Bem-vindo! D7 visa existed long before Brexit and has been popular with non-Europeans from all over the world, such as Americans, Canadians, South Africans, Australians and many others who didn’t benefit from the EU free movement. Although the UK has now left the EU, this visa is an ideal option for Britons wishing to retire or relocate to Portugal.
D7 visa is a solution if you plan to live in Portugal permanently and make it your main home. If you plan only shorter stays, or living between Portugal and the UK (or Portugal and another non-EU country), you can stay for 90 days in every 6 months, you don’t need any visa for that. When you decide to move for good, you need to start the D7 visa process at the Portuguese Consulate in the UK.
The most traditional British expat would be a retiree / pensioner coming to live in the sun and relying on UK state or private pension, maybe also (or instead) income from rental property, dividends from investments and similar, this is why it is also widely known as a Passive Income Visa. It is indeed based on income, which is likely to be regular while you are living in Portugal. If you also have savings, it helps with both visa application and living costs, yet your eligibility is fundamentally based on regular future income.
This visa also suits anyone with a remote income, including families with children. For example, if you are a freelancer or a digital nomad who can work from ‘anywhere’. Or you derive your income from your own business outside Portugal, assuming you can run it remotely.
We, at 1st 4Immigration, help British and other non-European citizens to make their dream move to Portugal, be it the popular Silver Coast or the hot Algarve, or elsewhere. From our office in London, we are assisting clients from the UK, the United States or anywhere in the world, with Portuguese visas and Residence Permits: we advise on requirements, make a list of documents, prepare and submit your visa application to the Portuguese Consulates and SEF (Portuguese immigration authority).
You may have heard about the Portuguese Golden visa. It is based on investing in property, the standard amount being €500,000 (can be less in some very limited cases). Such investments are also limited to certain often rural areas further away from the coast. It is also very expensive in Government fees. The main advantage of it is you don’t have to live in Portugal and only need to spend 7 days per year there while being able to secure permanent residency after 5 years.
D7 visa, however, is based on the idea you will be coming to live in Portugal (at least most of the year) and that it will be your main home. You can travel abroad, just have to stay within the limits on absences. You don’t have to buy a property at all. Of course, you can if you choose so (many do) but it’s not a visa requirement. You are expected to live off your own income without needing employment in Portugal, i.e. without taking a job from a local worker. D7 visa is also significantly cheaper in Government fees, the difference runs in €1,000s!
The minimum income as follows:
€7,200 per year for the main applicant. For example, if you qualify for the current full UK state pension of £172.50 per week, it will give you income of £9,110 per year or approximately €10,000. UK state pension alone could potentially qualify you for this visa!
€3,600 for the spouse – 50% of the main amount.
€2,160 per child – 30% of the main amount.
Step 1: entry visa to Portugal. You have to apply in your country of residency (the UK, United States etc), even if you wouldn’t normally need a visa to travel to Portugal. This is because this is not a short visit or a holiday, it will be the 1st step towards a Residence Permit. Once granted, it will be a visa for 4 months.
Step 2: extension once in Portugal. This will be a Residence Permit for 1 year.
Step 3: further extension for 2 years.
Step 4: another extension for 2 years.
Step 5: permanent residency status.
Step 6: Portuguese Citizenship (if you choose to have it).
Use of Portuguese national health service, the SNS. You will need travel insurance to secure your entry visa but after you have your first Residence Permit, after initial 4 months visa and time needed to process your in-country extension, you will be deemed a resident and can use the National Health Service (SNS) on the same terms as Portuguese citizens.
Living, studying and working in the self-employed capacity; buying and renting property.
Beneficial tax treatment under the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) scheme.
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) scheme covers your first 10 years of residence. It means you won’t pay Portuguese tax on your foreign (i.e. non-Portuguese) income, such as dividends, rent, earnings from remote work etc. Pension used to be included but will be subject to a 10% tax from 31 March 2021, if the proposed changes are implemented as announced. The 10% foreign pension tax will affect the newcomers to the scheme and not those already in the NHR regime.