The Current Situation
Times are changing here in Portugal, with adjustments to the Golden Visa programme and the planned phasing out of NHR, but there are still plenty of opportunities for residency applications.
European Union nationals
Naturally, anyone with a European passport or EA/Swiss nationals can easily arrive in Portugal by showing their EU identity cards.
While European citizens can freely move to Portugal, those wishing to stay longer than three months must request a registration certificate. After five years of living in Portugal, European citizens can also obtain permanent residency..
The UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand all have international agreements with Portugal, meaning nationals can enter and stay in Portugal for 90 days within a six-month period without needing a visa.
Non-EU/non-EEA/non-EFTA nationals wishing to stay longer than three months must apply for a long-term visa or Portuguese residency.
If your aim is to acquire long-term residency in Portugal as a non-EU citizen, you'll be pleased to know there are several Portugal visa programs on offer, which we detail below:
D7 ‘Passive Income’ Visa
The D7 Visa is a popular visa allowing non-EU citizens to get Portuguese residency provided they have enough funds to support themselves during their stay in Portugal.
This visa is aimed primarily at retirees, self-employed individuals, and those that have an income overseas. This could be from a pension, rental income, intellectual property or other financial investments etc.
The two-year D7 Visa can then be renewed for a further three years, and can then be turned into a permanent residence permit and/or citizenship after five years.
This type of visa also allows the applicant to include his family members under the ‘family reunification’ programme, therefore enabling the entire family to obtain permanent residency or citizenship.
D8 ‘Digital Nomad’ Visa
The Digital Nomad Visa was launched in October 2022 and allows remote workers to live and work in Portugal for a set period of time.
With a Digital Nomad Visa, remote workers can apply for either a residency permit that can be extended for up to five years or a temporary stay visa that has a maximum validity of one year.
To qualify, you will need to make four times Portugal's minimum wage.
Portugal’s Golden Visa Residency Programme was launched in 2012, to offer investors from non-EU countries a fast-track route to a residency permit and eventual passport for Portugal. This permit extends to dependent children and parents, and allows the investor and family to enter and/or live in Portugal, and to travel freely within the majority of European countries (Schengen Area).
As of October 2023, Golden Visa applications through real estate investment are no longer accepted. However there are still investment routes that qualify for residence permits under the Golden Visa regime:
- Capital transfer of €500,000 to establish a new company in national territory, with the creation of min 5 permanent jobs
- Capital transfer of €500,000 to acquire shares (in full or part) of an existing company in national territory, with the creation of 5 permanent jobs or the maintenance of at least 10 jobs
- Capital transfer of €500,000 for the acquisition of shares in a non-real estate collective investment fund
- Capital transfer of €500,000 for scientific/technological research programmesCapital transfer of €250,000 to support or invest in artisitic production or the maintenance of national cultural heritage.
There are also other more targeted visa options if you are undertaking employment or considering starting a business in Portugal –
- D2 Entrepreneurship/Start-up Visa, for those seeking to establish their business in Portugal
- D3 Work visa for highly qualified employees, for those with specific skills that meet the requirements set out by the Portuguese government
NHR (Non-Habitual Residency)
Introduced in 2009 by the Portuguese government to attract ‘high value’ residents, NHR offers reduced tax rates and some exemptions for your first ten years in the country.
Whilst the NHR scheme is being phased out, a ‘transitory NHR tax regime’ has been approved which extends the NHR eligibility until 31 December 2024 for foreigners who can prove they were planning to move to Portugal in 2023.
For more information on any of these visa/residency schemes, please feel free to contact one of our offices – we are here to help!!