Portugal Digital Nomad Visa

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In the era of advanced remote work, obtaining a Portuguese digital nomad visa has become more accessible. Portugal's natural beauty, business-friendly policies, and affordable living costs make it an attractive destination for digital nomads.
Portugal is a European country with a system that allows immigrants to thrive. With a GDP of $218B and a population of 10.4 million, Portugal attracts expats from different countries worldwide. As a digital nomad, all you need is your skills and experience. The country itselfl presents an economic and social environment for growth. In 2018, Forbes described Portugal as one of the best places for business and retirement.
This article is an in-depth guide for obtaining a Portugal digital nomad visa. It captures everything you need to know before, during, and after your relocation to Portugal related to the digital nomad visa.

What Is A Digital Nomad Visa?

A digital nomadic visa is a travel visa that allows an expat to reside in a country for a specific period. It permits remote working in the country, provided you do not work in any local company.

Is There A Specific Portugal Nomad Visa?

Currently, there is no particular permanent residence program for digital nomads in Portugal. However, the Portuguese government has introduced a specific visa called the Portugal Passive Income Visa - D7 Visa, an excellent option for digital nomads interested in this country. In fact, remote workers who desire a long-term stay in Portugal can quickly obtain a passive income D 7 Visa.

Types of Portugal Digital Nomad Visas

Portugal has long been ahead of its time in simplifying work environments. Hence, several types of visas already comply with the typical digital nomad visa. Your choice of visa will depend on your income structure and the duration of your visit or stay.
Digital nomad visas in Portugal can be widely categorized into two types of visas:

Temporary Stay Visa

Portugal temporary stay visa is a valid option for digital nomads that might want to stay in Portugal for up to a year. It allows digital nomads to work as an online or self-employed business owner.
The great part about this visa is its non-restrictive nature. You can travel outside Portugal and enter freely, as long as you adhere to the immigration stipulations of Portuguese authorities. The temporary residency permit is the perfect digital nomad visa as it permits multiple entries.

Portugal Residency Visas

The Portuguese residency visas are perfect for a digital nomad with a more extended stay plan. If you intend to become an official resident, you should consider getting one of the Portugal national visas.
Your type of national Visa will depend on your income or business type. Its validity lasts four months, and it allows only two entries. It would be best if you got a residency permit from Portugal SEF within this time frame.
To obtain these visas, you will go through these processes:
  • Embassy screening in the Portuguese embassy in your current base
  • Residency permit stage after you arrive in Portugal

The Residency Visa - D7 Visa or the Passive Income Visa

The D-7 passive income visa is the best choice for digital nomads looking to reside in Portugal. The Portuguese legislation created this Portugal residency visa to allow foreign nationals, especially pensioners or retirees with stable income, to live peacefully in Portugal.
A digital nomad can obtain a D7 visa in Portugal in some simple yet lengthy steps. All that is required is a residence permit and proof of stable income. There are no specifications as to the exact source of the payment; it might be from pensions, investments, or intellectual properties, among others.
Another significant advantage of this visa program is that you can freely travel to 26 European countries of the Schengen Area without another passport or Visa. It is more or less a Schengen visa.

Portugal D2 Visa - Entrepreneur or Independent Service Provider

The D2 Visa also fits as a Portugal digital nomad visa. It is majorly designed for remote workers who wish to create a new business in Portugal or start a branch of an existing business in Portugal.
The D-2 Visa is an advantage for freelancers, business entrepreneurs, independent professionals, and others who seek to establish their businesses in Portugal.
Portugal D-2 visa is open to:
  • Start-ups
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Independent professionals
  • Investors
  • Company and branch owners, partners, and shareholders.

Bear in mind that you must have a reliable, strong, and well-thought-out business plan to obtain this visa. Also, you must have sufficient business capital to start your proposed business in this foreign country.
The D7 Visa is a straightforward route to Portugal's residency. Hence, if residency is what you are after, go for the Portugal D7 visa.

