Portugal D7 Visa 2022 - Income Requirements and Visa Application Process

Nov 25, 2022

40 min read

If you want to settle down or start a new life in Portugal, then the Portugal D7 Visa is for you. The Portugal D7 Visa is perfect for Americans who plan to move to Portugal. Here we will discuss everything there is to know about Portugal’s D7 visa, its requirements, and the D7 residency permit.

If you are unsure whether Portugal's D7 visa suits your needs, you can consult our comprehensive Guide On Portugal's Visas to determine which visa is perfect for you.

Portugal Bridge

How To Get A Portugal D7 Visa?

Applying for the Portugal D7 Visa is no small feat. The D7 Visa application process can get complicated and tedious.

Like all visa applications, the Portugal D7 Visa comes with some uncertainty.

"Do I have the correct documents?"

"What are the next steps?".

The easiest way to apply for your Portugal D7 Visa is through Atlys. When applying through Atlys, you'll find that Atlys does all the heavy lifting for you. Atlys simplifies the application and guides you through the entire process.

Atlys allows you to apply for your Portugal D7 Visa with confidence. Moreover, you can save over 30 hours when using Atlys. Don't believe me? Try for yourself.

Portugal.gif

What Is The Portugal D7 Visa?

The D7 Visa, also known as the Retirement Visa or Passive Income Visa, was introduced in 2007 by the Portuguese government, allowing non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens to apply for temporary residency in Portugal.

It is used to obtain a permanent residency permit and, eventually, citizenship.

The D7 visa allows applicants and their family members legal residence in Portugal. It is intended to attract wealthy foreigners to boost Portugal's economy. The D7 visa is most commonly used to apply for Portugal's Golden Visa Program.

The D7 visa is also sometimes used by freelancers looking to make Portugal their base of operations. However, to accomplish this, you'll need to earn a minimum wage as determined by the Portuguese Government.

For more information on how to do this, you can read our post on Getting a Digital Nomad Visa for Portugal.

Anyone can apply for a D7 Visa as long as they meet the minimum passive income requirements. We’ll discuss the minimum income requirements later in this post.

Once you successfully obtain your new Portugal D7 Visa, it will be valid for 2 years. Afterward, you'll be able to renew it for an additional 3 years. After 5 years, you have the option to apply for Portugal Residency.

Successful applicants are required to stay in Portugal for a minimum of 183 uninterrupted days per year. You can also opt to stay in Portugal for 8 months with various breaks within the year.

Portugal Aveiro Cityscape

Who Can Apply For The D7 Visa?

Although the D7 visa is known as a Retirement Visa, anyone can apply for it. As long as you are above the age of 18, eligible, and meet the visa requirements, the program is open to you, no matter your country of origin.

If you want to use Portugal's D7 visa specifically to retire, we suggest you take a look at our dedicated Portugal Retirement Visa Guide.


The Portugal D7 Visa At A Glance - Things You Need To Know

There are a few things you need to know about the Portugal D7 Visa and you can find everything here in this section. However, if you don’t want to read through this section, feel free to jump to our next section.

In Depth Information About The Portugal D7 Visa

As I’ve mentioned above, you need to know about specific things before you can apply for the visa. These things include:

Portugal Douro, Countryside

The D7 Visa Is A 2-Part Application

When applying for your Portugal D7 Visa, you'll technically apply for a visa and a residence permit. But don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds. In short, you'll first apply for a Portugal Residence Visa (known as the D7 visa).

Afterward, you'll need to travel to Portugal and apply for a Residence Permit at The Immigration And Border Services (SEF). Later in this post, we'll guide you through the application process step-by-step.

How Much Is The Portugal D7 Visa Fee?

The cost regarding legal fees is relatively low. You can expect to pay the following amount at the Portuguese Embassy:

  • For your D7 Visa application, you can expect to pay $102.20
  • For your Residence Permit, you can expect to pay $86.00

The majority of the costs will be for flight tickets, relocation, health insurance, accommodation, and so on. Also, keep in mind that the amounts mentioned above are subject to change at any time.

As instructed by Portugal's official government website, these fees are payable via cash, certified check, or money order to the Consulate of Portugal.

How Long Is The D7 Visa Valid For?

Once your application is successful, your D7 visa is valid for 4 months. However, note that you must apply for your D7 temporary residency permit (in Portugal) within these 4 months.

When Should I Start My Portugal D7 Visa Application?

The earliest you can apply for a D7 visa is 3 months before your planned departure to Portugal. Remember, the FBI background checks required for the D7 visa are only valid for 6 months.

Therefore, we recommend applying as early as possible, as this will leave you enough time to gather all the required visa documents and get familiar with the application process.

How Long Does It Take To Complete The Entire Portugal D7 Visa Application Process?

Because the Portugal D7 Visa is a 2-part visa application, you'll be spending some time obtaining your residency in Portugal. You'll first need to apply for your Portugal Residence Visa within your home country. The processing time for the Portugal Residence Visa is generally around 60 days depending on your application.

This does not include the time it takes to gather all the required documents or correct any mistakes you may have made during the application process (incorrect information on the visa application form or missing documents).

Once you arrive in Portugal, you'll need to schedule an appointment at SEF for your temporary residency permit. Depending on the SEF office location, you may have to wait up to 120 days to get an appointment. You can find the general time frame for the Portugal D7 Visa here.

What Are The Passive Income Requirements?

