Portugal has become an increasingly popular destination for expatriates and digital nomads in recent years, thanks to its stunning landscapes, rich history, and welcoming atmosphere. To facilitate this influx of foreign residents, Portugal offers a variety of visa types tailored to different needs and circumstances. In this article, we’ll explore the key visa types in Portugal and outline who each visa is right for, along with their minimum financial requirements.
1. D7 Visa: The Passive Income Option
The D7 visa is a popular choice for individuals or families with a stable source of passive income, such as retirement pensions, rental income, or investments. It allows non-EU citizens to reside in Portugal without engaging in formal employment. Here’s who the D7 visa is right for:
- Retirees with pensions or annuities.
- Property owners with rental income.
- Investors with dividends or interest income.
- Individuals with significant savings or investments.
Minimum Financial Requirements: Applicants need to demonstrate they can support themselves without working in Portugal. While specific requirements can change, a common guideline is to show a minimum monthly income equivalent to the Portuguese minimum wage (which varies but was approximately €760 per month as of my last update) multiplied by 12.
2. D8 Visa: The Digital Nomad’s Choice
The D8 visa is designed for digital nomads and remote workers who wish to live and work in Portugal. It provides a flexible way to enjoy the country’s lifestyle while earning income from clients or companies abroad. Here’s who the D8 visa is right for:
- Freelancers, remote employees, and self-employed individuals.
- Entrepreneurs with an online business.
- Individuals with the ability to work remotely.
Minimum Financial Requirements: While the D8 visa doesn’t typically have strict financial requirements, applicants should have a stable income stream from remote work or freelancing to support themselves while living in Portugal. This income should be sufficient to cover living expenses in Portugal and typically be over €3040 per month.
3. D2 Visa: The Entrepreneurial Path
The D2 visa, also known as the Entrepreneur Visa, is aimed at individuals who want to start or invest in a business in Portugal. It’s a great option for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to tap into Portugal’s growing economy and favorable business environment. Here’s who the D2 visa is right for:
- Entrepreneurs planning to establish a new business in Portugal.
- Investors looking to acquire or invest in an existing Portuguese business.
- Startup founders seeking to develop their innovative projects in Portugal.
Minimum Financial Requirements: The financial requirements for the D2 visa can vary depending on your business plan and the specific region of Portugal you intend to operate in. Generally, you’ll need to provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover business expenses and your personal living costs.
4. D6 Visa: The Family Reunion Visa
The D6 visa is designed for family members of individuals who already hold a residence permit in Portugal. It allows family reunification, enabling spouses, children, and dependent relatives to join their loved ones. Here’s who the D6 visa is right for:
- Spouses and children of D7, D8, or D2 visa holders.
- Dependent relatives who rely on a family member’s support.
Minimum Financial Requirements: While the D6 visa doesn’t have specific financial requirements for family members, the sponsor (the family member with the existing residence permit) should have the financial means to support their family in Portugal.
5. Golden Visa (D3 Visa): The Investment Route
The Golden Visa, also known as the D3 visa, is a popular choice for investors looking to obtain Portuguese residency through real estate investment or job creation. It offers several investment options, making it one of the most flexible paths to Portuguese residency. Here’s who the Golden Visa is right for:
- Investors willing to purchase real estate with a minimum value.
- Entrepreneurs who plan to create jobs in Portugal.
- Individuals seeking a secure and flexible path to EU residency.
Minimum Financial Requirements: The financial requirements for the Golden Visa vary depending on the chosen investment route. As of my last update, one of the most common routes was investing at least €280,000 in Portuguese real estate, but other options, such as creating ten jobs in Portugal or investing in research activities, were also available.
** There are currently laws passing through parliament that potentially make investment in real estate, either directly or indirectly, no longer possible. It hasn’t passed yet, but will likely. After which point investment funds is the best option.
6. Student Visa (D4 Visa): Pursuing Education in Portugal
The D4 visa is intended for students who wish to study in Portugal. It allows non-EU citizens to pursue academic programs, language courses, or professional training. Here’s who the D4 visa is right for:
- International students planning to enroll in Portuguese universities or educational institutions.
- Individuals seeking to enhance their language skills or gain specific qualifications in Portugal.
Minimum Financial Requirements: While the D4 visa doesn’t have strict financial requirements, students are expected to demonstrate they have sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and any other related costs during their stay in Portugal.
