Updated: May 2, 2023
If you’re looking for an easy and popular retirement visa, Portugal’s D7 Visa is a fantastic option that will allow you to enjoy the benefits of living in a European country with exceptional weather, a low cost of living, excellent quality of life, and more. In this Retirement Visa Portugal article, we’ll explore the visa options available for expats looking to retire in Portugal, the application process, requirements, and much more.
Portugal is a beautiful country located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe that shares a border with Spain. It has had the same defined borders since 1139, and its rich history dates back thousands of years. Portugal has been inhabited by the Moors and the Romans, and the oldest bookstore in the world, Bertrand Bookshop, is located in Lisbon and was established in 1732. While the original store was destroyed in an earthquake in 1755, it was rebuilt in its current location in 1773.
Portugal is known for its stunning coastline, picturesque cities, delicious local cuisine, and warm hospitality. From the charming streets of bustling Lisbon to the tranquil vineyards of the Douro Valley, Portugal offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in exploring ancient castles, relaxing on golden beaches, or enjoying world-renowned wine and cuisine, Portugal is a destination not to be missed.
The diverse landscapes are just one of the reasons why Portugal is a popular destination for tourists to head to or for expats to move to on a more permanent basis. Retirees, in particular, have found the laidback lifestyle and affordable cost of living in Portugal to be irresistible. In fact, the 2023 Annual Global Retirement Index ranked Portugal as the best place to retire. It’s no wonder that the retirement visa Portugal offers is such a popular option among retired expats.
Check out our article: Living in Portugal: An Expert Guide for Expats.
How to Retire in Portugal?
Retirement is a time for relaxation and exploration, and many retirees choose to spend their golden years traveling around the world and experiencing new cultures. Portugal is a popular destination for retirees thanks largely to its warm climate, stunning scenery, and high quality of life.
The Portuguese government offers a retirement visa, known as the D7 Visa, that provides retirees with a range of benefits, including tax breaks, access to affordable healthcare, and a route to becoming Portuguese citizens. This visa is aimed at attracting foreign retirees and their families to live in Portugal and contribute to the country’s economy.
Learn more about Portugal’s tax benefits in our article: NHR Portugal Program – All You Need to Know!
If you are not a citizen of the European Union (EU), you will require a visa in order to retire in Portugal. There are two very popular visa options that allow you to do so – the Portugal Retirement Visa (D7 Visa) and the Portugal Golden Visa.
- The Portugal Golden Visa Program
Arguably one of Portugal’s most well-known (and popular) visa programs, the Portugal Golden Visa provides an opportunity to become a permanent resident after five years of residency, and eventually a citizen of Portugal, by making a minimum investment in the country.
The benefits of the Golden Visa include its short-stay requirement of only seven days each year and the option to become a non-habitual resident and receive significant tax benefits. You can also include your family members in your application. We will expand on the Golden Visa later in the article.
Important note: On 14 April 2023, the Portuguese government announced the ending of the Golden Visa. If you are interested in pursuing this route, make sure to contact us and make your application before it comes to an end.
For more information, visit our article: Portugal Golden Visa: Your Ultimate Guide.
- Portugal Retirement Visa (D7 Visa)
The Retirement Visa is a residency visa issued by the Portuguese government to non-EU citizens who want to live and retire in Portugal, using passive income to sustain their stay in the country, such as through retirement. These individuals must have a steady income that will support their lifestyle during their stay in the country.
Visit our article: Retiring in Portugal: All You Need to Know for further information on living your golden years in this charming Mediterranean country.
Retirement Visa Portugal (D7 Visa) Requirements
The Portugal Retirement Visa requirements are straightforward, as outlined below. If you meet the requirements and can provide the necessary documentation, you should have no problem having your application approved.
The following documents are required when applying to retire in Portugal using Portugal’s retirement visa (D7 Visa):
- Passport (must be valid for at least six months)
- Two passport-size photographs of yourself (photographs must be recent and in line with Schengen requirements)
- Application form for the Portugal national (residence) visa (the form can be downloaded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal website)
- Proof of income
- You are required to prove that you have enough funds to sustain yourself for the period during which you intend to live in Portugal. This income can come from legitimate sources of income such as pensions, savings, financial investments, intellectual property, movable property, or real estate.
- As an individual, the minimum monthly income you are required to prove is €760. If you include a spouse in your application, you must add on 50 percent of this income. If you include a child, you must add 30 percent.