The national minimum wage of Portugal determines the minimum financial requirements for your D7 Visa applications. As of January 2022, the Council of Ministers approved an increase of the minimum wage from €665 to €705. Therefore, you'll need to have a minimum of €705 per month for 12 months - the minimum means of substance for your D7 Visa equal €8 460 per year.

  • The main applicant will need €8 460 per year;
  • Second adult and additional adults 50% of minimum monthly salary (a total of €4 230 per year);
  • Children and young people under 18 years of age and non-minor dependent children 30% of minimum monthly salary (total of €2 538 per year).

Can I Apply For My Portugal D7 Visa While I'm In Portugal?

No. You'll need to apply for your Residence Visa (the D7 Visa) within your home country. After receiving your D7 Visa, you must travel to Portugal to apply for your Temporary Residence Permit.

Can I Apply For My Portugal D7 Visa From Outside The US?

You must be physically present in the US when applying for any visa categories or residency visa for Portugal through the VFS Portugal Visa Application Center in the United States.

However, you can visit Portugal to get the necessary documents. An example would be obtaining a NIF number, opening a Portuguese bank account, and signing a lease.

What Are The Benefits Of A Portugal D7 Visa?

There are a lot of benefits you can enjoy when you have a D7 Visa. Some of these benefits include:

  • You enjoy visa-free travel to any one of the Schengen Countries. So, ultimately, you enjoy the same travel benefits as Portuguese citizens.
  • Thanks to the fast and easy application process, you can obtain Portuguese residency for your family in as little as 4 - 5 months.
  • Gain access to the National Health Service Care
  • Gain access to protection from the Portuguese Law and Legal System
  • Enjoy a preferential tax rate with the Portuguese Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) Program.
  • Conduct any professional activity as an independent professional
  • Conduct any professional activity as an independent professional
  • Gain access to the National Education Service, schools, and vocational training in Portugal
  • Apply for citizenship after 5 years.
  • If you have a residency for 1 year, your newborn babies can become Portuguese citizens.
Portugal Lisboa Downtown

Requirements For The Portugal D7 Visa

This section is all about the requirements. This includes visa requirements, financial requirements, and the required documents. Again, if you don’t want to read through this section, please feel free to skip to the next section.

What Are The General Visa Requirements For The D7 Visa?

The general visa requirements for the D7 Visa are important, and you need to make sure that you meet all of them. The visa requirements are as follows:

Portugal Cityscape with sunset

You’ll Need A Portuguese NIF (Tax number)

You will need to acquire a Portuguese tax number. It can be done remotely by a power of attorney without you entering Portugal.

Without a Portuguese tax number, you can't carry out any fiscal activities in the country. The easiest & cheapest method is using Bordr.

You’ll Need A Portuguese Bank Account

Once you have a NIF, you can open a Portuguese bank account remotely. Single applicants must ensure they have a minimum of €7 000 deposited in their bank account. Married couples must have a minimum amount of €10 500+ deposited into their bank account.

To open a bank account, I recommend using Bordr.

You’ll Need To Prove Financial Self-Sufficiency

To obtain a Portuguese residency visa, you will need to prove that you are financially stable and can provide for yourself (and your spouse, if relevant) while staying in Portugal. Therefore, the Portuguese immigration authorities will request that you provide all relevant documents (recurring income, significant savings, or a combination of the two) as proof.

More on the Portugal Retirement Visa income requirements later in this post.

You’ll Need To Provide Proof Of Accommodation

Before traveling to Portugal, you are required to secure adequate accommodation. Although you do not need to buy property, you must have a long-term rental lease (minimum 12 months).

You Must Have Full Health Insurance

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). In addition, each applicant must have a minimum medical insurance worth €30 000. The best way to buy the right insurance is through Atlys.

You Must Have A Clean Criminal Record

Without a clean criminal record, your application will be unsuccessful. Therefore, ensure that you obtain your criminal record in time before you start the application process. Later in this post, I'll discuss how you can get your FBI Criminal Record Certificate. If you'd like to request your FBI Check online, do so on Atlys.

You Must Meet The Minimum Stay Requirement

When staying in Portugal, you'll need to meet the minimum stay requirements to keep your residency status.

  • Initial Residency Permit - At least 16 months per 2-year period (being absent for more than 6 consecutive months could lead to your permit being revoked)
  • Subsequent Residency Permit - At least 28 months per 3-year period (being absent for more than 6 consecutive months could lead to your permit being revoked)
  • Permanent Residency Permit - At least 30 months per 5-year period (being absent for more than 24 consecutive months could lead to your permit being revoked)

What Are The Minimum Passive Income Requirements?

For your D7 Visa application to be successful, you need to provide proof of your financial stability. Your passive income must be able to support you fully without you relying on your salary income. Although there is no minimum requirement for your net worth, Portuguese immigrant authorities may ask that you submit proof of your additional savings.

Here are the Portugal Retirement Visa Income Requirements:

Tower in Portugal

Passive Income Defined

Passive income that is considered eligible includes:

  • Pension
  • Real estate
  • Transferable equity
  • Royalties
  • Intellectual property
  • Earnings from long-term, fixed-rate financial investment
  • Dividends are accepted, provided that you do not work for the company
  • Interest from adequate savings

For your application to be approved, you need to satisfy the minimum passive income requirements. We recommend treating this as an absolute minimum requirement. If you're uncertain, download Atlys for free to determine if you meet this requirement.

