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The Ultimate Guide to the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa: How to Apply and Live the Dream - Cover

The Ultimate Guide to the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa: How to Apply and Live the Dream

Portugal’s new digital nomad visa, introduced in late 2022, has made living and working in this picturesque country easier for remote workers.

Its beautiful beaches, relaxed vibe, and growing digital nomad community make it an attractive destination for anyone seeking to blend work, travel, and play.

Here’s the thing, though: the process of moving and working abroad comes with its challenges, from securing job contracts to visa applications and tax residency.

Thankfully, you’re reading this guide.

Here we'll provide all the essential information about the Portugal digital nomad visa, to make things a bit easier for remote workers eyeing this beautiful country.

Let’s get right into it.

Understanding Digital Nomad Visas

digital nomad visa
A digital nomad visa permits people who work online and travel around to legally live and work from a different country for a certain amount of time.

Before the advent of these special visas, some travelers engaged in visa running, meaning they would leave a foreign country right before their tourist visas expired and come back just to stay longer.

Some people also worked online while they were just tourists, which wasn’t exactly allowed. Thankfully, digital nomad visas have changed all of that.

With these visas, travelers have more rights and options than regular tourist visas. This means they can legally live in a country while working and earning foreign income without breaking any laws.

In Europe, digital nomad visas are getting more popular because more people are working remotely and want the freedom to travel. The visas also allow for longer stays than the regular 3-month Schengen visa.

Also called the D8 Visa, the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa is a program made to attract freelancers, digital nomads, and remote workers to come live and work in Portugal.

The program started in 2021, and it lets people from outside the EU/EEA stay in Portugal for up to a year, with the chance to stay another year if they want.

Visa Options for Digital Nomads in Portugal

surfers on beach in Portugal
Ready to make this sunny country your remote work base? Here are the various visa options for digital nomads in Portugal.

1. Temporary Stay Visa

The temporary residence visa, also known as the temporary stay visa, lets you live in Portugal for up to one year. You can come and go as you please during this time, so it’s really easy to travel in and out of the country.

That said, keep in mind that while this visa lasts for a whole year, you won’t be able to get a residency permit with it.

2. Long-Term Visa

The long-term visa starts with a four-month validity period, but you have the chance to extend it by applying for a two-year residency permit while you’re living in Portugal.

This extended permit gives you an additional two years to fully enjoy yourself in this southern European country while still keeping up with your remote work.

3. Passive Income Visa

Another visa option is the D7 Visa or Passive Income Visa, which is great if you’re a digital nomad with a steady monthly income. This visa allows you to apply for a residence permit and even Portuguese citizenship if you meet the requirements.

Although the Passive Income Visa is commonly associated with retirees, you can also benefit from it as a remote worker.

4. Tourist Visa

Also called the short-term Schengen Visa, the Tourist Visa allows digital nomads to live and work in Portugal for up to 90 days. You can apply for it online at the E-Visa Portal or in person at your local Portuguese Consulate.

Eligibility for Portugal Digital Nomad Visa

Porto - Portugal
Here’s what you need to qualify and get a Digital Nomad visa in Portugal:

  • Be 18 or older: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for this visa.
  • Not from EU/EEA countries: This visa is specifically for people who aren't from EU or EEA countries.
  • Make more than €3,548 a month: You'll need to show that you earn over €3,548 per month to qualify for this visa.
  • Have a gig lined up for remote or freelance work: Make sure you have a remote or freelance job ready to go before applying.
  • Sort out your place to stay in Portugal before you get here: Before you arrive in Portugal, make sure you have your accommodation arranged. It’s important to have a place to stay sorted out in advance.

What Documents Do You Need for the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?

It’s important to gather all the necessary documents before starting the application process for Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa.

Here’s a comprehensive list of what you’ll need:

  • Proof of Remote Work: Provide evidence of your remote work setup, such as an employment contract or any relevant documentation that outlines your professional arrangements.
  • Clean Criminal Record Certificate: Obtain a clean criminal record certificate from your home country. Remember, this document must be translated into Portuguese and authenticated by the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service or Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF).
  • Valid Passport: Make sure your passport is up-to-date and valid for the duration of your stay in Portugal.
  • Letter of Intention: Write a letter expressing your reasons for moving to Portugal as a digital nomad. This letter should show why you want to relocate to Portugal and how you plan to contribute positively to the local community.
  • Bank Statements: Show your financial stability by providing bank statements proving you make at least €3,040 each month and have savings of at least €36,480.
  • Health Insurance: Secure health insurance coverage that is valid in Portugal. While it doesn’t necessarily need to be Portuguese insurance, it must meet the country’s healthcare requirements.
  • Tax Receipt: Provide documentation of your tax compliance status.
  • Proof of Accommodation: You can either show a rental contract for a year or paperwork proving you bought property in Portugal to prove where you’ll be staying.
  • Passport Photos: Include two recent passport-sized photographs.

How to Apply for the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa

Follow these simple steps to apply for a digital nomad visa in Portugal:

1. Gather Required Documents

Collect all your essential documents and necessary paperwork listed in the previous section. If you don’t have an employment contract, make sure you can provide evidence of your active digital nomad status.

2. Complete Application Form

Next, fill out the application form available on the official website of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additionally, draft a cover letter explaining why you’re applying, where you plan to stay, any connections you have to Portugal, and summarize your documentation.

3. Submit Application

Schedule an appointment with a Portuguese consulate to submit your application and required documents. During this appointment, you’ll also provide fingerprints and photos. Be prepared to pay the application fee, which is usually around €180.

4. Wait for Approval

It takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months for your visa application to be processed and approved. Once approved, you can collect your visa from the consulate or have it mailed to you.

5. Enter Portugal and Apply for Residency

With your visa in hand, you can enter Portugal. You have 120 days to register for residency. You can schedule an appointment with the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) yourself or one may be arranged for you during your visa application process.

Why You Should Consider Portugal as a Digital Nomad

Portugal is a top choice for digital nomads all over the world, and it’s not difficult to see why. Besides its beautiful landscapes, fantastic weather, and vibrant culture, the sunny country boasts numerous co-working spaces. Plus, it has super-fast WiFi, making it a great choice for digital nomads like you.

Whether you prefer working near pristine beaches or scenic mountains, you’ll find plenty of spots in Portugal to suit your needs. Ericeira, Peniche, and Sagres are just a few examples of the must-visit locations in Portugal.

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