From tourist visa, D7 Visa or Golden Visa, what's the best solution for you?
Here is an easy guide for British citizens to travel and stay in Portugal
1. You are a Non-Resident in Portugal: As a British tourist travelling to Portugal for less than 90 days you may not need a visa, but always double check when booking travel and accommodation, as you may be asked about the following, by Customs or the authorities:
- A valid 10-year passport with at least 6 months left before it expires
- It is advised to apply for health care insurance, British or European
- Check your driving license and permits
- Organise your pet travel in advance
- Check the current travel restrictions and pandemic requirements
- You may need a return ticket, proof of accommodation and sufficient financial sources
2. You are a Non-Resident in Portugal: If you wish to visit the Algarve eg. as a businessperson, for house hunting, and stay longer than 90 days, you need to apply for a Schengen Visa in the UK at the embassy or consulate or in any Schengen country representing Portugal. Please check conditions.
3. You are a Non-Resident in Portugal: If you prefer to stay longer you can apply for a D7 Visa and residence permit which allows you to stay for up to 4 months. Suitable for retirees and entrepreneurs regardless of age. You need to prove a passive income of the current minimum wage in Portugal for the first applicant and 50 percent of that amount for a partner or parents plus 30 percent for each child. The income can come from rentals, retirement, dividends, or investment. You need to have a ‘residence’ in the Algarve, either a rental with a contract or owned. After the first period of 120 days an applicant can obtain a residence permit for 1 year which can be renewed every 2 years. After 5 years it is possible to apply for permanent residency. You can travel throughout the Schengen territories. This program has relevant minimum stay requirements (please get more detailed information with your lawyer.) The D7 Visa is compliant with the Non-Habitual Tax Regime and is meant for Brits who are self-sufficient. Further conditions, time compliances and application forms are available on SEF website, the Portuguese consulate or via a law company. See sources.
4. You are a Non-Resident in Portugal: If you would like to buy and stay in Portugal for a much longer time and wish to travel throughout the European Schengen visa zone, the “Golden Visa Ticket” is the best for you and your family. In addition, you can achieve a residence permit within 5 years, however it has substantial administrative and tax costs. Please check the conditions and time compliances with your lawyer, tax advisor and SEF (The Portuguese Immigration & Borders Service) and an established real estate agency such as Togofor Homes.
Current Options for Golden Visa:
- To invest in real estate privately owned of €500.000 or more (*)
- To invest in real estate privately owned of € 350.000 or more (*) located in an urban rehabilitation area and being over 30 years old.
(*) Both situations can be reduced by 20 percent if the properties are located in low density areas, i.e. €400.000 and €280.000, accordingly
From January 2022, Golden Visa options will be more limited. You can only buy a property for residential purposes in the municipalities of Aljezur – Vila do Bispo – Monchique – Castro Marim and Alcoutim (and other specific low density/interior parishes). The rest of the Algarve is still considered, if the property is commercial, services or touristic.
Due to the impact of Brexit the new ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization) scheme will operate visas from 2022 on the 90-day rule. So, Non-Resident British homeowners in Portugal can only spend a total of 6 months in a year (2 separate periods of 3 months) in their homes in Portugal compared to the previously unlimited time allowed before.
Great to see "experts" perpetuating the 6 months myth for passport validity.
The rules actually state "valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Portugal, or any other Schengen country"
By Dan T from UK on 21 Sep 2021, 10:49
Thanks for a very informative article. For the past 15 years we have wintered (and spent money) in the Algarve, but I've not seen any information about penalties if we overstay our 90 days. Any info on this subject will be appreciated.
By Louis J Rutter from UK on 22 Sep 2021, 10:53
Louis J Rutter - the penalties for overstaying are that you may be refused entry next time to try to visit any Schengen country. The UK routinely does this to people who overstay in the UK.
The good news is that while the Algarve may be out of reach for some Brits now due to these limits, Brits are free to enjoy Southend or Blackpool for as long as they like, now with a significantly lower chance of hearing Polish spoken on a bus.
By Paul from Lisbon on 22 Sep 2021, 11:55
I can't understand people. We have had nearly five years to arrange residency in Portugal. Those moaning or complaining about the 90 day limit for Brits should have applied for residency long before now. Stop crying and suck it up.
By Ian from Lisbon on 22 Sep 2021, 14:25