Passive Income Requirements For Single Applicants

Single applicants need to generate and provide proof of a passive derived income of at least €705 per month or €8 460 per year.

Passive Income Requirements For Married Couples

When applying for the D7 Visa as a married couple, the minimum passive income required for a dependent adult is 50%. An additional €352,5 per month is required for the dependant adult.

This equals a total of €4 230 per year for your spouse. So, for yourself and your spouse (or dependent adult), you'll need a total of €12 690 per year.

Passive Income Requirements For Dependent Children

The minimum passive income required for children under 18 equals €211,5 per month or a yearly amount of €2 538. This amount is equivalent to around 30% of the primary applicant's total required passive income.

Passive Income Requirements For Elderly Parents

Applicants who have financially dependent parents can apply for their parent's dependency residency status. Applicants must house and support them fully (meaning you or your spouse's parents have to live with you). You can only apply after you have moved and settled.

What Are The Required Documents For The D7 Visa Application Process?

Before you start your visa application, you need to gather certain travel documents. These documents are crucial for your visa application. If you forget to submit one of these documents, it could extend the processing time, or in extreme cases, officials can deny your visa. For your Portugal D7 Visa, you'll need to submit the following documents (which will be explained in detail):

Portugal Lisbon Roof

Furthermore, there are a few additional things you need to know about the required documents, which can be found at the end of this section.

It's important that you make copies of all the required documents. Also, some of these documents will be required once you arrive in Portugal. Therefore, ensure that all your documents are translated into Portuguese.

Later in this post, I'll discuss the application process once you arrive in Portugal.

The D7 Visa Application Form

When you apply for the Portugal D7 Visa, you'll need to complete the National Visa application form. We recommend doing it on Atlys to ensure you're using the latest form. While filling in your application form, ensure that the information you provide is correct. If not, your application might be rejected.

Also, if you decide to complete the form online, ensure that you download and print the form. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to submit your application form alongside your other required documents.

A quick tip would be to double-check all the information you provide with the relevant documents you need to collect. For example, your personal information must be the same as the information on your passport, or use Atlys to have this automatically checked for you.

"Do I need to submit my application form in Portuguese?"

You'll often find that some requirements state you need to complete the application form in Portuguese. However, all Portuguese Embassies, Consulates, and VFS Global Centres in the US accept applications completed in English.

Your Valid Passport

You must present a valid passport or government-issued travel document). Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the D7 Visa you're applying for. It's recommended that your passport be valid for at least 2 years when you apply for your D7 Visa. This will leave you enough time to get your D7 Visa, enjoy your stay in Portugal, and renew your passport if necessary.

Remember, you'll need to present copies of your main passport page and get it notarized.

"Do I need to leave my passport with the Embassy?"

No. It's possible to withhold your passport when applying for your Portugal D7 Visa. In fact, most Embassies/Application Centres ask that you only submit your original passport at a later stage in the application process. With that said, be sure you submit notarized copies of your passport (you can read more about this in the FAQ section).

Once your application is successful, you'll need to submit your passport so Embassy/Consulate authorities can attach your visa sticker.

2 Passport Sized Photographs

Ensure that your passport photos meet the following requirements. You can get the correct photos for free on Atlys - simply take a photo, have Atlys resize it for you and pick it up at a Walgreens near you for free!

Proof Of Regular Income Or Passive Income, Known As Proof Of Sufficient Funds

Meeting the minimum passive income requirements is mandatory. However, it can be a bit confusing if you're unfamiliar with the process. Next, I'll briefly explain what you can expect when submitting your proof of income.

“Sufficient” means that you have funds—not necessarily income, but access to assets—equal to the annual minimum wage in Portugal. To qualify for the Portugal D7 Visa, you'll need to meet the following minimum income requirements:

  • For the lead applicant, you'll need to present a minimum amount of €8 460 per year.
  • For dependant applicants (like a spouse), you'll need to present a minimum amount of €4 230 per year (each).
  • For any dependant children you might have, you'll need to present a minimum of €2 538 per year child.

Let's talk about what you can submit.

It's important to understand that there are other ways to prove you have the funds to support yourself during your stay. Proof of income is not the only way to provide financial sufficiency. For example, you can submit a combination of the following:

  • Bank statements of the past 3 months. It must show the name and address of the account owner(s). Applicants with joint accounts may both use the same account statements, but: (a) either each has a statement under your name or (b) both names must appear on the statement.
  • Traveler's checks
  • Cash
  • Letter of employment showing income
  • International credit card showing credit limit
  • Investment statements (summary page only)
  • Income from property or non-property assets or from intellectual property
  • A company pension certificate, pension check statement, or notarized letter confirming a pension from the responsible authority
  • A Social Security benefits letter
  • If self-employed, tax returns from the previous fiscal year or proof of previous economic activity and income from the previous fiscal year

Take note that you need to present original copies of the documents you decide to submit. Also, a summary page showing your balance will suffice. You don't need to include pages showing each transaction in your bank accounts or the ‘small print’ on investment statements.

In the end, having a combination of income sources will ultimately benefit your Portugal D7 Visa application.

"What if I can't prove financial sufficiency?"

You'll need a "financial guarantor" based in Portugal if you can't show proof of sufficient financial means. A financial guarantor is responsible for supporting you financially during your stay in Portugal. This person can be your lawyer, a person with power of attorney, a landlord, a dean of admissions, and so on.

