Do I need a Portuguese Visa to Visit Portugal?
If you are an EU/EFTA citizen, you do not need a visa to enter Portugal. You can stay in Portugal for three whole months. You have 90 days in a 180 day period to spend in Portugal, for tourism, visiting family, work, etc. Family members of EU/EFTA nationals are also allowed to travel without a visa for 90 days. However, if you want to stay for longer, you must request a registration certificate. You can also obtain permanent residency after five years.
If you are a non-EU/EFTA national, you will need a visa to visit Portugal for less than three months. However, Portugal is one of the easiest countries to travel to as the country has diplomatic agreements with 61 countries. If your country is on the list, as is the case for the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, you do not need a visa for short stays. If you wish to stay for longer than three months, you will need to apply for a long-term visa before coming to Portugal.
Types of Portuguese Visas
There are three main types of Portuguese Visas: Short Stay visas, Temporary Stay National visas, and Long Stay National Visas. Let’s go through each type of visa.
1. Short Stay Visas (Schengen Visas)
Also known as a Schengen visa, a Short Stay visa applies for stays up to 90 days. EU/EFTA nationals do not need this visa to travel to Portugal for less than 90 days, as well as those from the 61 countries with visa-free travel agreements. This visa is given for tourism, visiting family, airport transit, as well as other temporary travel reasons and allows visa holders to travel through the Schengen area. There are different types of Portuguese Schengen visas: General Short Stay visa, Seasonal Work visa, and Airport Transit visa.
A Schengen visa usually costs €80, while children between 6 and 12 years old pay €40. Those from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine only pay €35. Children under six do not pay a fee.
2. Temporary Stay National Visas
If you are looking to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a Temporary Stay visa that allows you to stay in Portugal for up to a year. You can enter the country whenever you want throughout that year. EU/EFTA nationals don’t need this visa, neither do their family members. However, even if you come from a country that has a visa-free travel agreement, you must still obtain a Temporary Stay visa to stay in Portugal for longer than 90 days. There are many types of Temporary Stay visas such as a temporary work visa, a study visa, professional training or internship visa, medical treatment visa, youth mobility visa, self-support visa, and a religious purposes visa. A Temporary Stay national visa costs €75, but children under six do not pay a fee.
3. Long Stay National Visas (Residency Visas)
A Long Stay National visa, also known as a Residency visa, allows stays of over a year long. Non-EU/EFTA nationals need to apply for this visa in order to stay in Portugal for over a year, even if their country has a visa-free travel agreement. To apply for this visa, you will have to apply for a residency permit with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF). You’ll have to show proof that you can financially support yourself throughout your stay. There are multiple types of long-stay national visas including a work visa, study visa, professional training or internship visa, family reunion visa, Portugal Golden Visa, Portugal D7 Visa, and a D2 Entrepreneur Visa. We’ll go through these last three visas in more detail in the next section. A Long Stay national visa costs €90.
Long Stay Residency Visas: Which Portugal Visa is Right For You?
The most famous Long Stay Residency visas in Portugal are the Golden Visa, D7 Visa, and D2 Visa. To be eligible for these, you need to be a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national. All of these visas share similar benefits. From being able to travel freely within the Schengen area, being able to study and work in Portugal, family reunification, and eventually being eligible for Portuguese citizenship, the perks are too positive to ignore. We will go through the tax incentives of these visas in the final section.
2023 Update: Portugal’s Golden Visa Coming to an End
Portugal shocked the world in February 2023 when the government announced an end to Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme to tackle the housing crisis. The program will end for new applicants, with the government’s announcement referencing real estate investment options specifically.
While official deadlines are still unclear, your time window is closing if you are looking to obtain a Portugal Golden Visa. Financial and Immigration firms facilitating Portugal Golden Visa applications are urging those who wish to apply to do so as soon as possible.
The Portugal Golden Visa might be suitable for you if you have the funds to make an investment in the country. One of the most attractive Golden visas in the world, it allows non-EU citizens to get a long-term residency permit, and eventually citizenship. However, you do not need to live in Portugal to be eligible for this visa. All you need to do is to stay in the country for at least 7 days in the first year and 14 days in the subsequent years. This visa allows for family reunification where your family members are granted the same residency rights as you.
Portugal Golden Visa: Investment Options
So, what type of investments can you make to be eligible for a Portugal Golden Visa? There are 5 types of investments!
1. Real Estate Investment
- The most common type of investment is purchasing a property. Check out our guide to buying a home in Portugal here.
- You can purchase real estate in a low-density area of Portugal for €400,000.
- Or you can purchase real estate that is over 30 years old in an urban rehabilitation area and renovate it for at least €350,000.
- Or you can purchase property for €500,000.
- You will not pay any tax on the property if you do not rent it out. If you do, the income will be taxed at 28%.
- Since 2022, you CAN NOT buy property in Lisbon, Porto, and coastal towns.
2. Investment Fund
- You can spend a minimum of a €500,000 subscription in a qualifying Portuguese investment fund.
- These are known as “fundos de capital de risco” and are investment funds that support Portuguese businesses.
- The minimum amount used to be €350,000, but it has changed to €500,000 at the beginning of 2022.
3. Capital Transfer
- This is the most expensive option, a €1.5 million capital transfer.
- You must show proof of bank transfer deposits to Portugal from a foreign account that adds up to this amount.
- The minimum amount used to be €1 million, but it has been increased to €1.5 million at the beginning of 2022.
4. Job Creation
- Another investment option is creating jobs in Portugal. There are two options in this category:
- Create a minimum of ten new full-time jobs in a Portuguese business that you own.
