Interested in working remotely while living in your dream country? The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa allows you to do just that. Discover how!

Last Updated on November 13, 2022 by Maryam Siddiqui

Let’s break it down for our readers who’re not entirely aware of the concept of digital nomadism. A digital nomad uses the vast advantages of digital telecommunications to travel the world while working remotely. The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa has gained rapid popularity after Lisbon was ranked as the #1 city for digital nomads.

With so many visa options, which one should you go with? It’s a common doubt among digital nomads looking to work remotely in Portugal. This article will explain all you need to know about getting the appropriate visa. From the key differences to how much it costs and how you can sign up for yours. 

Let’s get into it!

How can I obtain a Portugal Digital Nomad visa?

You’re on the right track if you’re considering relocating to the #1 destination for digital nomads

Portugal has many digital nomad-friendly cities, but Lisbon and the Algarve have topped the list. Like all other visas, you’ll need specific documents to reside as a digital nomad, which we’ll highlight below. 

Starting from 30th October 2022, digital nomads no longer have to determine whether the D2 or D7 Visa is the right fit. There is a new visa that is specifically designed for remote workers and freelancers who want to live in Portugal.

However, digital nomads also have the option to move to Portugal with the Business Visa (D2 Visa), and there are several perks to that. Additionally, getting a residence visa with a different option – the Passive Income Visa (D7 Visa) is also possible. 

Portugal Digital Nomad Visa

There are numerous benefits of freelancing in Portugal; let’s take a look at the most common ones: 

  • Increased liberation to work and manage tasks;
  • Great work-life balance – you can work on an island in peace;
  • Personal fulfillment; 
  • Reduced income tax;
  • Motivation to work according to your productivity;
  • You get to experience Portugal’s slow pace of life and enjoy every moment; 
  • It’s a home away from home.

Before we get into the differences between each and conclude which one to obtain, let’s highlight the required documents. 

Documents and conditions to apply for a residence visa

These are some standard documents and conditions for applying for a residence visa. Other documents may be needed depending on the applicant’s situation.

  • Passport;
  • A Service Agreement of Promise (to provide services as a freelancer);
  • NIF number;
  • Activity at Finanças office;
  • Proof of subsistence;
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal;
  • International Travel Medical Insurance;
  • Criminal records issued in the country of residence;
  • Permission to consult the Portuguese criminal registry by SEF;
  • Complete Visa application form;
  • Letter of Intent.

For the new visa designed specifically for digital nomads and freelancers, you will be required to submit the following documents: 

  • Proof of income for the past three months;
  • Tax-residency documents;
  • Contract of employment (or proof of self-employment).

This might seem slightly detailed; Remember, the visa you’ll receive at the end of it makes everything worth it. Keep in mind that some of these aforementioned documents must be obtained before the application, such as the NIF Number. 

D2 visa for digital nomads in Portugal

The D2 Visa allows individuals the same rights regarding living in Portugal as a resident. With the D2 Business Visa, digital nomads can set up their businesses and eventually apply for Portuguese nationality later on. 

The biggest advantage for digital nomads is that they have the freedom to work in any industry they wish. Entrepreneurial digital nomads can set up their operations in many parts of the world, mainly thanks to globalization. Hence many use this opportunity to expand their businesses worldwide without keeping an inventory in every location.

Let’s inspire you with some statistics! According to the Startup Hub Portal of Portugal, the country has 2,236 registered startups and 165 incubators and accelerators. These numbers keep increasing every year. 

So, how can a digital nomad apply for a Business Visa? 

Here are some things you’ll need to ensure before starting a business: 

  • Creating a Portuguese company;
  • Creating bank accounts for personal and commercial purposes;
  • Transferring the share capital;
  • Hiring a local accountant;
  • Paying Social Security as a manager;
  • Paying Corporate Income Tax annually;
  • Paying employees’ salaries.  

If you’re interested in the opportunities within this realm, give our FAQ on Developing a Business in Portugal a read. 

D7 visa for digital nomads in Portugal

The D7 Passive Income Visa differs from the D2 Business Visa and the new visa for digital nomads. To obtain the D7 Visa, digital nomads must present proof of income or financial investments. So, if you provide services such as marketing, software development, or accounting, to name some, you’ll find this process easier.  

For the Passive Income Visa, you aren’t required to set up an entire business or transfer capital investments. However, you must present proof of income. Since we’ve already highlighted the standard documents for your application, let’s determine how much income you’ll need to present.