7. Temporary Stay Visa: Cultural and Scientific Activities
The D1 visa, also known as the Temporary Stay Visa, is designed for individuals engaged in cultural, scientific, or academic activities in Portugal. It allows non-EU citizens to stay for a limited period while contributing to the country’s cultural and intellectual life. Here’s who the D1 visa is right for:
- Artists, researchers, and professionals in the cultural or scientific fields.
- Individuals invited by Portuguese institutions for specific projects or events.
Minimum Financial Requirements: The financial requirements for the D1 visa may vary based on the specific project or activity. Applicants should have sufficient funds to support themselves during their temporary stay.
8. Job Seeker Visa: Finding Employment in Portugal
The Job Seeker Visa is designed for individuals who want to search for employment opportunities in Portugal. It allows non-EU citizens to reside in Portugal while actively seeking a job. Here’s who the Job Seeker Visa is right for:
- Individuals with skills and qualifications seeking employment in Portugal.
- Job seekers looking to explore career opportunities in the country.
- Foreign professionals interested in contributing to Portugal’s workforce.
Minimum Financial Requirements: The Job Seeker Visa typically requires applicants to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their job search in Portugal. The specific financial requirements may vary, but having savings to cover living expenses and job-hunting costs is essential.
9. D1 Subordinate Worker Visa: Requirements and Opportunities in Portugal
The D1 Subordinate Worker Visa is a vital pathway for foreign nationals seeking employment opportunities in Portugal. Designed to facilitate the entry of skilled and unskilled workers, this visa category plays a significant role in addressing the country’s labor market demands and enabling individuals to work legally in Portugal. To embark on this journey and secure your place in the Portuguese workforce, it’s crucial to understand the requirements associated with the D1 Subordinate Worker Visa.
Job Offer from a Portuguese Employer: The primary requirement for the D1 Subordinate Worker Visa is a formal job offer from a registered Portuguese employer. This job offer is a fundamental document that outlines the terms and conditions of your employment in Portugal. It should specify details such as your position, salary, working hours, and other relevant employment terms. The employer typically initiates the visa application process by providing this essential document.
Valid Employment Contract: Alongside the job offer, you must have a valid employment contract with your prospective Portuguese employer. The contract should be in accordance with Portuguese labor laws and should comply with the standard employment practices in the country. Ensure that you thoroughly review and understand the terms of your employment contract, as this will be a critical aspect of your visa application.
Residence and Work Authorization: To work legally in Portugal under the D1 Subordinate Worker Visa, you must secure both residence and work authorization. The visa grants you permission to reside in Portugal while the work authorization allows you to engage in employment activities. These authorizations are usually granted for the duration of your employment contract.
Valid Passport and Supporting Documents: Like all visa applications, you will need a valid passport with at least six months of validity beyond your intended stay in Portugal. Additionally, you may be required to submit supporting documents such as educational certificates, professional qualifications, and proof of relevant work experience, depending on the nature of your job and the requirements of your employer.
Proof of Adequate Financial Means: While not always a strict requirement, some Portuguese authorities may ask you to demonstrate that you have adequate financial means to support yourself during your initial period in Portugal. This requirement serves as a safety net to ensure that you can cover your living expenses while you settle into your new job and accommodation.
Securing the D1 Subordinate Worker Visa is an essential step toward embarking on your career journey in Portugal. It not only grants you access to exciting employment opportunities but also contributes to the country’s labor market diversity and economic growth. To ensure a smooth application process, it’s advisable to work closely with your prospective Portuguese employer, follow all visa requirements diligently, and consult with the Portuguese consulate or embassy for the most up-to-date information and guidance regarding your specific situation. With the right qualifications and a valid job offer, you can pursue your career aspirations while enjoying the vibrant culture and opportunities Portugal has to offer.
In conclusion, Portugal offers a wide range of visa options to accommodate various needs and circumstances. Whether you’re a retiree with passive income, a digital nomad, an aspiring entrepreneur, a student, or someone seeking family reunification, there’s likely a visa type tailored to your situation. It’s important to note that visa requirements and regulations can change over time, so it’s advisable to consult with the Portuguese consulate or embassy and stay up to date with the latest information when planning your move to Portugal.
Scott Kirk is the owner of Visas.pt and the online communities “Moving to Portugal” and “Living in Portugal” which helps over 480,000 members. You can contact him directly at email@example.com with any questions about visas, opening bank accounts, NIF numbers, etc.