Over the last few years there’s been a proliferation of countries introducing their own version of a digital nomad visa.
This is to accommodate the rise in remote workers and digital nomads, particularly post pandemic!
Hallelujah! As someone who’s been traveling for over 11 years (with my family), it’s about time working from anywhere in the world was recognized as an actual thing and not just a passing phase.
As a digital nomad, you may be considering applying for a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa, but do you actually need one?
That’s what we’ll be exploring in this article, so let’s crack on!
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Is There Actually a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?
It would seem so yes. Up to November 2022, their D7 passive income visa, passed as their proxy digital nomad visa.
However as of November, they’ve added a digital nomad visa to compliment the D7 visa.
It doesn’t look like the rules and regulations have been fully hashed out yet as details are a bit sketchy, but in the absence of finding the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa on your local embassy website, look for the D7 passive income visa, as that’s the next best thing.
What Does it Mean?
The D7 visa grants non-EEA/EU citizens access to Portugal for semi-permanent residency for up to one year.
It allows qualified digital nomads to stay in the country without the need for a normal residence permit and gives them access to important social benefits. As part of the D7 visa, digital nomads are not subject to any additional tax or restrictions on self-employment.
To qualify you’ll have to meet specific criteria and prove that you have the necessary economic resources to sustain a minimum living while living in Portugal.
It’s important to note however, the new digital nomad visa will not offer residency and you’ll have to prove income of up to four times the minimum wage in Portugal.
If you apply for the D7 visa, and continue to meet all requirements, you can continue to extend your residency and after five years apply for permanent residency if that is your long term goal.
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The Benefits of the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa
The biggest benefit for a digital nomad is the ability to move around the entire Schengen area visa free for as long as you’re a Portugal Digital Nomad visa holder.
That’s 27 countries you get to freely explore at will!
Other benefits include;
Ease of Use – The visa allows you to use Portugal as your base of operations, living and working remotely without the need for a work permit.
Fast Internet – Portugal has a highly developed digital infrastructure with fast internet speeds and access to phone networks for remote work.
Affordable Living – Portugal has fairly cheap rental prices meaning you can keep your costs down, while generating a nice income as a nomad.
Sunshine – Portugal is a beautiful country, with fabulous weather! With mild winters and gorgeous summers, looking out onto the Med makes for a fantastic lifestyle.
Tax Benefits – I’m not an accountant so do your own due diligence, but the D7 visa means you’ll likely pay less tax on anything earned from outside of Portugal.
Family – Not sure if this is a benefit or something you’d rather not know, but the D7 allows for family members to accompany you. (Thankfully only immediate members, so the mother-in-law can’t come!)
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Requirements, Application & Costs
Unfortunately Visa rules change across the globe, change more frequently and faster than the weather, so here is some basic info and some of the top resources to stay abreast of changes to the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa;
Proof of passive income – You’ll need to provide income statements which prove that you passively earn more than the minimum monthly wage (the new Digital Nomad Visa requires four times the minimum)
Proof that you work remotely – You may be asked to provide evidence that you do indeed work completely remotely as a digital nomad
A Portugese NIF number – A tax number allowing you to engage in business activities in Portugal – Portugalist offers a comparison of online NIF services
A Portugese bank account – can be opened physically or remotely – Portugalist has a list of companies that offer this service
Proof of Accommodation – you’ll need to show that you’re physically living in Portugal
Residency – you must be willing to stay at least 6 consecutive months per calendar year
Health Insurance – You must have a sufficient health insurance policy, which includes repatriation if required.
Clean Criminal Record – You may be asked to supply a police report to show you’re an upstanding citizen!
These are the basic requirements. Please note you may be asked to provide more documents or proof that you are a remote worker living in Portugal.
Application & Costs
To apply simply;
- Schedule an appointment at a Portugese embassy near you & submit all relevant documents (you can also mail your documents if you prefer)
- Once your visa is approved, make an appointment at the SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Border Service) in Portugal
- Attend your appointment to apply for residency. You’ll need the residency permit application form, plus all the documents you submitted to apply for the visa.
If all goes smoothly, your new residency visa will be issued and you are officially a digital nomad living and working in Portugal.
D7 Visa – 180 euros
Residency Application – 320 euros
New Digital Nomad Visa – TBC
Resources to Stay Up to Date with Visa Changes
World Visa Guide
Artur Azevedo | Unsplash
Do I Need a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?
This is a great question!
It all depends on your short term and long term plans and where you’re originally from in the world.
Firstly, if you are an EU citizen already, you don’t need this Visa! You can live and work in any other EU country you lucky bugger!
If however, you’re from outside of the EU/EEA & Switzerland, if you want to stay in Portugal for longer than 90 days at a time, then you will need this visa or something similar.
If you are from one of these countries, then you can enter Portugal or any other country within the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any 180 day period.
You can go in and out, but you’ll need to keep a track of your days and make sure you haven’t stayed longer than 90 days within 180 days.
If you are from one of these countries, then unfortunately you’ll need a visa just to enter Portugal or another EU country, even as a tourist.
So whether you need a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa or not depends on where you’re from and what you want to do.
If you’re looking to potentially live in Portugal longer term, then yes it’s a good idea. If you want free reign to travel around Europe visa free for a couple of years, this could be an option, although remember, you will need to stay in Portugal for at least 16 months out of your first two years or you risk having your visa revoked.
