If you’ve ever imagined what it’d be like to take a break from the daily grind of the office and instead, travel while you work, then the Digital Nomad Visa may just be the solution for you!
In this article, we will look at the highlights from our recent webinar: Escape the office with the Digital Nomad Visa. Attendee’s were able to learn all about the visa and the benefits that come with it – take a read, or download the webinar to watch-back today.
What is a digital nomad visa?
Amid the global pandemic – now 3-years ago!! – Portugal attracted a host of digital nomads who desired it’s stunning scenery, vibrant outdoorsy lifestyle, reasonable living expenses, security, and clear residency rules.
Since the start of November 2022, Portugal has opened it’s doors to digital nomads and remote workers from any nation across the world; with an all new Digital Nomad Visa providing them with a residence permit to make their move as easy as possible.
This specific visa provides a perfect balance between the length of a tourist visa and the commitment of a residency permit. It facilitates those who want to make a living remotely; allowing them to take advantage of opportunities outside their home country.
Additionally, it safeguards the job market for citizens in the country of temporary residence by preventing digital nomads from competing with them for employment.
Who is eligible for the visa / what are the requirements?
To obtain the Digital Nomad Visa, you’re required to meet certain criteria before becoming eligible.
Eligibility criteria for the Digital Nomad Visa includes:
- Minimum 18-years of age
- Being a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen
- Generating a specific monthly income, of at least €3,040 per month for an individual
- Employer based outside of Portugal
- Provide evidence of health insurance
- Providing proof of a clean criminal record
Obtaining a digital nomad visa
Our highly qualified legal & administrative team are available to help you make your move to Portugal successful. We offer comprehensive guidance and services on visas, residence permits, taxes, corporate matters, and real estate.
Our process is to have a one on one call with you; so we can understand more about you, your situation and provide you with the right information you need!
It is so easy to get started, all we would need in order to get started is:
- A copy of your passport
- Signature of a power of attorney
- Proof of household composition (no. of dependents, their NIFs, marital status etc )
RHJ Law – part of the RHJ Group – can provide apostille and translation services, ensuring that all documents are legally certified and compliant in Portugal.
Paying tax with the digital nomad visa
Every Portuguese resident requires a NIF – a tax ID number in Portugal. As soon as the address on your NIF is switched to be a Portuguese address, you are no longer a tax resident of your previous country; you’re a tax resident of Portugal.
However, you may be able to reduce the amount of tax you pay with certain tax-friendly benefits such as the NHR programme. The NHR programme is a tax regime which offers expats and investors reduce tax rates, throughout Portugal.
Engaging in high-value activities helps you bring in money either directly or indirectly. For example, a web designer creating websites and showcasing their work result in revenue. As the amount of high-value activities increase, your proficiency also increases.
Within our one on one meeting, we’d ask questions to assess your personal circumstances and offer you advice on which tax route may be best for you.
Pros & cons of the digital nomad visa
From its vibrant metropolitan areas, breathtaking coastlines, and cost of living that’s comparably low; Portugal has attracted countless digital nomads. Online sources tend to regard it as one of the best places to work remotely, and for a valid cause.
The internet speed is among the quickest worldwide and co-working places can be found in abundance in the larger cities. Of the two main urban centres, Lisbon and Porto are considered the top destinations for the remote workers.
Furthermore, Ponta Do Sol, a small village situated on Madeira Island, is the chosen residence of many digital nomads.
But let’s explore some of the possible pros and cons together so you can be 100% sure that the Digital Nomad Visa is for you…
Why choose Portugal?
Those looking for the ideal blend of hard work, leisure, and excitement should definitely consider Portugal as their digital nomad destination. Some of the greatest advantages of this type of work in Portugal are mentioned below:
The list goes on…
Other countries which offer the digital nomad visa
Portugal may not be the top pick for everyone; so, we have a list of other nations that we are capable of helping you with – who also offer the Digital Nomad Visa.
Dubai’s innovative one-year virtual working program has opened its doors to digital nomads and remote workers. This flourishing city by the coast offers tax-free individual income, with the option to apply for the program from overseas or upon arriving in Dubai – for which you will require a valid visa.
- Length: 1 year
- Income to prove: €5,000 per month (over the last 3 months) plus proof of employment or proof of company ownership.
Malta, a small island country in Europe, offers the Nomad Residency Permit. This opportunity is available to non-European remote workers for an initial one-year period; with the potential for renewal. Boasting a countrywide 5G network, 300+ days of sun per year, and English as an official language; Malta is an ideal destination for digital nomads.
