How to get a D7 visa in Portugal if you have a passive income

What kind of passive income is suitable? If you earn income from renting an apartment, dividends, interest from a bank deposit, and more.
8 min
October 25, 2023

If you have a legal passive income, a D7 to Portugal is a great way to get residency in this country. What kind of passive income is suitable? If you earn income from renting an apartment, dividends, interest from a bank deposit, and more. In this article, you'll learn about the basic requirements for documents and the income required to obtain residency. We will tell you how to get to your goal step by step. If you are a freelancer, another visa will do for you – a Digital Nomad visa.

Main requirements

👉 You must apply in the country where you hold citizenship or a residence permit.

👉 Passive income is the only type of income that can be used to apply for the D7 visa – a legal and predictable income of at least €760 per month.

👉 You must open a Portuguese bank account and deposit between €12,000 and €16,000 (officially €9,120, but the amount may vary depending on your country of origin. For example, applicants from Iran may need to deposit €40,000 or more).

👉You must provide proof of income through contracts, tax declarations, bank statements, etc.

When you apply for a D7, your family can apply for attending visas D6 at the same time. But, then, you will need to show more funds.

What documents are needed:

  • A passport or id-card and a it's copy (must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of application to the Consulate)
  • 2 photos (3,5*4,5 cm)
  • D7 visa application form
  • Police criminal record from the country of citizenship and the country where you stayed for more than a year (with apostille and notarial translation into Portuguese)
  • NIF (you can get it yourself in Portugal or through a representative remotely, we can help you with that)
  • Proof of passive regular income from €760 per month
  • Bank statement for the last year (in English is ok)
  • Account statement in a Portuguese bank (at least € 9120, but we recommend €12000-14000)
  • Tax returns (with translation into Portuguese)
  • A rental contract in Portugal for at least one year
  • Tickets to Portugal (bookings are sufficient)
  • Health insurance
  • Letter of motivation

See more in the guide.

Average D7 process

✅ Step 1. Preparation of documents.

Collect information on your source of passive income, bank statements, and taxes paid for at least three months before the application. A more extended period is preferred.

✅ Step 2. Visa application.
Submit your application to the consulate or VFS in your country. The consulate will paste the visa into your passport with the date of application in Portugal. Some embassies do not provide pre-appointments with SEF.

✅ Step 3. SEF Application.
Upon arrival in Portugal, apply at the SEF. Arrive on the appointed date and submit the necessary documents. You're almost there!

✅ Step 4. The residence card is ready.
On average, receiving your ID card via mail takes 2-3 weeks. However, it may take up to 3 months in some cases.

Follow our step-by-step guide

✅ Step 1. Fill in the visa application form

Register to apply by entering your personal information and attaching the required documents. Upon completion, a PDF file containing the application form will be sent to your email. You can edit the form if necessary before submitting it. See more in the big guide.

If you move with your family

To apply for attending visas for the family, each family member, including minors, must complete a separate application form. Your family members may also apply for a long-term residence permit within Portugal if they enter the country as tourists.

However, this can be challenging as you'll need to schedule a SEF appointment yourself. Note that some embassies have ceased providing dates for SEF appointments in visas, so you may need to schedule an appointment yourself after you arrive in Portugal.

✅ Step 2. Prepare passport and photos


You need to provide a valid passport for traveling abroad. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your consulate application.


To apply for a D visa, you need two photos that measure 3.5 × 4.5 cm. The images must be in color against a white background. One photo should be attached to the form in the upper right corner, and the other should be included in the package of your documents. On the back of each photo, write your passport number.

✅ Step 3. Get a police criminal record

All applicants over 16 must provide a certificate of no criminal record from their country of citizenship and any countries where they have lived for more than a year after age 16.

Obtaining the Certificate: Request the certificate in paper format from your country, then obtain an apostille, translate it into Portuguese, and have it notarized by a notary. It is better to order the document as soon as possible and start gathering other required documents while it is being processed.

Validity: The validity of a certificate depends on the country of issuance and can range from 30 to 90 days. If you have a criminal record, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a lawyer. The specific offense and the time since the conviction may impact the decision regarding your visa.

Translation and Notarization: Remember to translate the certificate into Portuguese and have it notarized before submitting it to the consulate or VFS.

