The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa Dilemma: D7 or D8? (2024 Update)

Dreaming of trading your cubicle for a sun-drenched balcony overlooking the Atlantic? Portugal might just be your answer. The D7 Visa has long been a favorite for expats with passive income sources; but Portugal is now welcoming digital nomads with a brand-new program: the Portugal Remote Work Visa (D8 Visa).

I’ve visited Portugal several times and can see why it’s become such a popular choice with nomads and remote workers. The country is stunning and offers something for nearly every interest.

What is the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?

The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa program is specifically designed for remote workers and freelancers outside the EU/EEA. It allows them to live and work in Portugal legally. This visa came into effect in October 2022.

The D7 Visa vs. The Digital Nomad Visa

The D7 visa is a more general residency visa aimed at retirees, individuals with passive income, and some remote workers. Here’s the key difference:

  • D7 Visa: Suitable for those with passive income sources (pensions, investments, etc.). It generally doesn’t target remote workers who actively earn income from a foreign employer or clients.
  • Digital Nomad Visa: Specifically designed for remote workers with active income outside Portugal.

The Two Options for the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa

  1. Temporary Stay Visa:
    • Allows you to live and work in Portugal for up to one year.
    • Cannot be extended, but you may be eligible to apply for a residency visa afterward.
  2. Residency Visa:
    • Gives you the right to live and work in Portugal longer.
    • Valid for four months, provides two entries into Portugal.
    • Once in Portugal, you can apply for a residence permit valid for two years, renewable for another three years.
FeatureTemporary Stay VisaResidence Visa
Duration12 months24 months, renewable for 36 months
RenewabilityNoYes
Minimum Accommodation Lease4 months12 months
Application Fee€50€50
Processing TimeVariesVaries
Direct path to a residency permitYesYes
Work Permit RequiredNoNo
Path to ResidencyMay be eligible after one yearDirect path to residency permit

Why Choose Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?

  • Vibrant Culture and History: From Lisbon’s cobblestone streets to the Algarve’s breathtaking landscapes, Portugal is brimming with charm and character.
  • Excellent Infrastructure: Reliable internet and strong coworking communities make it easy to stay connected and productive.
  • Favorable Cost of Living: Portugal offers a more budget-friendly option for stretching those remote work dollars compared to other major European hubs. It should be noted that accommodation prices are on the rise, especially in central Lisbon, with many locals feeling priced out, and fairly or not, digital nomads have taken on much of the blame.
  • Welcoming Community: Portugal is known for its friendly locals and growing international community of digital nomads.
  • Stunning Natural Beauty: Portugal’s landscapes invite exploration and outdoor escapes from dramatic coastlines to rolling vineyards.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Non-EU/EEA citizen
  • Employed by a foreign company
  • Stable employment contract with a minimum monthly income of €3,280 (this figure is current as of March 2024, but be sure to check as it can change)
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support your stay
  • Clean criminal record
  • Health insurance

Essential Documents:

  • Valid passport: Valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in Portugal.
  • Completed application form: Download and fill out the official application form for the D8 Visa.
  • Proof of employment:
    • Employment contract with your foreign company
    • Recent payslips
    • Letter from your employer confirming your remote work status and income
  • Proof of income:
    • Bank statements demonstrating your monthly income exceeding €3,280 or four times the Portuguese minimum wage.
    • Tax returns from the past year
  • Proof of sufficient funds: Bank statements or other documents showing you have enough financial resources to support yourself during your stay (minimum amount varies).
  • Health insurance: Proof of private health insurance covering you throughout your stay in Portugal, with a minimum coverage of €30,000 for medical expenses.
  • Clean criminal record certificate: A certificate from your home country and any other countries you’ve resided in for extended periods, proving you have no criminal convictions.
  • Two passport-sized photos: Recent photos that meet the specific size and format requirements outlined in the official guidelines.

Additional Documents (may be requested):

  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal (e.g., rental agreement, hotel reservation)
  • Travel itinerary
  • Proof of relationship (if applying as a family unit)
  • Professional qualifications and/or references (for self-employed individuals)

Important Notes:

  • A certified translator must translate all documents into Portuguese if they are not originally in Portuguese.
  • You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.
  • It’s crucial to consult the latest official information from the Portuguese Immigration Office for the most accurate and up-to-date list of required documents: https://imigrante.sef.pt/

Application Process:

  1. Apply for a D8 Visa: Submit your application at your local Portuguese embassy or consulate.
  2. Obtain a temporary residence permit: Once in Portugal, apply for this permit at the local immigration office.
  3. Renew your permit: You can renew your permit for up to two years, ultimately leading to potential permanent residency.

Additional Tips:

  • Start planning early: The application process can take several months.
  • Gather all required documents: Ensure you have everything readily available.
  • Consider professional help: An immigration lawyer can guide you through the process.
  • Learn some Portuguese: Basic language skills go a long way in integrating.

