How to Obtain a D7 Passive Income Visa in Portugal: The Ultimate Guide

A couple in their mid-30s walking along a cobblestone street in a charming Portuguese town, holding hands and laughing, with colorful buildings featuring traditional Portuguese architecture in the background.

Portugal’s D7 visa, also known as the “Passive Income Visa,” offers a pathway to residency for individuals with a consistent stream of legal passive income. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the D7 visa requirements, application process, and essential tips to increase your chances of success.

Understanding the D7 Visa

The D7 visa caters to individuals who can demonstrate a reliable passive income source, allowing them to live and work in Portugal without actively seeking employment.

Key Requirements:

  • Income: A minimum monthly passive income of €820 after taxes is required. This income should ideally come from savings of €16,000 or more held in a Portuguese bank account with a minimum balance of €9,840.
  • Visa Duration: The D7 visa grants a residence permit for an initial period of 2 years, renewable for an additional 3 years.
  • Permanent Residency: After residing legally in Portugal for 5 years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit.

Important Notes:

  • Application Location: You can only apply for the D7 visa in your country of citizenship or a country where you already hold a residence permit.
  • Passive Income Proof: Your passive income must be substantiated with documents demonstrating the taxes paid on it. Typically, this includes income records from the last year, although a shorter timeframe of 6-8 months may be acceptable in some cases.
  • Family Application: Applying with family requires demonstrating a higher combined income and maintaining a larger deposit in a bank account.

The D7 Visa Application Process

This step-by-step guide outlines the D7 visa application process, providing practical advice and essential details:

Step 1: Appointment with the Portuguese Consulate or VFS Global

  • Determine Application Method: Inquire about the document submission process in your country—directly at the consulate or through the VFS Global visa center.
  • Register for Application: Register online by providing personal information and uploading the required documents. You will receive a PDF application form via email.
  • Complete Application Form: Fill out the application form using Latin letters, ensuring all mandatory fields marked with an asterisk (*) are complete. Avoid using symbols, including commas, in certain sections.
  • Select Consular Office: Choose the appropriate Portuguese Embassy in your city/country.
  • Family Visa Applications: Each family member, including minors, requires a separate application form.

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 have lived for more than a year after the age of 16.
  • Apostille and Translation: Obtain an apostille, translate the certificate into Portuguese, and have it notarized by a notary.
  • Validity: The certificate is valid for 90 days.
  • Criminal Record: If you have a criminal record, consult with a lawyer. The specific offense and time since conviction may influence the visa decision.
  • Translation and Notarization: Ensure the certificate is translated into Portuguese and notarized before submission.

Step 3: Obtaining Your NIF (Tax Identification Number)

  • Remote or In-Person Application: You can obtain your NIF remotely before arriving in Portugal or in person at a Finanças office (tax office) by making an appointment.
  • Simplified NIF (Personal): You can apply for a simplified NIF in your own name without a representative. This allows you to open a bank account and rent property but not conduct active tax work.
  • Standard NIF (with Representative): A standard NIF for non-residents with full functions requires a representative.

Obtaining a NIF for Free:

  1. Schedule Appointment: Make an appointment by calling +351-217-206-707.
  2. Proof of Address: Bring your passport and proof of address in your country of tax residency. Acceptable documents include original utility bills in your name, translated into Portuguese, or a bank balance certificate in English.
  3. Visit Finanças: Bring your passport, a copy of your passport, and proof of residency.
  4. Personal Account Code: Apply for electronic receipt of letters in your personal account on the Finanças website. You will receive a letter with access codes to your personal account within 5-7 days.

Step 4: Proof of Accommodation

  • Rental Contract: Many consulates require a one-year rental contract in Portugal. However, the official requirements on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website indicate only a 4-month contract for the visa duration.
  • Consult Consulate: Contact the Portuguese consulate in your country to confirm current requirements.
  • Alternative Accommodation: Some countries may accept short-term Airbnb reservations or receipts from Finanças proving the lease is officially registered by the landlord.
  • Guarantor: In CPLP countries, you may submit a letter from a guarantor providing accommodation instead.

Documents for Renting an Apartment:

  • Landlord Documents: Prepare income tax returns, contracts, and a resume (preferably in Portuguese) explaining your reasons for living in Portugal and your plans to cover expenses.
  • Guarantor: Some landlords require a guarantor residing and working in Portugal. Offer alternative solutions like paying several months’ rent in advance or multiple deposits.
  • Agent Commission: Agents are typically paid by the landlord. Consider offering an extra commission to encourage cooperation.
  • Contract Registration: Ask the landlord to register the contract with Finanças. This is crucial to avoid legal issues.
  • NIF and Bank Account: You need a NIF and a bank account to sign a rental contract.

Finding an Apartment:

  • Local Sites and Agents: Search on local sites or work with an agent for assistance.
  • Independent Search: Find and rent apartments independently. Place ads in Facebook groups, introduce yourself, and state your job, hobbies, and desired apartment type.
  • Facebook Marketplace: Explore the Marketplace section on Facebook.
  • Aggregators: Use aggregators with free cancellation options.
  • Airbnb: Airbnb is suitable for short-term stays, not long-term rentals.

Step 5: Opening a Portuguese Bank Account

  • Online or Offline: Open an account online or offline, either with a lawyer or independently.
  • Non-Resident Account: Tell the bank you want to open a non-resident account.
  • Documents: Bring your passport, NIF, proof of home address in your country and Portugal, a document confirming professional employment (e.g., employment contract, translated and certified in Portugal), TIN of your home country, IRS for the last year, and a bank balance statement from your current bank.
  • BRICS Country: If you are from a BRICS country, provide proof of connection to Portugal.
  • Account Refusal: Don’t worry if a bank refuses to open an account. Try another bank or branch.
  • Visa Application with Non-Portuguese Account: If you can’t open a Portuguese account, apply for a visa with your existing account and attach refusal documents to your application.

