Sun, beaches, and good food are three good reasons to move to Portugal. However, before you can enjoy the Dolce Vita, you have to tackle the challenges of the process.

With various types of residence permits available, moving to Portugal has never been simpler. However, there are several pitfalls to be aware of, and obstacles to avoid. This is where the expertise of a local partner like NEWCO is vital.

If you’re moving to Portugal, you need to be well aware of all the necessary steps, documents to gather and procedures to follow. Good preparation beforehand will ensure a successful move.

Is it easy to move to Portugal?

Citizens of the European Union (EU) and equivalent countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland), as well as their family members, can move to Portugal and settle here for a period of more than three months, exercising their right to free movement, provided that they carry out an activity in Portugal (salaried or not) or have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members.

Moving to Portugal as a third-country citizen or as a family member of a third-country citizen involves additional formalities compared to European Union (EU) citizens, due to differences in immigration legislation. 

Portugal has shown a growing interest in attracting new residents, both to boost the economy and to enrich the country's social fabric. 
As part of this effort, a number of residence permits have been created in order to address different needs and circumstances.

What do you need to move to Portugal?

Within a maximum of three months after their arrival in Portugal, EU citizens must go to the Town Hall of their area of residence to register and obtain their "EU Citizen Registration Certificate". Family members who are not citizens of an EU Member State must inform the AIMA (Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum) that they intend to live in Portugal and apply for their "Residence Card" in this country. This is your first step when moving to Portugal.

Third-country nationals and their family members, on the other hand, need to apply for a visa appropriate to the purpose of their stay before they can travel to Portugal and obtain their residence permit here. 

Residence visas must be applied for at the Portuguese consulate or embassy in the country of origin and, once approved, are valid for four months and allow two entries into Portugal. 

This process includes the presentation of documents such as a passport, proof of accommodation, means of subsistence, health insurance, and, where applicable, employment, service provider or partnership contract, proof of passive income, family ties, or other, depending on the purpose of residence in Portugal.

Learn more about residence permits in Portugal

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Obtaining a residence permit in Portugal

Upon arrival in Portugal with the appropriate visa, it is necessary to obtain a residence permit from the AIMA. These permits are valid for an initial period of two years and can subsequently be renewed for periods of three years. After five years, it is possible to obtain a permanent residence permit or long-term resident status in the EU.

Important Steps when moving to Portugal

There are several steps to consider when moving to Portugal. Some are mandatory, such as obtaining a taxpayer number (NIF) or finding accommodation, while others depend on your specific personal and professional circumstances.

Getting a NIF (taxpayer number) in Portugal

Getting a NIF (taxpayer number) in Portugal

Obtaining a taxpayer number (NIF) is a crucial step when moving to Portugal. 
If you are planning to move to Portugal, you will need a NIF for almost everything, from buying property and contracting public services to starting an activity or signing an employment contract, for example. 

Opening a bank account in Portugal

When you move to Portugal, opening a bank account at a Portuguese bank is essential in order to buy a house, pay your bills and even to receive your salary, if you are going to be working in Portugal. 

Opening a bank account in Portugal
Finding housing in Portugal

Finding housing in Portugal

If you want to move to Portugal, you will have to find a place to live. 
The housing market in Portugal is dynamic and diverse, with significant variations between the different regions of the country. In major cities, such as Lisbon and Porto, the demand for housing is high, resulting in higher prices, especially in central urban areas. 
In more rural or inland regions, on the other hand, prices tend to be more affordable, offering an opportunity for those looking for a quieter lifestyle and lower living costs. 

When you move to Portugal, you can count on our help in finding housing

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Social Security and Healthcare

Registering with the Portuguese Social Security and obtaining a user number are essential steps for expats in Portugal, ensuring access to a range of crucial social services and benefits. 
For those who work and contribute to Social Security, this registration not only facilitates access to rights such as pensions, unemployment and sickness benefits, but also links the individual to a support system that promotes social inclusion and protection in times of need. 
On the other hand, retired expatriates who have never contributed to Portuguese Social Security face a different scenario. 

Social Security and Healthcare

Although they may be entitled to healthcare services through their user number, their eligibility for other social benefits may be limited, depending on any bilateral agreements that may exist between Portugal and their country of origin, or on the need to make voluntary contributions. 

Thus, it is critical that all expats understand their obligations and rights within this system, to ensure a safe and secure stay in Portugal.

NEWCO ensures the registration and fulfilment of contributory obligations in Portugal.

Driving Licences

Driving Licences

In Portugal, the rules regarding driving licences vary depending on the country of issue. Holders of EU/European Economic Area licences can use them until they expire and have the option to exchange them without having to do a test, but must register within 60 days of taking up residence. 
Furthermore, holders of driving licences issued by OECD and CPLP countries can drive in Portugal as long as they meet certain requirements such as licence validity and minimum age. 

Countries with bilateral or reciprocity agreements allow licences to be exchanged under certain conditions, while for nations that do not adhere to international conventions, theoretical and practical driving tests must be passed. 

You can count on the NEWCO team to help you understand your specific obligations and formalities when moving to Portugal.

Complying with your tax obligations

Tax obligations. The very words are enough to make you shudder! As is the case in all other countries, when moving to Portugal you need to be aware of the type of taxes you will pay and what your tax and reporting obligations are.
Luckily, you have a local partner like NEWCO, with over 30 years of experience, to help and guide you.

Complying with your tax obligations
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