Have you thought about living in Portugal and not sure how to start? If you make passive income, then the Portugal D7 Visa may be perfect for you. I’ll go over the requirements and everything you need to get it!

In the past, the D7 visa has been known as the Retirement Visa or Passive Income Visa. You don’t need to be retired to apply for it, but you do need to be making passive income. Nowadays there are so many ways of making passive income and it is not limited to just coming from a retirement account or a pension. You could be making it in a variety of ways as long as you are making the required amount.

Back in 2022, the Digital Nomad visa came on the scene which changed the requirements for the D7 visa. Before you could apply with a remote job, but that is no longer the case. Let’s go over everything you need to apply.

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There are two parts of the Portugal D7 visa process. The first is when you apply at the consulate in your country/city of residence. The second is once you have arrived in Portugal. We’ll go over both in this section.

Applying in your Country of Residence

The main requirements you’ll need are health insurance, an FBI background check, a Portuguese bank account, a NIF (Portuguese financial number), and money in your new Portuguese bank account. These are some of the most time consuming ones so it’s good to keep this in mind when considering when you’ll be starting this process.  

  1. Application Form
  2. Passport & Notarized Copy of ID page
  3. 2 color passport photos
  4. Health insurance* – must cover all necessary medical expenses, including urgent medical assistance & repatriation in case of death. Should be good for at least 6 months or more
  5. Declaration stating applicant allows SEF to consult Portuguese criminal record (this is stated on the Portugal website, but I was not asked for this)
  6. FBI Criminal record (Newark Consulate said I did not need it with an Apostille)
  7. Statement indicating the reasons you want to move to Portugal (wrote a short 2 paragraph paper and it was sufficient)
  8. Proof of Portuguese bank account 
  9. A Portuguese salary’s worth of money in Portuguese bank account (as of 2023 – €9,120)
  10. Reservation of flight to Portugal (this is stated on the Portugal website, but I was not asked for this)
  11. Portuguese tax number (NIF)
  12. Portuguese address (rental agreement for 1 year, proof of house bought or sponsorship from a friend in Portugal)
  13. Proof of source of income (bank statements, contract of loan to private company, financial applications, profits from business or any other documents to demonstrate income. Bank statements from last 3 months)
  14. Family members can be added to the main applicant’s visa (add 50% of €760 for spouse and 30% for each child) 

*This is an affiliate link for a health insurance that would be accepted for the visa application.

Portugal D7 Visa

SEF Appointment for Residency Card in Portugal

I read hundreds of threads and posts mentioning the SEF appointment. Some people were given appointments once they received the visa in their passports, others had to find an appointment on their own. It sounded a bit like a nightmare. I’m grateful I got an appointment with my visa when I went to pick it up at the Newark Consulate.

After that it was just waiting for my appointment which was 5 months after the approval. I had my appointment September 5, 2023. As I prepared for it, I wanted to be sure I had everything I needed. In my research, I saw lots of personal accounts as well as the official information. I’ll let you know what is officially needed and what I was asked for.

  1. Passport, copy of main page, visa page & entry to Portugal page
  2. SEF application (https://imigrante.sef.pt/wp-content/uploads/RequerimentoAR_2018.pdf)
  3. NIF paper
  4. Portuguese bank account statements for the last 3 months with amount of €9,120 minimum
  5. Health insurance* (policy with name)
  6. Rental contract for 1 year
  7. Payment of €170 in cash or with Portuguese bank card

Of these 7 items, I only had to provide to the agent #s 1, 3, 6, and 7. Even though I printed #2, the SEF application, I was given a copy when I entered the office and then had to wait to be called. Print one in case they run out, but they may give you a copy. I just think it’s better to be over prepared.

For number 1, they only needed the physical passport as they made copies of the necessary page. I brought the original rental contract plus a copy, but they made a copy of the original.

After the appointment, you could feel you brought more than what was necessary, but it’s better to be ready for any circumstance.

Application Expenses

At the consulate appointment it’s €90 for an individual or €180 for a couple. You can pay in cash.

Once in Portugal, it’s €170.50 for an individual or €341 for a couple. You can pay in cash or with a Portuguese bank card.

Post Application

Now that you have had your appointment and you’re waiting for your residency card, here are some things to keep in mind.

CTT is the Portuguese mail service that will bring your card to the address you have on your application. They will not just drop it off so you need to be present. It can take anywhere from a month up to 4 months for it to arrive. Some times CTT will leave the notice that they knocked, but no one was home, even though you may not have heard it.

Even if you do miss when they stop by, you do have some time afterwards to pick it up. They do suggest that you stay in Portugal until you receive it but after 5 weeks I decided to take a short trip to Budapest. I was only there for 10 days and within that time it arrived. Thankfully it didn’t surpass the time that CTT keeps it before sending it back so I had no issues. It’s always better not to risk it though.

Either while you wait for your residency card to arrive or after, you should apply for your NISS number which is your social security number in Portugal. It’s a very easy process that you can do online. Living in Evora I filled it out on a Wednesday, got a call about making an appointment, and went in the next day to grab it. It’s not a necessary for most things, but it doesn’t hurt to have if later on you do need it.

Portugal D7 Visa Benefits

Tax benefits – Since you are required to live in Portugal for 183 days of the year, you will become a tax resident. As a tax resident you do get certain tax benefits. Please conduct research or consult with a lawyer to make sure you are fully aware of what those are as they can vary from person to person.

Opportunity to obtain Portuguese citizenship – After 5 years of residency, you will qualify to apply for Portugal citizenship. You will be able to live in any EU country. If you are a US citizen, as of now, you will not need to renounce your US citizenship. If the country you are from does allow dual citizenship then you won’t need to give anything up. Perú sí permite tener varias ciudadanías. 

Europe free travel – Once you have a residency card, you are permitted to travel around Europe without any restrictions.

Life Abroad

Moving abroad does come with its challenges in addition to its benefits. In my Life Abroad Newsletter, that I send out every two weeks on Fridays, I share personal stories, tips, and more related to starting a life in a new country. I hope it inspires a future move abroad for you!

You know that moving abroad is for you, but still have some questions? Book a call with me and I’ll answer any questions you may have!

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Viaja more y live más,

Latina Traveler

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  1. This was a really great breakdown of what’s involved in a process like this. I have experience of navigating visas, but for the U.S., so it was interesting to read what it was like for this particular one. Thanks for sharing — I’m sure that anyone going through this will find this useful.

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