Work Remotely From Portugal (And Do It Legally)

Work Remotely From Portugal lady

You don’t need to be a citizen to work remotely from Portugal. Non-citizens can work as freelancers or remote employees for up to six months without paying local taxes on their income. However, there are some grey areas you should know about.

To work remotely from Portugal, you’ll need a source of income and a place to stay. You’ll also need to be aware of various legal implications. Let’s start with what to watch out for.

Where are taxes paid when working remotely in Portugal?

You run an online business and are self-employed, but want to travel the world while you work. If you set up shop and work remotely from Portugal for 183 days or less, you don’t have to worry about income tax implications.

For all intents and purposes, you remain a citizen and resident of your home country. You don’t have to apply in advance for a visa or anything special.

But once you go past 183 days, you’re legally a tax resident in the eyes of Portuguese law. That means you have to start filing income tax returns within Portugal and pay taxes to the Portuguese government.

Do I need a Digital Nomad Visa?

While Portugal does not require you to apply for a digital nomad visa, you can apply for a D7 Visa and Resident Permit. Applying for a D7 Visa and Resident Permit is highly recommended if you intend to work remotely from Portugal for longer than six months.

This visa and permit are geared toward non-European Union citizens who are earning income. Your income can also be passive, meaning you’re earning money from intellectual property rights or affiliate business models.

After you have lived in Portugal for at least five years, you can apply for citizenship. If you don’t want to apply for a D7 Visa and Resident Permit, you have the option of applying for a Portugal Self-Employment or Entrepreneur Visa.

Portugal Visa Processing Time

Processing times for a Portugal visa can vary depending on the type of visa, and the specific circumstances of the application. It’s important to note that visa processing times are subject to change and can be influenced by various factors such as the volume of applications, the complexity of the case, and the current workload of the visa processing centre.

Usually, the processing time for a short-term Schengen visa to Portugal is around 15 calendar days; but it’s always advisable to check with the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your country or the official website of the Portuguese immigration authority for the most up-to-date information on processing times.

For long-term visas, such as work visas or study visas, the processing time can be longer, usually ranging from several weeks to a few months, depending on the specific circumstances of your application.

Again, it’s crucial to verify the current processing times by consulting the official sources mentioned above, as they can provide the most accurate and recent information regarding visa processing times for Portugal.

Implications of the Portuguese Self-Employment Visa

With a Portugal Self-Employment Visa, you’ll have to provide evidence that you’ll be delivering services to locals and working with Portuguese businesses. You’ll be able to travel without a visa within Schengen countries.

These countries include Austria, France, Greece, Hungary, Germany, Finland, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Malta, Slovakia, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Sweden.

If you believe your business will be providing services to locals or companies within Portugal, the Self-Employment Visa may be the better route. However, if you’re going to be working with clients and companies outside of Portugal, it’s best to use the D7 Visa route.

Applying for a Portuguese Entrepreneur Visa

A Portugal Entrepreneur Visa is best if you plan on starting a Portugal-based business. You’ll eventually be expected to hire employees and contribute to the local economy. Your business idea also has to be 100% original.

Obviously, this is not the ideal choice for a digital nomad or someone working as an independent contractor.

But if you see yourself establishing roots in Portugal and starting an original business from scratch, an Entrepreneur Visa can serve you well until you gain citizenship.

Can a European Union Citizen work in Portugal?

If you’re a citizen of the European Union, you can travel through, live, and work in Portugal reasonably freely. If you plan on staying for more than 20 days, you should apply for a Temporary Stay Visa; which allows remote workers to stay for up to a year without becoming a resident.

Being a European Union Citizen comes with more freedom than other citizens of the world wanting to make Portugal their home. You should apply for a residence permit if you stay more than three months. You’ll also need to file and pay local income taxes if you stay long.

Do you need to speak portuguese to work in portugal?

English is widely spoken in Portugal, so you won’t necessarily have to learn Portuguese to communicate. Major cities like Lisbon also tend to have sizeable ex-pat communities. You may feel more comfortable settling into an area like this.

If you decide to learn Portuguese, you may find it takes the same amount of effort as learning Spanish. Travellers and remote workers who already know some Spanish may have a shorter learning curve than those who don’t.

What’s the Weather Like in Portugal ?

If the climate is part of your decision to work from Portugal, you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you like warm weather and sunshine. The weather tends to be warm to hot in the spring and summer. Winters are mild and cooler.