Remember that your guarantor must be an EU national or hold a permanent residence permit in Portugal.

If you have a guarantor, they must write an official letter stating that they will provide your accommodation and financial support for your stay. In addition, your guarantor must finance your return transit to the US.

Finally, even though there is a minimum requirement, our experts recommend you present more. Unfortunately, there is no set amount recommended by authorities.

Proof Of Accommodation

When applying for a Portugal D7 Visa, you're applying for a temporary residency permit. You'll need to prove to authorities where you'll stay in Portugal. The best option is to present a rental agreement or proof that you've purchased a property in Portugal. If you plan to live with a family member, you'll need to submit an official invitation letter from the host. The host must attach a copy of their ID to the form, sign it, and get it notarized in Portugal.

Remember that you need to submit a rental agreement covering 12 months.

You always have the option to travel to Portugal before applying for your D7 Visa. This allows you to find adequate accommodation before starting your application. If you're a US citizen, you can travel to Portugal without applying for a Tourist Visa. However, if you don't enjoy visa-free travel, you must apply for a Portugal Schengen Visa to enter Portugal.

In the past, short-term accommodation (like hotel reservations and Airbnb bookings) used to be accepted as proof of accommodation. However, in recent years, Portuguese Embassies and Consulates only accept long-term accommodation (12 months). Therefore, I highly recommend finding suitable long-term accommodation before starting your D7 Visa application process. If you're unable to find suitable accommodation, you'll need to write a letter to embassy authorities explaining your situation.

If you're not a US Citizen, you'll need to provide a copy of a valid document that proves you have legal residency in the US. This is usually your US Green Card. If you have any other relevant document that proves your legal residency in the US, you may submit that.

The FBI Criminal Record Certificate

For your FBI Criminal Record Certificate, there are 4 ways you can get one. For your convenience, I'll walk you through all the options:

Option 1 - Get It On Atlys. This is the easiest and cheapest option.

Option 2 - Get It Electronically

  • Step 1: Go to the [FBI website(https://www.edo.cjis.gov)
  • Step 2: Once you've opened the provided link, you'll need to follow the given instructions. You'll need to submit your fingerprint to obtain your FBI Criminal Record. So, if you decide to send a request electronically, you can visit any one of the participating US Post Offices and submit your fingerprints electronically from there.

If you decide not to submit your fingerprints electronically, you can mail your completed fingerprint card. You can find the address in the confirmation email you received. You'll also need to mail the confirmation email you received during your electronic request. Only once all your information has been received by authorities will your electronic request be processed.

Option 3 - Get It Via Mail

  • Step 1: Fill Out The Application Form. While filling out the application form, ensure that the details you provide are correct. If there are more than 2 applicants, each applicant must fill out and sign their own form. In addition, you'll need to include your complete mailing address, phone number, and email address. After filling out the form, you'll receive your results via the US Postal Service.
  • Step 2: Get Your Fingerprints. You can download this form and provide your fingerprints on it. It's worth mentioning that you can't provide previous fingerprint cards. Furthermore, the fingerprints you present must be eligible. Therefore, it's recommended that you find a fingerprint technician to help you.
  • Step 3: Make The Required Payment. You have 2 payment options. First, you can make a credit card payment using the credit card payment form. Note that you'll submit the form with your other documents, which will be mailed to the appropriate address. Secondly, you can prepare a money order or certified check of $18 payable to the US Treasury. Double-check that you've signed where you're supposed to.
  • Step 4: Check that you have all the required documents. You'll be mailing all the documents mentioned above to the appropriate address. Before you do this, ensure that you have all the required documents.
  • Step 5: Mail all your documents. You'll need to mail all the documents you've collected to the following address: FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request 1000 Custer Hollow Road Clarksburg, WV 26306
  • Step 6: Wait for the response. Once you've completed all the steps, you'll need to wait for feedback. You'll receive feedback by First-Class Mail via the US Postal Service.

Option 3 - Get Your FBI Criminal Record Using An FBI Approved Channeler

An FBI Approved Channeler is a third-party option you can use to get your FBI Criminal Record. The service provided by these private businesses is similar to the FBI submission procedures.

Request For Criminal Record Enquiry By The Immigration And Border Services

Once you're in Portugal (after a successful application), SEF will check your criminal background. Then, you can sign and present the form provided in the link.

Proof Of Valid Health Coverage

You'll need to present a valid travel insurance policy with medical coverage. Your medical insurance must be valid in Portugal. We recommend your insurance provide minimum coverage of €30,000 and be valid for your entire stay.

Furthermore, it must cover all medical costs that may occur during your stay, such as - repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention, emergency hospital treatment, or death.

Once you have received your residency in Portugal, you can choose to get one of the many private medical insurances provided in Portugal.

Money Order

Should you decide to mail your Portugal D7 Visa application, you'll need to write a money order made out to the Embassy, Consulate, or Application Center you're applying at. This is broken down into 2 parts:

  • A $35 courier fee for sending your application via mail.
  • A $41.83 service fee.

