Portugal has always been a top-choice destination for Digital Nomads with Portugal Remote Work Visas, so much so that it has an international community for Nomads nestled between the jagged hills and banana trees of Madeira.
But have Digital Nomads in Portugal heard their last Fado?
In a recent announcement, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa confirmed the end of the Portugal Golden Visa, striking fear into the hearts of expats looking to live and work in the country.
So why are expats stressed, and should Digital Nomads and those seeking remote work visas be concerned?
The Correlation Between The Golden Visa and The Portugal Nomad Visa
Depending on who you ask, the expat population living and working in Portugal is a little over or under the 700,000 mark. That’s a large expat community with big buying power. In fact, International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index just ranked Portugal as the best country for retirement in 2023.
The end of the Golden Visa, which offered residency by way of property purchase, is completely unrelated to Portugal’s remote work visas. And while the Golden Visa program is being cancelled, the international community there is alive and thriving. Expats can and will continue to relocate to Portugal for all it has to offer.
For those concerned about the implications of the cancellation, the government states that the Golden Visa Portugal program was simply a success, and the country doesn’t need to grow through property purchase anymore.
In the end, if you would like to work in Portugal remotely, the climate remains extremely welcoming to Digital Nomads and Entrepreneurs, and the requirements for the Nomad Visas haven’t changed.
The Current State of the Portugal Nomad Visas
The sticklers out there are going to say that there is no visa titled the “Digital Nomad Visa” in Portugal.
Okay sticklers. You’re right. However there are two different visas that allow you to live the life of a Digital Nomad in Portugal in 2023.
- The Temporary Stay Visa (1 year, renewable for an additional year)
- The D2 Entrepreneur and Freelance Visa (Two part application process, good for longer-term or permanent stays)
The D2 Visa has been around for a while now. And since October 30th, 2022, the Temporary Stay visa has been available to make shorter stays easy for digital nomads.
Who Is The Temporary Stay Visa For?
The implementation of Law no. 18/2022 made possible a new entry, stay, and exit allowance for foreign citizens to exercise professional activities remotely while residing in Portugal for up to a year.
Under this new Temporary Stay visa, Portugal grants a residence visa to employees and independent professionals (freelancers/entrepreneurs). To apply, you must be an employee or operate a company headquartered outside of Portugal.
This visa for remote workers is initially valid for two entries into Portuguese territory. It is renewable for one additional year.
Who Is The D2 Entrepreneur and Freelance Visa For?
The D2 visa is a type of long-term visa that allows you to live and work in Portugal on a long-term and eventually permanent basis. The Portugal D2 visa is designed for people who want to open a new business in Portugal, set up a Portuguese branch of an existing business, or move to Portugal to run a business that already exists. In light of that, the D2 is also known as the Entrepreneur Visa.
To be eligible for a D2 visa, you must first meet certain requirements. To begin, you need to show proof of a valid passport, good health, and sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Portugal. Adding to that, you may also need to provide proof of your employment or study in the country, and other supporting documents.
One of the most complicated parts is that you must also be able to demonstrate the viability of your project in Portugal with a business plan for the entrepreneur visa, and take steps to incorporate the company in Portugal.
The D2 visa process can be complex and involves multiple steps. You will want the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer to help guide you through the process.
Earning Stipulations To Be A Digital Nomad In Portugal
To obtain a residence permit, you will have to submit proof of your earnings as well.
This paperwork will serve multiple functions:
- It confirms your fiscal residence for tax purposes.
- It proves your average monthly income over the last three months is over the mandatory €2,820 monthly. This number may fluctuate, as it is decided based on 4x the average Portuguese minimum wage. (Mandatory earnings increase with each family member you bring over).
- Employees need to show an employment contract corresponding with their earnings. In lieu of that, they can provide a statement from their employer, proving the employment relationship.
- Once you are living and working in Portugal, you could be subject to Portuguese Personal Income Tax. This occurs when you work more than 183 days physically within Portugal over a 12-month stretch. It also applies for shorter stays where the person habitually resides in Portugal. If one of these situations occurs, you will be considered a Portuguese Tax Resident. You will need to declare their worldwide income, which includes remote work income.
- Even if you are not a local tax resident, you will be subject to taxes on Portuguese sourced income.
To avoid double taxation, Digital Nomads must prove that they are tax residents of another country, in addition to providing a tax residency certificate.
Why Live And Work In Portugal In 2023?
Portugal is a top-choice European destination and a collision of cultures, time periods and flavours.
Within this small, drivable country you have long stretches of wild sandy beaches, rugged mountains, and wicked urban nightlife. You have access to picturesque small-town living.
And you have completely surprising and unique historical sites like the Capela dos Ossos (look it up).
And THEN you STILL have all the shiny modern comforts from Lisbon’s startup hub.
Portugal also offers residents a very affordable life. It has helpful tax incentives for many, like no-tax on worldwide income or cryptocurrency.
And although the expat community is large, you probably won’t find yourself only communicating with other expats. The Portuguese are famous for speaking a high level of English, so foreign citizens can manoeuvre the country with ease.
To add to that, Digital nomads have been established in Portugal for a while now. Lisbon, Porto, Ponta do Sol, Lagos and Madeira are cities that have built up communities of long-stay travellers. However, the whole country is exceptionally safe for international families. It is welcoming of the LGBTQIA+ community, and a hotspot for music and festivals.
Overall, it’s a great place for nomads to not drain their bank accounts while also thoroughly enjoying themselves. On the flip side, the country benefits from long-stay travellers injecting money into the economy and even creating local jobs.
Take The Leap With Your Laptop In Portugal
Feel like it’s time to leap into your Portugal adventure? Our expert English-speaking lawyers offer full legal assistance for Digital Nomads in Portugal.
The team at Lexidy provides exclusive support for your relocation including visa and residence permit assistance, tax guidance, corporate handling and even real estate services.
Just submit the form and our international legal whizzes will help you on your journey.