The Portugal digital nomad visa is one of the most accessible nomad visas to apply for with relaxed criteria for eligible international remote workers.
With cities of Porto and Lisbon, the Algarve, and the island of Madeira there’s a whole lot to see in Portugal and even more to love. The delicious cuisine is well-complemented by the stunning architecture, beaches, and mountains that make this such a beautiful and romantic destination, but it will take more than just one visit to see it all.
If you can’t live without your daily pastel de nata, taking your time with a year-long remote working trip might be the perfect solution for you. Find out everything you need to know about the Portugal digital nomad visa below.
What is the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa?
The Portugal digital nomad visa offers a way for remote workers to live and work in the European country without infringing on tourism visa rules and regulations. There’s a minimum visa length of one year that can be extended up to a maximum of five years for Portuguese-loving digital nomads. Once this five-year period is complete, remote workers are able to apply for full-time residency if they wish to remain in the country.
The visa is recognized as one of the easiest digital nomad visas to qualify for, requiring a relatively small monthly income (compared to other digital nomad visas) for remote workers to qualify. Applying for the visa is also easy, with a short list of required documents, a small processing fee, and a simple application form required.
Why is the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa Better Than a Tourist Visa?
The main difference between the Portuguese digital nomad visa and a tourist visa lies in the length of time spent in the country. The digital nomad visa allows remote workers to live and work in Portugal for an initial one-year period with the option to extend for up to five years. Conversely, the short-stay Schengen visa permits a visit with a maximum length of just 90 days.
Remote workers are technically able to work remotely in Portugal on the Schengen visa, providing that all clients are outside of Portuguese borders. Digital nomads should check on the government guidelines of their own country for any tourist visa requirements, guidelines, or issues when planning a visit to Portugal.
Portugal Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Remote workers interested in applying for the Portuguese digital nomad visa must meet the following criteria for a successful application:
- Valid Passport: The applicant's passport must be valid for three months after the visa expiration date.
- Remote Work: All digital nomad visa applicants must work remotely with income generated outside of Portugal.
- €700 Minimum Monthly Income: Applicants must prove a minimum income of at least €700 per month. This can be completed by providing bank statements.
- Health Insurance: Applicants must show proof of health insurance with coverage in Portugal for the duration of the visa.
- Visa fee: All applicants must pay an €83 visa fee alongside a €72 residence permit—bringing the total fee to €155.
- Two Recent Passport Photos: All applications require two recent, full-color passport pictures.
- Criminal Background Check: The applicant must pass a full criminal background check completed by the local police department.
How to Apply
It can be difficult to learn exactly how to apply for the Portugal digital nomad visa, but our step-by-step guide aims to streamline and simplify the process.
Step 1: Gather All Necessary Documents
The first step when applying for the Portugal digital nomad visa is to gather all documents necessary for the application process. The following documentation is required when applying for the Portugal digital nomad visa:
- Two recent passport photos
- Completed application form
- Proof of income (minimum €700)
- Proof of health insurance
- The request for a criminal background check
- Proof of accommodations (minimum 1 year)
All of the visa information can be found on the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, detailing all forms of visas.
Step 2: Complete the Application Form
The next step when applying for the Portugal digital nomad visa is to complete the application form. The application form requires personal information to be entered alongside the journey purpose, the number of entries requested, and the cost of living and traveling during the stay. The form should be submitted by applicants with the requested supporting documentation (passport, passport photos, proof of health insurance, etc.).
Step 3: Schedule a Meeting with a Portuguese Embassy or Consulate
The third when applying for the Portuguese digital nomad visa application is to make an appointment with the closest Portuguese Embassy or Consulate. Depending on the individual application, this meeting may involve a short interview process and light questioning. This is typically decided upon by each individual meeting location.
Step 4: Await Visa Approval
Digital nomads are then required to await their visa approval before they are able to continue onto the final official step. The expected processing time for the Portuguese digital nomad visa is approximately three to four months, at the time of writing.
Step 5: Apply for a Portuguese Residence Permit
Once the digital nomad visa has been approved, remote workers are then legally able to move to Portugal and apply for their Portuguese residence permit. The residence permit application requires much of the same documents from the consulate appointment in addition to the new digital nomad visa issued.
Why Choose Portugal For Your Next Remote Working Trip?
Portugal is a fantastic choice for a remote working trip or workcation with a thriving remote work culture, cost of living, quality of life, and good healthcare services. Sandy beaches, mountainous islands, and beautiful cities make Portugal a bucket-list destination for countless holiday-makers. But a long-term stay in the country really is necessary for those looking for a fully immersive experience.
Remote Work Culture in Portugal
Portugal is proving one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads around the world–and for good reason. Lisbon is the clear favorite with thousands of remote workers flocking to the Portuguese capital in search of hot remote working destinations. There are countless coworking spaces dotted around the country with fast internet connections and value networks of online workers.
In addition to the existing hub of digital nomads, Portugal is actively encouraging new-age workers with its very own digital nomad village. Located in the once-sleepy Ponta do Sol on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the digital nomad village was launched in February 2021.
Nomads accepted into the village are granted access to free coworking, a Slack group crammed full of social events, and accommodation guidance. It’s this innovation that has grown the popularity of Portugal as a digital nomad hotspot, offering the hottest locations for remote workers.
Cost of Living and Quality of Life in Portugal
Portugal has some of the lowest costs of living in all of Europe, making it an excellent location for remote working.
The average salary in Portugal sits at €14,336, although nomads will struggle to live on this amount in the larger cities in the country. Expats can expect to pay approximately €400 PCM for an apartment in the quieter areas of the country—a value that increases dramatically (4-5x) when targeting Lisbon and Porto.
A sensible budget for remote workers looking to spend a year on the Portgual digital nomad visa can live comfortably on approximately €2,000 per month. This is, of course, dependent on individual spending habits, location, and accommodation requirements.
Healthcare in Portugal
The healthcare service in Portugal is rated as good with a ranking of 27/167 on the 2020 Legatum Prosperity Index (LPI). The healthcare system works on three levels in the country, the first of which is a national health service, the SNS. Digital nomads holding the visa that have applied for residency are granted access to this national health service, in the same way as Portuguese citizens.
All digital nomads, remote workers, and tourists are encouraged to invest in travel insurance that covers healthcare in Portgual when traveling to the country. This should be applied for in conjunction with a GHIC/EHIC where appropriate.
Portugal is proving incredibly popular following the pandemic with routine holidaymakers, international remote workers, and digital nomads.
The main cities of Lisbon and Porto are tried-and-tested nomad hotspots with fantastic infrastructure for remote working. Madeira offers a unique island destination and the Portuguese Algarve boasts a stunning coastline and picturesque towns and villages.
With low minimum income requirements, a visa duration of between one and five years, and the opportunity for full-time residency, the Portugal Digital nomad offers more than the standard visa. A change of scenery is just the start of what is available in the fashionable country.