The Portuguese digital nomad visa became available on October 30, 2022, and enough time has now passed that digital nomads have applied and been accepted into Portugal on this visa. Although it’s still new, and there are some gray areas, we know much more now than we did in 2022. Here is the latest on the Digital Nomad Visa in Portugal as of February 2023.
Who is the Portuguese digital nomad visa for?
The new Portugal digital nomad visa is also known as the D8 visa. It is designed for professionals who are working for non-Portuguese companies, and offers options for those digital nomads who prefer to stay in Portugal short-term (less than one year) and long-term (over one year).
If you are traveling frequently as a digital nomad and prefer to move from country to country, the short-term Portuguese digital nomad visa is right for you. If you want to reside in Portugal permanently and would like to eventually apply for permanent residency or citizenship, the long-term Portuguese digital nomad visa is what you need.
There are NO restrictions on type of profession to apply for the Portugal digital nomad visa. Regardless of profession, you just need to meet income requirements. Read on for more detail.
Portugal Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
You must be working for a company outside of Portugal to apply for the Portugal digital nomad visa. If your employer or work relationship is in Portugal you should instead apply to either the D1 Work visa, the D2 Freelance visa, or the D3 Highly Skilled Professional visa.
Additional requirements to apply:
You must provide proof of income of at least 4 times the minimum wage in Portugal over each of the last 3 months. The minimum wage in Portugal in 2023 is €760. This means you must demonstrate you earned at least €3,040 on average per month over the past 3 months (or €9120 in total).
If you will be bringing dependents the income requirement is higher. To add a spouse or a parent, add an additional 50% of the minimum wage per month to the main applicant income. To add children, add 30% of the min wage for each child per month.
You must prove you have tax residency in another country. This is usually done by including a tax return in your application
You must provide a work contract and notarized statement confirming you are able to work remotely. If you will be applying for the long-term Portugal digital nomad visa, this work contract must be valid for at least 1 year.
Documents Required for the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa
To prove professional activity
For employees, you can use any of the following:
*Employment contract (most common)
Promise of employment
For independent professionals/contractors/freelancers, you can use any of the following:
Proposal for a service contract
There is flexibility here. If there is a more compelling document in your case, you should try to use it.
To bring your family with you (family reunification)
Must prove that you are legally married and that your children are dependents
With the “family reunification visa” (which is also new!) family members can apply for a visa at the consulate with the main D8 applicant.
Portugal Digital Nomad Visa Application Process
Collect your documents. These include:
The visa application, available online
A valid passport and copy
Two recent passport photos
Proof of travel insurance to cover medical expenses for the duration of your time in Portugal
A criminal record certificate plus a form granting the SEF permission to investigate your criminal history
Receive the visa. This is likely to take 2-3 weeks, although may take longer if there are many applications to process. Your visa will be valid for 120 days.
Travel to Portugal
Attend your SEF appointment in Portugal
Note that SEF is very backlogged in 2023. It is likely your SEF appointment will be scheduled for 6+ months after your initial visa is granted. Don’t worry! You are allowed to stay in Portugal provided your meeting has been scheduled.
Wait for your residence permit card (be sure SEF has an up-to-date address, as this will be sent via mail)
Renew your residence permit once it expires
Apply for a permanent residence permit (after 5 years) OR
Apply for Portuguese citizenship (after 5 years of residence)
Should I apply for the digital nomad visa, or for the D7 visa?
While the digital nomad (D8) visa focuses on the applicant’s professional situation and income, the D7 visa focuses on the applicant’s financial situation and the source of their income. The D7 visa has a much lower income requirement - you must earn only above the Portuguese minimum wage. However, the source of that income matters. It should likely come from property, investments, or other passive means.
When you apply for the digital nomad visa, the paperwork you supply to the government is about your employment situation. When you apply for the D7 visa, you have to supply paperwork about your overall financial situation, often including your savings and investments.
The D7 visa also requires you to have accommodation in Portugal, to open a Portuguese bank account, and to secure a NIF number. While it is certainly advisable to set up all three of these items if you want to live in Portugal with the digital nomad visa, *as of now* it seems it is not necessary to do so. That means that the digital nomad visa actually has fewer hoops to jump through than the D7 visa, at least for the time being.
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