Here are some examples of popular countries.

✅ Step 4. Get a NIF (tax number)

The NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) is a Portuguese tax number and the first thing you should get if you plan to immigrate to Portugal. Whether you will study, work or start your own company here. A NIF is a universal number you need when applying for any documents. The NIF number need for more often than the passport number.

You will need the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport or id
  • Proof of address outside of Portugal, from your "home country" (a bank statement will do)

There are different ways to get your NIF number depending on if you are an EU/EEA citizen or not, whether you’re applying remotely or in person. You can get a NIF yourself and for free in Portugal. Or you can get it online if you are in another country. The service does not cost more than €100-120 usually.

1. Get your NIF remotely and online.

You can get a NIF before you arrive in Portugal to save time to solve other problems, rent an apartment, or open a bank account. The NIF process takes 3 to 10 business days and costs from €89 to €120, depending on the type of service. We can be your representative and get a NIF for you.

2. Get your NIF in person

The default way of getting a NIF number is to go to your closest Finanças (Portuguese tax office) and apply for it in person. This path is completely free. Non-EU/EEA residents used to need a tax representative in order to apply for and maintain a NIF. But from July 2022 this is no longer needed, but it can still make the process of obtaining the NIF easier.

Read more about NIF here.

✅ Step 5.  Prepare the lease agreement

For a D7 visa, providing a long-term lease agreement is essential. The SEF ignores an apartment's cost, size, or location.  But we do not recommend using false documents – the SEF can selectively check applicants.

Where to find an apartment?

Try to monitor local lease sites. Hiring an agent is not obligatory, but a professional may help ease the search and communication with the landlord.

Where to find an apartment?

Try to monitor local lease sites. Hiring an agent is not obligatory, but a professional may help ease the search and communication with the landlord.

Some useful websites

Long-term rental:

Try also:

Not sure - use platforms with free cancellation

Some platforms charge a commission, but the contract could be terminated at any time if you do not plan to live in rented housing. SEF accepts such agreements.

Airbnb offers just short-term accommodation offers. So we don't recommend using it for applying for residentship. In Portugal, you must prove your trustworthiness with resumes, essays, income statements, and work contracts to your potential landlord.

Documents you need to rent an apartment:

  • Documents for landlord
    Prepare income statements, contracts, and even a motivational letter about why you want to live in particular and how you will pay for it.
  • A landlord might ask you for a guarantor
    Some owners require a guarantor who lives and works in Portugal (they usually ask for an IRS declaration). If you don't have a guarantor, then it could be circumvented by offering to pay several months of rent in advance or several deposits at once (in the amount of a monthly rent)
  • Landlords pay for agent services
    However, some agents may want to keep the commission private from your agent, which may affect your ability to view apartments. To avoid this issue, we recommend offering the agent an additional fee to negotiate with other agents.
  • Ask your landlord to register the agreement
    The lease agreement must be registered in Finanças (tax office). Do not agree to stay illegally. It may cause problems for both sides. For the lease agreement, you need NIF and a bank account.

✅ Step 6. Open a bank account

You can get a bank account online or offline, either with the help of a lawyer or by yourself. If you are already in Portugal, you do not have to pay anyone for it, as the process is simple. However, you cannot open an account online without a power of attorney for another person.

How can I open an account on my own?

You can go to any bank and tell them that you want to open an account as a non-resident. Then, submit as many documents as you can.

Some of the most popular banks in Portugal are:

💶 Caixa Geral de Depositos

💶 Banco Santander Totta

💶 Novo Banco

💶 ActivoBank Portugal

💶 Caixa Central de Crédito Agrícola

Read more about how to open a bank account here.

✅ Step 7. Prove your passive income

How to prove income?

The minimum monthly income for 2023 has been set at €760 after taxes. However, the principal applicant should show a monthly payment of at least €1500.

If you are applying with your family, you must show a higher income than if you were applying alone. When you are using with an adult spouse, you must provide 50% of the minimum wage and 30% of the minimum salary for each child. So if you are applying with a spouse and child, your monthly income must be at least €1395.

Will I have to pay income taxes in Portugal?

