Portugal Retirement Visa For Canadians

A Canadian citizen wishing to live in Portugal as a retiree may apply for either a Portuguese D7 Visa or a Portugal Golden Visa.

For more information regarding how you can retire in Portugal, whether you meet the eligibility criteria, how much money you need, what supporting documents you will have to submit, and to receive bespoke advice from our expert immigration advisers, call us today on +1 844 290 6312.

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    Overview of Portuguese Retirement Visa

    The Annual Global Retirement Index 2022 puts Portugal among the world’s top five destinations to retire. Pleasant weather, low crime rate, high-quality healthcare infrastructure, freedom of travel across Europe, and an immigrant-friendly society are some of the reasons behind Portugal’s increasing popularity among retirees all over the world.

    EEA (the EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Swiss citizens do not need to apply for any visas to retire in Portugal.

    However, financially independent non-EEA/non-Swiss foreign nationals seeking to retire in Portugal may apply for the D7 Visa, also referred to as a Portuguese retirement visa or passive income visa. This is a non-investment route to retire in Portugal.

    Alternatively, non-EEA/non-Swiss foreign nationals may also choose the investment route to retire in Portugal by participating in the Portugal Golden Visa programme.

    Please keep in mind that the Portugal Golden Visa programme may be discontinued later in 2023, or may undergo certain significant structural changes. For example, some of the current qualifying investment options under this programme may cease to be altogether.

    A Canadian national can move to Portugal with their eligible family members holding either of the above visas. After five years, they will be eligible to apply for a permanent residency in the country or Portuguese citizenship.

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      Am I Eligible to Retire in Portugal?

      Overview

      Among all the eligibility requirements for either the D7 Visa or the Portuguese Golden Visa, the monetary criterion is the most crucial.

      To apply for a D7 Visa, you must meet a minimum threshold of passive income from pension or savings. On the other hand, you will be required to invest a certain amount in Portugal to be eligible for participating in the Golden Visa programme.

      In this section, we will be discussing the eligibility criteria in detail for both these visa options.

      Eligibility Requirements for a D7 Visa in Portugal

      To be eligible for the D7 Visa in Portugal, you must:

      • Be a non-EEA/non-Swiss foreign national
      • Be over 18 years of age
      • Have a regular passive income outside of Portugal of at least €760 (i.e. the minimum national wage in the country) per month, from foreign pension income, financial or transferable equity, savings, rental income from real estate, intellectual property etc.
      • Have at least 50% of the above amount for your spouse/civil partner and 30% for each of your dependent children, in addition, to accompany you to Portugal
      • Have no criminal record
      • Have an accommodation in the country
      • Must reside in the country for 183 consecutive days per calendar year

      As a D7 Visa holder, you can live, study and work in Portugal. Once you are in Portugal, you will have to apply at Immigration and Border Service (SEF) for a temporary residence permit.

      Your spouse/civil partner, dependent children under 21 years, and parents can accompany you under this visa category, as long as you continue to meet the income criteria for them specified in the above list.

      After five years of living in Portugal on your temporary residence permit, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residence permit in the country or Portuguese citizenship.

      Although adult foreign nationals of any age group can apply for a D7 Visa, it is most widely used by retirees, who are typically 55 years of age or older and not working any longer. Foreign national retirees over 65 may qualify for extra social security benefits in Portugal.

      Eligibility Requirements for the Portugal Golden Visa Programme

      The Portuguese government launched the Portugal Golden Visa programme in 2012. This is a route to Portuguese residency by investment for non-EEA/non-Swiss foreign nationals, which eventually leads to European citizenship.

      Since there is a minimum investment required to qualify for the Golden Visa, this option is more popular among wealthier retirees across the world.

      A Portuguese Golden Visa holder can reside, work and study in Portugal. Moreover, under family reunification principles, they may extend the Golden Visa to their spouses/civil partners, dependent children and siblings under 26 years of age, and parents.

      After five years, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residence in the country or Portuguese citizenship.

      To be eligible, you will need to:

      • Be a non-EEA/non-Swiss foreign national
      • Be over 18 years of age
      • Have no criminal record
      • Spend an average of seven days per year in the country, for five consecutive years
      • Make a qualifying investment in Portugal, such as:
        • Acquire real estate worth more than €500,000 in Portugal, or worth at least €400,000 if the property is situated in a low-density area in Portugal
        • Acquire real estate that is at least 30 years old, in an urban rehabilitation area in the country, and renovate it for a minimum of €350,000 (or for €280,000 if the property is situated in a low-density area in Portugal)
        • Make a capital transfer of at least €1 million to Portugal
        • Invest or purchase shares worth at least €1 million in a Portuguese business
        • Create at least ten new jobs through a company formation in Portugal
        • Donate at least €350,000 for research activities in science or technology in Portuguese research institutions, or at least €250,000 to support national heritage or arts reconstruction in Portugal

      Real estate acquisition and capital transfer options may soon, however, cease to be qualifying investment options under this programme.

