is your first time and you’re doing it on your own.
Regarding the visa application, the procedure will be completed within 60 days. However, if some of your documents are missing, or if you’ve filled the forms badly, it can be more than 60 days. If this is a problem, they will inform you about the situation and may ask you to come to the institution. In this way, you can complete the missing parts of your application.
You should also note that the duration to obtain the residence permit can change depending on where you want to live. If you plan to live in Lisbon or Porto, you may need to wait around four months to meet with the SEF officers. The reason is that there is much more interest in these areas. Comparatively, if you wish to live in the countryside or in less populated cities, the duration can be as little as 15 days.
Alternative: Portugal Golden Visa Program
Portugal Golden Visa Program is a residency by investment program. So, you first invest in Portugal, then apply for residency in Portugal. There are a few different investment types you can choose to make. Some of them include real estate purchase, the establishment of a local business by employing ten people, investment funds, and investing in art.
Similar to the D7 Visa, you can apply for permanent residency and citizenship after five years. Unlike the D7 Visa, you don’t need to stay in Portugal full time. Staying in Portugal at least seven days a year is sufficient to apply for permanent residency or citizenship after five years.
Portugal Golden Visa grants you the right to live, work, and study in Portugal. With a Golden Visa, you can travel visa-free across the European Schengen countries.
The Verdict: Is It Worth Getting the D7 Visa?
If you want to move to Portugal full time, the D7 Visa is a good option. It gives you the right to work and live in Portugal.
However, you should prepare before the application. You should find a home or someone with a home, in order to provide as proof of accommodation in your application.
On the other hand, if living in the country is not your priority but investing in is, then the Golden Visa can be a better option for you. In both cases, you can apply for citizenship at the end of five years.
We highly recommend using a legal professional to apply for your D7 Visa in Portugal.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get a D7 Visa in Portugal?
You need to visit the consulate in your home country, and show proof of passive income while applying for it. For other details, you can look at the Requirements section above. You’ll also need to show your D7 Visa Rental contract.
How long can you stay in Portugal without a visa?
If you are a citizen of the EU or the US, you can stay in Portugal for up to 90 days without a visa. If you are a non-EU citizen, however, a visa application is necessary to stay in the country.
What is next?