Digital Nomads is Portugal may apply for a D2 Visa or D7 Visa

You must demonstrate the availability of an amount corresponding to the minimum wage in force in Portugal. In 2022, that amount is currently €705 if you live independently. For a second accompanying adult, it is necessary to have a value of 50% of the minimum wage, which is €352.50. 

Due to the nature of this visa, some digital nomads faced difficulties getting accepted for the D7 Visa application. Mainly because their income would not classify as a “passive income source”. Keep reading to know how they can solve this problem now!

Did you know digital nomads also relocate to Portugal with their entire families? Requirements apply if there are children or youngsters under 18 under the visa holder’s responsibility. There is a need to demonstrate the availability of 30% of the minimum wage for each child. In 2022, the value corresponds to €211.50 per child. 

The types of passive incomes as per law are: 

  • Pension;
  • Rent from real estate investments;
  • Financial investment (interests);
  • Dividends;
  • Intellectual Property;
  • Royalties.

By reading our FAQ, you can check out more information on the D7 Visa as a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa.

The New Visa for Digital Nomads 

The new visa for freelancers and digital nomads in Portugal has improved things. Starting 30th October 2022, any individual of legal age who is not an EU/EEA/Swiss national can apply for this visa. 

Since this visa is specifically designed for freelancers and digital nomads, it has very few requirements that must be met. It’s a “temporary stay” visa and also a “residence visa” with a validity period of 1 year. This means that you can use this to stay in Portugal longer than the Schengen Visa allows. 

The main criterion to obtain this visa is proof of a monthly income that equals four times Portugal’s minimum wage. As of November 2022, this amount equals €2,820 per month and will most likely increase in 2023 as the minimum wage increases. 

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You must submit proof of income for the past three months, your tax residency documents, and a contract of employment or proof of self-employment along with your application. 

Is it easier to obtain a D2 or a D7 visa?

It depends on several factors. These factors include but are not limited to, the validity of your documents, proof of exact income, and contract compliance. Given the technicalities and bureaucracy in Portugal, you may opt for assistance from our team of professionals at Viv Europe. After all, it’s important to get this right the first chance you get.

The answer here is subjective to your kind of lifestyle. As you can probably tell, the requirements for the new digital nomad visa, the D2 and the D7 Visa differ. You may be more inclined towards the Business Visa (D2) if you’re an entrepreneurial digital nomad. 

However, if you’re someone with a stable stream of passive income looking to freelance in Portugal, the D7 works well. But the new visa is for you if you’re a remote worker with a monthly income of at least €2,820. 

Obtaining a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa is relatively more accessible than other ways of acquiring residency, for example, real estate investments. Real estate requires more considerable investments. But, many individuals enjoy the same benefits, such as a low cost of living and incomparable tranquility. 

Did you know Portugal is home to over 37,000 digital nomads? It’s getting increasingly popular!

We understand that this might be a little confusing; here’s a video that might help you understand better:

How long does it take to obtain a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?

Similar to what we just mentioned above, the process depends on various things. The usual time for your D2 or D7 Visa application to reach a decision is up to 90 days. This is given the fact that all rules are met, and you’ve compiled each of the correct documents properly.

If you fail to submit the correct documents, the process might take longer than 3 to 4 months. 

The new digital nomad visa has a processing time of approximately 30 days, which might be too long for some nomads that are on the go. However, the application is most likely to be processed sooner. 

How much does it take to apply for a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?

Each type of visa fee is different, depending on the duration of the stay and your purpose. It also depends on your country of origin. 

For the United States, the fee for both the D2 and the D7 Visa is €90, according to VFS Global. The fee for the new digital nomad visa is only €75 for a trip that is less than 1 year. 

You can find more specific information on the VFS Global website and locate a Visa Application Centre near you. 

What happens if my Portugal visa application is denied?

The Portuguese consulate decides the fate of your visa application, and they may not accept it. Weak applications have a higher chance of getting rejected, which is why people often consider hiring an immigration assistance company

In case your application is denied, there’s no refund of the visa fee. You may choose to try again later with the proper documents and timing.

Do you need help obtaining a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?

Obtaining a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa is a ticket to quitting your tedious 9 to 5 job! At present, there’s more than one way to earn a living while truly experiencing the beauty of life. Portugal has much to offer, whether you live in the tech-hub Lisbon or the relaxing Algarve region. 

Want to connect with other digital nomads living in Portugal? Join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats, and hear their stories! Also, our team at Viv Europe is always here to guide you every step of the way. Get in touch to turn your dream into reality now! 

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