      Moreover, please note that the Golden Visa programme may end in 2023, or go through significant structural changes. While the exact date for this has not yet been declared, it is advisable to speak with an immigration lawyer if you would like to explore your options under this programme before the Portuguese government changes the requirements or shuts it down completely.

      You can speak to our immigration experts on +1 844 290 6312 to discuss this further.

      What Supporting Documents Do I Need to Retire in Portugal?

      Overview

      The supporting documentation requirement varies depending on whether you are taking the non-investment route (i.e. the D7 Visa) or the investment route (i.e. the Golden Visa) to retire in Portugal. We have provided lists of supporting documents for both pathways in this section.

      However, kindly note that these lists are not exhaustive in nature. The Portuguese embassy/consulate processing your visa or SEF may ask you for additional supporting documents, during the visa application or during the processing of your temporary residence permit, based on your immigration circumstances.

      Please also note that all supporting documents must either be in English or in Portuguese language. If not, please get them translated by a certified translator and notarized.

      Moreover, certain public documents may need to be legalized if the home country of the concerned foreign national is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention.

      Canada has formally joined the Hague Apostille Convention abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents in 2023, so Canadian citizens seeking to immigrate to Portugal will not need to get their public documents legalized through a Portuguese embassy.

      Required Documents for the Portuguese D7 Visa

      • Passport, with at least six months’ validity
      • Two recent passport-size photos, in compliance with Schengen requirements
      • Signed and completed visa application form
      • Proof of passive income, meeting the minimum threshold applicable
      • A Portuguese taxpayer identification number (NIF)
      • Proofs of an active Portuguese bank account
      • Proof of accommodation in Portugal (property purchase documents, rental lease etc.)
      • A travel health insurance or international health insurance plan for expats
      • Birth certificate(s) or marriage certificate(s), as applicable for your dependents moving to Portugal with you
      • Criminal background clearance

      Required Documents for the Portugal Golden Visa Programme

      • Passport, with at least six months’ validity
      • Two recent passport-size photos, in compliance with Schengen requirements
      • Proof of the qualifying investment made in Portugal
      • A Portuguese taxpayer identification number (NIF)
      • Proofs of an active Portuguese bank account
      • A travel health insurance or international health insurance plan for expats
      • Birth certificate(s) or marriage certificate(s), as applicable for your dependents moving to Portugal with you
      • Criminal background clearance

      Please keep in mind that although Portuguese citizens and permanent residents can avail free healthcare services covered by the public health insurance system in Portugal known as the Servicio Nacional de Saúde (SNS), the temporary resident permit holders or Golden Visa residence card holders cannot avail of this facility.

      So, after settling in Portugal, you may continue with your international insurance policy or change to a Portuguese private health insurance.

      Our immigration team can increase the chances of obtaining the right to live and retire in Portugal. Contact Us

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        How Do I Apply for a Portuguese D7 Visa?

        The Portuguese D7 Visa application process begins with downloading the relevant form from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website, and arranging for all relevant supporting documents.

        Do note that you can have a power of attorney to obtain your NIF, without the need to enter Portugal in person. This is your legal taxation number in Portugal, which allows you to carry out fiscal activities in the country.

        Once you have your NIF, you can remotely open a bank account in Portugal before travelling to the country. You will have to keep a minimum account balance equal to 12 months’ income (i.e. €9,120 or more depending on the number of your accompanying family members) in your Portuguese bank account before proceeding with your visa application.

        Once you have completed the form and arranged for the required documents, please get in touch with the concerned Portugal embassy or consulate in your locality.

        Portugal has an Embassy in Ottawa and Consulates-General in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, with their specified areas of jurisdiction for providing consular services. Canadian nationals must check the website of the Embassy of Portugal in Canada to confirm where they need to apply for a Portuguese D7 Visa, based on their place of residence in Canada.

        You will need to make an appointment with the appropriate Portuguese embassy/consulate in your case to submit the visa application and supporting documents. You may need to pay your visa application fee before the appointment. In some cases, you will have to pay the application fee on the date of application itself.

        If your visa application is successful, you will receive a D7 Visa, on which you can travel to Portugal. Once you arrive in Portugal, please schedule an appointment with SEF to apply for your residence permit.

        How Do I Apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa?

        The application process for a Portuguese Golden Visa is different from that for a D7 Visa. SEF has a separate application portal for Golden Visa applicants.

        The Portuguese Golden Visa application process begins with finalizing the qualifying investment option you would like to go for.

        Once you have finalized your choice of investment, be it real estate acquisition, capital transfer or donation, you will have to get your NIF and subsequently open a Portuguese bank account. Both can be done by your legal representatives in Portugal, without your physical presence in the country.

