Portugal retirement visa options for 2023
NOTE: The D7 Retirement Visa is also suitable for NON-retirees, including remote workers and digital nomads – provided that they can prove earning stable, non-salaried income, e.g. royalties, rental income, fixed-rate interest, etc. Realistically, the Portuguese Digital Nomad Visa is better suited for the latter types of applicants.
Looking to spend your golden years in Portugal? Thanks to two established Portuguese residency visa programs, the D7 and the Portugal Golden Visa, non-EEA nationals can retire in Portugal with ease. Find out more about these Portuguese retirement visa programs below, or contact us now for a free consultation.
Why retire in Portugal in 2023?
Portugal is one of southern Europe’s most sought after travel destinations, and with good reason. Boasting a very low cost of living, incredible natural scenery, sunny weather and a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle, Portugal is also one of the top European retirement destinations in Europe.
The Portuguese are a friendly and welcoming nation, which in combination with the above benefits explain why there are rapidly growing expat communities in and around Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve region.
What’s more, Portugal actively incentivizes non-European retirees to move to its sunny shores. Apart from its two retiree-friendly visa programs, the D7 Visa and the Golden Visa, Portugal also offers a highly attractive tax holiday program called the Non-Habitual Residency.
The Portugal D7 Retirement Visa
The Portugal D7 Visa is perhaps best known as the most affordable Portugal retirement visa option of the two. Whereas the Portuguese Golden Visa requires a minimum investment of at least €280,000, there is no investment requirement to qualify for the D7 – although you will be required to have an address in Portugal.
In principle, the D7 Visa program seeks to compete with the Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa, the Greek Financially Independent Person (FIP) Visa and the Italian Elective Residence Visa in luring financially self-sufficient retirees to its shores.
And given its relatively low income and/or savings requirements and fast path to permanent residency and citizenship, and the ability to get a local job in Portugal, it is arguably the most attractive program of its kind in Schengen Europe.
As of May 2022, you will require stable recurring income AND substantial savings to apply for the D7.
NOTE: In the past, applicants have been successful by applying on the basis of significant savings only. However in 2022, you’ll realistically have to have both in order to qualify for this residency visa. We include the breakdown for savings and recurring income below.
|Stable recurring income requirements (2022)||PER MONTH|
|Additional Minor Dependent||€211.50|
|Additional Adult Dependent||€211.50|
|Family of 4 (2 x Adults, 2 x Dependent Minors)||€1480.50|
Given that the Portuguese authorities will wish to know that you can support yourself for the entire 2-year period for which your D7 Visa is issued, they’ll wish to see that you have adequate savings to back up your recurring income. While the minimum required savings requirement is €7,500, there have been instances where applicants were not approved as SEF deemed this amount to be insufficient.
As such, it would be advisable to deposit more than the minimum amount in your local Portuguese bank account (e.g. €12,500+ instead of €7,500, if you’re applying as a single person. Treat the above income figures as the bare minimums also.)
The best part though..?
These programs are open to anyone who can meet the financial requirements – and not just retirees. Consequently, the D7 Visa has, in recent years, garnered increasing levels of interest from younger generations of remote workers and digital nomads hailing from across the globe.
The Portugal Golden Visa
The Portuguese Golden Visa is one of the most well-known and respected residency by investment programs in the world, and one of Europe’s most popular Golden Visa programs.
Formally known as the Autorização de Residência para atividade de Investimento” (ARI), the program enables non-EEA nationals to obtain Portuguese residency on the basis of either property or fund investments, or job creation.
Ordinance No 305-A / 2012 of 4 October 2012, and the revised Act 63/2015 serve as the legal basis for the Golden Visa Program.
Originally established in 2012, the program has gone from strength to strength. As of March 2021, over 9,500 residency permits were issued to primary investors, with an additional 16,200+ permits being issued to these applicant’s family members. To date, the program has recorded over €5.2 billion in investments.
As of March 2021, Applicants have a range of investment options, including:
Real Estate Investment:
(Any property in any location, but only until 1 January 2022. Thereafter, properties situated in Porto, Lisbon and the coastal Algarve region will no longer be eligible investments.);
– €350,000 (Properties that are 30 years old and require renovation and/or upgrades, as well as properties situated in Urban Regeneration Zones);
– €280,000 (properties situated in low population density areas (under 100 inhabitants per square kilometer, or where the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is less than 75% of the national average).
You can find out more about the pricing criteria here.
Venture Capital (VC) / Investment Funds: A minimum investment of €500,000 in Portuguese investment funds or venture capital funds. (The minimum investment increased as of 1 January 2022.)
Job Creation: Create 10 sustainable full-time jobs for Portuguese workers.
Business investment: Establish a commercial society headquartered in Portugal, invest €500,000, and create at least 5 permanent jobs, or invest in the share capital an existing Portuguese company, and create or maintain a minimum of 5 permanent jobs for a period of 3 years. (The investment requirement for this option also went up on 1 January 2022.)
Research / R&D Investment (Also see the Highly Qualified Activity (HQA) Visa): Invest €500,000 in scientific research, conducted either privately or in collaboration with a public research institution, with a view to directly boost Portugal’s scientific or technological capabilities.
Renewable Energies & Technologies (Portugal Green Visa): Invest €500,000 in a Portuguese commercial enterprise focused on non-intensive agriculture, renewable energies, or carbon offsetting.
Capital deposit: Deposit €1.5 million in Portuguese national bank. (This amount went up on 1 January 2022.)
Artistic / Cultural Support: Invest €250,000 (only €200,000 in low density areas) or more in aid of a project or program supporting arts and culture, or the maintenance of Portugal’s national heritage (donation). A new option, the so-called Cultural Production Golden Visa, was recently introduced under this program track (NON-donation).
While the bulk of Golden Visa applicants hail from China, the program is also very popular among Brazilians, UAE and Turkish nationals as well as Indians, Russians, South Africans and Vietnamese citizens.
Best places to retire in Portugal 2022
Portugal is home to many large and growing expat communities. Lisbon and and Porto are evergreen favourites, however areas such a Estoril, Setubal, Cascais and Comporta all have a a lot to offer. If you’re looking at moving to quieter, smaller locations, be sure to investigate Lagos, Sagres, Faro, Olhao, Tavira, Aveiro and Coimbra.
Portugal Golden Visa vs D7 Visa
|CONSIDERATION||GOLDEN VISA||D7 VISA|
|Application Process Duration||9 – 12 months||3 – 4 months|
|Road to Permanent Residency & Citizenship||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum In-Country Stay Requirement Per Yer||1 Week||6 Months|
|Portuguese Language Test Required||No||No|
|Non-Habitual Residency Program Eligibility||Yes||Yes|
|Professional Services Fees||€25,000+||From €2,495|
|Passive Income Required||No||Yes|