The D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal are two extremely popular schemes that help foreigners move to Portugal and settle in the country. The D7 Visa, also known as the “Passive Income Visa”, is mainly aimed at retirees or people who want to live in the country that are dependent on their passive income and who would like to stay in Portugal on a permanent basis. On the other hand, the Portugal Golden Visa is an investment-based route where you will not need to actually reside in Portugal for most of the year. 

Both options allow the holder to seek permanent residency and citizenship in Portugal, but their set of requirements is different. You will need to assess these requirements based on your needs and expectations. In this article, we’ll delve into the differences in these programs so that you can make an informed decision about which option is best suited to your circumstances. 

The article will provide you essential information on the D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal, including: 

    • D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal
    • Tax status requirements for both programs
    • Moving from the D7 Visa to the Portugal Golden Visa
    • Which one is better for you?
    • How we can help
    • Plus much more!


D7 Visa vs. Portugal Golden Visa

In this section, we’ll run over some of the differences between the D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal.

Required time spent in Portugal

The residency requirements for the D7 Visa: When the residency card is first issued, it is valid for two years. During this time, permit holders cannot leave the country for six consecutive months or eight months in total during the two-year period. On renewal, the new residency card will come with a validity of three years. Permit holders cannot leave the country for six consecutive months or eight months in total during the three-year period.

For Golden Visa holders, you will need to only spend an average of seven days in Portugal each year. 

Required income or investment Portugal real estate investment GCS

For the D7 pathway, you will not be required to make an investment in Portugal but you will need to show proof of passive income.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Be a non-EU national
  • Earn a passive income of at least €760 per month (your income can come from pensions, transferable equity, real estate, intellectual property, or financial equity)
  • Show proof of a place to live in Portugal
  • Be willing to reside for more than 183 consecutive days per calendar year in Portugal

However, it can happen that applications are denied if you just meet the minimum requirement. It is a safer bet to demonstrate passive income of at least twice the minimum requirements. 

Consulates accept a combination of salary, pension and benefits, and investments, including new real estate income. One thing to bear in mind is that income needs to be regular, documented, and easy to understand.

Regarding the Portugal Golden Visa, a minimum investment of at least €250,000 is needed, but it is much more common that people opt for the €350,000 or €500,000 pathway. The most popular options are real estate and, increasingly, investment funds. Other options include making an art donation or start a local business that employs at least ten people. Note that for the residential real estate option for the Golden Visa, you will need to invest in an interior area of Portugal – you can read more about it here

Costs of the process

The D7 Visa is the cheapest option of the two, with an additional government for of about 400 euros for each applicant. 

For the Portugal Golden Visa, the total cost will vary depending on the specific investment route that you selected. However, regardless of the investment route, the cost will be significantly higher.


Tax status/requirements

With both the D7 Visa and the Golden Visa you can apply the non-habitual residence (NHR) scheme for tax purposes. This provides attractive tax benefits for up to ten years.

The Portugal D7 Visa requirements 2022 are that you stay in the country for most of the year, then you will need to become a tax resident of Portugal. This means that you will need to apply for the NHR scheme by 31 March of the year after your arrival. 

With the Portugal Golden Visa, you do not have to move to the country (only a seven-day stay requirement on average per year) and therefore you can choose to begin the NHR clock later, if and when you eventually choose to move to Portugal. 

If you are a Golden Visa holder and never actually relocate to Portugal and therefore never become a tax resident, you will only be liable for Portuguese tax on local sources, such as real estate investments. 

Application Procedure

Let’s compare the application procedure for the D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal. With the D7 Visa, the application process begins in the home country. In the application, you will need to present certain application forms and proof of accommodation. This can be tricky, particularly as it can be difficult to make arrangements for a place to stay in Portgual, particularly if you are yet to decide on which region or city you would like to move to.  If you have friends or relatives in Portugal, you can ask them to issue a statement that basically says that you will be staying with them. Otherwise, you can rent, or even find Portugal homes for sale and make a purchase before you begin the application. 