Embrace the Digital Nomad Dream in Portugal:

Beyond the visa, Portugal offers a wealth of experiences:

  • Explore charming towns and vibrant cities: Discover Lisbon’s history, Porto’s charm, and hidden gems across the country.
  • Indulge in delicious cuisine: Savor fresh seafood, regional specialties, and delectable pastries.
  • Connect with the local community: Attend events, join online groups, and make new friends.
  • Hike through breathtaking landscapes: Conquer mountains, explore national parks or relax on pristine beaches.

Ready to embark on your Portuguese digital nomad adventure? With its Remote Work Visa, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, Portugal awaits! So pack your laptop, embrace the remote work lifestyle, and discover the magic of this Iberian gem.

Portugal: An LGBTQ+ Paradise for Digital Nomads

Portugal is not just about stunning landscapes and welcoming culture, but also with its progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity, making it a haven for digital nomads seeking a safe and accepting environment. Let’s dive into everything Portugal offers:

LGBTQ+ Safety and Inclusivity:

  • Ranked highly: Portugal consistently ranks high on LGBTQ+ safety and equality indexes, with same-sex marriage legalized in 2010 and anti-discrimination laws in place.
  • Vibrant scene: Major cities like Lisbon and Porto boast thriving LGBTQ+ communities with bars, clubs, and events. Smaller towns and villages are generally welcoming, though openness may vary.
  • Respectful culture: Portuguese society is known for its tolerance and acceptance, making you feel comfortable expressing yourself authentically.

Portugal shines brightly as a safe and welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ travelers. Here’s why:

  • Progressive Laws: Portugal was one of the first countries in Europe to legalize same-sex marriage (in 2010) and boasts strong anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Open and Accepting Culture: Portuguese society is widely known for its tolerance and acceptance of diverse communities. You’ll find vibrant LGBTQ+ scenes and support networks, especially in larger cities.
  • Pride Celebrations: Events like Lisbon Pride and Porto Pride draw locals and visitors, celebrating inclusivity and visibility.
  • Resources: Organizations like ILGA Portugal offer resources and support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Important Considerations:

While Portugal is generally very welcoming, it’s always wise to be mindful of your surroundings, especially in more rural or conservative areas where attitudes may be less progressive.

Places to Visit:

  • Lisbon: Explore the Alfama district, ride the iconic Tram 28, and visit the LX Factory for trendy shops and nightlife.
  • Porto: Discover the Ribeira waterfront, marvel at the São Francisco Church, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in the Barredo neighborhood.
  • Algarve: Relax on pristine beaches like Praia da Marinha, explore charming towns like Lagos, and enjoy the LGBTQ+ scene in Faro.
  • Madeira: Hike through lush landscapes, visit the volcanic caves, and experience the welcoming LGBTQ+ community in Funchal.
  • Azore Islands: An archipelago of nine volcanic islands in the Atlantic, halfway between the United States and Europe. I spent two weeks exploring the larger islands and cannot wait to go back. I predict tourism in this part of Portugal will explode in the coming years.
  • Smaller towns: Discover hidden gems like Sintra, Óbidos, and Coimbra, known for their historical charm and friendly atmosphere.

Best Times to Travel in Portugal

Portugal boasts a Mediterranean climate perfect for outdoor exploration, so consider these factors when choosing the ideal time for your digital nomad journey:

  • Peak Season (June-August): Warmest weather, beaches are most popular, higher prices, and bigger crowds. Perfect if you love the summer vibe and don’t mind the bustling atmosphere.
  • Shoulder Seasons (April-May, September-October): Delightful temperatures, less tourist traffic, and more affordable rates. A fantastic choice for enjoying both outdoor adventures and city exploration.
  • Winter (November-March): Mild weather (though cooler in the north), offers a different charm with fewer crowds, and you may find even better deals. Ideal if you prefer tranquility, local experiences, and festive celebrations.

Things to Consider:

  • While Portugal is generally safe, be cautious in isolated areas and use common sense.
  • Public displays of affection might draw stares in some conservative areas, though major cities are more accepting.
  • Portuguese is the official language, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas. Learning some basic phrases can enhance your experience.

Food Scene:

  • Diverse and delicious: From fresh seafood to savory stews, Portugal offers a gastronomical adventure.
  • Dietary options: Vegetarian and vegan options are increasingly available, especially in larger cities.
  • LGBTQ+ friendly restaurants: Several restaurants cater specifically to the LGBTQ+ community, offering a welcoming atmosphere and delicious food.
Portugal Digital Nomad Visa

Resources:

  • ILGA-Portugal
  • ARCIS Rainbow Association
  • Pride Portugal
  • Portugal LGBTQ+ Travel Guide
  • Remember: This information is intended as a general guide, and specific situations can vary. Research your chosen destinations and exercise caution while traveling.

Additional Resources: 

Share your love:

Have you considered Portugal for your digital nomad journey? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

I hope this blog post provides valuable information and inspires you to consider Portugal as your remote work haven!

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One comment

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