D7 visa accommodation requirements

Hi all,

I'm a UK national and I'm planning to apply for a D7 visa to Portugal. This site has been a real goldmine of information so far, but there's a few things regarding the accommodation requirement that I'm unsure about.

Is an AirBnB (or equivalent) reservation for the initial 4 month period sufficient for the first visa application? I've read that this definitely used to be the case, but it seems to have changed now?

How can you arrange accommodation for the visa period if at the time of application you do not know when the visa will issued? This seems like an impossible catch 22 situation. Can you specify a date in the application sufficiently in the future on which you plan to travel to Portugal and then arrange everything around this?

I've sent VFS an email with the same questions a few days ago. I'm not very optimistic about my chances of getting a reply, but if I do, I'll post the info here.


Hi Russel,

You will need a 12 month rental contract signed and registered at the Portuguese tax office when applying. It's the worst part of applying for the visa.

You will have to rent a property before submitting the application, meaning you will have to pay the rent without even being here.

Also, landlords will ask for several months in advance as you as a foreign won't have a guarantor.

I make sure my customers can terminate the contract if the visa is denied.


Hi Russel,

For the purposes of D-7 visa application, an Invitation letter from a friend in Portugal would suffice.

I never needed a rental lease agreement when I submitted my D-7 Application to the Portugal Consulate in NYC. 

I submitted all other required documents, i.e. passport, bank statements, medical insurance, invitation letter from a friend in Portugal etc and was granted the D-7, 4 month visa.  They also scheduled my appointment with SEF.  Once the SEF interview is done and it is successful,  I will then start looking for a rental. 

Hope this helps.


@Nia Queiroz thanks for the reply!

Do you know on what date this contract would be required to start? Would it need to already be active on the date of my application or would it be acceptable if it were to start a month or so after the application date?

@RussellK yes, it will need to be active by the time you submit your application.


I was approved for a D7 visa from the New York office in early February. I did not have a traditional one-year lease because I did not want to go to Portugal to do this. Instead, I used the online service Flatio, which issued me a one-year rental  contract for a Lisbon apartment, which I can then terminate with one month notice rather like a month-to-month lease. I paid on my credit card, did not need a Portuguese bank account, and did not need to go to Portugal to get it. This was approved by the New York consulate, since Flatio issues a document that looks like a traditional one year lease. I hope this helps.

@Frazier Stevenson Thank you for sharing Flatio way for lease. Kindly advise they charged how many months rent as deposit to issue one year lease.

I am applying for digital nomad visa. Currently waiting bank account and rental contract.

waiting your reply.

best regards;

I paid the first month rent plus a $1200 service fee which covers the year long lease, if  I choose to stay that long. I think the service fee is large like this for long term rents, and is collected at the start, but not thereafter. There were no additional fees and I did not have to pay any additional rent up front.  Utilities are included, like air bnb.

@Frazier Stevenson Thanks , so 1 rent plus service fee, refundable? Looks high cost just for one year lease. Gods luck ahead journey toward Portugal.

Appreciated your reply.

Thanks you

You have free information here...:

"Termo de Responsabilidade"

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.p … 42#5123520

(Post #8)


This  site is only  about the Termo de Responsabilidade" (responsibility letter)

But  do you have any contact  of people  who offer  Termo de Responsabilidade" (responsibility letter)

In lisbon

What you are asking is if I know someone who will take responsibility for an expat before the SEF ? Without knowing him, without a legal lease contract ? By cheating the system? Where would the expat live, at what address ? I don't know anyone who would be willing to do that....!


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@aimof This is completely illegal and a scam. Someone you have no idea who it is, asking you money for a "termo de responsabilidade". Be careful.

@Nia Queiroz

Tks much

Hello everyone,

Please note that some posts have been removed from this thread as information shared could potentially cause members more trouble.

Thank you in advance to post only legal infos on the forum.


We were in Portugal for 15 months, from Oct 2019 to Jan 2021 (during COVID!).  We obtained no lease in advance.  We explained in our letter that what we were going to do was get into the country and look for a place in the Algarve.  This was acceptable to the immigration folks.  We did get a 1-month rental in Albufeira and used that as our base of operations.

Also, generally speaking, the field offices do not approve the visas.  They all go to Lisbon for approval.   That is what was told to us.


I finally got a reply from VFS UK so posting here in case anyone finds it of use. In addition to the questions in my original post, I also asked if I would be able to keep my passport whilst they were processing my application. I have a friend that recently got the D7 from the London office and was allowed to keep their passport after showing a flight reservation in the upcoming days (which I think they booked during the interview!).

