Digital Nomad Visa Portugal

How to Get a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa

Ever since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people work from home or remotely in a location of their choice. With this new-found geographic flexibility, many choose destinations that offer a healthy balance of affordability, a safe environment, great weather, and good quality of life like Portugal. 

To make living and working in Portugal easier, the government announced that it would launch the Portugal digital nomad visa in addition to its already wide range of residency visas for skilled foreign employees. 

On 30 October 2022, the Portugal digital nomad visa will be 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 an alternative to the already existing D7 visa, which was introduced to attract retirees and passive income earners.

If you’re thinking of packing your bags and heading to Portugal to live and work as a remote freelancer, the Portugal digital nomad visa is for you! 

What Is a Digital Nomad Visa?

Unlike a short-term tourist visa or a long-term residency visa, the Portugal digital nomad visa allows holders to live in the country to work remotely. Usually, visa holders work for companies in their home countries. 

Digital nomads don’t always obtain visas to stay in different countries. Instead, they go on so-called “visa runs,” which means they leave the country for a few days to then re-enter and reset their tourist visa. With the Portugal digital nomad visa, however, holders no longer have to go on visa runs and can live and work in the country without taking away jobs from locals. 

Although digital nomads have always been around, this lifestyle was exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic, which prompted many people to find new places to live and work. As a result, multiple countries started offering digital nomad visas, including 11 European countries, with multiple others still set to launch theirs. 

With Portugal’s digital nomad visa about to launch, learn how you can get yours.

Obtaining a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa 

Portugal offers two types of visas for people who work remotely or earn passive income. Which one you should apply for depends on how long you intend to live in the country. Here’s what you’ll need to obtain either. 

Digital Nomad Visa Option #1: Temporary Stay Visa

This visa is suitable for entrepreneurs with digital businesses or self-employed freelancers. It allows them to stay in Portugal for up to one year. Afterward, the visa can be renewed. In addition, holders of this digital nomad visa can freely leave and re-enter Portugal. 

The main factor in obtaining this visa is to prove that you have enough income to support yourself while living in Portugal. That means you have to earn at least €2820 each month, which is four times the Portuguese minimum wage. 

Get a statement of responsibility from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal and complete it to prove how much monthly income you have. This is also where you will find all other required forms and documents to apply for the Portugal temporary stay visa. 

The requirements are as follows: 

  • A passport, valid for at least three months following the duration of your intended stay
  • Two identical, up-to-date passport photos that are in good condition and properly identify you 
  • A return ticket 
  • If you have a different nationality than the country where you’re applying for the Portugal digital nomad visa, you’ll also need a document certifying that you have  regular employment  
  • Valid health or travel insurance that covers all necessary medical expenses, including emergency assistance and repatriation
  • A form that authorises access to Portuguese criminal records by the Immigration and Border Services (SEF)
  • Criminal record from either your country of origin or your country of residence for the past year
  • Proof of means of subsistence through a statement of responsibility, signed by a Portuguese national or by a third-country national legally residing in Portugal
  • A work contract or service 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 if you wish to stay in the country longer. 

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, if they want to, even obtain Portuguese citizenship.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal), which is your personal tax number 
  • Portuguese bank account
  • An employment contract from a foreign employer 
  • If you’re a freelancer, you’ll have to show a contract that proves you work with clients
  • Bank statements and payslips/invoices to prove your monthly income
  • A salary of at least €2820 or four times the Portuguese minimum wage from remote work
  • Proof of personal tax residence in Portugal through a 12-month rental agreement registered with the tax authority

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 SEF (the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service).

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

  1. Phase 1: Embassy – This is when you’ll submit your application for the digital nomad visa at the Portuguese consulate in your country of citizenship or permanent residence.
  2. Phase 2: Residency Permit – Once you go to  Portugal with your digital nomad visa, you’ll apply for the residency permit. 

Do Digital Nomads Pay Taxes in Portugal?

As a freelancer with a Portugal digital nomad visa, you can obtain an 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

However, keep in mind that only new tax residents can obtain NHR status in Portugal. While NHR status is issued for 10 years, it will have to be confirmed every year.

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: 

  • Visit a Portuguese tax office (either in person or through a representative)
  • Register as a taxpayer in the NIF system. You’ll then receive a certificate or card with a unique number
  • Apply for NHR no later than 31 March of the year following the year that you change your residence
  • Now all you have to do is wait for an email of approval

Keep in mind that the NHR is not a visa or residence permit—it only refers to your tax status. 

What About Private Health Insurance? 

While you may be eligible for public health services in Portugal, 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.

In addition, private healthcare facilities are more comfortable as they offer a better and more private environment to rest and recuperate. 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 insurance that best suit your needs. 

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 today!

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