Updated on Monday, 30 March 2023…
Yes, they can – although in 2022 and 2023, things got a bit more complicated.
During 2020, 2021 and the first half of 2022, the answer was yes – digital nomads could apply for the D7, and scores of them were getting approved.
Provided that you earned enough stable, foreign sourced income, and that your foreign employer allowed you to work remotely from Portugal…
AND that you had sufficient savings to deposit in a Portuguese bank account, your chances of getting approved for the D7 Visa as a remote worker were high.
HOWEVER: Based on our first-hand experiences during this time, things changed quite significantly in the lead-up to the launch of Portugal’s D8 Digital Nomad Visa.
Before Portugal’s bona fide remote work visa was launched, the Portuguese immigration authorities were approving remote workers with significant offshore salary earnings as well in 2021 and 2022.
But as of May 2022, applicants with only one “active” income stream – a remote salary or freelance income – were being rejected, even though their average earnings and savings were substantial.
The reality is that the binding legislation and rules pertaining to the D7 Visa were never changed to accommodate freelancers and digital nomads – they were simply being interpreted more liberally.
And the Portuguese authorities enjoy a large swathe of discretion when it comes to the D7 program – there are no guarantees that any one applicant WILL be approved.
The bottom-line is this: if you’re earning active income only (in the form of a salary) – consider the Portuguese Digital Nomad Visa. And if you’re earning passive income (pension, royalties, rental or fixed-rate interest earnings), consider the D7 Visa.
Contact us now for more information and to see if you are currently eligible.