- Or invest a minimum of €500,000 in an already existing Portuguese business and create a minimum of five new full-time jobs in that business within three years.
- You can also make a donation in Portugal. There are two options in this category:
- Invest a minimum of €250,000 in preserving national heritage in Portugal.
- Or invest a minimum of €500,000 in a research and development activity in Portugal.
Portugal Golden Visa Steps & Application Process: How to Get a Golden Visa
The D7 Visa is also known as the Retirement or Passive Income Visa but is also suitable for remote workers and digital nomads. The Portugal D7 Visa was introduced in 2007 and requires no investment. This visa is for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who want residence in Portugal and have a reasonable passive income. This income can come from real estate, a retirement pension, a salary, etc.
The minimum passive income required is €8,460 per year for the main applicant. For a spouse, you must add 50% to this (€4,230) and for a dependent child, you must add 30% to this (€2,538). Therefore, for a couple with one child, you would need around €15,300 a year to be eligible for the D7 Visa.
For this visa, you must spend at least 16 months in Portugal during the first 2 years. Along with a clean criminal record, when applying you need to show that you have proof of address in Portugal (rental or purchase). This visa allows for family reunification where your family members are granted the same residency rights as you.
Portugal D7 Visa Steps & Application Process: How to Get a D7 Visa
Portugal D7 Visa vs Portugal Golden Visa
Wondering what the main differences are between the Portugal D7 Visa and the Golden Visa? The main difference is that the Golden Visa requires an investment of at least €350,000, while a D7 Visa requires zero investment. The application process for a D7 Visa is also much shorter as it only takes 3 to 4 months to obtain a visa, while with the Golden Visa this can take up to a year. However, with the Golden Visa, you only need to stay in Portugal for around one week, while with the D7 Visa you need to stay at least 6 months of a whole year. The D7 Visa does require proof of passive income, while the Portugal Golden Visa does not. The Golden Visa is more expensive not only in investment but because the professional service fees such as paying lawyers can cost more than €30,000, while the cost for a D7 Visa is less than €5,000.
These two visas also share some essential similarities. They both contain family reunification where your family members are granted the same residency rights as you. Both visas also pave the way for permanent residency after 5 years and citizenship after 6 years. Moreover, they both make you eligible for the non-habitual tax regime, an attractive fiscal regime.
The Portugal D2 Visa is not as well known as the Portugal D7 Visa and the Portugal Golden Visa, but it could be the right path to take if you are an entrepreneur, freelancer, or independent service provider from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland looking to reside in Portugal. You might be eligible for a D2 Visa if you want to start a business or startup in Portugal, transfer your existing one to Portugal, as well as invest in a business in Portugal. This visa is catered to small and medium-sized businesses to raise foreign investment to develop the Portuguese economy. To apply, you must put together a viable business plan that will be evaluated in terms of its economic, technological, and cultural impact. You can set up any business, from a restaurant to a tech startup.
In terms of cost, the D2 Visa would sit right in the middle between the D7 Visa and the Golden Visa. While with the Golden Visa you need at least a €350,000 investment and with the D7 Visa all you need is proof of passive income, the D2 Visa requires you to prove that your business is viable. You must invest in the company’s share capital, which immigration firms advise should be at least €50,000. In truth, the more you invest, the more likely you might be to get your visa. You must also show that you have the financial ability to sustain yourself while living in Portugal.
This visa allows for family reunification where your family members are granted the same residency rights as you. Like the D7 Visa and Golden Visa, you can apply for a permanent resident after 5 years and citizenship after 6 years. To be eligible for permanent residence, you must spend at least 6 consecutive months in Portugal within those 5 years.
With a Portugal Golden Visa, Portugal D7 Visa, and Portugal D2 Visa, you can become a non-habitual resident (NHR) and enjoy the incentives of this fiscal regime. This tax regime allows you to transfer your tax residency to the country. To be eligible, you cannot have been taxed in Portugal during the five years before the application. Here are the benefits of this tax regime:
- You can be eligible to not pay ANY tax on pensions, rental income, real estate gains, and income from non-Portuguese sources if your country has a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Portugal. You would instead pay taxes in your country of origin. The UK, USA, and many more countries have a DTA with Portugal where this is the case.
- If your pension income is taxed in Portugal, it will be at a flat rate of 10%, including retirement savings and insurance.
- Income from “high value-added activities” in Portugal is taxed at 20%. This includes employment and self-employment income from activities of scientific, artistic, or technical character performed in Portugal. Still, you will pay the same income tax as ordinary tax residents for other types of domestic income.
- You will only be taxed on your worldwide income after the first 10 years of residence.
- Foreign interest, dividends, rents, and property capital gains can be exempted from taxation.
- You will not pay an inheritance or wealth tax.
Portugal is a crypto tax haven. There are many incentives for crypto traders to move their residency to Portugal. The country does not view cryptocurrencies as an asset, but rather as a form of payment so they do not tax it as the former. The Portuguese Tax & Customs Authority (PTA) officially announced in 2019 that buying or selling cryptocurrency in Portugal is tax-free. However, businesses that provide services related to cryptocurrency are taxed on their gains. There are many factors that determine whether this is the case like your profit and the frequency of your trade. To be sure, contact a tax advisor in Portugal.
What makes Portugal a crypto-friendly country goes beyond tax incentives alone. You can actually purchase real estate with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through intermediaries and qualify for a golden visa. You can also qualify for any of the investment options with crypto visa cards.