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The D8 – Digital Nomad Visa in Portugal

The Digital Nomad Visa (D8) is aimed at people who can work from home while living in Portugal. The COVID-19 pandemic made this working model very popular and in 2022 the Portuguese government decided to take advantage of the fact. And, as expected, it worked, since many expats have chosen Portugal for its balance of affordability, safe environment, great weather, and good quality of life. Let’s find out more!

What is the Digital Nomad Visa in Portugal

Since October of 2022, the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa is available to non-EU citizens who are employed by a company outside of Portugal or self-employed. This visa, which is officially known as the ‘residence visa for the exercise of professional activity provided remotely outside the national territory,’ allows holders to live and work in the country for up to one year. It’s a great alternative to the already existing D7 Visa, which was introduced to attract retirees and passive income earners.

How to get a Digital Nomad Visa in Portugal

Portugal offers two types of visas for people who work remotely, and it all depends on how long you intend to live in the country.

Digital Nomad Visa Option #1: Temporary Stay Visa

This temporary visa is suitable for most digital nomads who are looking to work remotely in Portugal. It allows you to stay in Portugal for up to one year and freely leave and re-enter the country during this time. If you end up deciding to stay long-term, the visa can be renewed. The application process is very straightforward, and you must file it in your country of residence.

Requirements for the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa
  • Non-EU or EEA citizenship
  • A passport, valid for at least three months following the duration of your intended stay
  • Two passport photos
  • Health insurance
  • Criminal record from your country of origin
  • A form that authorises AIMA (Immigration and Border Services) to access to your criminal record 
  • Proof of means of subsistence through a statement of responsibility
  • A salary of at least €3280 (four times the Portuguese minimum wage)
  • A work contract or agreement for your independent or temporary work activity

If you’re unsure whether you want to live and work remotely in Portugal long-term, this visa is optimal for you. It gives you up to a year to think about it and the option to extend it up to four times for a maximum of five years. However, the temporary stay visa, as the name states, does not lead to permanent residence or citizenship.

Family reunification on a (Permanent) D8 Visa

The salary requirement of 3280 Euros for the digital nomad visa in Portugal is gross and applies to the main applicant. If you bring a partner the salary requirements grows by 410 Euros (50% of the minimum wage) and 246 Euros for each child (30% of the minimum wage).  So a family of four has to have a minimum of 4182 Euros gross income for the D8 visa.

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
Get your D8 Visa in Portugal.
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Digital Nomad Visa Option #2: Residence Visa

For those sure about making Portugal their long-term home, the Digital Nomad Visa option #2 works best. This visa allows remote workers to stay in Portugal longer, get residency, and obtain Portuguese citizenship after 5 years.

For the application process, you are subject to the same conditions mentioned above, but to obtain the residence permit after moving to Portugal, you will also need:

  • An interview with AIMA;
  • A NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal), which is your personal tax number 
  • A Portuguese bank account
  • An employment contract from a foreign employer 
  • If you’re a freelancer – a contract that proves you work with clients
  • Bank statements and payslips/invoices to prove your monthly income
  • Proof of personal tax residence in Portugal through a long-term rental agreement registered with the tax authority

Portugal Digital Nomad Visa Process

To obtain the digital nomad residence visa, you’ll have to be granted a double-entry visa by the Portuguese consulate in your country. This visa will be valid for four months, during which you have to visit Portugal and apply for a residency permit at the AIMA (Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum).

Here’s a quick overview of the two phases involved in the process:

  1. Phase 1: Embassy – This is when you submit your visa application for the digital nomad visa at the Portuguese embassy/consulate in your country of residence, along with all the documentation mentioned above (NIF, bank account, criminal record check, health insurance, and proof of residence in Portugal, meaning that you need to find a home and meet all the conditions stated before your visa appointment).
  2. Phase 2: Residency Permit – Once you go to Portugal with your Digital Nomad Visa, you’ll apply for a residency permit at the AIMA. Once you receive your temporary residence card, the five-year duration of the visa program will start counting, and you can then apply for permanent residence and citizenship.
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The steps to get a Digital Nomad Visa in Portugal

Rent an apartment for a Digital Nomad Visa in Portugal

In order to successfully get your Portuguese Digital Nomad Visa, you must provide proof of residence, via buying a house (which is more unlikely for a digital nomad) or a rental contract. Luckily, Pearls of Portugal can help you rent an apartment or house anywhere in Portugal with our Long-Term Rental Service

Are there tax benefits for digital nomads in Portugal?

Yes. With the temporary stay Digital Nomad Visa, you will be charged a tax rate of around 20% or less. The actual tax rate depends on your income, how much salary tax you pay in other countries, and whether you are self-employed or not. Additionally, as a freelancer with a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa, you can obtain the NHR (non-habitual resident) status, which comes with the following benefits: 

  • No taxes to pay on foreign income
  • 20% tax to pay on income earned in Portugal (compared to up to 48% income tax which is the standard in the country) 
  • 10% social contribution, which is less than the standard rate

The NHR program is scheduled to end in 2024, to be succeeded by an alternative program offering similar advantages but catering to a significantly smaller demographic, specifically those involved in scientific research. However, individuals who became a tax resident by the end of 2023 are still eligible to apply for and enjoy the NHR benefits for a decade.

How Can You Get NHR Tax Status?

To be eligible for NHR tax status, you must have lived in the country for a total of at least 183 days within the last year and own or have a property where you pay rent in Portugal.

These are the steps to obtain NHR status: 

  • Register as a taxpayer in the NIF system
  • Apply for NHR no later than 31 March of the year following the year that you change your residence
What About Private Health Insurance? 

