Called “D7”, this visa model is applied especially for retired foreigners or holders of their own income who wish to migrate to Portugal. Among the benefits, the document ensures the possibility to enjoy the certification of residence in the “non habitual” category, responsible for guaranteeing the application of a fixed tax rate of 20% on income in the citizen’s country of origin. With the change in legislation in 2020, pensions are taxed at a flat rate of 10%.
The permit is considered one of the means for Brazilians who intend to live in Europe and, even though it is known as the “retirees’ visa”, it also covers other possibilities.
Following the 2021 legislation, this article brings together the information needed to obtain a visa, application details, recent changes to the process, and required documentation.
You can also go directly to the FAQ with frequently asked questions about the D7 visa for Portugal .
The D7 visa application can be initiated by those living on income. In addition to other identity documentation, it will be necessary to present the applicant’s income. In other words, proof that the citizen has an amount of money that allows him/her to reside in Portuguese territory for at least 12 months. For retirees, a certificate will be required to show that they have filed for the transfer of their retirement to Portugal.
The proof that the foreigner has a minimum amount deposited in a bank in Portugal required by the government came into force at the beginning of this year. Its purpose is precisely to validate that he can support himself and his family as soon as he disembarks. In other words, without depending on entering the local job market to contribute to the country – although this type of visa does not prohibit professional activity or even entrepreneurship in Portugal.
The amount considered may be relative, but for the visa application it is at least 1 minimum salary for the applicant, plus 50% for each additional adult and/or 30% for each additional minor. After arriving on Portuguese soil, it must also be proven that it is possible to support the family – from there, other calculations will be made. The responsible body is the authority of the municipality where the residence permit will also be applied for. As there are many nuances, it is advisable to look for legal counseling to help you perform the steps – this will avoid mistakes, wear and tear, and losses.
Another issue to be settled before landing is the recognition of a place to live for the citizen and his family. Hotel reservations, rental contract, invitation letter from relatives or friends, and property deed are accepted. After the visa has been granted, the deadline for entering European soil is a maximum of 120 days. Importantly, this stage also includes a thorough analysis guided by the Portuguese authorities. Even the application can be denied if irregularities or missing documentation is found.
After arriving in Portugal within the 120 days, we start the residence permit procedures with the local authority. This will be granted for a certain period of time and will need to be renewed periodically – it is mandatory that in each restructuring the maintenance of the items required in the visa application, such as the existence of means of subsistence, is proven.
Regarding the residence permit, in order for it to remain active, besides renewals, the holder cannot be absent from the country for more than six consecutive months or eight interpolated ones. Exceptions are made when the need to move away from the territory is justified in advance. The legally required period of residence is five years, after which the holder can apply for Portuguese nationality and thus obtain a permanent residence permit.
As mentioned in the item above, the Portuguese government requests the presentation of financial resources in order to analyze if there is a way for the citizen to support himself during his stay in the country. But, how much is this value? The amount is the same for both retirees and income earners. Currently, they are equivalent to:
It is worth pointing out that the proof refers to a period of one year, which means that the foreigner will need to have this amount multiplied by 12.
The amount should remain available on Portuguese soil. The requirement is that the transferability must be proven. In the case of retirees, the proof is through the retirement document itself. This must present the respective income and the guarantee of receipt in Lusitanian lands.
In the scenario of holders of income in Brazil, such as financial investments, business income, copyrights, or real estate rentals, it will be essential to present the latest income tax return. The same goes for the family members in the group.
Resident visa applications for retirees or income earners must be accompanied by the following documents:
After gathering the above items, the applicant must fill out the D7 visa application form, which must be signed and notarized. After five days, a bill will be issued with the amount to be paid for the visa application.
According to the legislation for foreigners in Portugal, the following are eligible for family reunification: the spouse, children (of age 18 or under) and incapacitated dependents of the couple or of one of the spouses, direct ascendants to the first degree of the resident or his/her spouse (as long as they are dependent on him/her), and siblings under the age of 18 who are under the resident’s guardianship. Below is the list of documents required for the applications:
In the family reunification scenario, the holder is now seen as responsible for supporting his family members as well. That is, percentages are added to the monthly income to be legally proven. For example, when the spouse is the household, the visa applicant needs to present both the Portuguese minimum wage and 50% more of that amount for the support of the husband or wife. Now, when directed to the minor child, the added percentage is 30%.