What Is the Difference Between a Tourist Visa and a Portugal D7 Visa for Digital Nomads?

A country like Portugal issues digital nomad visas to create a legal working ground for foreigners looking to live and work in this country. A digital nomad visa allows you to stay for an extended period compared to a tourist visa. The most prolonged tourist visa allows 90 days, while a digital nomad visa holder can stay up to a year.

Who Can Apply for Portugal's Digital Nomad Visa: Eligibility Criteria

Even though the Portugal D7 passive income visa is designed for retirees, anyone can apply for the visa. As long as you are above 18 and you have a stable passive income, you are free to apply for a digital nomad visa. However, you must meet some eligibility criteria.

How to Get the Visa: Basic Requirements for D7 Visa?

Below are the documents you will need for the D7 application. Note that all these required documents must be in English or Portuguese.
  • Application form
  • Your valid passport proof with over six months of validity after the D7 visa expiration
  • A Portuguese TIN (Tax Identification Number)
  • A Portuguese bank account
  • Passport photographs (Two identical ones with a plain background)
  • Valid Travel insurance covering all emergency expenses
  • Proof of adequate accommodation
  • Health insurance coverage papers with over €30,000 emergency medical coverage
  • A clean criminal record-related document from your home country of residence( Note that you must have stayed in that country for more than a year)
  • Proofs that you have a steady income. In this case, you must have income amounting to 12 months' Portuguese minimum wage. The amount is set at €705 per month, which is 8,460 euros per year. To prove this, you will be asked to provide a six months bank statement.

EU Citizens

Since Portugal is a member of the European Union, citizens of other EU countries can work remotely in Portugal without any digital nomad visa. All that is required is your EU passport, with which you can stay freely.
However, if you wish to stay for more than three months, you must visit the local municipality office. The office will grant you a temporary residency certificate of up to 5yrs Validity.

US Citizens

US citizens traveling to Europe need to keep in mind a few things. Based on the agreement between US and Portugal, US citizens can also enter Portugal without a visa and stay for 90 days. However, if you are a digital nomad who wishes to stay longer, you must apply for a digital nomad visa.

Non-EU and Non-US Citizens

Non-EU and Non-US citizens still depend on your country of residence. Canada, New Zealand, and Australian citizens also enjoy the same benefits as US citizens. Unfortunately, if you are not from other countries, you will need to apply for a Visa.

Etias - Digital Travel Authorization to Travel to Europe

As of 2023, travelers from a number of countries will be required to obtain a valid Etias before heading to Europe. Before applying for Etias, check the Schengen borders agreement since this travel authorization is specific to the country (or coinutries) you want to visit.
It is a quick and simple process that will be mandatory for Non-EU citizens traveling either for tourism or for work purposes.

How to Apply for Digital Nomad Visa for Portugal: Step-by-Step Guide

Below are the steps to applying for a digital nomad visa program in Portugal:
  • 1. Get a Portuguese TIN (Tax Identification Number)
It is known in Portuguese as Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF). This NIF or TIN is the first thing you must acquire to enable you to complete other application steps. You will need it to open an account and rent a home. A tax operative in Portugal can get the NIF in Portugal on your behalf.
  • 2. Open a Portugal bank account.
This process is simple as long as you have your NIF. You can also open a bank account remotely.
  • 3. Get accommodation
Remember that proof of accommodation is part of the eligibility criteria. Hence, the next thing is to purchase a property, make an Airbnb reservation or sign a rental agreement.
  • 4. Apply for the Visa
After you have gathered all the required documents, you are then ready to apply formally. Depending on the specifications, you submit the application in person or by mail. Locate the nearest Portuguese embassy in your country to start the application process.
  • 5. Await Approval
After your application, the Portuguese consular with jurisdiction within your area of residence will decide on the application within 60days. This approval will come after the consular has received a binding legal opinion from the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Police (SEF).
  • 6. Collect Your Temporary Entry Visa
Visit the embassy to collect your temporary Entry Visa after your application has been approved.
  • 7. Schedule an Appointment With SEF in Portugal
Upon your arrival in Portugal, you need to schedule a meeting with the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros Fronteiras). They are the immigration and border services department in Portugal. Note that you only have up to three days after arrival to schedule this appointment.
  • 8. Attend Your Interview
The next thing is to attend your interview with the SEF. This process serves to register you as a resident of Portugal.
  • 9. Receive your residence permit
Approximately it might take about two to three weeks before you receive the permit. Collecting your residence permit is the final step in your relocation process.
You can begin living a peaceful life in Portugal as a digital nomad with your D7 Visa.