Best Places to Live or Explore In Portugal for Digital Nomads
Whether you choose to apply for a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa or not, there’s no escaping the fact that Portugal is a fantastic country, with lots to see and do!
Here are some of the highlights;
Artur Azevedo | Unsplash
Lisbon is one of the hottest cities right now for digital nomads. With its magical mix of cheap cost of living, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant tech scene, it’s no wonder why many nomads have chosen to make it their home.
Lisbon offers plenty of sunshine, stunning beaches, and a variety of vibrant neighborhoods to explore. It offers delicious food, mild weather, and a strong community of freelancers, making it an ideal base for digital nomads. Not to mention its excellent transportation links, making it easy to explore other parts of the country.
If that’s not enough, the city offers a range of coworking centers and startups, perfect for networking and finding new opportunities. All this, and reliable internet, make Lisbon the perfect spot for digital nomads.
Diego Gennaro | Unsplash
My holiday playground as a child, living in the Algarve as a digital nomad provides the perfect mix of work, relaxation and play.
The Algarve offers a stable Internet connection and an enviable climate with 300 days (yes 300 days!) of sunshine a year. The cost of living is also much lower than in other countries, making it easy to maintain a comfortable lifestyle while living in the Algarve on a digital nomad’s salary.
Additionally, the Algarve is home to stunning Mediterranean forests, perfect for taking a nature break from the office. The Algarve’s relaxed culture and rich craftsmanship provide creative inspiration and a great atmosphere for collaboration.
With its beautiful beaches, cultural heritage and friendly people, it’s easy to see why the Algarve makes for an ideal destination for digital nomads.
Nick Karvounis | Unsplash
Porto is an ideal city to be a digital nomad.
As Portugal’s second-largest city and the capital of the northern region, it has everything a digital nomad could need.
- First, it’s an incredibly affordable place to live.
- Second, it’s sunny climate and beautiful beaches make it great for outdoor activities.
- Third, its good transport links with the rest of Europe make it an ideal hub for working remotely.
- Fourth, there are many coworking spaces, programs, and startup communities that connect digital nomads from around the world.
- Finally, Porto’s vibrant nightlife, delicious food, and friendly people make it an ideal place to work, relax, and enjoy life.
rashid khreiss | Unsplash
Living in Faro as a Digital Nomad can offer numerous benefits including a strong connection to the local community, a low cost of living, excellent digital infrastructure, and plenty of places to work and relax.
Faro is an excellent place to work remotely, with a robust network of high-speed internet available across the city center and in many surrounding towns. Faro is also known for its low cost of living, making it a great destination for digital nomads on a budget.
Additionally, Faro is centrally located within Portugal, offering easy access to other Portuguese cities, the warm beaches of the Algarve, and nearby Spain.
Faro is a welcoming and friendly city, and a great place to park your laptop for a while.
Pitua Sutanto | Unsplash
Ericeira is a picturesque fishing village in Portugal that is surrounded by stunning coastline and picturesque beaches, offering the perfect backdrop for a digital nomad to enjoy a break from their daily routine.
As a coastal fishing village, Ericeira’s weather is consistently warm and sunny, which makes it ideal for outdoor activities. The area also has an abundance of cafés, restaurants, and shops, offering a great variety of activities and opportunities for socialization.
Ericeira is located close to Lisbon and the coast, allowing access to city life while maintaining a rural setting. Ericeira even offers the opportunity to work and live near the ocean, creating an atmosphere of creativity and relaxation while still allowing digital nomads to stay productive.
The combination of scenery, atmosphere, and convenience make Ericeira an ideal location for digital nomads.
José Francisco García Cuenca | Unsplash
Coimbra is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for digital nomads, offering the opportunity to live in a vibrant city with plenty of places to explore.
The city is known for its lively student life and cozy cobblestone streets. It is a charming city full of historic sites, beautiful architecture, and plenty of cafes and restaurants to satisfy any taste.
The cost of living in Coimbra is relatively low, making it an affordable choice for digital nomads. It also offers excellent access to public transportation, with buses and trains providing direct connections to nearby cities.
Fiber optic internet is available in most areas, making it easy for digital nomads to stay connected and get their work done. Coimbra has become a popular spot for digital nomads who want to experience a bit of Portuguese culture and get their work done in a comfortable environment.
Monika Guzikowska | Unsplash
Fancy a bit of Island life?
Portugal has two Madeira’s. The one on the mainland and the Portuguese Island of Madeira, located in the Atlantic Ocean, North of the Canary Islands.
Another area I regularly holidayed as a child, Madeira is an ideal destination for digital nomads looking to work in a beautiful and tranquil environment. It has a mild climate, stunning natural scenery and plenty of interesting activities to experience.
For professionals who understand the importance of a good work-life balance, Madeira is a perfect choice. The laid-back atmosphere of the island allows digital nomads to truly focus. (Or go to the beach!)
However, if you want to get away from it all to work on your blog or right that pesky book, perhaps being on an Island in the middle of nowhere is just what you need!
Portugal Digital Nomad Visa – Summary
All in all, Portugal is full of lovely places to call home and the new Portugal Digital Nomad visa makes it easier than ever for digital nomads to come and explore this amazing country.
Whether you’re looking for a tranquil beachfront apartment in Faro or a co-living space near the heart of Lisbon, Portugal can offer great settings for your next digital nomad adventure.
And if you decide you don’t need a visa after all, I hope this article has inspired you to explore the country anyway.
Hope to see you there!