If you have not been a resident in Portugal for the past 5 years, you may be eligible for the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime. Under this regime, some of your income may be exempt from taxation in Portugal. We advise you to consult with a tax advisor to determine the exact taxes you must pay. Pensions are subjected to a 10% tax.

(Preparing documentation that proves your regular remote and/or passive income is essential. The total amount for the principal applicant should be more than €760 per month, and for a second adult - 50% of this amount, and a child - 30%. The principal applicant should show a monthly income of at least €16,000. To increase your chances, we recommend showing both passive and remote income. The two critical criteria for proving incomes are predictability and transparency.)


The consulate should be sure about the source and basis of your income. Therefore, you must provide contracts, tax statements, and bank statements. Hence, proving crypto payments were received in a crypto wallet instead of a bank is very challenging.


The consulate must verify that you have been receiving income for at least a year and will continue to receive it for several more years. Contracts should be long-term or open-ended, and it is better to attach a letter from the company indicating that you work remotely if you include income from your job in your application.

Ways to prove your income: bank statement for the year, a rental contract, a certificate from the company that pays you the dividend or copyright fees and royalties.

✅ Step 8. Prepare a health insurance

Insurance for a D visa and a residency permit are two different things. For a D visa, it is sufficient to obtain standard travel insurance for 120 days (the length of the visa). However, for a residency permit, you will need to get Portuguese insurance with a minimum coverage of €50K in case of hospitalization. You will need to attach it to your application to SEF. Options include Tranquilidade and Fidelidade, among others. You may obtain this insurance through your Portuguese bank when opening an account.

✅ Step 9.  Book your ticket to Portugal

You do not need to buy an actual ticket, only show proof of ticket reservations for the approximate date of your arrival in Portugal with a D visa. It is reasonable to show ticket reservations for 1.5-2 months after your visa application to the consulate. The exact date on the tickets does not affect the processing speed of your visa application.

✅ Step 10. Write a cover letter

It is not critical, but it may help to convince the consulate.

The essay is not a compulsory requirement, but a well-written motivation letter can positively impact the response. Briefly describe the type of income you receive and where it comes from. Also, specify what proof you will attach to the application. Finally, explain why you chose Portugal.

You can prepare a letter with a lawyer to choose the most relevant arguments for your case.

✅ Step 10. Apply to consulate or VFS

You’re ready to apply!

Make an appointment at the consulate or VFS and apply. In some countries (for example, in Brazil or USA) you can send all you documents via mail.

👉 Arrive 15-20 minutes before your appointment time, at the Portuguese consulate or VFS.

👉 Ensure that all documents are translated and officially certified. If you have changed any information during the preparation of documents in questionnary, remember to edit it.

Want to be sure everything is ok with your application, documents and motivation letter? Check it with an attorney.

Check youself

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of regular income
  • Bank account statement
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Criminal record from your country
  • Minimum 120 days insurance for €30K+
  • Airplane ticket booking
  • Cover letter

Want to be sure everything is ok with your application, documents and motivation letter? Check it with an attorney.

✅ Step 12. Come to Portugal and apply in SEF

Your visa is approved!

Once the visa is granted, you will be scheduled to visit the SEF. If you do not have a visit scheduled by the consulate you will need to make an appointment yourself.

  • Your D visa will be valid for 120 days and will allow you to enter the EU twice during that time frame.
  • If your appointment with the SEF is scheduled after your visa expiration date, don't worry, you will still be legally in Portugal until your appointment. The most important thing is to arrive while your visa is still valid
  • If you are not comfortable with the date assigned to you, you may call the SEF at 217 115 000 to reschedule if there are available slots.

The cost of the SEF fee

The SEF fee cost is €158, which can be paid by bank card.

Get your residence permit card

About two to twelve weeks after your SEF appointment, you will receive an envelope in the mail containing your residence permit card, which will be valid for 2 years.

When applying for a residence permit at the SEF office, you may indicate that you will personally retrieve it, which will incur an additional cost of €25.

Are you planning to move to move to Portugal?

You can do a lot independently, but contact us if you need expert help:

See more details here. 

Got a question? Contact us!

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Photo: Paulo Evangelista, Sacha Verheij, Freguesia de Estrela, Yvonne Einerhand, Unseen Studio

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