Portugal Passive Income Visa Fees: How Much Does Portugal's Digital Nomad Visa Cost?

The D7 Visa is quite affordable. Application for the visa costs about $100, while the residence permit application costs roughly $85. Note that the above is just the government fees and doesn't cover other application expenses like legal fees. Usually, the moving and living cost takes up the bulk of the expenses rather than the application itself.

D7 Visa Validity: How Long Can You Stay in Portugal With a DNV?

After a successful application, your D7 Visa is valid for 4months. Within these four months, you must apply for a temporary resident permit. The resident permit allows you to stay up to a year. Note that it is also renewable after the first year.
To avoid unforeseen circumstances, ensure that all documents are set a couple of months before the visa application date. Also, your visa application is submitted two to three months before your planned departure date.

Portugal Digital Nomad Visa Processing Time: The Timeline for Applying

Time is vital to a successful digital nomad visa application. On average, the Visa will take about 15 days to process. Although, there are times when the processing might take longer. Therefore, you should target getting your documents ready 2-3months prior to the application date. This simply means that you can send in your application as early as 90days prior and not later than 15 days before your planned departure date. Ensure to stay in touch during this period.
Early submission is essential, as the late submission will increase the chances of your application getting rejected. If you are not concerned about money, you can consult reputable visa counseling agencies. These agencies will hasten the application process and provide the necessary assistance required in the process.
Hence, applicants should take cognizance of the application timeline and try to consult with a Portuguese immigration professional before applying. Also, ensure there are no errors in the documents you submitted. Applicants can reach out to the consulate in the area if feedback is not given after two weeks.

Do Remote Workers in Portugal Need to File Taxes?

Remote workers will be expected to pay tax after staying for up to 183 days in Portugal. One good thing about Portugal is its favorable tax policy for foreigners. The moment you are a foreign tax resident, you can become a beneficiary of Portugal's NHR (Non-Habitual-Residence) program.
This program offers tax reductions and even exemptions on remote workers' foreign income for a period of ten years. As a remote worker, the program allows you to pay 20% IRS tax on income instead of the usual 48%. Also, your social contributions as a remote worker are reduced to 10% as opposed to the standard rate.
You will need to visit the Portuguese tax office to register as a taxpayer in their NIF system. This application also has a time limit, so ensure you do it as you as possible. An email will be sent to you after a successful application.

The Benefits of Working Remotely in Portugal

There are numerous benefits to working remotely in Portugal. Aside from the natural environmental advantage, government policies are also designed to favor remote workers.
Below are some of the notable benefits.

Warm Climate

Portugal has pleasant weather that is best enjoyed during summer. Portugal is full of sunlight, warmth, and a mild climate. However, it all depends on where you are. The north gets colder than the south, especially during winter.

Affordable Cost of Living

The cost of living in Portugal is lower than in many countries in the world. The research claimed that the cost of living in the US is about 42% higher than that of Portugal.

Safety and Low Crime Rate

In the 2022 World population review, Portugal was 3rd in the safest countries in the world ranking. Portugal is one of the most peaceful countries according to a global scale. There is a low record of crime in Portugal. Hence, you will not have to live in fear during your stay.

