Securing Portugal Permanent Residence through Visas

If you are an entrepreneur eyeing lucrative opportunities, Portugal's economy is ripe with potential. From the promising real estate sector to various other areas, the returns on investment are notably high. According to reports, this country is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, and seeing a growth in GDP of 1.2%.

However, temporary entry to this country lasts only 3 – 12 months, during which you have limited rights. To capitalize on Portugal's opportunities on a long-term basis, you can acquire a permanent residency visa. This document will give you nearly all the rights of Portuguese citizens. Additionally, it allows you to stay focused on your business through the extra years you have this visa.

In this article, we will explore the paths to Portugal’s permanent residency – including requirements, benefits, and how you can acquire it.

What Is a Portugal Residency Visa?

In Portugal, the residency visa is a legal document that allows you to reside there on a long-term basis. It gives you most of the rights that Portuguese citizens have. This visa grants residency rights, which means holders can stay in the country for an extended period, typically renewable after a certain period of time. However, it excludes some rights, such as access to a Portuguese passport, voting in elections, and holding public office. It is a popular option for those looking to experience Portugal's culture, lifestyle, and opportunities.

Requirements for Portugal Permanent Residence

To attain a Portuguese permanent residence, you need to meet the following criteria:

General Requirements For All Applicants

  • A Valid Passport
  • 2 Recent Photographs
  • A Valid Portuguese Visa/Temporary Residence Permit
  • Proof of Accommodation in Portugal
  • Proof You Have Lived in Portugal for 5 Consecutive Years
  • Proof of Private Health Insurance
  • Evidence Of Financial Funds to Reside in This Country 
  • A Criminal Certificate
  • Proof of an Income Source

For EU Citizens and Their Family Members

Portugal has agreements with other European countries that facilitate your visa application. This allows these citizens to request a permanent residency so long as they have lived there for 5 consecutive years.

For Non-EU/EEA Citizens

If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) but your family members live there, you will need to meet these other requirements:

  • Submit your application before your visa expires
  • Parental consent for applicable dependents
  • Family certificate
  • Proof of living with a European citizen for 5 years

Regardless of the type of permit you currently have, if you are not a European Union or European Economic Area citizen, your criminal records cannot include a crime with a sentence that is punishable with over a year in prison. Otherwise, the government will reject your application.

The Benefits of the Portuguese Permanent Residence Visa

With a permanent residency visa, you receive the following benefits:

1: Favorable Tax Programs:

As a non-habitual resident, this visa gives you access to a flat tax rate of 20% earned in this country during your first 10 years of living there. Plus, you do no't need to pay tax on your foreign employment income or capital gains to the Portuguese government.

2: Visa-Free Travel:

This visa allows you to journey to Schengen countries without a visa application.

3: Portuguese Education:

You and your dependents will be able to study in Portugal without having to apply for a student visa.

4: Family Reunification:

Your family members can join you in Portugal through the family reunification application.

5: Path to Portuguese Citizenship:

Once you have a permanent residence visa, you can begin the application for Portuguese citizenship. Then, you will have all the rights that Portuguese nationals have access to.

How to Apply to Get a Portugal Permanent Residence

Once you have met the permanent residency requirements, you can start to apply for it.

Collect the Required Documents

The first step in your permanent residency application is to collect the required documents, including the application form. These documents should all either be in English or Portuguese.

Additionally, your documents may require legalization, such as with a notary, to make them legally binding. If you require help parsing out which documents need this process, you can seek help from an immigration lawyer.

Schedule a Meeting With SEF

Now that you have gathered all the documents you need to apply for this visa, you should schedule a meeting with the Immigration and Borders Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras or SEF) via a phone call to their call center.

Submit Your Application

After you have scheduled a meeting, you should wait for the agreed-upon date for you to submit your application and the relevant documents.

Pay the Fee

When you have finished submitting your application, you will need to pay €15 for citizens of the European Union or European Economic Area and their family members. Otherwise, you need to pay €222.

The Paths to Portugal Permanent Residence

This country has facilitated acquiring long-term residence through the following:

  • D7 Visa: If you have a sufficient stable passive or remote income, you may be eligible for this visa. You can rely on experts such as Vancis Capital to guide you through this application. Once you have a D7 visa, you can apply for residency. After 5 years of living in this country, you'll be able to apply for permanent residence.
  • Highly Qualified Activity Visa: If you work in a highly appraised intellectual position such as a doctor, programmer, scientist, or manager, you might qualify for this visa. After you have received it, you will be able to apply for a 2-year residence permit. Once you have renewed it and 5 years have passed, you can apply for permanent residence.
  • EU/EEA Citizens: As a citizen of the European Union or European Economic Area, you should pursue this visa after living there for 5 continuous years.
  • Family Reunification: If you or your family members have received this visa, you can all move to this country via family reunification.
live in Portugal


You can live in Portugal on a long-term basis with a permanent residency visa. This visa is accessible after 5 consecutive years of living in the country and meeting other requirements such as proof of financial funds and housing. Some of the requirements will depend on the type of permit you currently have and whether you're a European citizen.

Once you have met these requirements, acquiring this visa is as simple as setting up a meeting with Portugal’s Immigration and Border Services department, submitting your application, and paying the fees. After reading our article, if you still have difficulty in any phase of getting a Portugal visa, you should contact experts like Vancis Capital who can help you with this.

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Get in touch to discuss how we can help you with your citizenship or residency by investment goals. One of our investment migration experts will contact you to discuss your case. With over 16 years of combined experience our team has helped hundreds of families achieve freedom.