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How to move to Portugal without the Golden Visa


March 28, 2023


07:41 AM

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Back in February, the Portuguese government made a decision to end the Golden Visa program, as part of the Mais Habitação housing measures. The plan is still in its discussion phase; however, the end - or, at least, the severe alteration - of the Golden Visa is likely.

Nevertheless, your dream of moving or investing in Portugal is still very much possible through other methods. Let’s go through them together!

What are the Visa Option for Portugal?

For highly qualified workers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, digital nomads, and investors with passive income, moving to Portugal is quite easy and simple. Non-EU citizens can live, work, and even apply for citizenship after a few years in the nation through a number of advanced visa schemes.

D7 Visa for Portugal

Because of being based around passive income, the D7 Visa was initially targeted towards retirees, but can apply to anyone who shows proof of sufficient passive income. These earnings can come from real estate rentals, pensions or general investments, for example. As long as there’s a minimum passive income of €9,120 per year, it should be fine.

As part of the family reunification law, your family members are allowed to tag along. However, there are some specificities to it. If you’re married, your partner must also provide proof of passive income of at least €4,560 per year. So the both of you should have a minimum of €13,680 in total per year. Dependent children should each have at least €2,736/year.

For the application, you must provide proof of residency in Portugal. Most applicants choose to purchase a home but a long-term rental contract also works. The D7 Visa is quite cheap when compared to the Golden Visa and is usually pretty straightforward and fast. However, there is one thing that makes it a little more complicated - you must apply for it in your home country. So be aware of the logistics when applying.

Once you’re approved, the Visa will be valid for two years, after which it can be renewed for an additional three years. After these five years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship!

D3 Visa for Portugal

The D3 is aimed at all highly qualified professionals, such as executives, engineers, teachers and administrators - basically anyone with an advanced education. But you must show proof of an official job offer or contract from a Portuguese company in order to be approved. Moreover, its expected monthly salary needs to be at least 3 times the Index of Social Support (IAS), so €1441,29 in 2023.

You also need to verify your qualifications via diploma or certificate, but they won’t be helpful if you don’t have an offer or contract waiting for you. Still, you should embellish your CV as much as possible as it secures your application.

The D3 visa is typically the fastest to obtain - usually processed in 30 days. Once you’re approved, you can expect to obtain a Residence Permit within four months.

Portugal Coastal Town.webp Azenhas do Mar is a quaint seaside town perched on a spine-tingling cliffs edge in the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais.

D2 Visa for Portugal

Aimed at entrepreneurs, independent service providers and freelancers, the D2 was specifically made with the objective of advancing the Portuguese job market. This is a good option for people looking to either open a company in Portugal or expanding their already existing business to the country. Because of all of its specificities, the D2 is the most complicated.

If your intention is to start a company, you need to submit a declaration of the investment you plan on making - including its value, nature and duration. Plus, a structured business plan that includes your reasoning for deciding to do business in Portugal. Additionally, you must provide proof of your financial capacity to both start the business and sustain yourself while living in the country. This is analysed case by case, so we advise you to get in contact with an Immigration Lawyer in Portugal first.

For freelancers and independent service providers, you need to show proof of a partnership or service provision contract. Your profession must also be within the scope of services that are ‘relevant to the country’. Again, this is specific to each case.

Digital Nomad Visa for Portugal

Remote work has been growing and growing in popularity. So, in response to that, the Portuguese government announced the beginning of the new Digital Nomad Visa program in October of 2022. There are two variations to this program: Temporary Stay Visa and Residence Visa.

The temporary stay visa is aimed at the truest ‘nomads’ - it’s granted for only a year, (although renewable) and its application process is simpler, since you don’t need an interview with the SEF (Immigration and Border Services). However, you must meet the same conditions as the residence visa.

For your application to be approved, you need to submit a statement of responsibility that proves your means of subsistence, plus evidence of a work contract from a foreign company. Your salary must be four times the Portuguese minimum wage - so at least €3040 per month (as of March 28, 2022)- and this must also be verified.

For the residence visa, the conditions are the same but the process is a little more complicated - quite similar to the D7. After your DNV is approved and you move to Portugal, you’ll need to apply for the residence permit at the SEF. During this 4 month period, you must find a home and get registered as a Portuguese tax resident.

Portugal has a great infrastructure for remote workers. There are several coworking facilities in the cities with cheap pricing and fast internet is common all over the country. Little groups of digital nomads who live in different homes but share amenities like pools can also be found in the interior regions.

What is the best Portuguese Visa for me?

The overall advantages and considerations of these visas include:

  • Option to apply for the NHR tax program, that provides significant fiscal benefits
  • Possibility to become a Portuguese citizen after five years
  • Family reunification
  • No restrictions on where to rent or buy a house
  • Cheaper costs

Regardless of the Golden Visa program, people from all over the world continue to migrate to Portugal. The country not only provides a safe and welcoming environment, but it also has a low cost of living, warm weather, and a fantastic quality of life. Many families are also relocating to Portugal to take advantage of the free education system. So join our growing community in Portugal!

Diogo Vedes in a qualified Immigration Consultant. With a innovative and responsive approach, Diogo helps individuals throughout their journey of immigration to Portugal, offering them tailored solutions. Whether you're looking for a temporary or permanent visa option, real estate investment or relocation related services.

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