Portugal Retirement Visa For Citizens Of Pakistan: An Overview
Portugal is an increasingly popular retirement destination for those looking to move abroad in their retirement. However, if you do not have EU citizenship, you are likely to need a Retirement visa in order to retire there.
If you are a Pakistani citizen looking to retire in Portugal, the chances are that you will need a Retirement visa.
There are two main visa routes which non-EU citizens can take in order to retire in Portugal.
These are the Retirement visa (otherwise known as the D7 or the Passive Income visa) and the Portugal Golden visa. These visa types both provide routes for non-EU citizens to retire in Portugal, and both are increasingly popular with Pakistani citizens.
It is very likely that Portugal’s Golden visa programme will be discontinued this year. However, in the meantime, the details of the programme are as described in this article.
- Portugal Retirement Visa For Citizens Of Pakistan: An Overview
- Portugal Retirement Visa Eligibility Requirements For Pakistani Citizens
- The Portugal Golden Visa: A Retirement Option For Those Looking to Invest
- What Documents Will I Need for a Retirement Visa?
- How To Apply For The Portuguese Retirement Visa
- What Are Retirement Visa Application Fees?
- The Application Processing Time
- How Long Does the Retirement Visa Last?
- Can I Bring My Family With Me?
- Portugal Permanent Residency & Citizenship
- Which Visa Option Is Best For Me?
- How Can Total Law Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
Retirement (D7) Visa
In order to be eligible for a Portuguese Retirement visa, you will need to satisfy the following conditions:
- Not be a citizen of the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland
- Have a passive income which is at least €760 a month. Note that this income can come from a range of sources, including pensions, real estate, transferable equity, and intellectual property. You will need to open a Portuguese bank account in order to demonstrate that you have sufficient passive income
- Provide evidence of acceptable accommodation within Portugal
- Reside in Portugal for more than 183 consecutive days each year
In order to be eligible for a Portuguese Golden visa, you will need to satisfy some slightly different conditions:
- Not be a citizen of the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland
- Invest at least €280,000 in Portugal. Note that there are different investment options from which you can choose, which will be discussed in the next section.
- Intend to reside in Portugal for at least 7 days during the first year of your visa and at least 14 days during each 2-period after the first year
- Have a clean criminal record. Note that this will also be important if you go on to apply for Portuguese citizenship
The Portugal Golden Visa: A Retirement Option For Those Looking to Invest
As already mentioned, the Portuguese Golden visa is one of the two visa options most commonly pursued by Pakistani citizens wanting to retire in Portugal.
If you are in a financial position to invest in Portugal, or wish to purchase Portuguese property, the Golden visa might be the best option for you. Whilst the programme is likely to be discontinued this year, the investment options which the programme offers as things stand are outlined in this section.
However, not all investment is sufficient. Only certain types and amounts of investment are eligible for Portugal’s Golden visa. These are as follows:
- Purchasing property which has a value of at least €280,000 which is in a low-density region
- Purchasing for renovation a property which has a value of at least €300,000 and which is over 30 years old
- Purchasing a property which has a value of at least €400,000, which was built within the last 30 years, and is in an area which is sparsely populated
- Purchasing a property for at least €500,000. At this price point, the property can be new and/or commercial real estate
- Transferring at least €1 million in capital to Portugal
- Either investing €1 million in a Portuguese company or purchasing shares of that value
- Donating to research in a Portuguese research institution, at a value of at least €350,000
- Donating to Portuguese national heritage or arts reconstruction, at a value of at least €250,000
Note that the Golden visa is not exclusively open to retirees. However, it is a visa option which is commonly pursued by retirees who are looking to invest in Portugal and who wish to move to either Portugal or to the EU more generally.
What Documents Will I Need for a Retirement Visa?
There are a number of documents which you will require in order to apply for a Retirement visa in Portugal. These are as follows:
- Your passport, which must be valid for at least 6 more months
- 2 passport photos, which are in keeping with Portuguese passport requirements
- A Portuguese residence visa application form, which can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal website.