Finally, the D7 visa is extremely popular among retirees and income earners, which may lead to the conclusion that it is incompatible with professional activity in Portugal. Another myth is also in relation to age: there is no limitation on this, as long as one meets the requirements, it is valid for those living on income in general. And, it is also worth remembering that the holder of this visa will not be prevented from working, and can be employed or even undertake business in the new territory. In other words, the document gives even those who already have a fixed income in Brazil, the possibility to work regularly in Portugal!
With digital nomadism becoming an increasing reality worldwide, Portugal and its national authorities have created easier procedures for those who wish to apply for a residence permit under this premise. As such, the best and most effective way to achieve this goal would be to apply for a residence visa under the D7 rules.
The D7 visa is intended for entrepreneurs and applicants who already have income from their home country and is specific for high-skilled positions provided for by the government. Otherwise, it is still possible to apply for a residence permit under the general rules – for example, the D2 Visa, which is intended for applicants who intend to come to Portugal to work, either for a specific entity (work-dependent) or by creating their own job (self-employed; incorporation of own company in national territory, for example). Another option is also the StartUp Visa, a program that welcomes foreign entrepreneurs to technology-based companies.
One must keep in mind that legal residency and tax residency are two different applications, before two different authorities, that can be executed independently and should not be confused with each other. Non Habitual Residence (NHR) is a tax regime, approved by the Portuguese Tax Authorities, while temporary and permanent legal residences are approved by the Foreigners and Borders Service – SEF. Once that point is clarified, you can become a tax resident in Portugal and benefit from the NHR, since the salary (source of income) is generated outside Portugal.
There are several differences between residence permits issued under the D7 and Golden Visa programs in Portugal. The main ones concern the actions that need to be taken to become eligible to apply.
The Golden Visa integrates several types of investments, such as the purchase of a property with a minimum value of 500,000 euros. Unlike the Golden Visa, the D7 visa is intended for retirees or people living on income who are able to support themselves. The D7 visa depends on your skills and qualifications that meet the Portuguese government’s criteria.
Another significant difference between them is the fact that on the D7 visa, holders must stay in Portugal for at least 6 months during the year. The Golden Visa, on the other hand, has no such requirement, only the 7 and 14 days are sufficient.
You can only apply for a D7 Visa temporary residence permit if you have not been convicted in your home country of a crime that under Portuguese law would carry a sentence of at least one year. If this criterion is not met, the request for a temporary residence permit will probably be refused by the Portuguese authorities. Check this information with your local authorities, consulate or embassy, and request the removal of criminal information from your record because of the time that has elapsed since the crime was committed.
The TAX3 Committee report recommends that EU countries eliminate the RBI and CBI programs. This does not imply that they follow the recommendation. In fact, there is a movement by the other countries in the European Union for more control of the Golg visa in the countries that still offer it. However, most member states do not agree with the recommendation, nor does the Investment Migration Council, which responded to the report by stating that these programs are a $20 billion industry that generates significant social and economic benefits, including job creation and notable contributions to GDP.
Thus, it is likely that member states will adequately ensure that enhanced customer due diligence on applicants for citizenship or residency through these methods is properly carried out. This means that RBI and CBI programs across Europe will ensure that the due diligence performed on an applicant, both by banks and immigration agencies, becomes more rigorous to avoid the concerns that the EU Parliament refers to in its report (CRS evasion and circumvention).
Yes, the law does not prohibit the exercise of professional activity.
Obtaining a Portuguese tax number is a free process and can be done by you or by a power of attorney granted to someone else. The possibility of requesting by proxy serves both the case of requesting a TIN as a resident and as a non-resident. Also, as a non-resident, you will need to appoint a tax representative who is resident in Portugal. The documents required are a passport or its certified copy if the application is made through a power of attorney, and proof of address of your current residence issued within the 3 months prior to your application. Once collected, these documents must be presented to the local Tax and Customs Authority, which will issue your TIN on the spot.
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