Portugal D7 minimum stay - how is it enforced?


So for the Portugal D7 visa, there is a minimum physical presence requirement.

But how do they actually enforce this? Do they look at the stamps on your passport when you renew the visa?

If you leave Portugal by land and go van-life within the Schengen zone, they wouldn’t be able to know it right? Because there are no border checks. What about leaving the Schengen zone?

NIF numbers used in daily transactions, credit card charges, ATM withdrawals, restaurant charges, hotel reservations, an emergency room visit, all of the day-to-day activities that are recorded somewhere will be fodder for proof. The burden of proof will be on you to prove you were there, not on them to prove you were not.

Why would you need to prove any of that as long as you’ve spent 5 years with a residence permit and you meet basic requirements to apply for citizenship?

From my research, they don’t check any of that and they don’t care about the minimum limit requirement as long as you have proper ties to Portugal, e.g you spend about 6 months a year there, you have a permanent-ish address, you speak the language, you have ties to community

My question as well. I know the data EXISTS. Just can’t believe it is actually checked give competence of SEF? I’ve searched and searched for a story of a rejection from D7 residency renewal. Can’t find one.

My guess is that if you have stamp(s) in your passport and confirmed lodging for the required time, you have made your case that you met the residency requirement. I think it is unreasonably bureaucratic (even for Europe) to ask you to show daily receipts for 6 months. However, if for some reason they don’t believe that you were really present for the time you said, they would probably ask for more proof. That is just my guess really but it seems reasonable.

Have you found a story of someone who became a citizen after residing for 5 years via D7?

Yes I have. D7 is at least 10x more popular than GV


The Comments section (not reader’s comments) of Article 85 explains why there there is a limit to absences:

"3 — Paragraph 1 provides for situations in which a foreign citizen cannot continue to reside in national territory.

Paragraph 2 provides for cases in which the resident has ceased to reside in the country, not because he himself declared it, but because of manifest indications to that effect, based on prolonged absences, and without reasonable reasons, from the national territory."
“These prolonged absences indicate that the holder of the authorization no longer resides in the country, maintaining the title of resident for reasons of convenience, due to the facilities that it grants him, namely for the purposes of entry and circulation in the European Union.”

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