A Cover Letter Which Indicates The Reason For Your Request

You'll need to submit a letter that specifies the reason for your application. In addition, it must include all your relevant details, the date, and your signature. Your cover letter should include the following:

  • Your personal details
  • Why you're requesting a temporary residency permit for Portugal
  • Your ties to Portugal, such as family or friends residing there, owning property, having a bank account in Portugal (and the amount in that account), or the name of your landlord
  • Where you plan to stay in Portugal
  • The type of accommodation you've acquired
  • How you intend to get money for daily living expenses in Portugal

You can use Atlys to generate a cover letter! Otherwise, look at these guidelines and a sample letter to ensure you write the perfect cover letter for your National Type D7 Visa!

Portugal Museum Praca Do Comercio

Everything You Need To Know About A Cover Letter

When one of the required documents is a cover letter, it can be a bit confusing. Mostly because we never actually know what type of information we need to put in the cover letter or the format of the letter.

Well, this section will cover everything you need to know about writing the perfect cover letter.

Writing The Perfect Cover Letter For Your Portuguese National Type D7 Visa.

The Portuguese National Type D7 Cover Letter features all the important information that you want to communicate to the Portuguese Embassy or consulate. It should list and explain every document that you’re submitting.

Each applicant needs to include their own personal cover letter. The cover letter can be as brief as one paragraph or as long as two pages. There is no preferred letter length. The cover letter must be signed and dated by the applicant.

When applying as a family, each family member must have their own personalized cover letter, signed and dated by them.

This is extremely important. When the embassy or consulate reviews applications, the first thing they do is check the cover letter. The consulate would like to know and understand the intentions of the applicant wanting to relocate to Portugal.

What Should Be Included In The Cover Letter?

You need to make sure that the following is in your cover letter:

  • A description of yourself, such as profession, education, and if you are retired.
  • Your reason for settling in Portugal. Examples could be the Standard of living in Portugal, communal safety, affordable rent and properties, cost of living, or climate, to name a few.
  • Your ties to Portugal, such as family or friends residing in Portugal. Suppose you own a property or plan to purchase a property in Portugal.
  • If you have a lease, you should provide your address in the cover letter and any information related to your accommodation, such as contracts.
  • How you intend to support yourself for daily living expenses in Portugal. You can show this by providing your passive income accounts, bank statements, or any other proof of acceptable income, as discussed earlier in this post.
  • Provide a summary of your financial documents, for example, bank statements in the USA, any investments, pension, mortgage, etc. In this section, you can also include your NIF number and your Portuguese bank account.

Portuguese Type D7 Visa Cover Letter Sample

Here follows a sample you can use to make sure your Portuguese D7 Visa Cover letter is correct:


Portuguese Consulate/Embassy

Address (Depending on the jurisdiction)

Subject: D7 Visa Application- Fixed Residency for Retirement Purposes.

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is xxx. I am a retired professor at UC Berkeley. I would love to retire in Portugal because of the quality lifestyle and the amazing culture. I have friends who are retired in Portugal, and I would like to reunite with them. Portugal has always held a place in my heart. Ten years ago, I visited Portugal for tourism purposes for the first time and completely fell in love with the people, food, and vibrant culture. Ever since I’ve wanted to make Portugal part of my life.

I will live in rented accommodation that I have leased for 12 months at Rua Sao, 21 r/c Lisbon, Portugal. In the future, I am planning to purchase an apartment for the longer term.

I have several bank accounts and investments in the United States that will support my expenses in Portugal. I have also opened a Portuguese bank account and deposited € XXXX, XX.

For your reference:

Please find the following documents to support my visa application:

1. Visa application form, dated and signed with attached passport-size pictures;

2. Passport;

3. Travel Insurance;

4. Accommodation for my stay in Portugal: 12 months lease;

5. Income tax return, payslips, and savings account as proof of income;

6. Bank statements and health insurance coverage to cover any medical expenses in Portugal;

I trust that you will find everything in order. For any questions or clarifications, please contact me anytime.

Sincerely,

(Personal Signature)

Name

Address:

Email: xxx@xxxx.com

Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx


Portugal D7 Visa Application Process

Finally, we get to the visa application process. In this section you’ll find an in depth guide you can follow to apply for your D7 visa. Let’s get to it:

How To Apply For The Portugal D7 Visa - Step-By-Step Instructions

The application for your D7 Visa includes a 2 part process. First, you'll be applying for your Portuguese Residence Visa (known as the D7 Visa) within the US or your home country. Once your Residence Visa application is successful, you'll receive a stamp within your passport that will be valid for 120 days from the date of issue.

With this stamp, you can travel to Portugal and the Schengen Area. Keep in mind that your first port of entry must be Portugal.

With your Residence Visa, you can start the second step. Next, you must schedule an appointment at SEF for your Temporary Residency Permit. Your Temporary Residence Permit is what allows you to stay in Portugal. It will be valid for 2 years. After 2 years, you may renew your residence permit for another 3 years.

Now that you know about the 2 step process, I'll walk you through it step-by-step.

A quick note for US citizens living in Massachusetts: When applying for your Portugal D7 Visa, you'll need to apply directly with the Consulate in Boston. This is also true if you plan to apply for a Portugal Tourist Visa.

Step 1 - Gather All Your Documents And Complete The Application Form

Gathering all your documents and meeting your visa requirements may take some time. So I recommend you start with this first. Creating a checklist with all the requirements, like getting a NIF number and opening a Portuguese bank account, can really help you keep track of things. Be patient and ensure you gather all the correct documents. Applying for the Portugal D7 Visa does take time, and you don't want to make any mistakes that can delay the process.