After you have secured the initial visa from the embassy, then you will need to go to Portugal to complete the D7 Visa Portugal application. 

The process is much smoother with the Portugal Golden Visa. After you have made the investment then you will need to head to Portugal to complete your application. 

Comparing the D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal, the latter is much more straightforward. After making your investment, you are ready to begin your application, minus the accommodation requirements.


So what are the fees attributed to the programs? Let’s compare the D7 vs. the Golden Visa Portugal. The government fee for the D7 Visa is between €45 and €300 and there are renewal charges and legal expenses to take into account as well. If you opt for the D7 Visa route, then the major costs will be to purchase or rent property, relocate, move your belongings, and so on. 

With the Portugal Golden Visa, the investment is evidently the primary cost. However, you will also need to consider the application and processing fees, which are €5,325 and €533 respectively.

Note that the changes and costs mentioned here are subject to change, so double-check before beginning your D7 Visa or Golden Visa application.


From D7 Visa to Portugal Golden Visa

Sometimes things do not go to plan and D7 Visa applicants are unable to meet the stay requirements. Also, it is worth applying for the D7 Visa with savings in the bank ready to show, if possible, just to be on the safe side. However, the good news is that you are able to switch from the D7 Visa to the Portugal Golden Visa if you are ready and willing to make the necessary investment. 


Citizenship in Portugal Through D7 or Golden Visa Portugal

So, the D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal. Which one to opt for? Both visa types are meant for residency. However, after five years, both the D7 and Golden Visa holders may be eligible for Portuguese citizenship, and the array of benefits that come with having a European passport. 

So which one is better for me? portugal-golden-visa-d7-visa-decision

Both the D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal provide you with the right to live, work, and invest in Portugal. So, which one is right for me?

This will largely depend on your personal circumstance. The Portugal D7 Visa experience is perfect for someone that wants to move to Portugal immediately and live there on a permanent basis, and that they are fairly convinced that they would like to live in the country for five to six years, should they be looking to secure citizenship. 

On the other side, if you want to secure Portuguse residency without having to move full time (or even at all) then the Golden Visa is the better of the two options. It is also a very good choice if you want to move to Portugal in the future and want to kickstart the clock towards permanent residency or citizenship already. 

As previously mentioned, the process for the D7 Visa is a little complicated, as you will first need to gain a visa from the consulate in your home country before you can go to Portugal for your interview with SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, the Portuguese Foreigners and Border Service). You will also need to open a Portuguese bank account and proof of address in the country before you even begin the application. All these things aside, the D7 Visa is a much less costly option. 

Another factor to note is that SEF must approve your application if you fulfill all the requirements and pass the background check for the Golden Visa. With the D7 Visa, they have discretionary power over approving your application.


How we can help

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique residency and citizenship by investment company, focused on finding the right investment, citizenship, or residency program for individuals across the world. We work solely on behalf of our clients throughout the process for an easy and hassle-free journey to your desired route. 

With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, get in touch today to see how we can understand your objectives and help you move towards becoming a global citizen.

If you are looking for Portugal homes for sale or the best investment opportunities, we are here to help. Also, the following articles and tips may prove useful to you:

Frequently asked questions about the D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal:

Is Portugal D7 visa good?

If you are looking to live or retire to Portugal then the D7 Visa is an excellent option. The Portugal D7 visa reviews show it to be a very good option to live and work in the country.

How long do you have to stay in Portugal on a D7 visa?

The D7 residence permit holder must be willing to reside for more than 183 consecutive days per calendar year in Portugal.

Is Portugal Golden Visa good?

Yes, the Portugal Golden Visa is one of the most successful in the world, providing investors residency for a minimum investment requirement, with the possibility of citizenship after five years.

Can you work in Portugal with a D7 visa?

Yes, with a D7 Visa, you are able to live and work in Portugal.

How long does D7 Visa take?

It can take up to four months to secure your D7 Visa in Portugal.