Top 9 Easiest Ways to Get Residency or Citizenship In Portugal in 2023
Considering immigrating to Portugal in 2023 but not quite sure where to start? Portugal is one of Europe’s most welcoming countries for foreigners, and their immigration laws reflect this. Below we outline 9 of the fastest, easiest and most affordable ways to obtain Portuguese residency, permanent residency and eventual citizenship in Portugal…
Can Syrians get residency in Portugal in 2022?Andre Bothma2021-09-29T09:24:24+00:00
While Syria is a sanctioned nation, HQA applicants from sanctioned countries have, occasionally, been approved for the HQA Startup Visa based on the merits of their research funding proposal, and especially if they’ve been living outside of Syria for a significant period of time.
Can Iraqis get residency in Portugal in 2022?Andre Bothma2022-01-20T18:21:32+00:00
While Iraq is a sanctioned country, applicants from sanctioned nations have, on occasion, been approved for the HQA Startup Visa based on the strength and merits of their business and/or research funding proposal, and especially if they’ve been residing outside of Iraq for a significant period of time.
We therefore encourage you to contact us today to discuss your specific situation.
Can Iranians get residency in Portugal in 2022?Andre Bothma2022-09-18T11:34:41+00:00
While Iran is a sanctioned nation, applicants from sanctioned countries have been known to get approved for the Portugal HQA Visa based on the strength and merits of their startup and/or research funding proposal, especially if they’ve been residing outside of Iran for a meaningful period of time.
They are also able to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa – including the €200K Cultural Golden Visa in 2022/2023.
We therefore encourage you to get in touch to discuss your specific situation today.
What is the Portuguese minimum wage in 2022?Andre Bothma2022-01-11T08:23:42+00:00
As of 2022, the Portuguese minimum wage is €705 per month, or €8,460 per year.
How long does it take to get a D7 Visa?Andre Bothma2021-04-17T16:09:48+00:00
While your D7 Visa application can be approved in as little as 3 weeks, your SEF appointment in Portugal will likely be set for up to 6 months into the future from the time of approval. Therefore, it is advisable to assume that the entire process will take around 6 months to complete.
How long does it take to obtain a Golden Visa?Andre Bothma2021-04-17T16:10:42+00:00
Given that you still need to identify and purchase a suitable property or invest in a suitable investment fund, the Portuguese Golden Visa application process generally takes significantly longer than the D7 application process.
While the process took around 9 months before Covid-19, many applications are now taking around 12 months or more to complete.
How much money do you need to immigrate to Portugal?Andre Bothma2021-04-17T15:55:30+00:00
The Portuguese Golden Visa Program does not have a minimum net worth requirement, however in order to gain Portuguese residency through this program, you’ll have to invest a minimum of €280,000 in Portuguese property (and most likely the minimum eligible investment for a freehold property will be priced at €350,000+).
You also have the option of investing €350,000 in a Portuguese investment fund until the end of 2021 (€500,000 from 2022 onwards).
Under the D7 Visa Program, on the other hand, your stable recurring income levels will be a key consideration. As of 2021, Portugal’s minimum wage is €665 per month (€7,980 per year). If you have a stable recurring (and ideally passively sourced) income of €665 or more, you may be eligible to apply for a Portuguese D7 Residency Visa.
While not every Portuguese embassy will accept savings as the basis for a D7 Residency Visa application, there are many who will consider a combination of savings and recurring income, or even just savings. The D7 residency permit is issued for a period of 2 years (24 months), hence you’ll have to have savings in excess of €15,960 (€665 x 24 months) in order to apply – and ideally substantially more.
Note: Bear in mind that the Portuguese immigration authorities enjoy a substantial margin of discretion when it comes to appraising D7 Visa applications. Therefore, treat the above income requirements as the absolute minimum; the more income or savings you can prove above the minimums indicated above, the more likely it is that your residency application will be successful.
Can I get residency in Portugal if I buy a house?Andre Bothma2021-04-17T15:52:50+00:00
The answer is yes, but not just any house. While the Portuguese Golden Visa Program does have a €280,000 investment option, investments at this price point are typically share-scheme investments, rather than freehold properties, in low-income, low-density areas outside of cities such as Porto and Lisbon.
If you’re looking to obtain Portuguese residency by means of buying a property you can live in, you should generally expect to invest no less than €350,000 – and that’s before you’ve paid any professional service, government processing, taxes and property transfer fees.
Is it easy to get residency in Portugal?Andre Bothma2021-04-17T15:47:52+00:00
Immigrating to another country is typically an administration intensive process – and especially if you’re buying a property in Portugal in the process.
The D7 Visa Program is generally considered to be one of the fastest, most affordable ways of gaining Portuguese residency, however it does require you to stay in-country for longer than 6 months per year in order to maintain your legal residency status over time.
