Our travel experts rank the best digital nomad visa programs currently available and tell you which to avoid.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies started implementing remote opportunities for employees. As a result, Digital Nomad Visas have become increasingly popular amongst people who work from home and wish to travel. Portugal is a popular destination for remote workers as it provides an easy way to obtain a Digital Nomad Visa. In this post, we will guide you through the process of becoming a Digital Nomad In Portugal.
If you are not sure whether a digital nomad visa is perfect for you, you can check out our dedicated Portugal Visa Guide in which we cover all the types of visas available for Portugal.
Digital Nomads are remote workers who travel and work in different countries. They often live a nomadic lifestyle and use technology to complete their work responsibilities. Using their devices, such as smartphones and laptops, Digital Nomads can work in coffee shops, public libraries, or even from the comfort of their home. It is becoming increasingly popular to become a remote worker or self-employed as you have the opportunity to see many different countries.
There are other ways of making Portugal your adopted home. One of these is through the investment for residency program known as Portugal's Golden Visa. This requires applicants to make a sizeable investment in Portugal, a minimum of 300,000 Euros, and in exchange, they'll obtain residency for as long as the investment is active.
The permanent residency visa route is much less costly than the Golden Visa approach, but it is also more complicated and quite a lengthy process. More and more travelers prefer the digital nomad visa because it allows flexibility.
A Digital Nomad Visa is provided to remote workers, freelancers, and business owners who wish to travel and work in a foreign country.
The difference between a Digital Nomad Visa and a Tourist Visa is the amount of time allowed to stay in the country. Depending on the country, a Tourist Visa will allow you to stay up to 90 days, where a Digital Nomad Visa can extend your stay for up to a year.
If you are a Digital Nomad who travels frequently, you can opt to apply for a tourist visa. If you wish to extend your stay in a country, it is more beneficial to consider a Digital Nomad Visa. This will allow you to remain in one country for a longer period until you decide to travel to another country.
Take note that, with a Digital Nomad Visa, you are not allowed to work for a local company. You are only allowed to work independently and remotely, making all online generated revenue acceptable.
Some nationalities may enter Portugal without a visa. For non-EU citizens, you will need to apply for a visa permit. Depending on the duration of your stay, the type of visa you need can vary.
It is extremely easy for EU citizens to gain entry to Portugal. Portugal is a member of the European Union and part of the Schengen Area. This means that EU citizens do not have to apply for any specific visa. EU citizens can work, visit, and live in Portugal freely.
If you are a US citizen, you will be happy to know that Portugal has specific agreements with the US. US citizens are allowed to enter Portugal for 90 days without acquiring any type of visa. This agreement only applies every 6 months, and you are required to leave Portugal after the initial 90 days. Digital Nomads seeking to reside in Portugal for more than 90 days will need to apply for a visa that allows a longer stay.
Citizens from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand enjoy the same benefits as US citizens. Citizens from these nations can enter Portugal for 90 days without the need for a specific visa. After 90 days, you will need to apply for a visa that provides a longer stay.
Unfortunately, other countries do not share the same benefits as the above-mentioned countries. If you are a Digital Nomad seeking to live in Portugal, you will need to look at the types of visas available and apply for the one most suited to your preference.
You can now save over 30 hours, and use Atlys to apply for a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa.
In Portugal, there is no official Digital Nomad Visa or Remote Work Visa, but there are 2 types of visas you can apply for to live as a Digital Nomad in Portugal.
The Temporary Stay Visa is perfect for those who do not seek a permanent residency but wish to live in Portugal for an extended period. The visa is valid for one year and can be renewed for an additional two years.
With this visa, you are allowed to travel outside of Portugal and experience other European countries if you like. An important requirement is to prove that you have a monthly income of €635. This will prove that you can provide for yourself during your stay and that you are not a burden to Portugal.
The Residency Visa, also known as a retirement visa or D7 Visa, is for the Digital Nomad who wishes to stay in Portugal for more than one year. Once you receive a Temporary Resident Visa, you will be able to apply for a Permanent Residency Permit. Take note that after you receive your Residency Visa, it is only valid for four months. Within this time, you will need to apply for a Residency Permit.
Once you have a NIF, you can open a Portuguese bank account remotely. Your Portuguese bank account will be used to make any related payments in Portugal. Without a bank account, you will not be able to carry out any fiscal activities.
If you wish to stay in Portugal, you will need to prove that you are financially stable to provide for yourself during your stay. You can use bank statements, or any other relevant documents to prove that you are financially stable.
