Portugal is One of the First Countries to Grant Visas to Digital Nomads
Portugal has been attracting an increasing number of people from across the world who want to live and work remotely from our country. The mild climate and beautiful landscapes make Portugal an appealing destination, and perfect for digital nomads looking to escape colder climates.
What are Digital Nomads?
With the advances in technology and the constant evolution of the professional world, we have had to adapt to a new kind of reality when it comes to how and where people work. Digital nomads are individuals with the capacity to work remotely from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a strong and stable internet connection.
Portugal is one of the first countries to create a visa of this type, suitable for remote workers. The aim is to attract not only foreign citizens, but also Portuguese citizens who had left Portugal, to come and work from our country. The aim isn’t just to draw people to the big cities of Lisbon and Porto, but also to the countryside, which will help contribute to the development of our country.
This is a temporary stay visa and residence permit that allows workers to legally work from Portugal for up to one year. Until now, many people used to use the tourist visa or the D7 model, mainly intended for retired people. Digital nomads wishing to work from Portugal may now do so legally without having to go through the process of applying for a D7 visa, which comes with a number hurdles for remote workers. The application process has been open since the 30th of October in Portuguese consulates and in the Foreigners and Borders Service.
To apply for a visa, only two requirements are necessary: proof of average monthly income over the last 3 months, which must be a minimum of 2820€, or four times the national minimum wage (currently 705€) and a document proving the applicant's fiscal residence.
One of the fiscal benefits of this visa is that the Portuguese state will offer these workers the possibility to reduce IRS on their incomes to 20%, instead being charged the progressive rates, which go up to 48%.
Digital nomads often have higher purchasing power than national workers, and this will undoubtedly bring an added value for our country, as it will contribute to the growth of the national economy and give a boost to the economy in the interior of the country.
Will these "new" workers increase the pressure on the real estate market?
Digital nomads are usually in one place for two to three months, at most six. They will not be the ones who will increase pressure on the real estate sector, instead this pressure is brought by those who come with the intention to stay in the country for a much longer period of time.
The trick here is to decentralise! Portugal is a fantastic place to live and there's a lot more than Lisbon or Oporto to show these workers. It was for this reason that the Digital Nomad Association was created in August, with the aim of attracting digital nomads to inland regions. Workshops were created by local authorities and businessmen to help give these workers an insight into what different parts of Portugal have to offer.
Portugal has invested greatly in its digital infrastructure over the last several years. This means that even outside of cities, high speed and stable internet are available to those who require it. Both the speed and coverage of fibre optic broadband in Portugal is better than in many other European countries.
The Portuguese people are known throughout the world for their hospitality and welcoming nature, and it is up to us to put this vision into practice. We need to show what a fantastic lifestyle Portugal offers with its coastline, nature sites, history and culture. If we are able to do this properly, then it is almost certain this programme will be a success!