How to Move to Portugal
North Americans are finally catching up to what Europeans have known for years: Portugal offers a low-cost, cultured lifestyle.
Portugal, a small country located in western Europe on the Iberian Peninsula, boasts numerous advantages. With its moderate climate, friendly locals, excellent healthcare, high safety, and widespread use of English, it is a desirable destination. Moreover, the country features breathtaking coastlines, charming historic villages, and vibrant cities.
North Americans can easily obtain a long-term residency visa in Portugal, one of the simplest processes in Europe. The paperwork may be extensive, but manageable when tackled step-by-step. Portuguese consulates in the US have recently partnered with VFS Global to simplify the process, making it accessible through a simple click on the provided link.
The most common visa is the D7, designed for passive income seekers such as retirees, digital nomads, or those not working for a Portuguese company (which requires a work visa). The D7 offers numerous benefits: eligibility for citizenship after 5 years and passing a language test, free access to the Schengen area, the option to apply for Non-Habitual Resident tax status for reduced taxes in Portugal, and access to healthcare, education and other resident rights.
The holder must reside in Portugal for 8 months during the first visa period and 6 months during renewals. After 5 years of full-time residency in Portugal, permanent residency or citizenship can be applied for, both requiring proficiency in the language.
2. Finding Accommodations
Moving abroad can be difficult, especially when it comes to committing to a rental or buying a property in an unfamiliar foreign location. However, in Portugal, rental contracts favour renters over property owners, allowing for termination if unsatisfied.
Facebook has many groups with rentals, also. Many are specific to areas such as Lisbon, the Algarve, or Porto.
If you want to buy a house, you can find several Real Estate companies that can help you with everything. If you are looking for luxury features you can find proprieties at DUO MASTERS.
Popular destinations in Portugal:
Located along Portugal’s southern coast is a popular destination for British and European expats. With its warm climate, golden sand coves, almond groves, and numerous golf courses, it offers plenty of suns, surf, and outdoor sports. Thanks to a strong ex-pat community, speaking English is possible. Although it is pricier compared to other areas in Portugal, the Algarve is ideal for those looking for a sunny location with easy expat transition and a wealth of outdoor activities.
Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is a charming yet overlooked European city located on the Tagus River estuary near the Atlantic Ocean. With a rich history of over 3,000 years, Lisbon boasts a mix of historic, worn architecture and lively downtown areas with shops, cafes, nightlife, and baroque buildings. It provides all the essential amenities of a capital city, including museums, concert halls, dining options, public transportation, and an international airport.
Porto, Portugal’s second city, is perched on cliffs above the Douro River estuary and near the Atlantic Ocean. Known for its port wine, its wine cellars can be found across the river in Vila Nova da Gaia. Beyond its signature beverage, Porto offers a vibrant city scene with broad boulevards, sidewalk cafes, chic restaurants, lively nightlife, and a well-preserved historic centre. With a cool, moist climate similar to the Pacific Northwest, Porto is a walkable city with walkable neighbourhoods, historic shops, museums, and a variety of outdoor attractions.
While entering Portugal doesn’t require vaccinations, it’s advisable to be up to date on primary courses and boosters such as flu, MMR, tetanus, polio, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B, and other routine vaccines. Portugal, like most of Europe, has fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.