Applying for a National D7 visa for Portugal
Updated: Mar 1, 2021
We are in the process of applying for a D7/National Visa for Portugal. Once we have the temporary visa, we will travel to Portugal, find a bit of land to buy and then apply to become residents. This will give us the right to travel in the Schengen area - so we won't be bound by this rule, that came into force due to Brexit on January 1st 2020:
The rule states that non-EU/Schengen visitors can only spend 90 days out of every 180 in the EU without applying for a visa or residency. So over the course of a year you can spent 180 days in the EU, but not all in one go.
There's a really useful calculator on this site, to work out how many days you have left in the schengen areas once you've spent some time there. schengenvisainfo.com
To qualify to become residents, you need to spend 183 days per year in Portugal, so we are free to travel Europe for the other half of the year. WAY better than UK for 3 months/Europe for 3 months... Originally we had planned to spend the alternate 3 months in places like Morocco or Turkey, but with current travel restrictions, we've opted for Plan Portugal :D
We've made a couple of videos about getting all our paperwork in order, you can see those at the bottom of this blog. I thought a written account might be useful too.
The documents you will need to apply for your visa are:
Passport or additional travel document valid for 3 months after the duration of the stay;
Two passport photos, up-to-date and with enough quality to identify the applicant;
Valid travel insurance, allowing medical coverage, including medical emergencies and repatriation;
Proof of being in a regular situation when from a different nationality than that of the country where the visa is being applied for;
Criminal record certificate from the country of origin or the country where the applicant is residing for over a year (children under the age of 16 are exempt from producing a criminal record);
Proof of means of subsistence as stipulated by law;
For people living out from personal revenue: Document certifying revenue from movable and immovable property; intellectual or financial assets.
Not listed anywhere officially, these documents are often asked for at the appointment:
Birth certificate for minors/dependents (the green one, with parents names on)
Proof that you will be able to access your funds whilst in Portugal (Portugal bank account or Letter from the UK Bank stating that you have access in Portugal)
We downloaded and printed the official form, one copy per person, and filled it out.
We also downloaded, printed and filled out two of the "Request for criminal record enquiry by the Immigration and Border Services (SEF)" - this one is in Portuguese. The translation reads:
" I, ____ child of ___(parent name) and ___(parent name), born to ___(town), of the nationality ______, holder of the passport number ___, applicant of a residence visa/temporary stay for the purpose of ___, I authorise, under the terms of Line D) of No.1 of Art.12 of Regulatory Decree 2/2013 of 18th March, consultation by the service of foreigners and borders, from my Portuguese criminal record.
_______ (signature), on __ (day) in __ (month) in 20__ (year)
Signature in accordance with identification document."
We think this form gets sent by the embassy to SEF in Porrtugal so they can check you have no criminal record there.
Dom and I each applied for a DBS check using the Gov.uk website. That's a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to get a copy of your criminal record, it costs £23 each. It’s available for people working in England and Wales.
You are given a choice of using the Post Office or Digidentity to create an identity account, by scanning your passport and typing in details from your driving license, NI number and others. We found no difference between the two companies so it's just personal preference.
We recieved our clear results online the next day, and got certificates in the post within a week.
All three of us got passport photos taken in a booth at Tesco.
Travel insurance - this cost £887.82 for the three of us for the 4 months required! We used Axa, recommended by VFS Global who manage the Visa application.
For the proof of means of subsistence, we printed out 2 years of bank statements showing regular income, and 3 years of self assessment tax returns - this may be overkill, but we can't find any specific information anywhere on how much proof is required!
We also had an accountant's letter certifying our assets and income.
We had a printed copy of a photograph of our marriage certificate, this was accepted.
We had to order a copy of Rosie's birth certificate. We went to gov.uk and paid £45 to have it delivered on the next working day, and we then emailed it to VFS. You can also order a copy of your marriage certificate if necessary.
It is not stated in the list of documents required above, but is in the official application form, that - you also need a letter of invitation from a person in Portugal. They need to supply a notarised copy of their passport and personal details such as name, address, phone number, their NIF number and a copy of their deeds. The invitation letter needs to state that the invitee may stay at that address for the required 120 days of the temporary visa.
We had our appointment at the Portuguese embassy in London on February 23rd. We travelled up by train and black cab (they only do face-to-face appointments)
Upon arrival at VFS we were required to sanitise our hands and walk through a metal detector before stating our names and appointment time at the booth. We were sent to sit in a waiting room for about 15 minutes, then given a numbered ticket and sent downstairs to another waiting room. After another 15-20 minutes our number was shown on the screen and we went to the Portugal Visa booth.
There was only one chair, so Dom and Rosie sat on the floor. The woman behind the desk asked for our documents, not piece by piece, but all in a bundle including our passports. She went through them and occasionally asked for an extra signature here or there.
She only kept the most recent 3 month's worth of bank statements for each of us.
Each of us had our photo taken and our fingerprints scanned, then we paid by card and were given a receipt. The receipt had reference numbers on so we can track the progress of our application online. It also had stickers with tracking numbers on, so we can track our passports as they are couriered back to us.
We paid £398.43 all together. That's £82.12 visa fee, £31.79 service charge, £16.95 courier fee and £1.95 sms service charge each.
They courier the passports back to you after they make a decision on your case (at a cost of £16.95 per envelope). It can take up to 60 days to find out the outcome of your application.
If our application is successful, we will have a permit to travel to Portugal, so can leave the UK and drive through France and Spain to get there, regardless of current travel restrictions.
Then we'll need to book animal health checks for our three pets that don't have a Spanish passport, and when we have that booked we can book our Eurotunnel tickets within 10 days of the AHC's and appointments for Covid PCR tests for us within 72 hours of travel! What a palaver!
We'll update this blog as soon as have more information on our progress!
Links to D7 related websites:
UK Embassy (for other 3rd Countries, find your nearest Portuguese Embassy): http://www.portugalemlondres.org/imig...
VFS Global for UK and most other 3rd Countries:
Main Website: https://www.vfsglobal.com/en/individu...
Make an Appointment: https://www.vfsglobal.com/Portugal/UK...
Requirements to apply for a D7 Visa: https://vistos.mne.gov.pt/en/national...
Document list: https://vistos.mne.gov.pt/en/national...
DBS check https://www.apply-basic-criminal-reco...
Axa travel insurance https://onevasco.axa.travel/gb