Portugal’s Different Residency Options

Portugal has different ways for people from around the world to come and live there. They have special visas that let you stay in Portugal. One of the most common visas is called the D7, and it’s for people who have money coming in regularly, like a pension. But there are other options too. You can start a business in Portugal with the D2 visa, work remotely and get paid with the D8, or get a job in Portugal with the D1 or D3 visas.

Note: It’s important to know that if you’re from a European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland, the process is different for you.

D1 – Job Offer Visa

The D1 visa is for professionals who have a job offer in Portugal. To get this visa, the company offering the job must prove that they tried to hire someone from Portugal or the European Union (EU) but couldn’t find a suitable candidate who is a Portuguese or EU citizen. This means you don’t have to be a super-specialist, but the company must demonstrate that they couldn’t find the right person locally or in the EU, which can be challenging unless you have very rare & unique skills.

D2 – Entrepeneur Visa

The D2 visa is for people who are like entrepreneurs or have the mindset of an entrepreneur. It’s for those who want to move to Portugal and do things like start a new business, move an existing business to Portugal, buy a company in Portugal, or become a part-owner in a company in Portugal. Some people call it the Entrepreneur Visa or Business Visa.

If you have a business idea, this visa could be a great chance for you to make it happen and begin a new life in Portugal. To qualify, you should have a strong business plan, and it’s even better if you have relevant experience and money to invest. The good thing is, there’s no fixed minimum amount you have to invest, which makes this visa different from other entrepreneur visas in Europe. But your investment should be enough to support the business you want to create.

D3 – Highly Skilled Visa

The D3 visa, often known as the Highly Qualified Activity Visa (HQA), is designed for highly skilled professionals in certain industries who want to work in Portugal. To be eligible, you must already have a job offer that lasts at least 12 months and pays at least 1.5 times the minimum wage in Portugal.

Unlike the D1 visa, your employer doesn’t have to prove that they tried to hire locally in Portugal and Europe but couldn’t find the right candidate. However, to get the D3 visa, you must demonstrate that you possess specific qualifications for your profession.

HQA Visa for Investors

The HQA visa is a special opportunity for people who want to invest and start a business in Portugal. In exchange for bringing at least €175,000 in capital and getting support from an approved Portuguese business incubator, you can get residency in the country. It’s important to understand that while some people are referring to it as the “new golden visa,” the HQA visa is actually designed for highly skilled and experienced professionals.

D4 – Short Term Student Visa

The D4 visa is designed for students from other countries who want to study in Portugal for a year or longer. This visa may not be the best choice for language courses that are typically shorter, such as those lasting only a few months. However, it is a good option for international students, interns, volunteers, and people taking professional courses at educational institutions, as long as their projects or studies in Portugal last for more than one year.


D5 – Long Term Student Visa

The D5 program is designed for international students who are currently studying in a European country and want to either move their studies to Portugal or spend some time studying in Portugal. For example, they might want to spend a year in Portugal as part of a transfer program or a sandwich program.

D6 – Family Reunification Visa

The D6 visa is designed for non-European Union (EU) citizens, such as people from the USA or South Africa, who are living in Portugal and want to reunite with their family members there. The family members eligible for this visa are a spouse or partner, dependent children, and dependent parents.

Note: If you’re an EU citizen, like someone from Ireland or Germany and you want to bring your family members to Portugal, the process is slightly different.

D7 – Passive Income Visa

The D7 visa is for people who have a steady income, which is best if it comes in without much effort on your part. Common sources of income for this visa include things like a pension, social security, money from renting out a property, royalties from your creative work, or earnings from investments like dividends. While it’s not just for retirees, many people refer to it as the retirement visa or passive income visa.

To be eligible for this visa, you must prove that your income is at least as much as the minimum wage in Portugal, which is €760 per month in 2023. However, the more income you can show, the better your chances of getting approved for the visa.

D8 – Digital Nomad Visa

The D8 visa, often called the “digital nomad visa,” is designed for people who work remotely and earn a regular income from outside Portugal, such as a salary or income from clients. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate an income of at least four times the minimum wage in Portugal, which is roughly €3,040 (calculated as €760 multiplied by 4) this is for 2023.

This visa is primarily for individuals who wish to live in Portugal for an extended period, like 5 years or more. However, it also allows for shorter stays, permitting people to live in Portugal for up to 1 year.

D9 – Golden Visa

The D9, also known as the ARI or golden visa program, offers the opportunity to reside in Portugal through financial investment. This program provides various investment options, including initiating a business venture or placing funds into an approved fund. As of October 2023, an increasing number of applicants are favouring the fund investment route.

Typically, a minimum investment of €500,000 is required to participate in the D9 program, but there is an alternative option where you can make a donation to an approved organization, with the minimum amount set at €220,000 (although it’s typically €250,000). Despite the cost-saving potential of the donation route, most applicants opt to invest their funds rather than make a donation.


People from countries in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), such as Portugal, Cape Verde, Brazil, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, and Mozambique, can apply for a residency permit in Portugal. This permit allows them to live in Portugal for up to one year initially. After that, it can be renewed every two years. To apply, they can visit the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) website.

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