Alternatively, you can visit the country twice a year for a minimum of 2 months per visit, provided that you are not outside of country for longer than 6 consecutive months at a time.
How can I become a resident of Portugal?Andre Bothma2021-04-17T16:15:28+00:00
There are various ways of getting residency in Portugal. In addition to applying for Portuguese residency by ancestry (also known as residency by descent), as the non-EU spouse of a Portuguese citizen, or on the basis of gaining Portuguese employment, you can also apply for residency via the Portuguese Golden Visa and D7 Passive Income Visa programs.
What is the difference between a Portugal residency visa and their residency permit?Andre Bothma2021-04-17T15:44:41+00:00
Firstly, a distinction must be drawn between Portuguese long-stay visas and residency visas. Long-stay visas include study visas, internship visas, work visas, spousal visas and medical treatment visas, among others.
Residency visas, on the other hand, are a kind of “entry stamp” visa that allow the holder to apply for a residency permit. Portuguese residency visas are valid for a period of 4 months and 2 entries, allowing the holder to enter Portugal and apply for a residency permit.
Non-EU applicants applying for residency permits under both the D7 Visa and Golden Visa programs receive residency permits.
Can Britons still live in the EU after Brexit?Andre Bothma2021-05-10T12:22:03+00:00
Yes, they can. Having now left the EU, UK nationals are eligible to apply for a range of EU residency visas, including the D7 Passive Income Visa and the Portuguese Golden Visa, as well as the Spanish Non Lucrative Visa and the Italian Elective Residency Visa – provided that they can meet the financial self-sufficiency criteria of these programs. Find out more on the rest of this site…
Easy Residency in Portugal for UK Citizens in 2021?Andre Bothma2021-05-10T12:21:51+00:00
Looking for the simplest path to Portuguese residency as a UK citizen post-Brexit? The D7 Visa is increasingly in demand among Britons looking to settle or maintain freedom of movement within the EU in 2021.
While the program does require you to settle in Portugal for at least 4, and typically 6 months per year, a key advantage of the program there are no minimum property investment requirements as is the case with the Portuguese Golden Visa. You will however be required to submit proof of having an address in Portugal.
In addition, you’ll have to have either significant savings or a stable passive income stream of at least EUR635+ per month as a single applicant, and around EUR950+ per month if you’re applying as a married couple.
Find out more about this Portuguese passive income visa here, or contact us now or more information.
OPTION 1: Get a job with a Portuguese employer (Portuguese residency by employment)
As a non-EU citizen, you will have to apply for an entry visa on the basis of employment at your local Portuguese consulate or embassy. The entry visa enables you to travel to and enter Portugal. The process of obtaining an entry visa can take up to 3 months.
Your work permit application may be made by yourself or your Portuguese employer, and typically takes around 60 days to process. In order to apply for this entry visa, you will be required to submit the following documentation:
A letter of invitation from your employer, stating that you’ll be taking up a position with their company.
A valid passport that has at least 2 blank pages, and that is valid for at least 2 years into the future.
Proof of flight reservations (a copy of your flight ticket will generally suffice)
Proof of pre-paid, comprehensive EU-wide health insurance with coverage of at least €30,000.
2 x recent passport photos in colour – check the exact format requirements with your local embassy.
Biometric data (certified fingerprints and digital photos for facial recognition)
Proof of accommodation in Portugal (hotel booking, letter of accommodation sponsorship or a lease agreement).
On arrival, you will have 4 months to apply for a residence permit.
In order to start working for your Portuguese employer, you will have to apply for a separate Portuguese work permit, the so-called “Autorização de Trabalho”. Your chances of being approved for a work permit will be improved by having specialized skills that are in demand in Portugal.
In order to apply for the work permit, the following documents will be required:
A valid Portuguese residence permit
A valid passport
2 x recent colour passport photos
Proof of accommodation in Portugal
Proof or registration with Social Security in Portugal
Relevant tax documentation (proof of tax status)
Clear criminal record (certified copy)
A counter-signed employment contract.
OPTION 2: Marry a Portuguese national (Portuguese Spousal Citizenship)
You can apply for Portuguese citizenship by marriage if you’ve been legally married to a Portuguese national for a minimum period of 3 years. You can also apply on the basis of life partnership if you can prove that you’ve been cohabitating with a Portuguese citizen for a minimum period of 3 years, although the requirements tend to be more onerous.
Also, you’ll have to provide sufficient substantiation of having a real-world connection with the Portuguese community.
In order to apply for Portuguese citizenship by marriage, you’ll be required to submit the following list of documents (subject to you have been married to a Portuguese national for 3 years or longer:
This application form – duly completed and signed
A certified copy of your unabridged and certified birth certificate
A certified copy of our marriage certificate
A certified copy of your valid passport
Proof of clean criminal record
Documentation proving your real-world ties with the Portuguese community.