You are required to secure adequate accommodation before you travel to Portugal. Although you do not need to buy property, you need to have a long-term rental lease (minimum 12 months).
The primary applicant, including any dependents, must have comprehensive EU-wide health insurance. Take note that the medical cover must be paid for in advance (12 months). Each applicant must have minimum medical insurance worth €30 000.
Before your trip to Portugal, you will need to do a criminal background check. Without a clean criminal record, your application will be unsuccessful. Ensure that you obtain your criminal record in time before you start the application process.
If you plan to obtain a Residency Visa you will need to meet the minimum stay requirements. You must stay in Portugal for a minimum of 183 days every year. Or not be absent for more than 6 months, or you can also opt to live a total of 8 months in Portugal with various breaks within the year. Take note that there are no minimum stay requirements for the Temporary Stay Visa.
Before you start your visa application, we recommend that you gather all the required documents as this will make the process easier along the way.
There are 2 sets of document classifications:
2 colored passport photos. These photos will be used for your appointment at SEF.
A valid passport or any other government-issued travel document.
If the applicant is a minor or disabled, the application form should be submitted and signed by a legal representative.
Proof of income. This is to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Portugal.
Proof of accommodation.
A clean criminal record
Return travel tickets or booking arrangements with a clear return date.
Articles of Association or service rendering contract for acting as an independent worker.
Health insurance/travel insurance that provides coverage in Portugal.
Document containing the required information for tax authorities to check registration.
Document containing the required information to verify that social security payments are made regularly during the tax-free period.
Take note that you should make copies of all the documents needed as you will be needing them in the future.
For your Temporary Stay Visa, you will need to fill out the visa application form
Once you have completed the form, you can submit it online. Be sure that all the information is correct and the same as your passport.
Once successful, you will need to make a payment of €75 for your Temporary Stay Visa.
You will need to fly to Portugal and attend your appointment in person. Here you will have an interview with Portugal authorities. During this interview, your biometric information will be collected, and you are required to submit all supporting documents once again.
You will need to submit the following documents:
A valid passport or any valid government-issued travel document.
2 colored passport photos
Proof of health insurance/travel insurance
Clean criminal record
Proof of accommodation. A standard rental agreement will suffice.
Proof of income. This is to prove that you can support yourself during your stay in Portugal.
Take note that you will need to submit these supporting documents later. Be sure to make copies of all your documents.
After you have gathered all your documents, you will need to fill out the visa application form. Ensure that all the information you fill out is correct.
Once you are successful, you will receive your Temporary Resident Visa. You will need to book an appointment with SEF. This can be done by contacting SEF directly,or you can schedule an appointment online. Take note that your Residency Visa will be valid for 4 months, and you are required to attend your interview within this time frame.
During your in-person interview, you will need to submit all supporting documents. After a successful interview, your biometric data will be collected, and you will receive your Residency Permit.
The cost related to the application process is €90.
Your Residency Permit will be valid for two years and can be renewed for an additional three years. After five years, you will be able to apply for permanent residency or citizenship, provided that you meet all the requirements.
There are many amazing destinations in Portugal where remote workers can chooses to work. We will list our Top Places to Work in Portugal.
The Digital Nomad Village is an initiative created by the Regional Government of Madeira, and Startup Madeira. It is specifically designed for Digital Nomads and remote workers who wish to work in Portugal. The program's objective is to bring digital nomads and local businesses together to create a community of individuals who have a good social and economic influence on the village.
There are many reasons why Digital Nomads choose Madeira over any other destination in Portugal. It boasts a rich culture, perfect weather conditions, nature activities, and many more. There are plenty of opportunities for Digital Nomads to socialize with other like-minded individuals from all over the world, making it a top destination for Digital Nomads.
Also known as the surfing capital of Europe, Ericeira offers many benefits for Digital Nomads. One main benefit is that Ericeira grants easy access to Lisbon, making it possible for Digital Nomads to travel between the 2 cities if they need to. Ericeira also offers many co-working spaces and digital-friendly coffee shops. Here you can enjoy a cold drink while getting some work done.
Coimbra is a destination for those Digital Nomads who seek a quiet and relaxing work experience. Here you will be inspired by the amazing architecture, incredible blue skies, and the deep history and culture of Coimbra. Coimbra is an excellent destination if you wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Lisbon is a hotspot for Digital Nomads who enjoy city life. Lisbon offers delicious foods, incredible nightlife, plenty of co-working spaces, and multiple digital-friendly cafes. Here you will have the opportunity to enjoy the capital of Portugal and work remotely. Lisbon is perfect for the extroverted Digital Nomad.
