Residency in Portugal

Residency in Portugal

Portugal is becoming increasingly popular as a destination for long-term residency for both working professionals and retirees.

Are you thinking of moving there? Are you considering the benefits of residency – maybe even citizenship? There’s no doubt that Portugal offers a wonderful climate and a relatively low cost of living in a country that’s welcoming, safe and secure.

On this page, we look at these benefits and the processes required to achieve residency status. We also explore the different ways to acquire residency.

How to acquire Portuguese residency

The first step in any residency application is to gain temporary residency status. This will act as a springboard towards permanent residency status and then, five years on, citizenship.

Portuguese residency for EU or Swiss citizens is simple. You find yourself accommodation, attend the local municipality office (Câmara Municipal) with your passport and pay a fee of €15.

This will earn you a temporary residency certificate, known as the CRUE, valid for five years.

How do UK citizens apply for Portuguese residency?

There are four principal routes...

  1. The Golden Visa
  2. The D7 Visa
  3. The D2 Visa
  4. The HQA Visa

The Golden Visa

A Golden Visa can lead to dual citizenship, with easy language requirements and a citizenship timeline of just five years’ residency.

During those five years, there’s no need to physically move to Portugal (although, of course, you can if you want to!). You can carry on with life elsewhere while your investment works for you in Portugal on your behalf. Usually, all that’s needed to maintain your Portuguese residency all the way to citizenship is a short annual visit to Portugal (7 to 14 days).

Find out more about how to gain Portuguese residency using the Golden Visa.

The D7 Visa

The D7 Visa is often known as the passive income visa, retirement visa or digital nomad visa. This Visa is an ideal route to residency if you’re planning to retire to Portugal.

This visa has many benefits...

  • A low monthly passive income, such as that which you might receive from a pension
  • Access to excellent state healthcare, much of it free
  • Benefit from Portugal’s special tax program, the NHR (Non-Habitual Resident) scheme
  • You can use it to study, work, or launch a business in Portugal
  • You can bring your family to join you

You’ll find out more about the D7 route to Portuguese residency here.

The D2 Visa

It’s worth considering the D2 Visa if you’re not in a position to either retire to Portugal or invest in Portuguese funds or property. Neither, unlike the D7 program, do you have to demonstrate a source of regular income, such as earnings or a pension.

The main requirement for a D2 Visa is that you have a viable business (or business idea) that you can run in Portugal. This business can be of any type – manufacturing, retail, service etc.

Find out more here about the benefits of a D2 Visa and the processes of acquiring one.

The HQA Visa

HQA stands for ‘High Quality Activity’. The Portugal HQA Visa provides an alternative pathway to Portuguese citizenship for high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs.

There are two key benefits to the HQA program that make it a stand-out alternative to the other routes to Portuguese residency. Firstly, the application process is fast. By law, applications must be processed within 30 days of the application being received. Secondly, it’s much less costly than other routes.

All that’s needed is to demonstrate that you’re in a position to start up a business or expand your current business into Portugal.

Find out more here about the HQA route to Portuguese citizenship.

There are so many opportunities in Portugal – whatever your stage of life – whether it’s to live, work, study or retire. Some of the routes to residency are straightforward. Some are complex.

Find out which pathway is best for you. Call us. We’re ready to help.

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