portugal safety tipsThe D7 and Golden Visa Portugal are two extremely popular schemes that help foreigners move to Portugal and settle in the country.

While the Portugal D7 is mainly aimed at foreigners who have a stable passive income, and who would like to stay in Portugal on a permanent basis, the Portugal Golden Visa Program requires applicants to make a significant investment in the country.

Both options grant applicants residence permits in Portugal. They also allow the holder to seek permanent residency and citizenship in Portugal, and bring their family members to live in the country.

However, when comparing the D7 vs Golden Visa Portugal, you’ll notice that their set of requirements is different.

The article will provide you with essential information and highlight the key differences between the D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal. Here’s what you’ll find in this guide:

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

D7 Vs Portugal Golden Visa: Program Overviews

The D7 Visa, also known as the “Passive Income Visa” or “Retirement Visa”, allows non-EU nationals to live in Portugal legally, provided that they meet the minimum passive income requirement. On January 1st, 2024, the minimum income rose from €760 to €820.00 a month.

The Passive Income Visa is aimed at contractors or retirees with steady income streams. These funds can come from sources such as pensions, financial investments, rental income, intellectual property income, and more.

While the Portugal D7 Visa initially targeted retirees with passive incomes, it also suits individuals who have a remote job.

Also regarded as the Residence Permit Program, the Portuguese Golden Visa allows non-EU citizens to obtain a residence permit in Portugal by making a qualifying investment in the country. This visa was created in 2012 to attract foreign investment during their economic recovery from the subprime crisis.

D7 vs Portugal Golden Visa: the similarities

The D7 Visa and the Portuguese Golden Visa are both attractive programs, especially for UK citizens and Americans moving to PortugalSome of the key advantages that both of these programs offer include:

  • Family reunification: Both visas allow for family reunification, meaning your family members, including your partner, children, parents, or dependent siblings, can join you in Portugal.
  • Free movement within the Schengen Area: With the D7 and Portugal’s Golden Visa, you can freely enter and move within the 27 countries in the Schengen Area without needing an additional visa.
  • Pathway to permanent residence and Portuguese citizenship: After five years of being a legal resident in Portugal, you may become eligible for permanent residency or citizenship in Portugal, whereby you can get a Portuguese passport.
  • Residency rights and access to services: With the temporary residency permit, you and your family will have access to Portuguese state healthcare, and your children can enroll in the public education system, ensuring essential services for your family’s well-being.
  • No Active Business Involvement: The Portugal D7 Visa and the Golden Visa do not require individuals to establish or manage a business in Portugal.
  • Attractive Tax Benefits: You can be eligible to apply for the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) as a holder of either the Portugal D7 Visa or the Golden Visa. The NHR scheme enables individuals to enjoy reduced tax rates on income for ten years.

Portugal D7 vs Golden Visa: The 5 Main Differences

In this section, we’ll run over the difference between the D7 and the Portugal Golden Visa.

Required time spent in Portugal

canada work visa how long it takesThe major difference between the D7 vs the Golden Visa is the stay requirement. How much time you would like to spend in Portugal may make this the deciding factor when making the decision.

The Passive Income Visa (Portugal D7 Visa) 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.

If you then renew the D7 Passive Income Visa, your new residency card will be valid for three years. Residency card 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.

So, to sum up, the Portugal D7 Visa is ideal for applicants who are prepared to live for 1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total within two years in Portugal and be tax residents in the country. On the other hand, Golden Visa holders need to be present in Portugal for only seven days a year, with no tax residency requirements for them.

Income requirements

The income requirement and capital investment pathways also significantly differ between the two visas.

For the Portugal D7 Visa, you will not be required to make an investment in Portugal, but you will need to show proof of stable passive income. This stable passive income can be in form of movable property, rental income, real estate, intellectual property, or financial investments.

The requirements for the D7 Retirement Visa are as follows:

  • Be a non-EU national
  • Earn a passive income of at least €820.00 per month (this can be foreign income and can come from pensions, transferable equity, property rental, 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 Program, 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.

Investment options for the Golden Visa include:


Donation in the arts or reconstruction


of ten jobs

Share capital
and job creation

  • Fund subscription: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund, such as a venture capital or private equity fund, worth at least €500,000.
  • Investment or donation in the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000 or €200,000 in a low density area (Read more: Portugal’s Cultural Production Golden Visa)
  • Scientific research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000
  • Creation of ten jobs: Creation and maintenance of ten jobs during the required period
  • Share capital and job creation: Incorporation of a company or reinforcement of a company’s share capital, in either case with an investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five or maintaining ten jobs (5 of them permanent)

It’s important to note that both capital transfers and real estate investments are no longer eligible for the Golden Visa program.

If unsure about capital investment pathways, crunch some stats here on top nationalities and investment routes to residency in our Portugal Golden Visa statistics article.

Take a look at our Portugal Golden Visa 2024 Complete Guide

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The D7 Visa Portugal is the cheapest option between the two. You’d have to pay government fees of about 400 euros per applicant. We’ll detail other costs further down.

