Known for its mild climate and striking views, Portugal offers so much to explore, from cities like Lisbon and Porto to the many seaside destinations along the Iberian Peninsula. It’s no surprise that Portugal has become an increasingly popular place for remote workers to live, and that interest in the Portugal digital nomad visa has increased dramatically over the past few months.
As of October 30th, 2022, expats can petition the Portuguese government for a digital nomad visa. Foreigners who want to experience the Portuguese lifestyle (and excellent weather) will no longer need to go through a lengthy immigration process. Before this new legislation [assed, expats who wanted to work remotely in Portugal needed to apply for the D7 visa, which was mainly for foreigners wanting to retire.
Here is a look at everything you need to know about the new digital nomad visa program in Portugal, including who is eligible to apply.
The new digital nomad visa in Portugal is specifically for foreigners that live outside of the EU Schengen/the EEA (European Economic Area), and for British citizens post-Brexit who are no longer residents of the European Union (EU).
To be considered for this visa type, and what makes it different from the D7 visa, is that the Portuguese digital nomad visa is specifically for remote workers living outside of the EU Schengen area/the EEA.
The main requirements to apply for this new visa is that you need to be 1) a remote worker and 2) employed by a foreign company.
To apply for a digital nomad visa in Portugal, you will need to complete the following:
Provide proof of an employment contract with your current company.
Have been with a stable employee for at least 12 months.
Provide proof of permanent tax residence, usually through a rental agreement.
Complete formal authorization letter from your employer that gives you permission to live and work within the country for the company remotely.
Prove that you make 4 times the Portuguese monthly minimum wage at 2,820 euros, deposited into a Portuguese bank account. What makes the new digital nomad visa different from the current D7 visa is the amount of monthly income the applicant will have to prove.
If possible, show some sort of additional passive income, including real estate, trust, and royalties. This can help make your application successful.
Provide a clean criminal record and background check (for security reasons) from your country of origin to be considered for a digital nomad visa in Portugal. This was a standard part of the application for the D7 visa.
Provide proof of accommodation (address) of where you plan to stay for the duration of your visa)
Schedule an appointment and submit your application for this new visa at either your Portuguese consulate in your home country, or, if you’re already in Portugal, at an SEF (the Foreign Borders Office).
There government may add or remove requirements as the country transitions from having remote workers applying for the D7 visa to this new digital nomad visa. Without providing a clean criminal record, proof of income, proof of employment contract, and other required documents, you will not meet the correct qualifications for this temporary residence visa.
Although you’ll still be working for a company based in your home country, you will be required to pay Portuguese income tax. Your tax residency will still depend entirely on your country of origin.
Right now, there are two different types of digital nomad visas that you can apply for:
Short stay (temporary residence visa)
The short stay digital nomad visa allows you to live and work in the country for up to 12 months, with the option to renew every year for an additional 2 years. Without a visa, you can remain in Portugal for 90 continuous days (or 6 months in one year).
If you plan to stay in Portuguese for longer than 2 years, you should indicate in your initial application that you want to apply for a digital nomad visa, with the option to eventually apply for a permanent residency permit. This option will allow you to live and stay in Portugal permanently.
Digital nomads and remote workers have increasingly been a concern in countries like Spain, Mexico, and other places in Latin America and Europe, because they lead to gentrification.Many digital nomads come to these countries hoping to get a taste of the culture and environment, but end up leaving local communities with a lot more problems, especially in Lisbon, Porto, and the densely populated island of Madeira.
With the new influx of countries offering digital nomad visas, many local residents of countries throughout the world have issued concerns about how these expats will impact the cost of living.
Surf journalist, Ben Mondy, recently addressed how the new digital nomad visas are giving extra incentives to surfers to move to the country to pursue the sport. He voiced concerns that “uncontrolled growth has placed great pressure on the environment, the economy, and socio-cultural segments of society.” Many locals in Portugal have already begun voicing concerns about rent prices and the cost of living in Portugal increasing, especially with the influx of high-paid workers moving to Porto and Lisbon.
So, while applying for a digital nomad visa may open up experiences for you, you should strongly consider doing research about how to travel responsibly and what sustainable ecotourism means. Wanting to explore the world and immerse yourself in culture allows you to become a well-rounded person, but doing it at the cost of other people’s livelihoods has long-lasting impacts.
For some remote workers, the digital nomad visa isn’t the right path.
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