I'll include a checklist that is provided by Atlys when you apply using Atlys:

Portugal D7 Visa Checklist 1
Portugal D7 Checklist 2
Portugal D7 Visa Checklist 3

As soon as you've collected all the required documents, you can fill out your Portugal D7 Visa application form. Double-check the information you provide to ensure everything is correct and accurate.

Step 2 - Submit Your Visa Application

Now that you've collected your documents and filled out your application, you can head over to your local Portuguese Embassy/Consulate to submit your visa application.

You'll also need to make the required payment for your visa application. You can expect to pay around €75 for your Temporary Visa (D7) application and €90 for your Residence Permit. Keep in mind that these amounts are subject to change. The D7 Visa fee payment should be with a cashier's check or money order made to the "Embassy of Portugal."

While submitting your documents, Embassy officials may request that you leave your passport with them. The reason for this is that they can attach your new visa to your passport (if your application is successful).

Step 3 - Receive Your D7 Visa

If your visa application is successful, the respective Portuguese Embassy will inform you via email or mail. This can take anywhere between 60 - 90 days. Once your feedback is favorable, the Embassy will attach your new Temporary Residency Visa to your passport. After you receive feedback, you can collect your passport between Monday and Friday at the Embassy.

When you collect your passport, remember to bring along your receipt and a copy of your ID.

Always check that the details on your new visa are correct. If it's incorrect, you may not be allowed to pass border control and will most likely be sent back to your home country.

Step 4 - Travel To Portugal To Attend Your SEF Appointment

You're officially done with the first step. Once you receive your new visa, you're allowed to travel to Portugal for 4 months (120 days). You'll need to travel to Portugal and schedule an appointment at Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteira (SEF) during this time.

Usually, if you've indicated your intended travel date, the Embassy will schedule an appointment at SEF for you. This can be found on your new passport under "appointment". Your SEF appointment will appear as a URL. You can enter this URL within your browser to find your appointment details.

If you don't have a scheduled appointment, you'll need to schedule one using the SEF portal. Again, it's important to schedule your appointment at the SEF bureau closest to your residence. Here, you'll find the different SEF bureaus, where you can schedule your appointment.

In some cases, when you schedule your own SEF appointment, you'll only find an appointment that is scheduled well past the expiry date of your D7 Visa. Don't worry! You'll still be able to attend your SEF appointment and get your Residence Permit. While scheduling your appointment, always request a confirmation email from SEF. The confirmation email will effectively extend your D7 visa.

I recommend printing this email and keeping it with your passport. With this printed email, you'll be allowed to travel to Portugal even if your visa has expired.

Step 5 - Attend Your SEF Appointment

Your SEF appointment will take around 20 minutes to complete. As a rule of thumb, be overly prepared for your appointment. Bring all the required documents and copies (translated into Portuguese). Applying for your residency in Portugal is no easy feat. So rather be safe than sorry.

You'll already have gathered most of the documents during the first step of your application.

During your appointment, you'll need to present the following documents:

  • The Application Form: This is not the visa application form. This is an entirely different form that you need to fill out and sign. The form is in Portuguese. So if you have trouble filling it out, you can ask someone to help you translate it, ask a local to help you or ask authorities to help you fill it in.
  • 2 Recent Photographs: The photos you present must be in color, recent, have a blank background and be easily identifiable. Most SEF bureaus have photo facilities available you can use. However, to be safe, it's recommended that you bring your own photos.
  • Your Passport: This is self-explanatory. Bring along your valid passport and copies thereof.
  • Your Valid Residency Visa: Your Residency Visa is the visa that was attached to your passport.
  • Proof Of Sufficient Funds: This will be the same amount as the amount stated in the required documents. For the lead applicant, you'll need to present a minimum amount of €7,980 per year. For dependant applicants (like a spouse), you'll need to present a minimum amount of €3,990 per year (each). You'll need to present a minimum of €2,394 a year per child for any dependant children you might have. It's recommended that you show more than the required amount. The documents you can provide include your most recent bank statements. It will also benefit you if these amounts are shown in your Portuguese bank account.
  • Proof Of Accommodation: You'll need to submit a document that indicates where you'll be staying in Portugal. The best option is to present a rental agreement or proof that you've purchased a property in Portugal. If you plan to live with a family member, you'll need to submit an official invitation letter from the host. The host must attach a copy of their ID to the form, sign it, and get it notarized in Portugal.
  • Permission To Check Your Criminal Record: Portuguese authorities will want to check that you have a clean criminal record from the date you arrived in Portugal. Therefore, you'll need to fill in and sign the appropriate application, which permits Portuguese Police to check your record.
  • A Document Proving Your Tax Situation: This does not refer to your tax situation in your home country. This is your Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF) that proves you’re registered with Finanças.
  • A Social Security Document: If you don't work and don't plan to work in Portugal, you won't be registered with social security, and you won't need to submit this document.
  • Supporting Document That Proves You Have Medical Insurance: If you have private medical insurance (this is mostly the case), you'll need to present a document that indicates you have valid medical insurance. The document is commonly a single page that includes your name, dates the policy is effective, what it covers, the amount it covers, and proof that you have paid.

Step 6 - Get Your Portuguese Residency Permit

Congratulations! You have now completed the entire application process for your new Portuguese Residence Permit. At first, the process is a bit difficult and can sometimes be tiresome. However, it is all worth it. Your Residence Permit will be sent to your home address or to the local post office. Therefore, you can expect to wait around 2 weeks to receive it.


