How It Started

Some might call us mad. Others call us hopeless optimists. Many of our friends can’t understand why we would want this upheaval in our lives at our ages. Full disclosure I’m turning 50 this year, and Sunil turned 60 in January. So, yes, not exactly spring chickens. But today, as I read the email from the Consulate stating that our passports (with hopefully the visas) are making their way back to us, I feel nothing but ecstatic. Excited. Euphoric. And ever so slightly electrified. My hands can’t stop shaking. This is actually happening!

Will be actually calling this home soon?

Anyone who knows me will be well aware of the almost comedy of errors that has followed all my efforts at moving abroad. From begging my father to let me do my undergraduate studies in Frankfurt (not a chance in hell) to having my Australian visa to do my MBA rejected the week before I was to leave. From being thwarted at our attempts to migrate to New Zealand not once but twice to paying a hefty fee to a dodgy ‘lawyer’ who promised an Oz family visa that never saw the light of day.

When the pandemic hit, and we were left at home with nothing but time on our hands, I decided to track down my grandmother’s birth records and apply for Portuguese citizenship the roundabout way. Surprisingly, I did manage to find her birth certificate as well as my mother’s and even began the process of applying for a Portuguese passport. But then, the pandemic died down, and life returned to normal, and the very thought of all the bureaucratic cartwheels I would have to perform to get my paperwork in order was enough to halt all efforts. 

To cut a long (hopeless) story short, we moved to Bombay for the kids’ colleges in March 2022. By June 2022, we were knee-deep in planning a Fat Cat’s cafe in our home city. We had the business plan in order, we had seen a few potential spaces, our investments were set up, and then one morning, I received a random push notification on my Google News. It mentioned a new category of visa for Portugal. “Have you heard anything about this D7 visa?” I asked Sunil. He insisted it was an old category and that I shouldn’t get my hopes up (yet again). “No, no…this seems different,” I insisted and forwarded him the article.

It mentioned a new type of D7 visa designed for people with passive incomes. Unlike the Golden Visa, which needed a significant investment in Portuguese real estate, this one needed neither a job offer in Portugal nor a minimum spend on a property there. It did require proof that you had enough passive income in your home country to keep you (and the family members accompanying you) well-looked after you moved to Portugal. There is more than enough information available online on the requirements of a D7, so I won’t get into specifics but suffice to say, we qualified. 

Within the week, we wrote to lawyers we found online and asked for more details and clarifications. Most of the information available was targeted towards the American market, and we had to find equivalent documentation from India for all the paperwork required. Luckily, we found a good legal firm to represent us and thus started our D7 journey in early September 2022. 



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