February 24, 2024

How to Immigrate to Portugal Without Utilizing the Golden Visa Program

The Portuguese government took a firm decision to discontinue the Golden Visa initiative. The official announcement is set on March 30th but considering the other 15 steps the government has stated, I doubt they will alter their stance on any of these issues. I could spend the next two paragraphs explaining why it does not make sense to terminate the program and dispelling all of the myths surrounding it.

Therefore, some excellent investment opportunities that would allow Portugal to continue to attract private capital while simultaneously producing houses, jobs, and tax revenue.

For investors hoping to get a different type of residency in the future, the Golden Visa program in Portugal is (was) a great choice. And in my opinion, this is the program's main benefit. Put down the money now and relocate later. For anyone contemplating relocation to Portugal in 2023 or 2024, there exist superior visa substitutes such as the D7, D3, D2, or Digital Nomad Visa.

The Alternatives

For highly qualified workers, freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups, digital nomads, and passive income investors, Portugal has made relocating to Europe simple. Non-EU nationals can live, work, and even petition for citizenship after a few years in the nation through a variety of advanced visa schemes.

D7 Visa

The D7 visa, which was first designed to draw in seniors, enables non-EU citizens of any age to live in Portugal and earn a passive income on their own.

You must earn at least €9,120 in passive (non-salaried) income annually to be eligible; this money can come from pensions, investments, or rental income from real estate. A D7 visa holder is granted a one-year residency permit in Portugal, which they can extend for an additional two years, and after five years, they can convert to permanent residency.

The D7 is open to single individuals as well as couples and families. Couples must demonstrate an additional 50% of the €4,560 annual minimum income, and each child needs to provide 30%. I refer to partners since Portugal accepts unofficial weddings (União de facto) for the purposes of its visa policies...

If you wish to migrate to Portugal and have the necessary passive income, applying for the D7 is an excellent alternative as it is far less expensive than applying for the Golden Visa. Always confirm the passive income up front with the SEF or a lawyer. Online, there are accounts of applicants who were approved with just a $5,000 bank statement. Every week, at least one request from a rejected candidate using the same approach reaches us.

You must provide proof of your Portuguese residency. A lot of candidates opted to buy real estate in Portugal, although renting is also an option. Portugal's rental market is already competitive, and the Digital Nomad Visa will make things even more so. Thus, be ready for a two-week "hit and run" approach. You cannot rent properties months in advance since the majority of offers expire in less than a day. As of yet, Airbnb is not a recognized document proving residency.

Recall that you cannot apply for a visa from Portugal; rather, you must do it from your place of residence. Since it is currently the only visa that operates in that manner, application coordination must take this reasoning into account.

The D7 visa, is the greatest option for non-EU citizens wishing to relocate to Portugal. You are not needed to start a business or work in Portugal.

D3 Visa

This visa is intended for highly qualified professionals, such as executives, legislators, senior public administration officers, directors, managers, engineers, teachers, or legal experts.

Holding a D3 visa entitles you to expedited procedure for permanent residency, and after five years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship. Furthermore, you have all the same fundamental rights as a Portuguese citizen while residing in the nation, including access to the public health and financial systems and unrestricted travel throughout the Schengen region. Additionally, non-EU/EEA nationals are able to live and work anywhere in the EU by applying for the EU Blue Card, which is essentially the US Green Card for Europe.

The D3 visa is arguably the easiest to obtain and accepts a large number of candidates with advanced degrees; nonetheless, you will need to submit documentation of your education, such as a diploma or certificate. A formal contract or job offer from a nearby business is also required. Although very beneficial, work experience is not especially relevant to this application process.

Portugal's high tax rate makes it an unfriendly place for businesses and employees alike. Nonetheless, the D3 is a good substitute when combined with the NHR status, which offers you a ten-year tax flat rate of 20% on your income. Consult a lawyer and the SEF up front to confirm the eligibility and degree of education.

D2 Visa

The D2 visa is an option for independent contractors, freelancers, and self-employed individuals. In order to be qualified, you must demonstrate that you intend to establish a company in Portuguese territory (and that you have the necessary funds) or that you intend to establish a branch of your current business there.

This visa may be a good fit for you if you already own a business or are planning to launch your own venture. Otherwise, if you're starting from scratch, I don't think getting a D2 visa is a good idea. Being self-employed or starting a business is difficult in and of itself. If the outcome of your application for a Portuguese visa is dependent on it, especially if you are traveling with family, you do not want to add to the already existing tension.

D8 Visa for Digital Nomads

The Portuguese government unveiled a new visa last year for those who only intended to visit the country for a year or less and who had a minimum monthly income of €3,040 from employment outside of Portugal. You can work for yourself or for a business with headquarters outside of Portugal.

If you are not interested in obtaining permanent citizenship or wanting to live permanently in Portugal, this visa may be of interest to you. It is a good idea to live in Portugal for a while before deciding whether to move forward with the other visas if you are unsure about migrating permanently.

The validity of both your health insurance and your employment are essential components of the digital nomad visa. You need their approval for a lengthier stay overseas. Portugal has great remote worker infrastructure. Coworking spaces are widely available in cities at affordable pricing, and fast internet is a given in most metropolitan locations. Small communities of digital nomads who live in separate homes but share shared areas like pools can also be found in the interior regions.

The rental market is a visa bottleneck. Experts anticipate contentious conversations in the community because, by Portuguese norms, rents have increased dramatically, and housing availability is limited.

What are the general benefits and drawbacks of the different visa options?


  1. Applicants for any of the alternative visas may choose to apply for the NHR program, which offers substantial tax advantages.
  2. Most of them allow for family reunions,
  3. and after five years, applicants can become Portuguese citizens, which is a standard right in Portugal (with the exception of D8).
  4. There are no minimum purchase or rental amounts and no regional limits in Portugal.
  5. The application and renewal fees are significantly lower than those associated with the golden visa route.


  1. You must officially reside in Portugal, which implies you must spend at least eight to ten months there
  2. Certain visas need to be renewed annually.
  3. Depending on the type of visa, you may lose it if you are fired or your business venture does not pan out.

People from all over the world are still traveling to Portugal in spite of the Golden Visa scheme. The nation offers a warm, friendly atmosphere in addition to affordable living expenses, pleasant weather, and an excellent standard of living. Portugal's free education system is another reason why many families are relocating there. Join our expanding Portuguese community now!

Navigating Portugal's Visa Alternatives with Pelican Migration Consultants

Considering the recent discontinuation of Portugal's Golden Visa initiative, navigating the country's alternative visa options has become crucial for prospective immigrants. Pelican Migration Consultants stands ready to assist individuals in exploring these alternatives and securing their desired residency in Portugal.

Here's how Pelican Migration Consultants can help:

  1. Expert Guidance: Pelican Migration Consultants provides expert guidance on navigating the complex landscape of Portugal's visa options.
  2. Visa Assessment: They conduct thorough assessments of clients' eligibility for various visa programs, ensuring they choose the most suitable option.
  3. Documentation Assistance: The consultants offer invaluable assistance in preparing and organizing the required documentation for visa applications.
  4. Application Support: Pelican Migration Consultants provides comprehensive support throughout the entire visa application process, from start to finish.
  5. Legal Expertise: With a team of experienced immigration professionals, Pelican Migration Consultants ensures that clients' applications comply with all relevant laws and regulations, maximizing their chances of success.

These alternative visa options present viable pathways for individuals and families to immigrate to Portugal, offering flexibility, affordability, and the opportunity for long-term residency and citizenship. Pelican Migration Consultants can provide personalized guidance and support throughout the application process, ensuring a smooth transition to life in Portugal.