Portugal visa requirements for us citizens

The number of Americans looking to move to Portugal from the USA is increasing year on year. Portugal offers everything Americans are looking for. Safety, low cost of living, wonderful weather and great opportunities for setting up a business. But what are the Portugal visa requirements for us citizens?

The process of applying for a Portugal D7 or Golden visa to Portugal can be complicated and time consuming, but if you would like help with your application, there are numerous professional companies ready to help Americans get a Portuguese visa?

You can find several services by searching the GoGet directory here.

NB:The directory only covers services and businesses based in the Algarve, but most of them will be able to help if you are moving from the USA to Lisbon, Porto and other regions of Portugal.

Once you have your residence permit, it must be first renewed after one year and then every two years thereafter.

It is important that you know that it is not necessary for you to live in Portugal permanently. It is enough to spend seven days a year in Portugal to maintain your residency. 

When looking at the kind of visas Amaricans can get to Portugal, the two most popular ones are the Portugal D7 Visa and the Golden Visa. 

Portugal D7 visa for Americans moving to Portugal

The D7 visa for Portugal is designed for individuals that can prove a source of permanent passive income. The income should at least be equal to the minimum monthly wage in Portugal. In 2022, this is €822 per month.

Be aware that the minimum monthly wage in Portugal is expected to increase in the years to come.

The passive income needed for an American to apply for a Portugal D7 Visa must come from outside of Portugal. The residence permit will then allow you to love and work in Portugal. 

The source of passive income can be almost anything as long as it is legal and documented.

Examples of passive income for D7 Visa in Portugal are:

  • Pension
  • Dividends
  • Interest
  • Royalties
  • Salaries from remote work
  • Income from renting out property

The minimum required passive income also depends on the number of applicants that are included in the original application:

  • Main applicant: 100% of the minimum wage;
  • Spouse or parents of the main applicant: 50% of the minimum wage per person
  • Dependent children: 30% of the minimum wage per person

Another requirement to obtain a Portugal D7 visa for Portugal is that the applicant must rent or buy housing in Portugal for themselves and the family members that are included in the application.

In other words you must be able to show ownership of Portuguese property og a legal rental contract before the application will be processed.

There are a number of companies and and Real Estate agents that can help you require a rental property in Portugal without you visiting Portugal yourself.

Applicants get a residence permit after the Portugal D7 visa. The first permit is valid for two years, and every consequent one is issued for three years. To retain the residency your must spend at least 183 days a year in Portugal.

Financial services in the Algarve - Get help with taxes, moving, loans, mortgage and wealth planning

Checklist for Americans applying for Portugal D7 visa

  • Main applicant must be over the age of 18 years
  • Applicant must be a Non-EU citizen
  • Applicant must have a minimum passive income of at least €822,50 per month from one or more sources outside of Portugal
  • Applicant must prove that they have rented or bought a home in Portugal
  • Applicant must have health insurance

What family members might apply with the main applicant for the Portugal D7 Visa?

  • Spouse
  • Children up to the age of 21 years old and financially dependent on the main applicant
  • Parents of the main applicant or their spouse, that are financially dependent on the main applicant

Cost of applying for a Portugal D7 Visa:

  • €8,460 Proven annual income for the main D7 applicant
  • €4,230 Proven annual income for the spouse or parent of the main applicant
  • €2,358 Proven annual income for the child(ren)
  • €155 Fee for the residence permit card per applicant
  • Cost of renting or buying a property in Portugal

Application time for Portugal D7 visa:

  • You must accept the application for a D7 Visa for Portugal to take around 4 months

Minimum stay in Portugal after receiving D7 Visa:

  • After being granted a D7 Visa all applicants must spend a minimum of 183 days a year in Portugal

How long is the Portugal D7 Visa valid?

  • After a D7 Visa has been granted, the applicants must renew the visa after 2 years, and then again after 5 years
Guide to moving to Portugal from America - All you need to know about moving from the US and FAQ

Golden Visa program - Get residency in Portugal by investment

It might seem a bit overwhelming making the move from America to Portugal, but it is easier than you might think.

One of the easiest ways to obtain a long term residence permit in Portugal for Americans is to apply for residency-by-investment.

The program known as Golden Visa allows you to get residency in Portugal without having to learn the language, and without having to confirm your education and professional qualifications, as you must when applying for a work or student visa for Portugal.

The process of getting a residence permit in Portugal by investment via the Golden Visa program usually takes a few months.

It might seem long when you are excited to get going, but you need this time to get all your necessary documents, make the investment, apply, and lastly to pass the Due Diligence check.

The process is not particularly complicated, but we highly recommend getting help from a professional consultant company that can ensure the process goes smoothly.

General rules for obtaining residence permit in Portugal by Golden Visa:

  • Invest: €280,000+ in real estate older than 30 years or located specific renovation areas
  • Invest: €400,000+ in newer real estate
  • Invest: €500,000 in fund shares
  • Invest: €500,000 in a business that will create no les the five jobs
  • Invest: €1,500,000 by transferring capital to Portugal
  • Invest: €250,000 in culture, art, or reconstruction of national heritage
  • Invest: €500,000 in research programs

NB: The rules for Golden Visa might be changing. Please confirm with experts before moving forward.

The most popular option under the Golden Visa in Portugal for Americans is to purchase real estate or shares in investment funds.

Close relatives and family members of the person making the investment, such as spouse, children under 26, and parents of the main applicant may also apply for residency permits under the Golden Visa program for Americans moving to Portugal.

The family composition does not affect the minimum investment amount. Only the additional costs, like government fees, tend to be higher depending on the number of relatives included in the application.

Health care for you and your family in the Algarve

Checklist for applying for the Golden Visa to Portugal:

  • Main applicant must be over the age on 18 years
  • The applicant can not have any convictions or refusals in the Schengen area
  • Applicant must have investments funds earned outside of Portugal
  • Applicant must be debt free in Portugal
  • Applicant must be able to prove legal income
  • Applicant must have health insurance

What family members might apply with the main applicant for the Golden Visa?

  • Spouse
  • Children up to the age of 26 years old and financially dependent on the main applicant
  • Parents over the age of 65, that are financially dependent on the main applicant. Under certain conditions younger parents may also join the application

Cost of applying for a Golden Visa:

  • €250.000 minimum investment in culture, art, or reconstruction of national heritage, or €280,000 minimum investment in property
  • €5,340 Fee for the residence permit card,per family member
  • €533 Application fee per family member
  • €400+ Medical insurance per person
  • Taxes and commissions depend on the chosen investment option

Application time:

  • You must accept the application for a Golden Visa to take between 6 and 8 months

Minimum stay in Portugal after receiving Golden Visa:

  • After being granted the Golden Visa all applicants must spend a minimum of 7 days a year in Portugal

How long is the Golden Visa valid?

  • After a Golden Visa has been granted, the applicant must renew the visa after 12 months, and again after 48 months