In recent years, Portugal has become ‘the hotspot’ in Europe tor Global Investors, digital nomads, entrepreneurs and retirees all looking to acquire a Portugal Residency Visa.
In the past 12 months the country has made some significant changes to its immigration policy. The ‘Portugal Digital Nomad Visa’ was launched to attract the remote workers to Portugal, followed by the Portugal Golden Visa program going through significant changes and the announcement that the NHR taxation scheme will close at the end of this year.
While not all of these changes are positive for foreign nationals seeking residency in the country, it is clear that Portugal remains the ‘it’ country in Europe for good reason. The country has fantastic weather and beautiful scenery, together with a vibrant nightlife and dining scene in its major cities. Not to mention Portugal’s all round generally hospitable culture, interesting business opportunities and close access to the rest of the continent’s popular tourism destinations. For the 5th time in the last six years, Portugal was again considered “Best Tourism Destination in Europe” in the World Travel Awards 2022.
The country has built a reputation for itself particularly in markets like the USA, Canada, India and South Africa as the most attractive place relocate to in Europe and demand for residency in Portugal continues to increase.
Talk of the potential cancellation of Portugal’s Golden Visa (that in fact didn’t ended up happening) caused a rush of investors to capitalise on the program’s existing rules along with an increase in awareness of Portugal’s alternative residency visa programs.
As of today, there are 5 extremely attractive Portugal Residency Visa’s available to foreigners. Portugal has actually done a pretty remarkable job of crafting an immigration policy to attract the following 5 types of foreigners to the country.
- High-Net Worth Investors
- Digital Nomads
- Highly Skilled Professionals
We will now take a look at each of these 5 programs in detail and explain how one can qualify for a Portugal Residency Visa in 2023.
1. Portugal Golden Visa
The Portugal Golden Visa has gone through some significant changes recently. However, the program remains Europe’s most straightforward and cost effective pathway to citizenship in an EU country for investors who are not looking relocate away from their home country. This has not changed. Residents who spend a minimum of 7 days per year in Portugal (or 14 days every 2 years) can apply for permanent residency and/or citizenship after 5 years.
Whilst it is no longer possible to invest in real estate, the popular investment fund option
remains available. The minimum investment into funds is €500k and these investment funds cannot be involved in real estate. Other alternatives include the job creation option in which investors must either commit to investing €500k into their business and create a minimum of 5 jobs OR set up a business that creates at least 10 jobs with no minimum investment. There is also the option to make a €500k contribution to a scientific or technological research project, along with the highly cost effective cultural investment pathway (From €200k). However, there are yet to be any approved investment options in Portugal that are eligible under the program, but we hope to announce eligible projects soon.
2. Portugal D7 Program
The highly popular Portugal D7 program, otherwise known as the ‘Passive Income Visa’ is suitable for those with investment income or pensions that are interested in living in Portugal without working in the country. The D7 is particularly popular with retirees who can use their pension funds to qualify but also for international nomads with real estate income generating assets in their home country who wish to make Portugal a permanent home. Residents under the program are required to live in the country for either a consecutive period of 6 months each year or a total of 8 months in the calendar year. Residents are entitled to apply for citizenship after 5 years of residency subject to achieving a basic level of A2 Portuguese proficiency. In order to qualify for the D7 Portugal Residency Visa applicants must confirm their own housing in Portugal either by showing their renting contract or a sales or purchase agreement.
3. Portugal D8 Program
While the above program has been utilised by certain eligible digital nomads in recent years, Portugal last year decided to capitalise on such interest by launching a Digital Nomad Visa specifically catered to remote workers who wish to move to Portugal. The D8 Visa / Digital Nomad Visa is eligible for digital nomads globally who earn at least at least 4 times the national minimum monthly wage in Portugal. As of today, this amounts to around $3,350 (€3,050) per month.
Once acquired the digital nomad portugal residency visa is valid for one year and can be extended up to four times for a maximum of five years. Just like the D7, residents are required to spend at 6 consecutive months in the country or 8 months per year meaning that the applicant will spend at least 183 days in the country. This ultimately makes them tax resident in Portugal by law. However, compared to other Western European countries Portugal’s taxes are reasonable and after 5 years of residency one can apply for citizenship.
4. Portugal D2 Visa
The D2 visa is suitable for entrepreneurs who plan to do business in Portugal. Under the program investors have the choice of setting up an investing in their own company, buying a local company or its shares or creating a branch of an existing legal entity overseas. There is no set minimum investment requirement. However, investors must be able to prove the viability of the business through their business plan. As in all of the cases so far, investors can apply for residency for their family members. The minimum stay requirements remain the same as the D7 and D8.
5. Portugal HQA
Finally, the last option on list is suitable for those who wish to work in Portugal. Besides the Golden Visa, employment on the other residency visa above is strictly prohibited. However, Portugal is indeed interested in attracting highly skilled professionals particularly managers, IT specialists, doctors and scientists. Those that find a job offer in Portugal can apply for the HQA Visa to live and work in the country. The Portugal HQA residency visa is valid for 2 years, can be renewed and there is again a 5 year pathway to Portuguese Citizenship.