So, What Is The D7 Visa?

When we started telling people we were applying for the Portuguese residency visa, the immediate question was, how can I get one too? So before we head deeper into this blog about our actual application process, the dos and don’ts we learned along the way and our move, it makes sense to get the nitty-gritty details of the D7 visa out of the way. 

The D7 visa is also known as the Retirement Visa or the Passive Income Visa. This category was introduced by the Portuguese government in 2007, allowing non-EU citizens to apply for permanent residency (and ultimately citizenship) in Portugal. 

For some time, the D7 was also applicable to digital nomads and freelancers, who could prove their income-generating abilities, but now there is a separate Digital Nomad Visa for that (which I don’t plan to get into – but so that you know it exists). 

The D7 visa gives you entry for four months. During this time, various security checks are required while you are in Portugal, at the end of which you receive your PR card. This PR card is valid for 2 years and can be renewed for another 3 years. After 5 years, you can change it to citizenship or continue with the PR visa. 

The path to the D7 is full of bureaucratic hoopla, but it CAN be done!

Requirements for a D7 visa: 

Before anything, let me just interject here and state that we chose to hire a law firm to help and guide us with the entire visa application process. While this is not cheaper, it takes away much of the guesswork. Having Portuguese-speaking locals help you with stuff like opening a bank account and checking your local lease agreement is priceless. 

  1. A Portuguese NIF or Tax Number 

When you hire a lawyer to handle your application, you must sign a Power of Attorney giving them the right to handle your paperwork in Portugal. The NIF or tax number is one such requirement. Application times can vary. We got ours within a month.  

  1. A Portuguese Bank Account 

Once you have a NIF, the lawyers will help you set up a local bank account. If multiple family members apply, each will need a NIF number, but one bank account of the primary applicant will suffice. There is a minimum amount required to be deposited in the account. This varies, so it’s best to check with the Consulate or your lawyers at the time of visa application. 

  1. Proof of Passive Income 

The entire premise of the D7 visa is that you have enough passive income to provide yourself and your family with financial stability while you live in Portugal. This DOES NOT include your salary income. To this end, you need to prove that you have funds using – 

  • Pension 
  • Real estate 
  • Intellectual property 
  • Mutual funds, stocks, shares
  • Equity 
  • Long-term financial investments 
  • Interest / Dividends

If you are employed, you will need a letter stating that your presence is not required in India (or your home country). Depending on whether you are single, married, with children, or dependent family members, you will have to declare varying minimum amounts of passive income. While these amounts can change, the numbers are not too daunting. For example, currently, if you have a passive income of 700 euro/month, you are eligible for this visa. Dependent adults must show a minimum income of 50% of the primary applicant, and children under 18 only need 30%. So, if you are a family of 2 adults and 2 children, you must show a minimum income of 17,600 euro or Rs. 16 lakhs annually. Once again, I must reiterate that these numbers keep changing, so it’s best to double-check with the authorities before proceeding. 

  1. Proof of Accommodation 

Baffling as it may sound, you need a rental lease agreement signed and paid for BEFORE you apply for your visa. This means you will probably have to forfeit some months of your rent while waiting for the visa to process. This is unavoidable, so consider it part of your application fee and suck it up. We were extremely lucky that our landlords agreed to defer the lease start date by a few months. Always ask when negotiating; you never know, right? 

We visited Lisbon and Porto in January before our application and visited a bunch of shortlisted rentals. These we whittled down from endless searches on sites such as and I will do a separate post on choosing the proper rental when moving, so stay tuned for that. You can also employ a third-party real estate agent who will visit the homes for you and take you on video tours. This can save you a visit and help you finalise your lease faster. 

  1. Health Insurance 

The Consulate requires a minimum of 6 months of overseas health insurance. This should kick in from your date of visa application. We chose the TATA AIG overseas insurance with the highest premium and coverage. Better safe than sorry, always. 

  1. Clean Criminal Record 

You must first apply for a police clearance certificate at your regional passport office. All adult applicants above the age of 18 require this certificate. Our PCC took longer than usual since we had just moved to Mumbai, and our legal address proof was still in Pune. If your Aadhar cards and bank details match your passport address, this should not take longer than a month to receive. Once you get your PCC, you must get these documents apostilled. If you need help with how to do this, message us 🙂 We are always happy to help others and prevent them from going through the circus hoops we had to jump through to get this done. 

This entire process took us six months from the date we decided to proceed to our visa application date. This is about par with the course but can take longer or shorter, depending on the vagaries and moods of the Indian authorities. The best advice we can give anyone starting this process is to let go and keep the faith. The paperwork can seem daunting and the waiting endless, but just plough through, dot your i’s, cross all your t’s, and do the hard work. 

All the best xx


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