Going down the Portugal Golden Visa process, 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.

Application process

The Portugal D7 Visa application process is more complex than the Golden Visa. Prior to initiating the application process at the Portuguese Consulate in your home country, you must first acquire your Portuguese taxpayer number, open a Portuguese bank account, and arrange accommodation in Portugal. Once the visa is granted for an initial four-month period, the applicant is required to travel to Portugal to apply for a residence permit.

In contrast, the process for obtaining the Golden Visa is somewhat simpler, as investors are not obligated to furnish proof of accommodation. The application can be submitted following the completion of the necessary investment, and the entire procedure can be conducted remotely, with the exception of a brief trip to Portugal to open a local bank account.

Tax Status and Tax Requirements

With both the Passive Income Visa and the Golden Visa, applicants can become tax residents in Portugal and apply for the non-habitual residence (NHR) scheme for tax purposes. This scheme provides attractive tax benefits for up to ten years.

The Portugal D7 Visa requirements 2023 are that you stay in the country for most of the year, then you will need to become a tax resident of Portugal and pay taxes in the country.

With the Portugal Golden Visa, you do not have to move to the country (only a seven-day stay requirement on average per year). 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 relocated 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.

Is NHR ending?

The State Budget Law for 2024 determined the end of the NHR regime from 1st January 2024. However, certain individuals can still apply up until 31st March 2025, and the scheme is being replaced by the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation, which has now been implemented. To learn more, please refer to Is The Portugal NHR Ending?

Application Process

Let’s compare the application procedure for the D7 vs. Golden Visa.

With the D7 Visa, the application process begins in your home country. The application includes different forms, and you’ll need certain personal documents, a criminal record check, travel insurance that includes a health insurance policy and proof of accommodation. You’ll have to submit these to the Portuguese consulate. This can be tricky, particularly as it can be difficult to make arrangements for a place to stay in Portugal or if you haven’t decided yet what region or city to move to. If you have friends or relatives in Portugal, you can ask them to write a statement saying you plan on staying with them. Otherwise, you can rent or even find Portugal homes for sale on the real estate market 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 Portugal Golden Visa scheme offers a much smoother process. 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.

Fees: Portugal Golden Visa vs D7

Administration feeSo, what are the fees attributed to the programs? Let’s compare the D7 vs. the Golden Visa. The government fees for the Passive Income Visa are between €45 and €300. There are renewal charges and legal expenses to take into account as well. If you opt for the D7 Visa route, your 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. For both programs, the fees you will need to pay will increase with each family member you include in your application.

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. Which one to opt for? Both visa types are meant for residency and a path towards permanent residence in the country. However, after five years, as well as permanent residency, 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.

Passive Income Visa vs Golden Visa: Which One is Right For Me?

Quais-são-os-requisitos-para-o-Visto-D7-PortugalBoth the D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal provide you with an array of attractive benefits, such as the right to live, work, and invest in Portugal, and freely travel within the Shengen area. So, D7 or Golden visa for Portugal – which one to choose?

This will largely depend on your personal circumstances. The stay requirement is the main difference between the D7 and the Golden Visa, as D7 Visa holders must live 6 consecutive months per year or at least 16 months in Portugal during the first 2-year period.

With that being said, the D7 Visa experience is perfect for someone who wants to move to Portugal immediately and live there on a permanent basis, and 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 or permanent residency.

On the other side, if you want to secure Portuguese 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.

The Portugal D7 Visa is ideal if:

  • Your passive income remains stable and consistent.
  • Your intention is to primarily reside in Portugal.
  • You prefer not to commit to significant investments immediately.

On the other hand, the Portugal Golden Visa suits you if:

  • You seek a robust contingency plan for the future.
  • Maintaining your primary residence elsewhere is necessary.
  • You’re prepared to make a substantial initial investment in Portugal.

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 D7 Visa reviews show it to be a very good option to live and work in the country. One of the main benefits is that the passive income requirement is relatively low, at just 820 Euros per month, which is the Portuguese minimum wage.

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. You can’t be absent for more than six months or eight non consecutive months for the duration of your residency permit, which is two years.

Is Portugal Golden Visa good?

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. A key benefit is that it only requires its holders to spend an average of 7 days a year in Portugal to maintain legal residency.

Can you work in Portugal with a D7 visa?

Yes, if you enter Portugal with a D7 Visa and receive a residency permit, you are able to live and work in Portugal. Read our pros and cons list on living and working in Portugal here

How long does D7 Visa take?

It can take up to four months to secure your D7 Visa in Portugal, and then you can acquire your residency permit.  Your residency permit should be granted within a maximum of 90 days from when you apply for it.

What is the difference between D7 and Golden Visa in Portugal?

A key difference between Portugal’s D7 Visa and Golden Visa is the residency requirement. D7 targets retirees with passive income who must live in Portugal most of the year. Conversely, the Golden Visa, obtained through investment, only requires a short annual stay.

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