Portugal Self-Employment Visa for Digital Nomads and Freelancers: The Definitive Guide

Originally published at: Portugal Self-Employment Visa for Digital Nomads and Freelancers

Last updated on June 7th, 2021

Portugal Self-Employment Visa for Digital Nomads and Freelancers

Note: As of 2021, Portugal still does not have a Digital Nomad Visa per se. The government is still working on it. In the meantime, the most convenient alternative is to go with the D7 Visa route.

So, your company gave you to go ahead to work remotely and you want to move to Portugal? Or are you a digital nomad, a freelancer, or an entrepreneur that wants to settle in Portugal?

Well, unless you’re already an EU citizen, you will need a visa or a residence permit in Portugal. Luckily, Portugal has a specific residence visa for self-employed workers, freelancers, and digital nomads!

Below, you can find the details.

Tips about the process:

  • You need a clean criminal record,
  • You can either apply online or offline:
    • If you’d like to apply online: you should register on SAPA and complete the corresponding forms indicating your interest and situation, and uploading the necessary documents,
    • If you’d like to apply offline: you would like to submit your application in paper to the SEF office
  • SEF assesses the application and then gives you an appointment date,
  • The initial visa will be valid for two years and the subsequent visas will be each valid for three years at a time

You can either apply yourself or use a legal representative to apply on behalf of you. In either case, you will need the following documents:

  • Evidence of having set a company in Portugal, or
  • Contract for services for the carrying out of a liberal profession and statement by the professional association with evidence of the registration (whenever applicable)
  • Passport or another valid travel document,
  • Evidence of sufficient means of subsistence,
  • Clean criminal record:
    • from the country of origin and of residence (if different)
    • from Portugal; for this, you just need to give SEF the permission to check it in Portugal
  • Evidence of adequate accommodation in Portugal,
  • Evidence of having registered with the Social Security,
  • Evidence of registration in the tax authority
    • you can obtain your tax number – NIF – in Portugal from a Finanças office

If your lawyer asks under which legal framework you would like to apply for the self-employment visa in Portugal, you can say that it is:


ORDER NUMBER 1563/2007, OF 11/12

Technical? Yes, we know. But, it may be necessary.

Besides the self-employment visa, Portugal offers a (1) an entrepreneur visa, and (2) a passive income holder visa, among other types of visas.

Check out an extensive list of the types of visas that Portugal offers on our guide to different visas in Portugal.