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

Portugal D7 mainly targets foreigners with stable, passive earnings who want to acquire a Portuguese residence permit. The Portugal Golden Visa program requires applicants to invest significantly in the country.

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

However, when comparing the D7 Visa vs Golden Visa Portugal, you’ll notice that their requirements differ.

The article provides essential information and highlights 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 and more

D7 Visa Vs Golden Visa Portugal: Program Overview

The D7 Visa, also known as the “Passive Income Visa” or “Retirement Visa,” allows non-EU nationals to live in Portugal legally, provided 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 pensions, financial investments, rental income, intellectual property income, and more.

While the Portugal D7 Visa initially targeted retirees with passive incomes, it also suited individuals with existing businesses that generate an income outside of Portugal.

Also regarded as the Residence Permit program, Portuguese Golden Visa holders allow 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 Portugal. Some of the key advantages that both of these programs offer include the following:

  • Family reunification: Both residency 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. It’s worth noting that applying for citizenship requires you to pass a basic test in the Portuguese language.
  • 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. While the NHR program is closed to new applicants, apart from those who meet certain criteria, the Incentivised Tax Scheme could provide some benefits if you become a tax resident in Portugal.

Portugal D7 vs Golden Visa: The 5 Main Differences

This section examines the differences between the D7 and the Portugal Golden Visa.

1. Required time spent in Portugal

canada work visa how long it takesWhen it comes to the D7 vs the Golden Visa, a major difference is the stay requirement. How much time you would like to spend physically in Portugal may be the deciding factor.

The 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 renew the D7 Passive Income Visa, your new residency card will be valid for three years. During that three-year period, residency card holders cannot leave the country for six consecutive months or eight months in total.

For Golden Visa holders, the annual requirement is to spend an average of seven days in Portugal.

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, and they do not have tax residency requirements.

2. Income requirements

D7 VISA VS GOLDEN VISA PASSPORTSThe two visas also significantly differ regarding income requirements and capital investment pathways.

For the Portugal D7 Visa, you will not be required to invest in Portugal, but you must show proof of stable passive income. This stable passive income can be from 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 monthly passive income of at least €820.00  (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, applications may be denied if you just meet the minimum requirement. It is safer to demonstrate passive income of at least twice the minimum requirement. Your Portuguese Consulate accepts a combination of salary, pension and benefits, and investments, including new real estate income. Your passive income must be consistent and clearly marked or documented in your bank account to qualify.

For the Portugal Golden Visa program, a minimum investment of at least €250,000 is needed, but it is much more common for people to 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: Contribute 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 the Golden Visa program no longer allows capital transfers and real estate investments as qualifying criteria.

If you’re unsure about capital investment pathways, discover the statistics from 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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3. Application process

The Portugal D7 Visa application process is more complex than the Golden Visa. Before 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 four months, the applicant must travel to Portugal to apply for your initial residence permit.

4. Tax status and requirements

tax count calculatorIn contrast, obtaining the Golden Visa is simpler, as investors are not obligated to provide proof of accommodation. The application can be submitted following the completion of the necessary investment, and the entire procedure can be conducted remotely, except for a brief trip to Portugal to open a local bank account.

With 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?

5. 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

If things don’t go according to plan, D7 visa holders who are unable to meet the stay requirement risk having their visas revoked. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that when you apply for the D7 Visa, you present your application with records that show you have financial security to support yourself in Portugal.

The good news is that you can switch from the D7 Visa to the Portugal Golden Visa if you are ready and willing to make the necessary investment in a qualifying program.

Citizenship in Portugal Through D7 or Golden Visa

Your initial visa is meant to create a path toward a resident permit in the country for both the D7 and the Portugal Golden Visa scheme. After five years, in addition to permanent residency, both the D7 and Golden Visa holders may be eligible for Portuguese citizenship and the benefits of having a European passport.

D7 vs Golden Visa in Portugal: Which One is Right For Me?

Quais-são-os-requisitos-para-o-Visto-D7-PortugalThe D7 and Golden Visa provide various attractive benefits, such as the right to live, work, and invest in Portugal and freely travel within the Schengen area. So, which D7 or Golden visa for Portugal should you choose?

This largely depends on your personal circumstances.

The D7 Visa is perfect for someone who wants to move to Portugal immediately and live there permanently. After meeting the eligibility criteria, they can secure citizenship or permanent residency.

On the other hand, 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 toward permanent residency or citizenship already.

Portugal D7 Visa suitability

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

Portugal Golden Visa suitability

  • 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 the Golden Visa requires its holders to spend an average of just 7 days a year in Portugal to maintain their legal residency status, which is necessary if they seek permanent residency or citizenship.

Can you work in Portugal with a D7 visa?

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

Alternatively, if you have a remote job or freelance work that provides you with a monthly income of at least €3,280, you can consider the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa (sometimes known as the Remote Worker Visa). This visa also enables digital nomads to obtain Portuguese residency, and it permits family reunification.

As well as the minimum income requirement, remote workers who apply for this visa should have sufficient financial resources to support themselves and any family members they include in their application.

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 residence permit.  Your residence 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.

Is the D7 the same as the Digital Nomad Visa in Portugal?

The D7 Visa is for passive income such as a pension or income from a rental property. The Digital Nomad Visa (D8) is for income that’s actively earned, such as a salary from a remote job or from freelancing. Also, the Digital Nomad Visa is targeted more at freelancers and remote workers rather than retirees.

Which is more affordable between the D7 and the Golden Visa?

The D7 Visa Portugal is the cheapest option. You’d have to pay government fees of about €400 per applicant. We’ll detail other costs further down. Going down the Portugal Golden Visa process, the total cost varies depending on your selected investment route. However, the cost will be significantly higher regardless of the investment route.

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