D7 Visa stay requirement

Hi all,

I’ve been looking at D7 vs Golden Visa, and it seems to me the main difference to the holder is that under the D7 you actually have to stay in Portugal for a significant time each year. That said, in the various online searches I have found conflicting information about that time period. I’ve basically seen two things:

  1. You must stay at least 6 months consecutively or a total of 8 months if you come and go; or

  2. You cannot be away more than 6 months consecutively, or more than 8 months total if you come and go.

Since I plan to come and go, under number 1, I would have be in Portugal a total of 8 months through the year, but under number 2, I would only have to stay in Portugal for a total of 4 months through the year.

Does anyone know which is the correct interpretation?

Thanks In advance!


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Hi Alex, it would be number 2.

However, there’s an even bigger difference between the two visas: under the D7 you are likely to be caught by the Portuguese tax residence rules, in which case you might want to apply for the non-habitual residents regime.

Stay well and safe,


Agreed - almost - it’s #2. The time you can be outside of Portugal is not per year. It’s per the valid period of the residence permit. The D7 visa gets you in to Portugal, the residence permits let you stay. The initial permit, called the temporary residence permit, has a 2 year valid period. Subsequent residence permits have 3 year valid periods. If and when you are granted permanent residence you can be absent for 24 consecutive months or, for a period of three years, 30 interpolated months.

The law - https://sites.google.com/site/leximigratoria/lei-de-estrangeiros-alterada/cap-vi---residencia-em-territorio-nacional
Site is in Portuguese. Chrome browser translates using Brazilian Portuguese. To use European Portuguese, go to www.bing.com/translator. Paste the URL into the left hand box. Clicking on the URL in the right hand box opens the translated site in a new tab.

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Thank you both! So, just to be clear:

  • I cannot be gone for more than 6 months consecutively at any time during temporary residence
  • In the first 2 year period, I cannot be gone more than 8 months in total during the 2 years
  • After first renewal in the 3 year periods, I cannot be gone more than 8 months total during the 3 years

I think for the most part this wouldn’t be an issue, except that I operate a tour company to organize music tours. We will need to spend several weeks in Italy during each year to prep and conduct tours there. Particularly during the 3 year period, it’s possible total time out of the country will exceed 8 months considering both the tour trip and visits back to the US.

I understand there is some exemption that allows one to exceed these limits if for a work purpose. Does anyone know if that is challenging to claim or risky to assume in any way?

Thanks again!

You’re welcome. There is an exemption that may apply. See #s 3 and 4 at https://sites.google.com/site/leximigratoria/artigo-85-o-cancelamento-da-autorizacao-de-residencia

I’ve either forgotten or have yet to read online anyone claiming to have received an exemption.

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sorry i’m a bit confused by “consecutively” if i am in portugal in the first 2yrs on a D7 and need to leave for 2 weeks to come to USA and then go back to Portugal is that an issue? how many times could i do that? doesnt that break the consecutive rule? thank you.

Consecutively in this case means that you can go to USA (or elsewhere) not only for 2 weeks but up to 6 months in a raw (maximum), without coming back to Portugal.

‘Consecutive’ means one after another. If you go outside Portugal for 4 weeks, that’s 4 consecutive weeks. If you go outside for 2 weeks, return, then go outside for 2 weeks, that’s 2 periods of 2 consecutive weeks, and 4 interpolated* weeks.

*‘Interpolated’ is how google and bing translators convert Portuguese law into English. The American English equivalent of ‘interpolated’ is ‘total’.

Dan, others,

Thanks for all the useful information on this thread.
Dan - the link you shared says the following on exemption from the minimum stay requirement -

“4 - The residence permit for citizens who are absent for longer periods than those provided for in paragraph 2 is not canceled , when they prove that during their absence from national territory they developed professional or business activities or those of a cultural or social nature.”

Does anyone know whether having a job in the US is reason enough to justify the exemption? If not, anyone have more info on what types of professional justifications work best for exemption?

My understanding of item 4 is the professional exemption is for Portugal residents who leave the country to develop anything that will help there business in Portugal when they return. Portugal wants new residents who want to live in Portugal, not those who want to live here part time when it suits them.

In 3 years of reading expat forums and FB groups, I’ve yet to see a post or comment from someone who either asked for or received a #4 exemption.

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Thanks for your response Dan

What is one gets the D7 visa but does not apply for the residence permit? Will D7 visa be issued for multiple years?

A D7 visa has a 120 day valid period. If you have neither received or applied for the temporary residence permit within that period, you’d be breaking the law if you stayed in Portugal past the 120th day. Some visa types can be extended once. It has never been a concern for me, so I don’t know the details.

I’ve never read of anyone receiving a second D7. That makes sense because if you didn’t use the first D7 to start residence in Portugal, why would they be motivated to give you another one?

The only legal way I can see to extend your time in country with the D7 is don’t make an appointment to apply for the temporary residence permit until late in the D7 120 day valid period. If SEF (the immigration service) is backlogged, you could gain several months legal stay. But you’d have to either leave before the appointment date or go to the appointment.

Thanks. That closes the loophole I was imagining.