        After getting NIF and opening your bank account in Portugal, you will have to make the investment in the country before you start with your online Golden Visa application process.

        You will have to submit your pre-application online to SEF. This can be done through your legal representatives as well.

        SEF will notify you of available dates for a biometrics appointment, after analyzing your application. On your chosen appointment date, please visit the corresponding SEF office in person along with your dependents (who will accompany you to Portugal), to submit your biometric details, and finalize your application.

        If your application is successful, you and your dependents will receive your Golden Visa residence cards.

        Processing Time

        It may take four to six months for processing a D7 Visa. This visa is valid for four months. Once you arrive in Portugal, you will have to get in touch with SEF within these four months to apply for a temporary residence permit.

        The Portugal Golden Visa processing may take between eight to 10 months. SEF may take up to six months to approve your application and provide you (and your dependents) with a biometrics appointment date. After the in-person interview, it may take around four months to receive your Golden Visa residence cards.

        Fees

        You will have to pay a fee of €90 for a D7 Visa processing. SEF will charge a fee of €83 to process your residence permit application. You will need to pay an additional €72 to receive your residence permit card from SEF.

        A Golden Visa processing fee is €533 for the main applicant, and €83 for each dependent family member. This fee will need to be paid for your initial application as well as for every subsequent renewal. In addition, you will have to pay a fee of €5,325 per person for the initial application, and €2,663 per person at each renewal.

        In addition, you will have to pay legal fees and applicable taxes on your qualifying investment for the Golden Visa route.

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          Validity and Renewal of a Portuguese D7 Visa

          A D7 Visa is valid for four months, and is meant for non-EEA/non-Swiss foreign national retirees to travel to Portugal to apply for their temporary residence permits. A temporary residence permit for retirement in Portugal is initially valid for one year. This can subsequently be renewed twice, each time for two years, therefore adding up to a maximum of five years.

          After five years, you can apply for permanent residency in Portugal or citizenship if you meet all other specified terms and conditions thereof.

          Validity and Renewal of a Portuguese Golden Visa

          The initial Golden Visa residence card is valid for two years. Between 30-90 days prior to the expiration date of your initial Golden Visa residence card, you will have to repeat the above SEF appointment process to renew your card.

          For your Golden Visa card renewal, you must again submit your up-to-date documentation, biometrics, and pay the application processing fee. A renewed Golden Visa residence card will be valid again for two years.

          Golden Visa residence card holders, who have met the residency requirement of at least seven days per calendar year in Portugal for five consecutive years, may apply for permanent residence or citizenship in Portugal. Once you are a citizen or permanent resident in Portugal, you do not need to maintain your Golden Visa investment made previously.

          What If My Application Has Been Refused?

          If your visa application has been refused, you may take the below course of actions:

          • Lodge a formal complaint at your concerned Portuguese embassy/consulate within 15 days from receiving the visa refusal notice
          • Appeal at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within three months after receiving the notice
          • Initiate legal action at the Administrative Court of Lisbon Circle within three months after receiving the notice

          How can Total Law Help?

          A Canadian national can retire in Portugal along with their eligible family members either by obtaining a D7 Visa and subsequently a temporary residence permit, or via the Portugal Golden Visa programme. You will need to choose your preferred route depending on your personal circumstances.

          Even if you meet the eligibility criteria, please pay due diligence while filling up the relevant forms and arranging for all relevant supporting documents.

          Appealing a Portuguese visa refusal is a lengthy and expensive process. Instead, you should focus on getting the application right the first time. As such, it is advisable to consult an immigration lawyer before as well as during your visa application process.

          Speak to Total Law.

          Our team of sympathetic immigration advisers have the required legal expertise to assist you, regardless of the complexity of your case.

          If you are seeking overall advice with your D7/Golden Visa application or you would like an immigration expert to complete your application on your behalf, we are happy to help. Our legal team also offers document and application checking services, in case you just need a final check to confirm that your documents and application adhere to SEF regulations.

          To discuss further about how we can help you, do reach out to us today on +1 844 290 6312 to speak to one of our immigration lawyers.

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                    FAQ

                    Portugal is one of the least expensive countries to retire in Europe. However, your cost of living in the country will depend on your lifestyle as well as where in Portugal you would like to settle.

                    For example, €1,500 per month is a reasonable amount if you plan to settle in a smaller town or on the outskirts. Cities such as Lisbon, Cascais, or Porto come with a higher cost of living, but you should still be comfortable with a budget of €2,000-€2,500 per month.

                    Yes. You and your dependent family members can live, work, and study in Portugal for both the visa categories.

                    Yes, but please make sure you understand the Portuguese rules and regulations for bringing pets to the country, including the microchipping, identification and vaccination requirements.