You’ll find that the temperature stays between 47 and 83 degrees on average. Winters can involve more rain and wind. Usually, there are between five and six hours of sunshine each day.

Population and Tourism in Portugal

Digital nomads who want to work in Portugal temporarily may want to consider population density and tourist seasons. For instance, some people prefer to avoid crowds and densely populated areas.

If this describes you, plan on working remotely during the fall, spring, or winter. Summer is the most popular time for tourists to visit the country.

But if you like to be in the middle of the action, you can work in Portugal during tourist season or live in one of the major cities like Porto, Lisbon, or Peniche.

Cost of living in Portugal for nomads

In general, you’ll find the cost of living in Portugal to be quite affordable. The country is known for being one of the most economical places to live in Europe. For most Americans, living in Portugal will seem like a steal.

A lot of people can get by with 42% less income because of the lower cost of living. For instance, rent will cost you 46.37% less in Lisbon than it does in Washington, DC. A one-bedroom apartment will run between 400 and 670 Euros per month.

That’s the equivalent of $453 to $759 U.S. dollars. In the majority of U.S. cities, rent exceeds $1,000 a month for a one-bedroom or studio apartment.

Eating out is generally reasonable, but some groceries and household products might cost more. If you’re buying brand names or imports, you’ll find higher prices for these items more often.

Transportation in Portugal

Portugal offers a variety of transportation options for both locals and tourists. Here are some of the most common types of transportation in Portugal:


Portugal has a comprehensive rail network that connects major cities and towns. Comboios de Portugal (CP) is the main train service provider in the country.


Buses are a popular mode of transport for short distances within cities and for long-distance travel. Rede Expressos is a major long-distance bus company.

Trams and Metro

In cities like Lisbon and Porto, trams and metro systems are widely used. Lisbon’s historic trams are a tourist attraction in themselves.

Taxis and Ride-hailing services

Taxis are readily available in most cities and towns. Uber and Bolt are also active in several Portuguese cities.


Portugal, with its extensive coastline and numerous islands, has a number of ferry services. These are especially useful for reaching places like Madeira and the Azores.

Bicycles and Scooters

Many Portuguese cities have embraced cycling and scootering, with bike lanes and scooter-sharing services becoming increasingly common.

Car Rental

For those who prefer to drive, car rental services are available at airports and city centers.

Air Travel

For long-distance domestic travel, flights are available, particularly to the islands of Madeira and the Azores.

Internet Service and Availability In Portugal

To work remotely, you need fast and reliable internet service. Luckily, Portugal is 24th in the world for broadband internet speeds. You should get service with an average download speed of 100 Mbps and an average upload speed of 50 Mbps.

Accommodation; Whether you rent an Airbnb, a hostel, an apartment, or a home, you should be able to hook up to a good internet connection. Some places will advertise internet availability and speeds, but you can always ask the landlord or property owner.

You can also use mobile networks for internet access. There is enough high-speed cellular data coverage in major cities. In more remote areas, the speeds may drop down some, but you still should be able to connect.

Is GINJA Legal?

Ginja is a traditional liqueur made from sour cherries. Ginja is legal and widely consumed in Portugal by locals and tourists. It is a popular drink, particularly in Lisbon, where it is often enjoyed as a traditional digestif or as an aperitif.

Ginja is typically made by infusing sour cherries in alcohol, along with sugar and sometimes other ingredients such as cinnamon or other spices. It is known for its sweet and fruity flavour. The liqueur is often served in small shot glasses.

It’s common to see Ginja in bars and cafes throughout Portugal, and sometimes there are long queues outside for people who want to try this special drink.

Laws and regulations can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to verify the current legal status of Ginja before you try.

So, Can I legally work remotely from Portugal?

Yes, you can legally work remotely from Portugal. There are multiple options available to those who wish to do so. One of the options is the Digital Nomad Visa which was launched on October 30, 2022. This visa allows remote workers to live and work in Portugal.

Another option is the D7 Visa. This visa allows you to work remotely while living in Portugal, as long as you can provide proof of your passive income.

If you’re a citizen of an EU country, you have the right to work remotely for a company based in another EU country while holding temporary residency in Portugal.

It’s also important to note that remote employees are allowed to live and work in Portugal for up to 12 months. After that period, they can apply for a residence permit.

Therefore, if you’re considering moving to Portugal and working remotely, there are various options available to you depending on your circumstances.

Remember to always check the latest information and requirements with the relevant authorities or a legal expert before making any decisions.