USA and the UK
- Types of visas in Portugal
- Do I need a visa to visit Portugal?
- Which Portugal long stay visa is most suitable?
- Portugal Golden Visa
- The D7 visa
- The D2 visa
- D3 Visa (Highly Qualified Individuals)
- The D1 Visa
- D6 visa (Family Reunification visa)
- Studying in Portugal
- Healthcare in Portugal
- What documents are needed for a Portugal visa?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Portugal is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy the country’s warm climate and attractive beaches. Historically, the country has low property prices that appeal to those looking to move away from large urban areas.
While Portuguese is the official language, there is a high proportion of residents who can speak English and a number of international companies have offices in the area.
The country offers several immigration routes to allow foreign nationals to live, work and study in Portugal.
Types of Portuguese visas
There are three types of visas for Portugal on offer to those wishing to visit the country. There are:
Short Stay visas – this are often called Schengen visas and are for those wishing to stay less than 90 days
Temporary Stay National visas – these visas cover stays of up to one year
Long Stay National visas – also referred to as Residency visas – this are for people wanting to live in Portugal for more than 12 months
Do I need a visa to visit Portugal?
If you are travelling to Portugal from a country that is the EU or EFTA then you are able to visit the country for three months without a visa. However, if you foreign national from a non-EU country then you may need to arrange a visa depending on your home country.
At present, Portugal has arrangements with several countries including the US and Canada to remove the need for a short-stay visa. Therefore, you will not need to apply for a visa if you plan to stay for 90 days or less.
However, if you do plan to stay longer than this time period, you will need to apply for a long-term Portugal visa.
Which Portugal long stay visa is most suitable?
A long-stay visa, also referred to as a residency visa, allows holders to stay in Portugal for more than 12 months.
Even if your home country has an agreement in place with the Portuguese Immigration Services, all non-EU/EFTA must still apply for a residency visa.
There are several types of long-stay visas available depending on your circumstances and you may wish to seek advice from an immigration lawyer to assess which is most suitable.
Visa options include a work visa, study visa, professional training or internship visa, family reunion visa, Portugal Golden Visa, Portugal D7 Visa, and a D2 Entrepreneur Visa.
These visas must be applied for before travelling to Portugal and you will need to provide a range of paperwork to support your application to stay in Portugal.
Portugal Golden Visa (D9 visa)
The Portugal Golden Visa (also known as D9 visa) is aimed at foreign nationals who are looking to make investment and is a long-term route to Portuguese citizenship. It is one of the most popular visas offered and you do not need to reside in Portugal to qualify for a Golden Visa – the minimum residency is 7 days in the first 12 months and then 14 days for each subsequent year.
The Portugal Golden Visa covers five different types of investment:
- Real Estate (Although as of July 2023 the Portuguese Government is planning to abolish this, but right now you can still apply)
- Investment Fund
- Capital Transfer
- Job Creation
There are different criteria for each investment type – for example, investing in real estate is limited to certain regions of Portugal and only applicable if you are investing in property of a certain value.
You should seek advice from an immigration expert to ensure your level of investment will qualify for a Golden Visa. Especially given the recent changes of this type of program. Call our legal experts today on +1 844 290 6312.
Portugal D7 Visa
The Portugal D7 visa (also referred to as the Retirement or Passive Income Visa). As well as being suitable for retired workers, it is also a good option for remote workers or digital nomad workers.
No investment is needed to qualify for this visa, but you must have a reasonable passive income – this can be a pension, salary or real estate-based income.
To be eligible for the D7 visa, you will need to have a minimum income of 8,460 euros per annum. If being accompanied by a spouse, then your income must increase by a further 50 per cent (ie 4,230 euros). If bringing a dependent child – then a further 30 per cent (2,538 euros) must be added.
Another requirement for the D7 visa, is that the holder must spend at least 16 months in Portugal during the first two years of residency.
You must also have a clean criminal record and be able to demonstrate that you have suitable accommodation in place before travelling to Portugal.
Once you have spent 5 years in the Portugal on this visa, you can apply for a permanent residence permit or citizenship.
Portugal D2 Visa (Entrepreneur visa)
If you are an entrepreneur looking to expand your business into Portugal, then the D2 visa may be a suitable option. Aimed at citizens from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland region, this visa allows holders to start or expand business while living in Portugal. It may also be a suitable option for freelancers or independent service providers.
Part of the application requires you to submit a detail business plan that demonstrates at least one of the following:
- You have already invested in Portugal
- You have the required financial means in Portugal
- You intend to invest in Portugal
Portuguese immigration will assess that your business is viable and that it will lead to investment in the country. You will also need to proof that you will be able to financial support yourself and any dependents during your time in Portugal.
The D2 visa allows holders to apply for permanent residency after five years but in order to qualify you must spend at least six months consecutively in Portugal during that time.