Additional Information About The D7 Visa

I know that I’ve discussed almost everything about the D7 Visa. However, you can never have enough information. This section covers some additional information that might come in handy before, during, or after your visa application.

Some Things You Need To Know About The D7 Required Documents

The documents mentioned above are the primary documents you'll need to provide during your D7 Visa application. However, you might be asked to present a few additional documents in rare cases. These requests can include the following:

  • A Flight Itinerary. In some cases, you might be asked to prove that you intend to travel to Portugal for your temporary residency permit. It's essential that Portugal is your first port of entry. There, your passport will be stamped by border control. Once you're in Portugal, you'll need to attend your interview at SEF. SEF will want to see proof that you entered Portugal first, intending to attend your Residence Permit appointment.
  • A Reference In Portugal. San Francisco and Washington, DC, sometimes request you to submit a reference letter from a reference in Portugal. Your reference can be a landlord, a lawyer, a family member, a person with power of attorney, a friend, a real estate agent, etc. The important thing is that your reference is an EU national or has permanent residency in Portugal. The reference letter should include the reference's name, phone number, and citizenship (including a copy of the person's national ID or residence card).

Additional documents you'll need to submit if you're traveling with your spouse and children.

  • A Marriage Certificate. If you plan to bring along your spouse with you, you'll need to provide a marriage certificate. Remember to get it notarized and translated. Keep the original and translated copy with you.
  • A Birth Certificate. If you plan to bring along a dependent minor, you'll need to present a birth certificate. As with the marriage certificate, it's better to get it notarized and translated for when you need it in Portugal.

What Is The General Time Frame Of The D7 Visa And D7 Residency Permit?

I know how frustrating it can be to not know how long the process might take. That’s why I’ve included this section. This covers the time frame you can expect if you want to apply for the D7 Visa or D7 Residency Permit.

D7 Visa Time Frame

We highly recommend that you find a specialist to help you acquire all the documents necessary. It will speed up the process as the specialist will know what is required, and it can take up to a month.

The Visa application can take up to 60 days. It might take longer depending on if you have submitted the correct documents; if not, you will need to appear in person to correct any mistakes, hand in missing documents, or clarify any issues which can cause delays in your visa approval.

D7 Residency Permit Time Frame

Once you arrive in Portugal, you must apply to SEF and start the residency permit process.

The time it takes to make an appointment can vary due to the demand in certain locations. For example, it may take up to 120 days for high-demand locations (for example, Lisbon), whereas other locations that are less popular can take up to 15 days to schedule an appointment (the countryside).


That's it!

Now you know everything you need to know about the Portugal D7 Visa. If you have any other questions, check out our FAQ section for some answers.

Written By: Richard Nathan
Fact Checked By: Jakus Eloff

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Apply For The D7 Visa For Minors?

Once you've successfully obtained your Portugal Residence Permit, you're entitled to reunite with your family in Portugal. This means that your spouse, children, or any other dependents have the right to join you in Portugal.

The visa your family requires is the Portugal Family Reunification Visa. This allows your family entry into Portugal. However, the application process for the Family Reunification Visa does take some time to complete. The average processing time is around 60 days.

Furthermore, your family cannot enter Portugal without a Family Reunification Visa.

There is another way:

Your family members can apply for their own Portugal D7 Visa. The application is exactly the same as that of the main applicant. Ensure that you obtain all the required documents and follow the aforementioned how-to steps.

For Minors

If you plan to apply for your children, you need to fill out the D7 Visa application form and sign it on their behalf. Furthermore, you'll need to collect and submit all the required D7 Visa documents.

Additional documents you need to submit for minors include:

  • A birth certificate.
  • A travel authorization letter from the mother/father stating that they acknowledge that the child will travel (include copies of ID or passport).
  • If divorced, a custody letter or document.
  • Copies of all D7 Visa application required documents (Portuguese bank account and NIF are not required).

You can make copies of all your documents, notarize them, and simply attach them to the minor's application form. After collecting all the required documents, fill in the application form and sign it on your child's behalf.

Remember:

Each family member will need their own visa appointment. So, if you're applying for 2 children, you need 3 visa appointments. 1 for yourself, and 1 for each individual child.

What is a D7 visa?

A D7 visa is a temporary residency permit used to obtain a D7 residence permit.

Can I Apply For My D7 Visa While Abroad?

Unfortunately, you must be in your home country to start the Portugal D7 Visa. Therefore, you won't be able to apply from abroad. However, you can start gathering documents and researching the visa while abroad.

Doing this will enable you to confidently apply for your Portugal D7 Visa as soon as you return to your home country.

For example, if you have legal status in Australia, you can submit your application in Australia. However, if you are only visiting Australia, you must submit your application in the United States in person.

Where Should I Submit My Portugal D7 Visa Application?

If you apply in the US, things can get a bit tricky. The best option would be to apply at your nearest VFS center. If you plan to apply at a Portuguese Embassy, it's highly recommended that you call the Embassy before mailing your documents.

Can I Use My Savings For The Portugal D7 Visa?

Yes, you can use your savings for your Portugal D7 Visa. You can use a combination of savings, income, and investments. Keep in mind that it would benefit your application if you could prove that you have a monthly recurring income.

Do I need to buy property in Portugal to apply for the D7 visa?