- Proof that you have sufficient passive income to support yourself when in Portugal, as outlined in the previous section
- Proof that you will have acceptable accommodation within Portugal
- Proof of health insurance. You must have travel insurance with medical coverage or an international health insurance plan
- Your birth certificate (and marriage certificate, if applicable)
- Proof that you have never been charged with a crime for which the punishment is at least one year in prison
All of the required documents must be submitted in either English or Portuguese. If the documents are not already in either of these languages then you can have them translated by an authorised translator and then signed by a notary.
How To Apply For The Portuguese Retirement Visa
There are a number of steps which you must complete when applying for a Portuguese Retirement visa.
First, you must contact your local Portuguese embassy or consulate in order to submit your visa application. In the case of Pakistan, there is a Portuguese embassy and consular section in Islamabad. You will then need to make an appointment with the embassy or consulate and pay the visa application fee.
When you attend your appointment, you will need to submit all of the required documents. Your application will then be processed and you will need to wait for a response.
If the application is successful, you will now be able to enter Portugal. Upon arriving in Portugal, you will need to make an appointment with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) in order to apply for a residence permit. Note that this is a separate document to your visa.
In cases where your closest consulate or embassy is in a different country to your country of residence, it is sometimes possible to apply for a Portuguese visa by post.
What Are Retirement Visa Application Fees?
When applying to obtain a Retirement visa for Portugal, you will need to pay the following fees:
- €90 national visa fee
- €83 processing fee to the SEF
- €73 residence permit fee
However, the costs will differ significantly in the case of a Golden visa. As discussed earlier in this article, you will need to invest at least €280,000 in order to be eligible for the Portuguese Golden visa. This visa option is therefore better suited for those in a position to spend a greater amount in obtaining a Portuguese visa.
Note that, if you need to pay to get your documents translated into either Portuguese or English, this will add to the expense of the application. The exact cost will depend on the translator and notary whom you select.
The Application Processing Time
The processing time for your application will depend on the type of visa for which you are applying.
In the case of a Retirement visa, processing time is generally around 4 months. In the case of a Golden visa, it can take between 8-10 months for the application to be processed.
However, processing times will vary depending on the number of other applications currently being processed and whether your documents were submitted correctly and in full. In order to minimise delays, make sure that you have all the documents necessary when starting your application, and that all documents are translated into either Portuguese or English.
If you are concerned about ensuring that you have all the necessary documents for your application, contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to receive bespoke application advice.
How Long Does the Retirement Visa Last?
Your Retirement visa itself will be valid for 3 months. Once you arrive in Portugal, you will need to apply for a residence permit, which will then last you for up to a year.
After the year has passed, you can apply to extend the permit for two further 2-year periods, after which point you can apply for permanent residence or citizenship.
Can I Bring My Family With Me?
If you are married or in a long-term partnership, your partner may also be eligible for a Retirement visa in their own right. If so, they will need to make a separate visa application.
Another potential route which you can take to having your family join you in Portugal is if they obtain Family Reunification visas.
In this case, you can be joined by your spouse, children, or dependent first-degree relatives (i.e. parents, siblings, or children). However, in order to qualify for Family reunification visas, your passive income will need to be correspondingly higher: in addition to the initial €760 in passive income, you will need to provide evidence of a passive income which amounts to an additional 50% for each adult family member who will be joining you, and an additional 30% for each family member who is still a minor.
Portugal Permanent Residency & Citizenship
Once you have legally resided in Portugal for at least 5 years, you may then be eligible for Portuguese permanent residence or citizenship. This is true for both the Retirement visa and the Golden visa. Upon receiving Portuguese citizenship, you will be free to travel, work, and study across the entirety of the EU.
However, applying for Portuguese citizenship has further eligibility conditions which you must satisfy. For instance, you will need to demonstrate that you have had a clean criminal record for the duration of your time living in Portugal and that you have Portuguese language proficiency at least to the A2 level. You will also need to demonstrate that you have acceptable accommodation within Portugal.
Which Visa Option Is Best For Me?