D3 Visa (Highly Qualified Individuals)
The D3 visa is for highly qualified professionals looking to work in Portugal. With a D3 visa, holders are able to work for a national company and bring their family with them during their time in the country.
In order to qualify for the D3 visa, you must have an offer of employment or will undertake an activity which requires a specialised range of skills or qualifications. The majority of D3 visas are approved for management positions such as executives and directors, as well as scientific or technical positions.
As part of the application for a D3 visa, you will have to demonstrate the following:
- The contract/activity must be completed by a highly-skilled professional and that you have the relevant experience and qualifications
- The contact/activity will last at least 12 months
- The expected salary will be at least 1.5 times the national average gross annual salary
D1 visa (Subordinate Worker Visa)
The D1 visa (also known as the Subordinate Worker Visa) is aimed at those workers who have already accepted an offer of employment in Portugal, while living overseas.
This residency visa is for those who are planning to work in the country for more than 12 months and who have found a position that could not be filed by a Portuguese citizen or an EU citizen. Part of the D1 visa application requires evidence of this.
D6 visa (Family Reunification visa)
The D6 visa (also known as the family reunification or family reunion visa) allows immediate family members of Portuguese residents to travel to the country to live, work and study.
Non-EU family members will be able to join relatives for the same period as their Portuguese family member’s residence permit.
The following family members may be covered by the D6 visa criteria:
- Married or registered partners
- Minor children, including adopted children
- Any children under the care of the applicant
- Dependent children who are of age and are enrolled in an established educational institution in Portugal
- First-degree relatives who are dependent on the applicant
- Minor siblings who are under the legal custody of the applicant
Those living in Portugal on a student visa or on an unpaid traineeship are only permitted to bring their spouse children or adopted children under the D6 visa immigration rules.
Studying in Portugal
There are two student specific visas available for those wishing to study in Portugal – the D4 and D5 visa.
Which of these two study visas is most suitable will depend on the course you are planning to study in Portugal. The D4 visa is for short-term courses, while the D5 visa is for those enrolling on long-term courses.
To qualify for either visa, you will need to have been accepted into a Portuguese education institute and be able to demonstrate that you will be able to support yourself financially while studying.
Healthcare in Portugal
It is important to be aware that the Portugal healthcare system can be very different to other countries, especially the US.
In Portugal, all residents can access the country’s national healthcare system – the SNS. In order to ensure you receive this benefit, you must register with a local health centre (Centro de saude) and be given a health number – numero de utente de saude.
Treatment is not free in the SNS, but fees are considered very low compared to other countries. It is also possible to pay for private health insurance to cover treatment – although it is not compulsory to have health insurance in Portugal.
What documents are needed for a visa application?
The exact documents needed for a Portugal visa will depend on which visa you are applying for. You may wish to seek legal advice when making your application to avoid any potential delays or even a refusal.
However, it is likely you will need to submit at least the following:
- A non-EU/EEA/Swiss passport (this must be valid for at least 6 months from the start of the application)
- D7 visa application form
- 2 passport photos
- Evidence of Portuguese bank account
- Evidence of a Portuguese tax number (known as a NIF)
- Bank statements from the past 6 months (these need to be from your regular bank and show a history of income/savings)
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal (a rental agreement, mortgage statements, property deeds, or a letter from a Portuguese resident stating that you will live with them, etc)
- A clean criminal record from your current country of residence
- Any financial documents that show how you plan to support yourself and dependents during your stay in Portugal
- Evidence of private insurance for at least the first 12 months after arrival in Portugal
Last modified on August 15th, 2023 at 9:18 am
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Portugal is seen as a good option for those looking to reduce their tax obligations. The country has a Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) program that allows foreign nationals to benefit from a number of tax exemptions such as lower rate taxes and the removal of overseas income tax.
If you want to apply to become a citizen of Portugal, you will need to demonstrate you have a basic knowledge of Portuguese as part of the application for citizenship. This requires passing a A2-level Portuguese language exam.
The time it takes to process a Portugal visa varies depending on which visa you have applied for and how complicated your case is.
Short stay visas can be approved in just two weeks, but long-stays visas can take up to seven months to be processed. You should not make travel arrangements until your visa application has been approved.
If you have a dream of relocating to Portugal, our team of immigration attorneys is here to help. We can navigate the ins and outs of the Portuguese immigration system with premium services tailored to meet your needs.
Our immigration lawyers can help with the following legal services:
- Assessing your eligibility for Portuguese visas
- Guidance and assistance with the application process of applying for a Portuguese residence permit
- Checking your documents to make sure that your application is submitted with the necessary and relevant supporting documents
- Help with applying for permanent residence in Portugal or Portuguese citizenship
- Liaising on your behalf with the appropriate immigration authorities