D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal: Which One Is Right for You

Updated: 20 July 2023

Portugal Golden Visa and the D7 visa are two popular schemes that help foreigners to move to Portugal and live there.  

Important Note: As of July 19th, 2023, Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is on the verge of serious changes. The program will soon cease to accept real estate purchases and real estate related fund investments as qualifying investment options. However, certain Portuguese funds will continue to be eligible. You can read what we know so far here.

D7 is also called the passive income visa. It is mainly aimed at retirees and people who depend on their passive income and plan to stay in Portugal permanently. On the other hand, Portugal Golden Visa is the investment-based road to the kind of residency that doesn’t need you to stay in Portugal for most of the year. 

Although both options let you seek permanent residency or citizenship in the country, their set of requirements is different. It is important to assess those based on your needs and expectations. In this article, I’ll highlight the main differences so you can make an informed decision.

D7 Visa vs. Portugal Golden Visa 

Stay Requirement 

Stay requirement is the biggest difference between these two schemes. D7 requires you to spend a considerable amount of time in the country, i.e., at least six to eight consecutive or non-consecutive months each year on average. It is understandable as the scheme is meant for people who plan to turn Portugal their home for life. 

The highlight of Portugal Golden Visa program is its flexible residency requirements. Though as a Portugal Golden Visa holder you can stay in Portugal for as long as you wish, staying a week on average every year is enough to maintain your residency status. 

The stay requirement turns into the main deciding factor for those who have to travel frequently.

Investment or Income Requirement 

Another major difference between Portugal Golden Visa and D7 is the financial requirement. With the latter, you will have to submit evidence of your net passive income. This income has to be regular. It can come from intellectual property income, dividends, interest, property rental, or pension.  

If you are bringing dependents with you, an added 50 percent of the amount for the spouse and 30 percent for every dependent will be necessary. But you need to be aware that the amounts are just indicative and there are discretionary powers with the officers. Thus, the greater the proven income, the better. 

On the contrary, Portugal Golden Visa does not need any regular income proof. You just need to make enough investments to qualify, which usually ranges between €350,000 and €500,000. 

Portugal Golden Visa:
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After you make the investments and receive Portugal Golden Visa, you will not have to show any other income or investment. However, note that you will have to keep the investment for a minimum of five years. 

In both cases, your investment or income liability ends after you get permanent citizenship or residence after five years. 

Tax Requirements 

You can be eligible to forward an application for the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) scheme as a Portugal Golden Visa or D7 holder. The scheme offers tax benefits for foreign income for at least 10 years. 

As per D7 visa staying requirements, you automatically become Portugal’s tax resident. However, you might be eligible to apply for NHR by March 31 of the year after your move. 

Under the Portugal Golden Visa scheme, you don’t have to move to Portugal and you will not be seen as a tax resident. You get to apply for NHR if you begin living in Portugal full-time. 

Application Procedure 

With the D7 Visa, the process of application starts in the home country. In the application, you will have to present certain application forms with the ‘accommodation proof.’ Things might sound pretty confusing here. 

It might be difficult to make arrangements for your accommodation in Portugal, especially if you’ve not decided which city or region you want to stay in. If your relatives or friends are staying in Portugal, you can ask them to issue a statement that shows you will stay with them. Otherwise, you can rent or purchase a property before you start the application. 

After getting the initial visa from the embassy, you will have to go to Portugal to complete the D7 Visa application. 

The process is a lot smoother with Portugal Golden Visa. After making the investment, you are ready to start the application, minus any accommodation requirements. 


The government fee for the D7 visa is between €45 and €300. There are renewal charges and legal expenses to consider as well. As you take the D7 Visa route, the major costs will be the purchase or rent of property, relocation, etc.

With the Portugal Golden Visa, investment is the chief cost to bear. You will have to consider application and processing fees in this case, which are €5,325 and €533 respectively.

Keep in mind that all the charges and costs mentioned above are subject to change. So, it is better to check before you start your application.

From D7 Visa to Portugal Golden Visa 

At times, things do not go as per planning and D7 visa holders are unable to meet their stay requirements. The good news is that it is possible to go from a D7 visa to a Golden visa if you are ready to make the necessary investment. 

Citizenship in Portugal Through D7 or Golden Visa Portugal

The D7 and Portugal Golden Visa are meant for residency. However, after five years, both D7 and Golden Visa holders may be eligible for Portuguese citizenship. 

Portugal Golden Visa or D7: Which One To Choose?

Portugal D7 Visa is the right choice for you when: 

  • Your passive income is stable and steady 
  • You want to spend most of your time in Portugal 
  • You do not want to make big investments right away 

Portugal Golden Visa is the right choice for you when: 

  • You want to have a good Plan B for your future 
  • You need to keep the primary residence at some other place 
  • You’re ready to make a major upfront investment in Portugal

The Bottom Line 

Both Portugal Golden Visa and D7 Visa have their advantages and draw in thousands of applications every year. If you’re ready to make Portugal your home and are sure that you can meet the stay requirements, a D7 visa is a great choice. However, if you’re still unsure if you want to spend most of your time in the country but want to have a solid Plan B, Portugal Golden Visa can be a better route. 

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