Both the Retirement (D7) visa and the Golden visa are popular with Pakistani retirees. Both options allow you to reside in Portugal whilst also providing easy travel access to the rest of the EU. Portugal’s warm climate, breathtaking nature, and culturally rich cities will be available to you on either visa.
There are also no age limitations on either visa type, so long as you are over 18. Neither the D7 visa nor the Golden visa strictly require you to be a retiree; they are simply common visa choices for those seeking to retire in Portugal.
In the above respects, then, both the D7 visa and the Golden visa are good choices for those seeking to experience the lifestyle benefits of retiring in Portugal.
However, the financial requirements of the two visa types are very different. The passive income requirements of the D7 visa are significantly lower than the investment costs required for the Golden visa. As such, which visa type you pursue will largely depend on how much you are looking to spend. If you were already planning on purchasing property in Portugal, for example, the Golden visa may be best for you. If you have access to less capital, on the other hand, the D7 visa is likely to be a better choice.
If you are unsure which visa option is most suited to your circumstances, contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 and we can help you to work out which path is best for you.
How Can Total Law Help
Portugal is a country with a warm climate, a rich culture, and many opportunities for travel. Getting a Portuguese Retirement visa opens up the possibility of eventual Portuguese citizenship, and with it access to the rest of the EU. Retiring to Portugal is an option which many Pakistani citizens are now considering.
Without the right help, the process of applying for a Portuguese Retirement visa can be long and complex. This is especially true if you wish to be joined by your family, in which case you will need to submit separate visa applications for each family member. However, at Total Law we have many years of experience in helping clients with cases exactly like this. We can assist you with every stage of the application process, from choosing which type of visa is right for you, gathering and submitting the correct documents, and helping your spouse and family to join you in Portugal.
Contact Total Law today either on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or using our online contact form and receive bespoke immigration advice on your personal retirement journey.
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Portugal is a peaceful country with a good healthcare system and a warm climate. It provides easy travel access to the rest of the EU. It also offers a range of beaches, cities, castles, numerous areas of natural beauty, and many other enjoyable locations. Living in Portugal brings a wide range of culture, food, and travel options to your doorstep, and is an option pursued by an increasing number of Pakistani citizens.
For all of the above reasons, Portugal remains a desirable place to live and a popular route to gaining EU citizenship. What is more, due to recent tax changes, it is increasingly popular as a retirement destination. These new tax policies are outlined in the article.
The amount of money which you need in order to retire in Portugal depends on the type of visa for which you are applying. Generally speaking, you will be required to spend a greater amount of money when qualifying for a Golden visa. The specific details of the different costs are outlined in the article.
A Retirement visa alone will not legally authorise you to live in Portugal permanently. However, once the initial duration of your visa has expired, you can apply for an extension on your stay. Once you have resided legally in Portugal for at least 5 years, you can apply for Portuguese permanent residence or citizenship.
Once you have successfully obtained either Portuguese permanent residence or citizenship, you will be eligible to stay in Portugal permanently.
Assuming that they satisfy the eligibility conditions for their chosen visa, a foreigner can indeed retire in Portugal.
Note that, if you are a citizen of the EU but not a Portuguese citizen, you will still be eligible to retire in Portugal without a visa.
So long as you are over 18, there is no age limit for a Retirement visa in Portugal. You may be any age so long as you are able to satisfy the eligibility conditions of obtaining a Portuguese Retirement visa.
With the D7 visa, you will be eligible for a 10-year tax break in Portugal.
If you choose a Golden visa, via property investment, you will need to pay a transfer tax which is 6-8% of the property’s value. You will also need to pay stamp duty at 0.8%, in addition to an annual property tax. The annual property tax will be 0.4% of the property’s cadastral value.
Whilst working for a Portuguese company requires a separate visa, a D7 visa does allow you to work remotely for a non-Portuguese company. This can be one of the means through which you provide your passive income, for example.
The Portuguese Golden visa, on the other hand, does allow you to work in Portugal.
When providing evidence that you meet the passive income threshold, you will need to open a Portuguese bank account and provide a bank statement from that account. The statement will need to show an amount which is equivalent to 12 months worth of passive income.
Once you have received your residence permit, you will then be able to spend this money.