26th February 2023
Portugal’s Top Residency Visa Options—And Who They Would Suit Best

Portugal is the number-one destination in Europe for ease of residency.


The Portuguese government is eager for foreign investment, offering a wide range of residency visa options designed to attract different types of people.


It’s innovative and adaptable, introducing new visa options like its Digital Nomad Visa, launched in October 2022, in response to changing trends in global migration.


It’s also home to one of Europe’s most popular golden visa programs. The Portugal Golden Visa has brought in more than US$6.5 billion since its inception in 2012.


The government made changes to the Golden Visa, mainly to do with the minimum investment thresholds and geographic restrictions, which went into effect in early 2022.  Other changes are imminent.

The program remains popular despite this. Delete this However, the changes raise an important point: if you’re interested in taking action offshore, do it when you’re able to, while you’re eligible for whatever opportunity you’re considering.

The Best Option For Retirees: The Passive Income (D7) Visa


The Passive Income or D7 Visa allows non-EU nationals to gain residency in Portugal simply by showing you can support yourself with reliable ongoing passive income (whether from financial investments, a pension, or rental income).


This visa is best suited to people who want to live in Portugal, rather than pure investors. It’s the visa option most retirees use, although it’s not technically a retirement visa.


Officially, you need to prove you receive passive income equal to the Portuguese minimum wage, which is about US$825 per month, in order to qualify for the D7 visa.


Following this residency path, you’ll be required to spend at least 183 days per year  in Portugal. This makes you a Portuguese tax resident.


The visa is valid for two years, after which it can be renewed for three years. You need to spend six consecutive months or eight non-consecutive months in Portugal to be able to renew your permit.


Thanks to your residency status in Portugal, you’d be able to spend the rest of the year in any Schengen country(ies) of your choosing. As a legal resident of one EU country, you can spend as much as 90 days at a time in any other EU or Schengen country.


The Best Option For Investors: The Portugal Golden Visa Program

The Portugal Golden Visa Program allows non-EU nationals to obtain residency by making investments above certain thresholds in predetermined economic areas.


Aimed at attracting foreign investment, it’s best suited to someone who wants fast-track residency in Portugal with few strings attached.


It stipulates a minimal physical presence of only one week per year on average (or 35 days over the course of the permit’s 5-year validity). If you don’t want or aren’t able to spend the majority of your time in Portugal, this is the option for you.


And unlike the D7 visa, you don’t necessarily need to become a tax resident of Portugal under the Golden Visa program.


As long as the investment is secured in Portugal, the Golden Visa residence permit does not expire, provided it is renewed. You have to keep your investment for Golden Visa residence permit purposes.


You can qualify for Portugal’s Golden Visa program in several ways, among them

·         Through the purchase of real estate or investing in a qualifying fund

·         By starting and operating a business in Portugal

·         By making an investment in the production of art or the country’s heritage


The Best Option For Working Professionals: The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa

Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa allows non-EU nationals who are self-employed or employed by a company that is not based in Portugal to obtain residency. It’s best suited to professionals who earn their income online.


This visa requires you to earn four times the minimum wage, which amounts to about US$3,300 per month. You need to show proof that you have received this amount for at least the past three months.


This visa type requires you to spend 183 days per year in the country, therefore also requiring you to become a tax resident. You’ll need to submit tax residency documents along with your application.


The Digital Nomad Visa is a one-year residence permit. If you continue to meet the requirements, you can renew it twice for two years at a time.


Author: Forbes