- Proof of accommodation
- You must provide documentation showing that you will have a place to live, such as an apartment or house that you are renting or have purchased, once you arrive in Portugal.
- Health insurance
- As an expat, you will need travel health insurance or international health insurance for expats before you make the move to Portugal. Once you have settled in the country, you have two options. You can continue with your international insurance policy or choose to subscribe to health insurance from a local company in Portugal.
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Clean criminal record
- You must not have charges against you for any crime that is punishable with a minimum of one year of imprisonment/deprivation of freedom.
- Any additional documentation as required by the Portuguese Embassy or the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF – Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras)
Guidelines for your documentation
Any and all documents that you provide as part of your application must be in either English or Portuguese. If they are not in one of these languages, you will need to have them translated by a certified translator and notarized.
Another important note is that some documents, such as civil documents, may have to be legalized. This must be done either through the Portuguese Embassy or an Apostille Stamp.
Applying for a Portugal Retirement Visa
It can be daunting to apply for a visa to any country, even more so if there is a language barrier. As such, it is always helpful to know what is required of you and the process you will need to follow.
When you apply for a retirement visa in Portugal, the process will be as follows:
Step 1: You must contact the Portuguese Consulate or Embassy that is responsible for your area to see where you will need to submit your visa application. This will be based on where you live.
Step 2: Make your appointment at the correct location to submit your application
Step 3: Put together the necessary documentation as listed above, as well as any additional documents required
Step 4: Pay the required visa application fee. The amount required will depend on the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate at which you submit your application. In some cases, you may only need to pay the application fee on the day of your application rather than prior to it.
Step 5: On the date of your appointment, you will be required to officially submit your documents. If the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate is in a country other than the one you live in, you may be allowed to make your application via email. The relevant officials from your designated Portuguese Embassy or Consulate will inform you of the correct procedure for your situation.
Step 6: Once you have submitted your application, you will need to wait for it to be processed.
Step 7: Once your application has been processed and approved, you will receive a temporary D7 Visa (retirement visa) for Portugal. The staff at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate will attach the visa to your passport, and you will then be able to use it to enter Portugal. Your temporary visa is valid for four months, during which you must attend an appointment with SEF in Portugal in order to have your residence permit approved.
If the outcome of your application is not positive, speak to a representative at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate for information on what your next steps should be.
Step 8: Once you arrive in Portugal, you must make an appointment with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) to apply for your residence permit. In some cases, the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate at which you make your application will automatically make an appointment for you once you receive your visa. In this case, they will ask you when you intend to travel to Portugal.
As you can see, the process of applying for your Portugal Retirement Visa is very straightforward.
Portugal Retirement Visa Fee
When you apply for a retirement visa in Portugal, you will need to pay fees amounting to €250. You will find the breakdown of this amount below:
- €90 for your D7 Visa application
- Around €160 for your residence permit
As you can see, the cost of applying for a retirement visa in Portugal is quite affordable, particularly when compared to other visa options in Portugal and other EU countries. Due to its affordability, many consider this visa option as the best route for them to relocate to Portugal and eventually become Portuguese citizens.
Portugal Golden Visa for Retirement
Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is a faster, and sometimes easier, way to retire and relocate to Portugal. It is, however, much more expensive. In order to qualify for Portugal’s Golden Visa, you will need to make one of the following investments:
- Purchase residential or commercial real estate worth a minimum of €500,000
- Make a minimum investment of €350,000 in Portuguese real estate in an urban regeneration area as part of a qualifying project approved by the SEF. You can learn more in our article: Low-Density Areas for the Portugal Golden Visa.
Note that if the property you invest in is located in a designated low-density area, a further 20 percent discount applies.
- Make a minimum capital transfer of €1,500,000
- Company incorporation and creation of ten jobs amounting to the value of €500,000
- Make a donation of a minimum of €500,000 to research activities in science or technology in a Portuguese research institution.
- Donate a minimum of €250,000 towards the maintenance and development of national heritage or arts in Portugal. Check out our article, Portugal’s Cultural Production Golden Visa, to learn more.
- Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund worth a minimum of €500,000
As we mentioned above, the Portugal Golden Visa is coming to an end. As such, it is imperative to begin your application now if you intend to pursue this route to residency in Portugal.
Duration of a Portugal Retirement Visa
Your residence permit allowing you to retire in Portugal is initially valid for two years once issued to you. You can renew your residence permit for a three-year period. This means that the total duration of your residence will be five years. After this, your residence permit can be converted into a permanent residence permit.