Step 6: Proof of Passive Income

  • Minimum Income: The minimum monthly income for 2024 is €820 after taxes.
  • Family Application: If applying with family, demonstrate a higher income. You need 50% of the minimum wage for a spouse and 30% for each child.
  • Passive Income Examples: Rental earnings, dividends from businesses, copyright income, royalties, etc.
  • Consult a Lawyer: Seek legal advice to determine if your income qualifies for a D7 visa.

Proof of Income Requirements:

  • Transparency: Provide contracts, tax statements, and bank statements to verify the source and basis of your income.
  • Predictability: Demonstrate a consistent income stream for at least a year and the likelihood of continuing to receive it.

Ways to Prove Income:

  • Bank Statement: Provide a statement from your bank account in any country.
  • Portuguese Bank Account Balance: Deposit at least €16,000 (the exact amount may vary).
  • Rental Contract: Include proof of tax payments from this income.
  • Dividends, Stocks, or Business: Obtain a certificate from the company paying dividends, copyright fees, or royalties.
  • Bank Interest: Order a bank certificate indicating your deposit size and a statement for the past 1-2 years showing interest earned.

Income Tax in Portugal

  • Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Regime: If you haven’t been a resident in Portugal for the past 5 years, you may be eligible for the NHR regime, which exempts some income from taxation.
  • Tax Advisor Consultation: Consult a tax advisor to determine your specific tax obligations.
  • Pension Tax: Pensions are subject to a 10% tax.

Step 7: Savings for a Visa

  • Official Requirements: Official requirements for the D7 visa don’t mention mandatory savings for the main applicant. However, showing at least €9,840 per person is recommended in some countries.
  • Long-Term Visa: A deposit of €12,000–16,000 euros can increase your chances of approval.
  • Family Application: Provide half the amount for a spouse and one-third for each underage child.
  • Bank Statement: Provide a bank statement in English, stamped by the bank.
  • Consulate Requirements: Check with your consulate as they may require savings exclusively in Portuguese accounts.

Step 8: Health Insurance

  • D Visa Insurance: Obtain standard travel insurance for 120 days (the visa duration).
  • Residency Permit Insurance: Obtain Portuguese insurance for your residence permit. Options include Tranquilidade and Fidelidade. This insurance can be obtained through your Portuguese bank.

Step 9: Tickets to Portugal

  • Ticket Reservations: Provide proof of ticket reservations for the approximate date of your planned arrival in Portugal.
  • Reservation Date: Book tickets for a date 1.5–2 months after your visa application submission.
  • Actual Ticket Purchase: You don’t need to purchase actual tickets.

Step 10: Motivation Letter

  • Optional but Helpful: A motivation letter can positively impact your application.
  • Content: Briefly describe your income source, reasons for choosing Portugal, and future plans.
  • Document List: Include a separate section listing attached documents.
  • Financial Support: Explain how you will financially support yourself.
  • Background and Skills: Highlight your background, skills, and reasons for choosing Portugal as your residence.
  • Lawyer Assistance: Consider seeking a lawyer’s help to draft a convincing letter.

Step 11: Application to the Consulate or VFS

  • Appointment: Make an appointment at the consulate or VFS.
  • Mail Application: In some countries (e.g., Brazil or USA), you can mail your documents.
  • Processing Time: Allow 1-2 months for processing (wait times may be longer, up to 6 months).
  • In-Person Application: Arrive 15-20 minutes before your appointment.
  • Document Preparation: Ensure all documents are translated, certified, and apostilled (where applicable).
  • Questionnaire Review: Review the Questionnaire and make any necessary changes.
  • Checklist:
    • International Passport: Valid for at least three months after your planned return from Portugal.
    • Proof of Regular Income: Bank statements and tax records.
    • Bank Account Statement: Portuguese or existing account.
    • Accommodation Proof: One-year rental contract or other acceptable proof.
    • Criminal Record: From your country of citizenship.
    • Insurance: Minimum 120 days insurance for €30,000+.
    • Airplane Ticket Booking: Reservations for your arrival date.
    • Motivation Letter: Optional but recommended.

Step 12: Arrival in Portugal and Application to AIMA

  • D Visa Validity: Your D visa is valid for 120 days and allows you to enter the EU twice during that time.
  • AIMA Appointment: The consulate may schedule an AIMA appointment for you. If not, make an appointment yourself.
  • Arrival Date: Arrive in Portugal while your D visa is still valid.
  • AIMA Fee: The fee is €170.5 and can be paid by bank card.
  • Residency Permit Card: You will receive your residence permit card (valid for 2 years) within 2-12 weeks after your AIMA appointment.

Documents for AIMA:

  • Passport with Visa: Your D visa.
  • NIF: Your Portuguese tax number.
  • Proof of Accommodation: Lease agreement or certificate from the Junta de Freguesia (local parish council).
  • Bank Account Statement: AIMA often requires a Portuguese bank account.
  • Proof of Income: Same documents provided for the visa application.
  • NISS (Social Security Number) and Utente (National Health Service Number): Optional. If you don’t have a Utente, you need private healthcare insurance.
  • Family Reunion Documents: If applying for family reunion, provide recent copies of family certificates, bank statements, and the residence permit of the family member.
  • D3 Visa (Higher Education Diploma): Translated and apostilled diploma of higher education (if applicable).

Bottom Line

The D7 visa offers a pathway to residency in Portugal for individuals with a consistent passive income. This guide provides a comprehensive framework for navigating the application process, ensuring you have the necessary information and resources for a successful application.

Remember to consult with a lawyer or tax advisor for personalized advice and to stay updated on any changes to the requirements.

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