How to Obtain a D8 Digital Nomad Visa in Portugal: The Ultimate Guide

Portugal has become a magnet for remote workers and digital nomads, attracting individuals seeking a high quality of life, beautiful landscapes, and a welcoming expat community. The Digital Nomad visa, introduced in October 2022, provides a streamlined path to residency for those working remotely and earning a substantial income.

This guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools to successfully navigate the Digital Nomad visa application process, empowering you to turn your dream of working and living in Portugal into a reality.

Understanding the Digital Nomad Visa

The Digital Nomad visa is designed for individuals who:

  • Work remotely for a foreign company or are self-employed. This means you must generate income from sources outside of Portugal.
  • Have a proven income of at least €3,280 per month. This amount is based on four times Portugal’s minimum wage.

Types of Digital Nomad Visas

There are two main categories of Digital Nomad visas:

  • Short-term visa: This allows you to stay in Portugal for up to 12 months but does not grant residency. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a shorter-term stay.
  • Long-term visa: This grants a residence permit, allowing you to stay in Portugal for over a year. This option opens the door to potential future citizenship.

Key Requirements for Digital Nomad Visa Application

  1. Proof of Income: You must provide documentation demonstrating your monthly income, exceeding the minimum threshold of €3,280, for at least three months prior to your application. This can include:
    • Freelancers: Contracts with clients, bank statements showing payments received, and tax declarations with proof of income tax payments.
    • Employees: Work contract, employer’s certificate confirming remote work capabilities, bank statements reflecting salary payments, and tax return or certificate from your employer regarding taxes paid.
  2. Accommodation: While the official requirements state a 4-month rental contract, many consulates ask for a one-year contract.
    • Finding an Apartment: Local websites, real estate agents, Facebook groups, and marketplaces are excellent resources. Be wary of scams and prioritize safety.
    • Documents for Landlords: Landlords may require tax returns, contracts, and a resume (preferably in Portuguese) explaining your background and financial stability.
    • Guarantors: Some landlords may request a guarantor residing and working in Portugal. Alternatively, consider paying several months’ rent in advance or multiple deposits.
    • Registration: Ensure the rental contract is registered with the Finanças (tax office) to avoid legal issues.
  3. Certificate of No Criminal Record: All applicants over 16 must provide a certificate of no criminal record from their country of citizenship and any countries they’ve lived in for over a year after the age of 16. This certificate must be:
    • Translated into Portuguese
    • Notarized
    • Apostilled
  4. Savings: While not officially mandated, it’s highly recommended to show at least €9,840 in savings per person. This helps demonstrate your financial stability.
    • For Long-Term Visas: A larger deposit of 12-16 thousand euros can further strengthen your application.
    • Family Applications: You must show 50% of the minimum annual income for your spouse (€4,920) and 30% for each underage child (€2,952).
  5. Health Insurance:
    • D Visa: Standard travel insurance for 120 days is sufficient.
    • Residency Permit: You must obtain Portuguese health insurance (like Tranquilidade or Fidelidade) before applying for your residency permit. This can often be arranged through your Portuguese bank.
  6. Airplane Ticket Reservations: You do not need to purchase actual tickets but must show proof of reservations for the approximate date of arrival in Portugal. Ideally, this should be 1.5-2 months after your visa application submission.
  7. Motivation Letter (Optional but Recommended): This letter provides an opportunity to explain your reasons for choosing Portugal, highlight your financial stability and future plans, and present a strong case for your visa application.

Family Members

If you are applying with family members, each person, including minors, requires a separate application form. You will also need to provide:

  • Proof of income (as per the requirements mentioned above)
  • Certificate of no criminal record (for each family member over 16)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Birth certificates (for children)
  • Apostilled and translated documents

Step-by-Step Guide to Digital Nomad Visa Application

Step 1: Appointment with Consulate or VFS Global

  • Determine Submission Method: Find out whether you need to apply directly at the consulate or through the VFS Global visa center in your country.
  • Application Registration: Register your application, providing personal information and attaching required documents. You’ll receive a PDF application form via email.
  • Application Form Completion: Fill out the form using Latin letters, ensuring all mandatory fields are complete.
  • Select Consular Office: Choose the Portuguese embassy in your city/country.

Step 2: Certificate of No Criminal Record

  • Obtain Certificate: Request a certificate of no criminal record in paper format from your country of citizenship and any countries where you resided for more than a year after the age of 16.
  • Apostille: Obtain an apostille for the certificate.
  • Translation: Translate the certificate into Portuguese.
  • Notarization: Have the translated certificate notarized.

Step 3: Proof of Accommodation

  • Contact Consulate: Check with the Portuguese consulate in your country for the latest requirements regarding rental contracts.
  • Document Options: Depending on the consulate, you may need a one-year rental contract, a four-month contract, or even short-term Airbnb reservations.
  • Finanças Registration: Ensure the contract is registered with the Finanças (tax office) if applicable.