Outstanding Diversity

Portugal offers outstanding diversity to natives and foreigners. There are a variety of landscapes and lifestyles, depending on your region. Portugal has about 1800 km of coastline. Porto and Lisbon is the right choice if you love city life, while you might want to settle in central Portugal if you want peace, quiet and cheap cost of living. For beaches, amazing landscapes, and relaxation, south Portugal is the best place.

Family Relocation and Quality Education

As a digital nomad, you have the opportunity to relocate your family to Portugal. You can either go with them or process their relocation when you go to Portugal. Also, there is a standard education system in Portugal. There are affordable public schools, as well as private schools.

Quality of Health

In Portugal, public hospitals offer free medical services. Also, there is various health insurance for both citizens and foreign residents of the country.

Attractive Tax System

As I have mentioned earlier, Portugal's tax system for remote workers is one of the best in the world. The tax policy has attracted investors, digital nomads, and other self-employed professionals.

Encouraging Real Estate Market Situation

Portugal's real estate market is not discriminatory. The market is booming, and it has attractive properties to offer foreign residents. Hence, as a digital nomad or any other remote worker, you can easily acquire a property in Portugal.

Becoming a Digital Nomad in Portugal: Essential Tips

One thing you would naturally be particular about as a digital nomad is the internet connection in your area. The average internet access speed in Portugal is about 34.5 megabits per second. Early this year, PT Portugal (MEO) launched its 5G network, which already covers half of the population. There is 5G coverage presently in Ponta Delgada and the Funchal region of Portugal.
When you get to Portugal, you will need to get a local sim. The two major SIM cards I recommend are the MEO and NOS. These SIMs have better coverage in all regions of the country. However, when it comes to internet connection, the NOS has the fastest internet speed.
Aside from the recent 5G connection, there are other options for digital nomads like Wi-Fi, 4G, and 3G. Most apartments for digital nomads have their own internet connection. Portugal's broadband median speed is currently around 50Mbps upload and 100 Mbps download.
If you plan to become a permanent resident in Portugal, below is the D7 Visa application timeline.
  • Entry year. Obtain your D7 Portugal Visa with a year of validity
  • First year. Renew your D7 Visa with two years of validity.
  • The third year. Renew your D7 Visa for another two years.
  • The fifth year. Apply for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship.

Cost of Living in Portugal

In Europe, Portugal is reputed to offer the lowest cost of living. Portugal's cost of living is lower than the average. It is cheaper when compared to the US and the UK. In Western Europe, Portugal is the third cheapest country. A family of four can conveniently live on 3,145 euros a month. For a single person in Portugal, I, 590 Euros, will cover all your monthly expenses, including accommodation.

Accommodation and Utility

The monthly rent for an 85 m2 (900 sfts) furnished apartment in an expensive area will cost about €1,201. However, in an average neighborhood, you can get furnished accommodation of 85 m2 (900 sqft) monthly for €859. Note that the cost covers the furnishings in the apartments.
In a city like Lisbon, the cost of studio apartments range from €650 to €2500 monthly. The price of the apartments varies depending on the facilities and specific location.
For utilities like heating, gas, and electricity for two persons in an 85 m2 flat, you will pay about €123. Note that this is just the average amount; it might be lower or higher.

Foods and Groceries

Foods are also very affordable in Portugal. A basic lunch, including a drink, in a business area will cost about €10. You can get a combo meal for €7 in a fast food restaurant. Groceries and food items also come at an affordable price. For instance, you can get 500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast for €3.05 and 1 liter (1 qt.) of whole milk for €0.79.
Note that the price of things also depends on your area of residence. Below is a list of cities in Portugal ranked from the highest to the lowest in terms of cost of living.
  • #1. Lisbon
  • #2. Oporto
  • #3. Funchal, Madeira
  • #4. Braga
  • #5. Vila Nova de Gaia
A recent analysis revealed that the cost of living in Lisbon is 17% higher than in Sao Paulo while residing in Oporto is 9% lower and cheaper than in Madrid.

