On October 30th, Portugal announced the launch of a new digital nomads visa program, making it possible for freelancers and remote workers to live in Portugal. So if you seek a unique opportunity for a change of scenery and to live a life with more freedom, this new residence visa is tailor-made for you.
In March 2022, the Portuguese Ministry of Labor and Social Cohesion published “The Green Book for the Future of Work,” a white paper that sheds light on the importance of Digital Nomads as an essential component of the workforce. Digital Nomads are already contributing to the Portuguese economy, with cities such as Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Lagos, and Madeira often making them the most sought-after destinations for Digital Nomads. Amongst the recommendations of “The Green Book for the Future of Work” was the creation of a dedicated framework that eases the process for Digital Nomads interested in relocating to Portugal and that also grants them access to a residence permit, social security, healthcare, and access to suitable places for remote work.
A few months later, starting from the beginning of November 2022, Portugal introduced a new residence visa dedicated to digital nomads who can now enjoy living and working in Portugal. This article will walk you through everything you need to know to start your journey as a digital nomad in Portugal. In doing so, we will cover the following points:
- What is Digital Nomadism?
- What is Portugal’s Digital Nomads Visa?
- What are the Types of Portugal’s Digital Nomads Visa?
- Who is Eligible for Portugal’s Digital Nomads Visa?
- How to Apply to Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa?
- Why Portugal?
- Why The Algarve?
- Why The Algarve Tech Hub?
- Why GrowIN Portugal?
- How to Get Started with your Journey to Portugal?
- Bonus Read: Top 10 Spots for Digital Nomads in the Algarve
What is Digital Nomadism?
Our lives, work, and even our way of traveling have changed with the Covid-19 pandemic. The boundaries between work and leisure are shrinking, and the pandemic has reinforced digital nomadism. Several countries currently target digital nomads to attract and tap into a new client type; professionals interested in working remotely from these places. A digital nomad can hence experience a local culture for more extended periods than a tourist on a short vacation. Over the past few months, various countries introduced Digital Nomads Visas, and Portugal, one of the most attractive destinations for Digital Nomads, is no exception.
What is Portugal’s Digital Nomads Visa?
The Portuguese Digital Nomads Residence Visa is for self-employed, freelancers, and remote workers who can demonstrate that they earn an income of no less than €2800 per month, which corresponds to four times the current Portuguese minimum wage.
What are the Types of Portugal’s Digital Nomads Visa?
There are two types of Portugal’s Digital Nomads Visa:
- The “Digital Nomads Temporary Stay Visa” with one year of validity and a renewal option is for those who want to stay for a couple of months in Portugal, and
- The “Digital Nomads Residence Visa” with one year or more of validity is for those who want a more extended stay to obtain Portuguese residence and qualify for citizenship after five years of lawfully residing in Portugal.
Who is Eligible for Portugal’s Digital Nomads Visa?
The main requirements to be eligible for Portugal’s Digital Nomads Visa are:
- Be self-employed, a freelancer, or a remote worker employed by a company based outside of Portugal
- Earn at least four times the Portuguese minimum wage per month – roughly €2,800.
- Be a national of a non-European country,
How to Apply for Portugal’s Digital Nomads Visa?
To apply for Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa, you must either:
- If you are outside of Portugal: Contact the Portuguese Consulate or Embassy in your home country or your current country of residence, or
- If you are in Portugal: Contact the SEF (Portugal’s Immigration and Border Service) near your current place of residence in Portugal.
Portugal is a warm country with good food, well-established infrastructure, a rich culture, a reasonable cost of living, the third safest country on earth, public health and education, easy-going people, and a convenient time zone for international work. What else to ask?
But the most important thing is that the Portuguese government wants foreigners with the potential to add value to the country to be part of its present and future. “Portugal is a country of immigration that needs immigrants, that needs and benefits from the contribution of immigrants to its demographics to its economy to its culture.”, said Ana Catarina Mendes, Portugal’s Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
With this newly launched Portuguese Digital Nomads Visa, more people will be able to contribute to the country’s growth as new residents. It is now a reality that one can work for a company in Hong Kong and live an extraordinary life in this beautiful Iberian country. That’s pretty amazing.
Why The Algarve?
Located in the south of Portugal, the Algarve has about 5000 square kilometers and 467,000 inhabitants, corresponding to 4.5% of the Portuguese population. Over the last ten years, the Algarve has seen the development of several projects to make it a tourist destination of excellence and a technological ecosystem of reference.