For more information on the requirements for de facto life partners (i.e. legally unmarried long term partners, click here.
Applications can be made by you or by a third party on the basis of power of attorney.
OPTION 3: Start a Portuguese company (D2 Entrepreneur Visa)
The D2 Entrepreneur Visa is not to be confused with the Portuguese Startup Visa (discussed in more detail below). Also frequently referred to as the Portugal Entrepreneur Visa, the program allows you to establish a new business or a branch of your overseas business in Portugal.
While this program typically appeals to conventional business owners, you are also able to start a technology focused business and obtain D2 residency in the process.
A key benefit of this residency visa program is that no significant capital investment is required. Having said that, capitalizing your new Portuguese business with around €20,000 can lend more credibility to your business plan, and doing so is therefore advisable.
Another aspect that makes Portugal attractive for entrepreneurs is a relatively simple tax structure. Company tax is payable at a rate of 21% on net profit, and the tax codes are relatively simple. As of December 2020, income derived from property rentals is taxed at only 10%.
The Portuguese authorities will appraise the business’ potential financial viability and socio-economic impact. The application process takes approximately 4 to 5 months, and once you’ve obtained Portuguese residency, you can bring your spouse and dependent children to Portugal on the basis of EU Family Reunification laws.
The downside is that you’ll be expected to pay Portuguese taxes and spend at least 6 months (183 days) per year in the country. If you require more flexibility, the Golden Visa or HQA Startup Visa may be better suited to your needs.
Find out more about the Portugal D2 Visa on our relevant program overview page.
OPTION 4: Apply for the Retirement & Passive Income Residency Visa (Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa)
The Portuguese D7 Visa Program is arguably one of the best programs of its kind in the EU. Featuring relatively low minimum passive income requirements, reasonable minimum stay requirements and the ability to obtain Portuguese citizenship in only 5 years, it is mystifying that the program is not as well-known as the Portuguese Golden Visa program.
One reason for this is that the professional service fees associated with a D7 Visa application tends to be around 8X to 10X lower than those associated with the Golden Visa program, creating a disincentive for global residency and citizenship firms to market them – or even mention them – to prospective clients.
Another key benefit is the fact that the D7 Residency Program does not require a property investment, let alone at a price point of around €350,000. However, you will be required to submit proof of accommodation in Portugal.
All things considered though, this is an excellent Portuguese residency option – and for Americans and Britons seeking to settle in Portugal, in particular.
OPTION 5: Launch a Portuguese Startup (Portugal Startup Visa)
The Portuguese HQA Startup Visa is an attractive option for tech entrepreneurs wishing to launch a brand-new startup in Portugal, or expand an existing foreign startup’s footprint into the Portuguese market.
The program explicitly requires the project or initiative to be technology focused, and the eligibility criteria are fairly strict. You will also be required to join a startup incubation program offered by a government approved entity in Portugal.
Your existing or proposed startup must show strong commercial and job creation potential. Specifically, your startup should have the potential to generate at least €325,000 per year, and/or assets to the value of over €325,000 per year, within 5 years of the start of your contract with the tech incubator of your choice.
OPTION 6: Apply for Portuguese citizenship by descent (“right of blood” basis)
The following criteria are applicable in order to qualify for Portuguese citizenship by descent (this list is not fully comprehensive):
Children born to a Portuguese mother or father born in a Portuguese territory
Children born in Portuguese territory or abroad to a parent who has acquired Portuguese nationality after the birth of the child
Children of a Portuguese mother or father born abroad, provided they have their birth registered at the civil registry in Portugal.
Children with at least 1 Portuguese grandparent who is sufficiently fluent in Portuguese.
Portugal allows dual citizenship, so it is not necessary to give up your existing citizenship in order to apply for Portuguese citizenship by descent.
OPTION 7: Apply for Portuguese citizenship under the Jewish Law of Return (Citizenship Program for Sephardic Jews)
If you are a descendant of Portuguese Sephardic Jews expelled from Portugal during the 16th century, you have the option of applying for Portuguese citizenship under the Jewish Law of Return. In order to do so, you’ll have to have a Sephardic surname and be able to demonstrate belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin. You’ll also have to be familiar with the language.
In order to apply under the Sephardic citizenship program, you’ll have to submit the following documentation:
Birth registration certificate (unabridged, certified, and accompanied by a certified translation).
Certified proof of your identity, including full name, date of birth, birth place, nationality, affiliation, current place of residency, profession and proof of other countries in which you’ve been resident.
Certificate of Jewish community with details as per the legal stipulations
Proof of meeting the requirements for applying for Portuguese citizenship under the Sephardic return program, including proof of your family surname, family language, or collateral descent of a common parent from a Sephardic community with Portuguese origins.