The Downsides of Living in Portugal

As much as there are numerous advantages of living in Portugal, there are also some downsides peculiar to living as a foreigner in the country.
  • 1. You must learn Portuguese if you want to interact officially. Although you will find people who can speak English, Portuguese is the official language.
  • 2. You can only use cash or a Portuguese master card for transactions. Visa and MasterCard are not accepted.
  • 3. During winter, the weather can become freezing, and some accommodations lack a proper heating system.

The Healthcare for Foreign Residents in Portugal

Portugal ranked 22nd out of 84 countries in the 2019 Health care index. WHO once rated Portugal 12th in the world as a country with standardized health care efficiency. Foreigners working in Portugal share the same health care benefits as the citizens. Both private and public health care facilities are available to expats in Portugal.

Top Destinations and Co-working Spaces for Digital Nomads

There are numerous exciting and impressive preferable locations for many digital nomads in Portugal. Let’s look at a few of them.

Lisbon

Lisbon is an excellent location for digital nomads. As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon captures the beauty of Portugal and offers every amenity that a digital nomad needs to thrive in Portugal. This place is nothing short of an intellectual hub. Lisbon has a good reputation for being pocket-friendly. Compared to other European capitals, you can get through without spending much.
Another reason Lisbon sits at the top of the list is that Lisbon house all min government offices in Portugal. Hence, it makes it easy for digital nomads to address visas and documentation issues. However, if you seek to spend less, you might want to consider places like Intendente or Martim Moniz.

Porto

It is challenging for us to choose between Lisbon and Porto. These two are great destinations offering many interesting, unique and special. With the cobbled street, charming castles, old homes, and cliffs surrounding the river Douro, the town feels a bit of a fairy tale.
Depending on how lucky you are, you may have the chance to find an Airbnb in Ribeiro. Oh, and there are great wines there too. You will have access to several different beaches that might just be relaxing after a long day of sitting on your laptop.

Braga

Braga is Portugal's oldest city. Due to collaborative efforts by universities, businesses, and governments, Braga city is now a hotspot in technological innovation. The city is also home to a high number of students studying sciences and tech. The northwest part of the city has become a popular destination for expats looking for a breezy lifestyle with favorable property prices.

Peniche

For adventurous digital nomads, Peniche is definitely a place to stay. It has become one of the top surf towns in West Europe. You can start your stay in an ocean view condo or take a little distance in Peniche and find one charming condo. Coastal apartments are readily available at affordable prices in Peniche.

Co-Working Spaces

Also, there are many beautiful co-working spaces in Portugal for remote workers to mix with other digital nomads. Co-working spaces in Portugal are designed with facilities like good internet facilities, tables and chairs, air-conditioners, and so on. These spaces will make your working experience enjoyable.
You can check out second home Lisboa, a greenhouse cum digital nomad Haven, or a digital nomad village underground in Lisbon. Also, if you are looking for the latest remote working environment, you might want to check out Avila Spaces – Atrium Saldanha. Avila Spaces – Atrium Saldanha is a co-working space that was launched early this year with the latest facilities and equipment.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

FAQs about Estonia's Digital Nomad Visa

  • Does Portugal have a digital nomad visa?

    Portugal does not have a specific digital nomad visa. However, they have a passive income or D7 Visa, a suitable option for digital nomads looking to relocate to Portugal.
  • Do I need a visa to work remotely in Portugal?

    Yes! You need a visa to work remotely in Portugal. However, if you are an EU, US, Canada, New Zealand, or Australian citizen, you can still stay in Portugal for three months without a Visa. Afterward, you will need a visa to continue working there.
  • Do digital nomads pay tax In Portugal?

    The simple answer is yes! Digital nomads do pay taxes. However, the tax you pay might depend on your length of stay.
  • Is Portugal a good place for digital nomads?

    Portugal is great for digital nomads wishing to travel to a European country. Portugal holds various benefits ranging from an easy relocation process to enabling environment and affordable cost of living.

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