- Length: 1 year and can be renewed
- Income to prove: €2700 per month plus rental contract or property purchase
- You are a citizen of a third country
- You are a partner of a company registered outside Malta; or
- You are an employee for a company outside of Malta and have a contract with that company; or
- You are a consultant and offer freelance or consulting any different services for citizens outside of Malta with whom you have a contract.
Given that Malta introduced a visa for digital nomads; it was widely anticipated that Cyprus would soon follow suit. This visa grants non-EU citizens alike the ability to reside and work remotely in the island for a duration of twelve months; and can be extended for an additional two years. In order to obtain this visa, applicants must provide a police clearance certificate from their home country and valid private medical insurance.
- Length: 1 year can be renowned for 2 more years
- Income to prove: €3,500 per month after taxes
- Have at least $1,500 in your bank account for the last six months
Not sure the Digital Nomad Visa is for you? Review the alternatives
At RHJ Group, we understand that the Digital Nomad Visa may not be suitable for everyone looking to move to Portugal. That’s why we provide comprehensive assistance to find the best visa to fit your lifestyle.
INSTEAD, HERE PUT SOMETHING ABOUT – EXPLORE THE ALTERNATIVE VISAS FOR PORTUGAL AND LINK THROUGH TO THE RIGHT PAGE ON THE LAW SITE
D3 (Highly-skilled employee) visa – if you’re a highly qualified expert in your professional field, seeking residency in Portugal as an expat, the D3 visa is an excellent option to get you there.
Q&A’s from the webinar
If i’ve only just started earning €3,040+ am I able to start my application; or do I have to show so many months worth of wage slips?
We do recommend if you are applying for the Digital Nomad Visa, you show some consistency. What we advise is to be able to show at least 3 months worth of wage slips prior to your application, this is to show the Portuguese authorities you have a stable income.
If I own a place in Portugal, does that count as proof of residency?
Yes of course – renting is most popular but if you do want to purchase a property in Portugal / or if you already own a property in Portugal this counts towards proof of residency for your visa application.
There is a 1 year and 2 year residency version of the Digital Nomad Visa; can you confirm how that distinction is made within the application process?
There are 2 types of Digital Nomad Visa, during the webinar we focused on the Digital Nomad residency visa which grants you residency in Portugal and allows you to receive a 2 year residence card that can later on be renewed for another 3 years.
But the one year Digital Nomad Visa will not grant you residency; so is just a temporary visa that will allow you to live in Portugal for 1 year but does not allow you to become a tax resident and benefit from the tax programmes that Portugal has to offer.
So in terms of the process the 2nd visa is more simple and you do not have to provide as much documentation overall – but the big difference is that you would not become a tax resident.
In terms of the business plan needed when setting up a company in Portugal; what do I need to provide for this? Is this something you can help me with?
Yes; strategic business planning is something we offer at RHJ Accountants. We can work together to create a personal plan for your business – making sure you have all the relevant information the Portuguese authorities are looking for.
Do I need to open a bank account in Portugal?
Yes, as part of the application process you will need to open a bank account in Portugal. From the moment you apply for the Digital Nomad Visa your bank account should be open and therefore you can start to switch your salary over to this account; so you can show the Portuguese authorities you are now a Portuguese tax resident.
Is the minimum income of €3,040 for the Digital Nomad Visa required for every year I live in Portugal?
So during the visa application it is important to be earning the required income but during the 2 year residency in Portugal it is ok if your salary is then lower than the recommended €3,040. Then if you are wanting to renew your residency past the 2 years we advise that you return to earning the required salary again.
What is the difference between the Digital Nomad Visa and the Digital Nomad residency visa?
The main difference is that the Digital Nomad residency visa allows you to become a resident in Portugal for 2 years – and can then be renewed. Whereas the Digital Nomad Visa is just a 1 year temporary visa and does not give you residency in Portugal.
If I earn less than €2000 could I apply for the Digital Nomad Visa?
As a requirement of the visa application is to earn over €3,040 unfortunately you would not be able to apply for this specific visa. But we would advise you to book an appointment with us so we can discuss your specific situation and see which visa would be best for you.
I freelance using a UK Ltd company and then receive income using salary and dividends. For Portugal / Dubai can I still reduce taxes if I continue using the Ltd company for receiving money from my freelance contracts?
Yes, you can defiantly reduce your corporate taxes due to the high corporate tax rate in the UK compared to other countries such as Portugal & Dubai. But, we would recommend going through your situation specifically to run the numbers and look at how your savings would work out in Portugal or Dubai.