Working in Portugal has many benefits that can make remote work in Portugal worth while. Here are a few reasons why Portugal is one of the best places to work as a Digital Nomad.
With your Temporary Stay Visa/Residency Permit, you can enjoy visa-free travel to countries within the Schengen Area. You have the opportunity to see and experience any of the exciting European destinations.
One of the many things Portugal has to offer is its rich history and culture. Be inspired by Portugal's beautiful architecture and amazing culture. It is sure to inspire creativity while busy with your remote work.
One of the biggest benefits of Portugal is its low cost of living. Compared to other destinations around the world, Portugal is relatively affordable, making it a top destination for freelancers, remote workers, and retirees.
Digital Nomads can relax in all the sunshine Portugal has to offer throughout the year. After you have completed all your work, you can enjoy many outside activities, thanks to the incredible weather Portugal has to offer.
For any Digital Nomad, these are 2 important deciding factors. Portugal has reliable WiFi connections and numerous working spaces, making it a top destination for Digital Nomads.
You will be happy to know that Portugal has plenty of accommodation options for all Digital Nomads.
Accommodation options include:
Co-living spaces are the perfect option for people who want to live with like-minded individuals. The benefit of co-living spaces is that the total cost is shared by all parties, meaning that the cost of accommodation can be relatively cheap. That said, there are many options to choose from. If you choose to live in a fancier accommodation you can expect to pay more.
In a co-living space, you can expect to have your own bedroom. Other common facilities will be shared amongst the group. This can include the bathroom, kitchen, living room, and dining room.
Hotels are always a great option for Digital Nomads. Portugal has many hotels in many cities that you can choose from. Just be aware that hotels are not as budget-friendly as other accommodation options, making it expensive if you plan to stay for a long period.
If you are planning to stay in Portugal for a long period, it is possible to rent a property. There are many great property options available in Portugal. Be aware that most property owners will require you to sign a rental agreement for at least a year. Be sure that you are financially able to rent a property before you do so, as you will be signing a rental agreement.
Airbnb is one of the most popular accommodation options in Portugal. This is because Airbnb has more flexibility in regards to its terms and conditions. If you are planning to have a short trip, then Airbnb is the perfect option for you. Airbnb also makes it possible to extend your stay for longer if you wish to do so. Bargaining is part of Portugal’s culture, making it possible for you to reduce the cost of accommodation. Before you book an Airbnb, ask politely if it is possible to reduce the price. In most cases, the host might expect this and reduce the price slightly.
Within hostels, you are likely to find many beds in one room, which means there is little to no privacy. If you are a Digital Nomad who loves meeting and interacting with new people, then hostels are a great option for you. Hostels are a perfect option for those who are only planning a short stay in Portugal. Another benefit of hostels is that it is relatively cheap, making it a budget-friendly option.
Check out the Atlys community discussion forum for more questions.
No. Portugal offers a high quality of life and relatively low cost of living.
Yes, Portugal has specific agreements with the US that allow US citizens to enter Portugal for 90 days without acquiring any type of visa. If you are planning to stay longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a visa.
The cost of living can range depending on where you wish to stay in Portugal and how comfortable you want to live. Typically you could expect to pay as much as 1750 - 2000 EURO per month in cities like Lisbon, while other places like Algarve could cost you between 1100 - 1500 EURO per month.
Yes, Portugal has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, making it one of the safest countries for Digital Nomads.
Yes. There is a Digital Nomad Village in Madeira, created by the Regional Government of Madeira, and Startup Madeira. This initiative was created for Digital Nomads in Portugal and is our top recommended destination for Digital Nomads.
The 26 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Portuguese citizens tend to be very friendly people. You can expect Portuguese citizens to be helpful and kind during your stay. Don't be surprised if someone approaches you to have a casual conversation.
No, with a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa you can enjoy the same benefits the Schengen Visa has to offer.
The best time to visit Portugal depends largely on what you'll want to experience while you are there. For more information, you can check out our Best Time To Visit Portugal. For more Portugal travel tips you can also read our guide on The Best Places To Visit While In Portugal.
Our travel experts rank the best digital nomad visa programs currently available and tell you which to avoid.
Our team of travel experts takes a deeper look at the confusing world of Digital Nomad Visas. Our goal? Simply to find out if it's worth all the trouble.