Moving to Portugal – What should I know?


FAQ PORTUGAL – To move to another country is always a big adventure, so you have to make sure that you know what it’s really important and avoid unpleasant surprises.

  1. Tax number in Portugal – An essential document in Portugal is the tax number, without it you cannot do much. It’s needed to open a bank account, to rent or buy a property, to buy a car, etc. And every time you have to make a payment superior to 1000€, you will have to show it.
  2. Legal Entry to Portugal
    1. 2.1 European citizens:
      1. Any national from a country, which makes part of the European Union, is free to move to Portugal, but he/she must apply for a certificate of residence, at the local council, which it will be valid for 5 years. After the 5 years, an appointment with SEF will be necessary, in order to get a residence permit.
    2. Non-European citizens:
      1. Nationals from countries, outsidethe European Union, have to apply for a residence visa, before entering in Portuguese territory. This visa can be avoided, together with the trouble of getting it, if these nationals can make an investment in Portugal (in a bank account, a property or a company) and apply for the Golden Visa. In this case to start the process of obtaining the visa
        and to have a legal entry in Portugal, it’s enough a tourist visa.
  3. Tax Implications in Portugal – Once you move to Portugal and you live more than 183 days (followed or interpolated), peryear, you become liable to taxation in Portugal, according with the national tax rules. Having in mind that the Portuguese Tax year commences on the 1st January and ends on the 31st December, you will have to submit your first tax return, till April or May of the following year.You should be aware that the “Non Habitual Tax Regime” (NHR) is still in force and is applicable to new residents, who can benefit from taxes exemption during 10 years,independently of the nationality. So, you should apply for the regime, not forgetting that you lose the right, if you don’t ask for it, till 31st March of the following year of becoming a resident
  4. Social Security in Portugal – Any European Union citizen is entitled to benefit for health care, paying the normal rates, In Portugal, once the registration at the International department of the Portuguese Social Security is concluded. For that reason, it will be necessary to submit the competent forms, from your previous country.
  5. Retired – As retired, you can have an occupation and have a salary paid to you, without having to pay for social security. However, you have to ask for exemption and explain the motive.
  6. Working age in Portugal – If you are on a working age, you will be subject to pay social security. The cost will depend on being employed or self-employed.
  7. Health Care in Portugal –  If you have become a resident in Portugal (and you have obtained a Residence Certificate), you have the right to register with your local health centre and receive state healthcare. Also you and your family have the right to free or subsidised medical and dental care in Portugal, if you are registered for Portuguese social security. All healthcare benefits are administered by the Ministry of Health (Ministério de Saúde) while social security benefits (pensions, disability, maternity/paternity benefit, etc.) are administered by the Social Security Institute (Instituto da Solidariedade e da Segurança Social).
  8. Money Policy in Portugal – Actually, as a resident you just can pay till 3000€ in cash and no more than that in any goods purchase.
  9. Car Matriculation – In case you wish to bring a car to Portugal with a foreign plate, you can, but you may subject to pay the taxes (Importation car tax and vat). The process of importation of car starts with the application at the customs, than after you have to pass by an inspection centre, to verify the conformity of the car and the level of dioxide carbon and once the matriculation is approved, you will have to apply for the car registry at the competent authority. If you are able to collect the entire documents requested by the customs, in a period of 6 months, of the date you become a resident, in Portugal, then, you may benefit from the exemption on the taxes.
  10. Driving license registry – You should register your driving license at the Portuguese competent authority if you are European Union national. You have 60 working days to register your driving license. And after 2 years, you may have to change your driving license to a Portuguese one. You also need to change your driving license to a Portuguese one, in case you are non-European citizen.
    1. For doing do that you will need:
      1. Your original ID and driving licenses
      2. Your Portuguese tax numbers (NIF)
      3. Medical Report (non-European citizens)
      4. Declaration from the competent authority attesting the authenticity of the driving title, the date of issue and its validity, the categories of vehicles to which it is entitled, dates and restrictions and also that the driving title was obtained by passing a driving examination.

Please note that you have 90 days, commencing on the day you receive your residence visa, and costs 30€

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