Thank you for writing to the VFS Global Portugal Visa Helpdesk.With regards to your below query, we understand that you would like to keep your passport with you during the processing time.Please be informed that the minimum processing time for long-stay visa applications is 60 days, so customers may check with the Visa Application Centre people with a valid reason to keep their passport with them, but it is up to the centre people's decision.Kindly be informed that the decision can be made only at the Visa Application Centre and there is no advance check.Please be informed that proof of accommodation for the whole of the stay or a minimum of 1 year is required; this can include owned property in Portugal (under a purchase contract) or long-term rental agreements.Proof of accommodation may be given through sponsorships (subject to analysis of the application), either from employers or schools, or by means of a signed official form (certificate of board and lodging), accompanied with a copy of the host's passport bio page or valid identification document, proof of relationship if applicable, the host's permit of stay in Portugal if applicable, and the host's proof of address in Portugal (purchase or rental agreement for the property, utility bill with the host's name, etc.).Kindly note that hotel accommodations will not be accepted as proof of accommodations.Please be informed that for updated information regarding the documents required for a Portuguese National Visa, please visit "click here" for clarification regarding the document checklist. We request you to get in touch with the respective Portuguese consulate.For more details, please visit our website at https://visa.vfsglobal.com/gbr/en/prt/

@RussellK if you need house hunting services with lease review and landlord negotiation, feel free to contact me.


Me too looking to rent a small appt to show for our D7 visa one there will decide which place

@RussellK Do you know where to get what VSF called "by means of a signed official form (certificate of board and lodging), " I have seen various ones on the Portuguese gov't visa pages but I'm not sure which is which. TIA

Forget the previous question. The link to the document is in the pdf. Old eyes.

Hey all, new here and grappling with the accommodation requirements of the D7…

I was wondering if anyone knows if a ‘certificate of accommodation' from somewhere like UNIPLACES would suffice in London? Or does it have to be a formal lease that's registered with the Finacas etc.

I see a lot of conflicting info on this! And their statement posted above isn't super clear either


What worked for me was a one year lease on the site Flatio that I arranged from the US.  You can sign up with a credit card rather like Airbnb ….the difference with Airbnb, is that they send you a one-year lease, but it's month-to-month and you can cancel with one month notice. So I'm staying in the lisbon place for two months, then moving to an apartment I found in Cascais.  That worked in the New York Embassy at least.

@Frazier Stevenson thank you! This would be my ideal scenario but I am just not clear if this would fly in London currently. Seems very hard to get a clear answer!

It's very hard to know, but as yet on any site, I have not yet seen anyone whose application was turned down because they use Flatio. I have seen a number of people successfully say they use it, however. Others on the site may offer opinions.


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@Nia Queiroz

thank you! Do you know if I can have the registered contract starting on, for example, the 1st October but apply on the 1st August with request the visa begins on the 1st October?

As it takes 60 days for the visa approval (maximum) I assume this is ok.

on the visa form you state your initial entry date so I assume this can be the same as the contract start date

We're in Portugal, having been granted D7 visas. As far as I can find time I want to share my experiences, finding the correct subfields to post.

I don't know whether it will help or not, for it could be working in different ways depending on the countries or embassies but in Turkey *before* the Visa application we didn't rent a long-term flat. We made a reservation at Airbnb for 4 months, submitted all the necessary documents, in which, I suppose, regular income is one of the most, if not the most, important of all, and then waited. After a month we started to send e-mails, make calls, and finally got it.

@fburak1878 interesting! Thank you for sharing and congrats on the visa. I think the different consulates have different views on the matter. The London one emailed me and said something to the effect of ‘an Airbnb reservation might not show willingness to permanently be in Portugal' - so not an outright refusal… but a sign it's not something they view favourably

Hi all.

I need urgent advice to meet the D7 application requirement. I have a NIF with UK address. I have family travel and medical insurance for a year. However, I am having difficulty opening a bank account. I have provided Santander Bank my passport, my bank and financial details but they are saying I need an official local address document in Madiera, where my son has a property where I have lived off and on since Sept 22. Since NIF office can not register my Madiera address because I have no bill or documents proving my residence in Madiera. The bank has suggested I go to my local mayor's office to get an official letter stating I have been living here. The local Mayours office says they can not give me a letter stating that I have been a resident at my son's property because I have no bills in my name. I am in a chicken And egg situation. I can not apply for a Visa until I have a bank account and the bank says I can not have a bank account till I have local proof of address. My son for some reason had no difficulty opening his bank account with Santander solely based on his NIF and address in the UK account during the purchase of his property. Any suggestion on a bank that may be right for me in Portugal without running around in circles?


You can try a proof of comfort written by your son that he is responsible for your stay in Madeira/Portugal:

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.p … 42#5123520

(Post #8)

Or you can do a lease contract, as most visa applicants do.

What did you need for the documents for the rental agreement, is it just the agreement or did they need a receipt too? Also ildoes anyone have any prices on the best way to do this? Thanks

One of the visa requirements is a proof of accomodation. If you choose to lease, a legalised lease contract is required ( registered on the Finance portal, with the stamp duty on that contract paid by the landlord).

Rental Contract

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.p … 93#5075338

Post #11)

@Lizissima The date on the contract can always be prior to your expected date of arrival, but never ahead.


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@Lizissima It used to work before. Not anymore. Some SEF employees, like many from official government organizations do not always follow the law and the rules. Things are now pretty strict. Airbnb will not be accepted.

@Nia Queiroz - Is Flatio being accepted? Thanks!

    @Nia Queiroz - Is Flatio being accepted? Thanks!       -@alimedinaco

Flatio is a short term rental platform. What is accepted on a visa is a proof of accommodation (buy house or long term rental/1year)


Flatio is a short term accommodation platform like airbnb. You won't get the lease registered at the tax office and there are a lot of scamms there. I wouldn't advise it.