D7 vs Golden Visa: Which to Choose?

D7 vs Golden Visa: What Are They and How Are They Different?

Portugal’s Golden and the D7 Visa are two of the country’s most popular foreign investors’ entry points. Portugal also presents an affordable way to enter the European Union.

But what are the Portugal Golden Visa requirements, and how does the system differ from obtaining a D7 Visa in Portugal?

In brief, the D7 Visa is Portugal’s so-called ‘passive income’ visa. It is an initiative aimed primarily at retired people or those who fund their lifestyles by way of some form of passive income. 

Meanwhile, the Golden Visa scheme is an investment-based initiative designed to make it easier for foreign investors to qualify for legal residency upon buying into the Portuguese property market. 

Both programs can pave the way for permanent residency or even citizenship, but Portugal’s D7 Visa requirements are quite different to those of the Golden Visa scheme. It is therefore important to assess your requirements and eligibility carefully before deciding which pathway is right for you.

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D7 Visa vs. Golden Visa in Portugal 

Whether looking to apply for a Golden Visa or a D7 Visa in Portugal in 2022, this is the basic information you need to know how they differ:

Stay Requirement – D7 Visa vs. Golden Visa 

The biggest difference between the two programs is their respective stay requirements. To qualify for a D7 Visa, you must spend a significant amount of time in Portugal – a minimum of 6 to 8 consecutive or non-consecutive months per year. 

This is because the initiative is aimed at people who plan on living in Portugal permanently, as opposed to temporarily or sporadically.

With the Golden Visa scheme, you only need to stay in the country for one week each year to maintain your status as a resident. This is, therefore, the preferable choice for most investors who do not intend to live in the properties they purchase.

Investment or Income Requirement – D7 Visa vs. Golden Visa 

There is also a big difference between the income or investment requirements of the two schemes. 

To be eligible for a D7 Visa, you must demonstrate that you will have enough passive income to sustain your lifestyle indefinitely. You will also need to provide evidence of additional income if you plan to bring dependents or a spouse with you under your D7 Visa. 

To apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa program you must make investments in the country. One famous investment option is to purchase a Portuguese property. To automatically qualify for a Visa, investors will have to spend between $280,000 and $500,000 on a property.  

However, it is a legal requirement under the scheme to retain ownership of the investment property for at least five years. After which, it can be sold at any time, and the right to reside in Portugal is retained.

Tax Requirements – D7 Visa vs. Golden Visa 

Becoming a D7 Visa holder means becoming a full-time resident of Portugal. Consequently, you also become a Portuguese taxpayer and are liable for tax payments at the country’s normal rate. However, an application may be submitted for the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) scheme, which offers additional tax benefits for the first 10 years.

Those who qualify for a Golden Visa are not required to spend considerable periods in Portugal and are therefore not classified as tax residents. They can therefore continue paying taxes in the normal way in their home countries. 

D7 Visa vs. Golden Visa – Which is Right for Me?

There’s much to consider to determine which visa programs are right for you. For the most part, it is a case of considering your long-term objectives and priorities, along with how long you intend to reside each year in Portugal.

For example, the D7 Visa pathway could be the ideal choice for you if:

  • You have stable and sufficient passive income to sustain your lifestyle comfortably
  • You intend to spend most of your time in Portugal
  • You would prefer not to make a major investment in a Portuguese property right away
  • You intend to rent a property in Portugal rather than purchase a home outright
  • Alternatively, you may be a better candidate for the Golden Visa Scheme if:
  • Your main goal is to generate revenue from your investment property
  • You do not intend to spend most of your time in Portugal
  • You intend to sell the property in the future to generate capital gains
  • You have sufficient capital to purchase a high-value property outright

You may need help with the application process. In both instances, it is essential to seek expert advice.

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