Step 4: Proof of Monthly Income

  • Income Documentation: Provide proof of an average monthly income for the past three months that is at least four times the minimum wage in Portugal (€3,280).
  • Freelancers: Combine income from several contracts if necessary to exceed the minimum threshold.
  • Tax Declaration: Submit a tax return for your income to prove legality and compliance.
  • Consult Local Consulate: Confirm whether your consulate considers pre-tax or post-tax income.

Step 5: Savings

  • Recommended Amount: Show a minimum of €9,840 in savings per person to demonstrate financial stability.
  • Bank Statement: Provide a bank statement stamped by your bank.
  • Long-Term Visas: Consider showing a larger deposit of 12-16 thousand euros to increase your chances of approval.
  • Family Applications: Include 50% of the minimum annual income for your spouse (€4,920) and 30% for each underage child (€2,952).

Step 6: Health Insurance

  • D Visa: Obtain standard travel insurance for 120 days.
  • Residency Permit: Get Portuguese health insurance (like Tranquilidade or Fidelidade) for your residency permit application.

Step 7: Tickets to Portugal

  • Reservations: Provide proof of ticket reservations for the approximate date of your arrival in Portugal. Aim for a date 1.5-2 months after your visa application submission.

Step 8: Family Documents

  • Financial Evidence: Provide proof of income for your spouse (50% of the minimum annual income) and for each underage child (30% of the minimum annual income).
  • Certificates: Include apostilled and translated criminal record certificates, marriage certificates, and birth certificates for family members.

Step 9: Motivation Letter

  • Content: Explain your reasons for choosing Portugal, highlight your financial stability, and outline your plans for the future.
  • Structure: Briefly describe your source of income, reasons for choosing Portugal, and future plans.
  • Consider Professional Help: Seek the help of a lawyer to draft a compelling letter.

Step 10: Application to Consulate or VFS

  • Appointment: Schedule an appointment at the consulate or VFS.
  • Document Checklist: Ensure all documents are translated, notarized, apostilled, and certified.
  • Application Submission: Submit your application.
  • Processing Time: Expect a wait of 1-2 months, but processing times can vary depending on the country.

Step 11: Passport and Photos

  • Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned return from Portugal.
  • Photos: Submit two photos measuring 3.5 × 4.5 cm in color against a white background.
  • Passport Submission: Consult your consulate’s requirements regarding passport submission during the application process.

Step 12: Arrival in Portugal and Application to AIMA

  • D Visa: Your D visa will be valid for 120 days and allows you two entries into the EU during that timeframe.
  • AIMA Appointment: Make an appointment with AIMA if it wasn’t scheduled by the consulate.
  • Legal Stay: You are legally in Portugal until your AIMA appointment, even if your D visa expires before then.
  • Rescheduling: If you need to reschedule your AIMA appointment, call 217-115-000.
  • AIMA Fee: The AIMA fee is €170.5 and can be paid by bank card.

Step 13: Receive Your Residence Permit Card

  • Processing Time: You will receive your residence permit card, valid for two years, approximately two to twelve weeks after your AIMA appointment.
  • Documents for AIMA: Prepare the following:
    • Passport with visa
    • NIF (Tax Identification Number)
    • Proof of accommodation: Lease agreement or certificate from the junta de France
    • Recent bank account statement (Portuguese accounts are often preferred)
    • Proof of income: Contracts and recent payslips
    • NISS (Social Security Number) and utente (national health service card) (optional)
    • Private healthcare insurance if you don’t have utente
    • Family reunion documents: Copies of family certificates, bank statements, and residence permit of the family member

Bottom Line

The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa offers a unique opportunity for remote workers to experience the beauty and culture of Portugal while establishing a stable base for their careers. By following the steps outlined in this guide and preparing all the necessary documentation, you can successfully navigate the application process and enjoy the benefits of living and working in Portugal.

Remember, the specific requirements and processes may vary slightly depending on your nationality and location. It’s always best to consult with the Portuguese consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information and guidance.

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Resources

Visa and Immigration Services

🌐 VFS Global: For global visa and passport application services. Visit VFS Global

📝 Portugal Visa Application: Official portal for online visa applications in Portugal. Apply for a Visa

Real Estate and Housing

🏡 Idealista: Find apartments and houses for rent or sale in Portugal. Visit Idealista

🏠 Imovirtual: Search for properties to buy or rent in Portugal. Visit Imovirtual

💼 CustoJusto: Classified ads for real estate and other categories in Portugal. Visit CustoJusto

🛏️ Casa Sapo: Rent rooms and apartments in Portugal. Visit Casa Sapo

Short-term and Student Accommodation

🏢 Flatio: Medium-term rentals and accommodation options in Portugal. Visit Flatio

🎓 Uniplaces: Find student accommodation and rooms for rent in Portugal. Visit Uniplaces

🌍 Nestpick: Search for furnished apartments and rooms worldwide. Visit Nestpick

📝 Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes and spans various topics. While we aim for accuracy with AI-enhanced, human-curated information, we do not guarantee correctness and are not liable for inaccuracies. This is not professional advice; consult a professional for specific guidance. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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