You do not need to buy or own property in Portugal to qualify for the D7 visa. However, you will need to provide proof of accommodation during your application process. A rental agreement should suffice.

Does My Bank Account Need to Be Funded?

Yes. Your Portuguese bank account must be funded before traveling to your SEF appointment. The exact amount has not been specified. However, most applicants deposit around $ 10,000.

Keep in mind that even if you meet all the financial requirements, it does not automatically mean your visa application will be successful. Embassy authorities have the final decision on your application.

Do I Need To Deposit Money In my Portuguese Bank Account When I Open One?

Yes. Once you open your Portuguese bank account, you'll need to make a deposit before your appointment with SEF. There is no specific amount required. However, we recommend that your bank account show a total amount of $8000 - $10 000.

How long does it take to complete the entire process?

A D7 Visa is a temporary residence permit used to obtain a D7 residency permit. This process can take up to 3 - 4 months. If you fail to submit the correct documents, it might take longer. Also, due to the COVID - 19 lockdown and travel restrictions, you can expect the process to take up to 6 months.

How Long Is The D7 Visa Valid For?

Once your application is successful, your D7 visa is valid for 4 months. Take note that you need to apply for your D7 residency permit within these 4 months.

Where Should I Go To Apply For My D7 Visa?

You can apply for your D7 visa in your home country at the Portuguese consulate or embassy.

Where Do I Apply For My D7 Residency Permit?

For your residency permit, you need to travel to Portugal and apply to SEF and schedule an appointment to start your application.

For more information, you can consult our complete guide on how to get permanent residency in Portugal.

Do I Need To Leave My Passport At The Embassy?

Technically yes. Your passport is required for your D7 Visa stamp. However, this can be avoided. Because the Portugal D7 visa takes some time to be processed, you could arrange with the Embassy that you won't send your passport alongside your documents.

However, once you receive favorable feedback from the Embassy, you must mail your passport to the Embassy. Also, you need to be in the US when mailing your passport.

Submitting your passport alongside your required documents helps speed up the processing time of the Portugal D7 Visa.

Keep in mind that not all Embassies are the same. So, it's recommended that you contact the Embassy where you'll be scheduling your appointment and find out if your passport is required.

In most cases, you won't need to leave your passport at the Embassy.

This will enable you to travel to and from the Schengen Area.

Can I Obtain Citizenship With A D7 Visa?

Yes, a D7 visa is the first step that will lead to permanent residency and citizenship. After you have stayed in Portugal for 5 years, you can apply for citizenship, provided that you are eligible and meet the requirements.

Can US Citizens Apply For A D7 Visa?

Yes, provided that they meet all requirements, especially the passive income requirements.

What Age Do I Need To Be To Apply For The D7 Visa?

Applicants need to be at least 18 years of age, although this program is popular amongst wealthy retirees.

Am I Eligible To Apply For A D7 Visa?

You are eligible if you:

  • Are a non-EU citizen
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Meet the passive income requirements
  • Have proof of accommodation in Portugal
  • Are willing to spend at least 16 months in Portugal during your first 2 years of relocating
  • Have sufficient funds to support yourself in Portugal
Is The D7 Visa Only For Retirees?

No. Anyone can apply for the D7 visa as long as they meet the requirements and their source of passive income is stable and expected to stay stable over a long time.

Is It Expensive To Live In Portugal?

No, the cost of living is relatively low compared to the quality of life in Portugal.

What Is A NIF number?

A NIF number is your legal tax number in Portugal. Without a NIF, you will not be able to carry out any fiscal activities in Portugal.

What Is NHR?

NHR stands for Non-Habitual Resident. It is a Portugal tax program that offers foreigners reduced tax rates and, in some cases, exemption from tax.

What Is SEF?

The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) is a security service within the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI). For the purpose of this article, the SEF is responsible for all activities related to migratory movements. Therefore, if you wish to apply for a Residence visa in Portugal, you must schedule an appointment with SEF.

SEF has a pre-booking system that allows you to schedule appointments either by telephone or online. However, it is required that you attend your appointment in person. Remember that you are starting a new application for a Residence permit. Therefore you will need to have all the required documents before your interview.

It is possible to reschedule your appointment, but we advise that you plan ahead of time so that it is not needed.

What Is The Difference Between A Portugal D7 Visa And A Schengen Visa?

The biggest difference is the amount of time that you are allowed to stay in Portugal. With a Portugal Schengen Visa, it is limited to 90 days. That's why the Schengen visa is easier and cheaper to obtain.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Portugal?

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

What Is The Portugal D7 Rejection Rate?

The Portugal D7 Visa has a low rejection rate. Due to Portugal wanting to attract investors, they have a low rejection rate. However, your Portugal D7 can be rejected due to incorrect documents or if you fail to meet the minimum requirements.

How Long Can You Stay In Portugal Without A Visa?

If you're a US citizen, you can travel to Portugal and stay there for 90 days without a visa. Keep in mind that this is only for tourism or business purposes. However, if you wish to stay longer than 90 days or your purpose of travel is for something else (like studying), you'll need to apply for a visa.

How To Open A Portuguese Bank Account

To open a Portuguese bank account, you need a few documents:

  • Proof of address in Portugal.
  • A mobile phone number with an activated SIM.
  • Your ID number. -Your NIF (tax identification number).

Once you have all these documents, you need to go to the branch you want to use.

Certain banks allow you to open your account over a video call.

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