Besides its mild climate with 300 days of sunshine per year and its paradisiacal beaches, the region has a flourishing economy. With good internet access, quality of workspaces, and the acceptance of foreigners, Algarve offers excellent opportunities for Startups, Entrepreneurs, Remote Workers and Digital Nomads from all over the world.
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, starting a business in Portugal is easier than in Belgium or Italy. In the 2020 edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard, Portugal ranks as a “strongly innovative” country, and the Algarve is considered an “Emerging Innovator +.”
Why The Algarve Tech Hub?
In the Algarve, there is a shared vision amongst technology companies, startups, local authorities, and the central government to develop a robust ecosystem, attracting international players and technological talent.
Inaugurated in early 2022, The UAlg Tec Campus allies technological projects, knowledge, research centers, university students, entrepreneurs, and innovative companies. It’s a perfect showcase of the Algarve Tech Hub vision that brings together the Algarve STP Association (Systems and Technology Partnership), the Algarve Evolution Association, and the University of the Algarve.
Furthermore, the Algarve is part of the European Catalog of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH), which aims to stimulate the adoption of advanced digital technologies by technology companies, especially SMEs, through the development, testing, and experimentation of these technologies.
More importantly, the Algarve Tech Hub welcomes Digital Nomads and offers them opportunities for networking and attending various events, such as the Algarve Tech Hub Summit and the Web Summit in Lisbon.
Why GrowIN Portugal?
In Faro, the capital of the Algarve, GrowIN Portugal is one of the best communities where one could obtain all necessary guidance and support services to relocate and thrive in Portugal. Furthermore, it provides spacious, light-filled offices with quality equipment, a guest house dedicated to Digital Nomads, and the opportunity to be part of a unique community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
As a matter of fact, GrowIN Portugal and its bold vision to contribute to the Algarve’s economical growth and diversity has already attracted a large number of startups, entrepreneurs and digital nomads to the region, resulting in the following:
- Creation of direct and indirect jobs,
- Empowerment of youth,
- Transfer of know-how and knowledge,
In 2022 alone, the total revenues from GrowIN Portugal’s community account for more than 30 Million Euros, being undoubtedly the preferred gateway for bright minds wanting to launch and grow their businesses in the Algarve.
This video, courtesy of Deutsche Welle, is for anyone who would like to understand the mission, vision, and history of GrowIN Portugal.
How to Get Started with your Journey to Portugal?
While there are so many reasons why anyone who is looking for the ideal place to relocate as a Digital Nomad to choose Portugal, it’s a fact that administrative processes can be daunting and time-consuming for those who are unfamiliar with Portuguese law, hence, seeking professional advice and guidance is highly advisable to ensure a smooth Digital Nomadism experience in Portugal.
Bonus Read: Top 10 Spots for Digital Nomads in the Algarve
Bellow are the 10 best digital nomad spots in the Algarve, where you can work and relax in a privileged area of Europe:
1 – Local Guesthouse Sagres – CoLiving & CoWorking, in the heart of the Sagres village and close to the beaches, is a place to work, live and relax.
2 – Cocoland – A space that fits all the nomads’ needs to feel at home, be productive, and be part of a valuable community.
3 – Lagos Digital Nomads – A community of digital nomads that offers you all that you might need to settle and enjoy the western coast of the Algarve.
4 – Hub Ativo – A Coworking space in Portimão city center with offices, training and meeting rooms.
5 – Al-Gharb Coffee Roasters – The first coffee roastery in the Algarve is a great place to work for digital nomads. They can relax in the garden while enjoying a great coffee, an ideal location for coffee-loving digital nomads.
6 – Mucancas – A Coworking space right in the center of Loulé.
7 – Regus – Located in Quinta do Lago, an area known for its extensive golf courses and beautiful landscapes, Regus has office spaces, Coworking environments, business rooms and meeting rooms.
8 – Faro Avenida – A new concept of workspace in the center of Faro, in the capital of the Algarve.
9 – Alandra Square – It’s a new community space in a prime location in Faro for freelancers, startups and small businesses, offering conditions for any business with the ambition to grow.
10 – Calçada Guesthouse – If you are looking for a genuinely authentic Algarve experience, then Calçada Guesthouse, Tavira is the ideal accommodation to relax, work and discover the beautiful town of Tavira.