The prolonged Digital Nomad Visa grants you access to the Portuguese public health care system (SNS); however, it’s wise to pay a bit extra for private health insurance. Not only does this give you access to a wider range of doctors and medical services, but you’re also more likely to come across personnel who speak English.

Depending on what country you come from, your age, and how extensive you want your coverage to be, there are different options for you. Check your country of origin or the internet for the health insurance that best suits your needs. 

Best Places to Live in Portugal on a Digital Nomad Visa

With Portugal’s blend of historic charm, modern amenities, and breathtaking landscapes, it’s no wonder that many D8 Visa holders are drawn to its shores. Each region boasts unique offerings, catering to a variety of lifestyles and preferences. Let’s explore some of the best places in Portugal to call home on a Digital Nomad Visa.

Braga

Nestled in Portugal’s verdant Minho region, Braga radiates an age-old aura. Historically a religious hub, its skyline is dotted with majestic churches and sanctuaries, earning it the moniker ‘Portuguese Rome’. 

While its religious sites, especially the Bom Jesus do Monte, attract pilgrims, Braga is no ancient relic. The University of Minho brings youthful zest, ensuring lively cafés, contemporary art spaces, and tech hubs. In fact, D8 Visa holders find in Braga a serene yet invigorating atmosphere, suitable for both work and leisure.

Lagos

Lagos, in the sunny Algarve region, is where the ocean serenades the cliffs. Known for its dramatic coastline, turquoise waters, and historic sites like the Forte da Ponta da Bandeira, Lagos promises a laid-back yet adventurous life. 

For Portuguese Digital Nomad Visa holders, especially those who lean towards tourism or marine ventures, Lagos offers tremendous opportunities. The town, though touristy, has retained its authentic charm with its fish markets, tiled streets, and local festivals. Living here feels like a perpetual vacation, interspersed with lucrative work prospects.

Lisbon

As Portugal’s pulsating capital, Lisbon effortlessly melds historical charm with modern flair. Its cobbled streets, lined with pastel-colored buildings and ancient buildings, echo tales of a very rich history. Yet, juxtaposed against this is a thriving startup ecosystem, attracting digital nomads from all over the world. 

Lisbon offers not just cultural immersion, with its fado music and tram rides, but also a dynamic work environment – with co-working spaces aplenty and a robust expat network. Add to that the city’s vibrant food scene, riverside views and mild climate and you have an unbeatable combination.

Tomar

Renowned as the former stronghold of the Knights Templar, Tomar brims with historical depth and intrigue. The Convent of Christ, proudly declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, majestically punctuates the city’s skyline, serving as a testament to Tomar’s storied past.

However, the city is more than just a historical gem. Tomar vibrates with contemporary arts, musical gatherings, and spirited local celebrations, like the mesmerizing Festa dos Tabuleiros. Expats in Tomar discover a community that deeply values its ancient legacies while fervently championing modern creative expressions. From diverse art hubs, craft workshops, to the peaceful embrace of the Nabão River, Tomar presents a dynamic blend of work and relaxation.

Funchal

Funchal, the capital of Madeira, is where the Atlantic’s azure meets lush green mountain ranges. Its terraced vineyards, producing the famed Madeira wine, are a testament to the island’s agricultural wealth. Funchal seamlessly blends the island’s rich history, seen in its colonial architecture, with modern amenities. 

For this reason, digital nomads, especially those in agriculture, tourism, or research, will find Funchal ripe with opportunities. 

Chaves

To the north, where the Iberian landscapes of Portugal meld with Spain, Chaves stands as a beacon of wellness and historical significance. The town’s age is evident in the stoic Roman bridge, a silent witness to countless generations and their tales. Yet, Chaves offers more than just a peek into antiquity; its renowned thermal springs have anointed it as a focal point for those seeking rejuvenation. 

In Chaves, digital nomads – especially those with inclinations towards wellness or history -, will discover a wealth of opportunities and a tranquil rhythm of life, plus amazing gastronomy.

Let Pearls of Portugal Help You

The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa is one of the best ways for foreigners to live and work in the country. If you want to become a digital nomad through an easy and seamless process for obtaining the appropriate Portuguese visa, we can help! Learn more about what our beautiful country has to offer and how we can assist you by getting in touch with us or visiting our Carefree Visa Service page!

Pros and Cons of being a Digital Nomad in Portugal

1. Submission of Visa application

  • Obtaining a NIF (Tax Identification Number).
  • Opening a bank account in Portugal.
  • Acknowledgment of signatures.
  • Manage the legalization of documents, where applicable, in Portugal.
  • Collect, prepare, legalize the translation, and transmission of the initial documents for the visa application.
  • Manage the initial administrative formalities.
  • Provide all representation services.
  • Submit the visa application to the competent local authorities, for the main applicant and family members, including dependants, if applicable.

2. Visa Application Follow-up

  • Follow-up and coordinate the administrative processing with local authorities.
  • After the request is accepted, collect and transmit the residence permits.
  • Orientation and accompaniment during visits to Portugal.
  • Organize the necessary appointments (namely for the biometric process) and provide all the necessary guidance during the stay in the country.

3. Services after obtaining the Visa

  • Submit the residence permit application.
  • Follow-up of residence permit renewals (after two years).
  • Various administrative and support services (Numero de Utente and NISS).
  • NHR program application (if applicable);
  • Register as a self-employed individual with the Tax Authorities and request a Social Security number (NISS);
  • Assistance with instructions for issuing invoices, submitting VAT and Social Security returns;
  • Assistance with Issuing of the Portuguese Health Number and assistance on obtaining Private Health Insurance;
  • Driver’s license exchange;
  • Advice on international schools in Portugal.
Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
Get your D8 Visa in Portugal.
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