After five years, you can apply to become a permanent resident in Portugal, provided you meet all the necessary requirements. Such requirements include paying income tax as required, having a clean criminal background, and having resided in Portugal for a minimum of six months out of every year during your five years of temporary residence.
Can I include my family members in my application?
According to Portugal’s family reunification rules, your family can join you in the country once you have obtained your residence card. Family reunification is one of the key attractions of the D7 Visa program and can be requested with SEF. The following family members are eligible for family reunification:
- Your spouse or partner
- Children under 18, including dependents
- Children over 18 who are dependents
- Your parents or spouse/partners’ parents, as long as they are dependent on you
- Your minor siblings
You must meet the following requirements in order to bring your family members with you to Portugal using your Portugal Retirement Visa:
- You have suitable housing in Portugal that has sufficient space to accommodate each family member
- You have sufficient income to provide for each family member
- You can prove familial relations to each family member with documentation
You may find it helpful to speak to a professional with expert knowledge regarding your unique situation. They will be able to provide expert advice tailored to your needs.
Goldcrest: Who We Are and How We Can Help You
As mentioned above, a requirement of the retirement visa (D7 Visa) in Portugal is being able to provide proof of accommodation in the country. If you’re looking to purchase property in Portugal, contact Goldcrest. We are a local buyer’s agent situated in Portugal and provide insightful real estate expertise and strategic advice. From sourcing to property acquisition, we help clients identify outstanding investment opportunities in some of Portugal’s finest locations.
Whether you’re a family looking to relocate or invest in real estate, our team of experts provides professional services to help you find the right property without the hassle or fuss. Contact us to get the ball rolling on your dream home in Portugal.
As you can see, the retirement visa Portugal offers is a popular option for retirees looking to relocate to a country with a warm climate, beautiful scenery, low cost of living, and a high standard of living. The retirement visa offers a range of benefits, including tax breaks, affordable healthcare, and access to a variety of social services.
Portugal also has a friendly and welcoming culture that makes it easy for retirees to integrate into the local community. The visa application process can sometimes be lengthy, depending on how quickly you can gather your documents and get an appointment. You will also need to meet certain requirements, which can sometimes be tricky. Overall, however, the retirement visa (Portugal D7 Visa) is an attractive option for those looking to enjoy their golden years in a stunning European country.
You can learn more by visiting the following articles:
Frequently Asked Questions about the Retirement Visa, Portugal
1. What is the minimum income to retire in Portugal?
To retire in Portugal, you must qualify for a retirement visa in Portugal – known as the D7 Visa. To qualify, you must be able to prove a minimum monthly income of €760. This income can come from foreign pensions income rental income, remote work, investments, etc. If you include any dependents in your application, you must include 50 percent of the income for a spouse and 30 percent of the income for a child.
2. How do I get a retirement visa in Portugal?
To qualify for a retirement visa that allows you to retire in Portugal, you must meet the necessary requirements. This includes having sufficient funds to support yourself, having accommodation in Portugal, and having a clean criminal background. You will need to put together the necessary documents and submit your application at your nearest Portuguese Embassy or Consulate. Once your application has been approved, your visa will be attached to your passport, allowing you to retire to Portugal.
3. How much money do you need to get a retirement visa in Portugal?
To retire in Portugal, you will need to qualify for a retirement visa in Portugal. To do this, you must have a minimum monthly income of €760 if you are applying alone. If you are including a spouse in your application, you must add on 50 percent of your income. If you are including a child in your application, you must add on 30 percent of your income.
4. How long does it take to get a retirement visa in Portugal?
Fortunately, getting a retirement visa that allows your to retire in Portugal is not a long or complicated process. Once you have gathered the required documents and made your application, you need to wait for it to be approved and your visa to be issued. Once this has been done, you will be allowed to officially move to and retire in Portugal, where you will need to attend an appointment with SEF to receive your residence permit. After five years, you can convert this into a permanent residence permit.
5. How difficult is it to retire in Portugal?
It is relatively straightforward to retire in Portugal. As non-EU citizens, you will need to prove that you meet the requirements, such as sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay, and lodge an application to your nearest Consulate or Embassy. Some aspects may be a bit tricky, such as sorting out accommodation in Portugal before relocating there, or opening a Portuguese bank account. Once your application is approved, you can travel to Portugal and begin a new chapter as a temporary resident. After five years, you can apply for permanent residency.