Moving to Portugal: everything you need to know

Переезд в Португалию: всё, что нужно знать

Anna Galchenko insta web Editor-in-chief of tripmydream

Advantages of living in Portugal

  • The cost of living. Portugal is one of the most inexpensive countries in the European Union to live in. The cost of living in Portugal is 820 euros per month, and food is cheaper than in neighboring European countries.
  • Security. Portugal is truly recognized as one of the safest countries in the world. It’s really peaceful here. Local residents let their children go outside alone and walk freely late at night, not particularly fearing for the safety of their wallet, phone and their own health. Portugal is far from hot military conflicts.
  • High quality of life. Porto is ranked 12th in the European ranking of cities with the best quality of life in 2024 by the Numbeo portal. Lisbon was ranked 83rd out of 195 cities in the world that were taken into account, and 37th out of 74 cities in Europe.
  • Quick acquisition of citizenship. You can obtain Portuguese citizenship after 5 years of residence in the country. This is one of the fastest ways to get a European passport.
  • Conditions for living with children. Lisbon is on the 2nd place in the ranking of the best cities for raising children. It has a safe environment, plenty of opportunities for entertainment and outdoor activities, and also for education. Free public schools and kindergartens accept children of foreigners with a residence permit.
  • Tolerance. Interethnic or religious conflicts are rare in Portugal. The local population is absolutely tolerant of everyone!
  • Medicine. Medicine in Portugal is ranked 13th in the Euro Health Consumer Index. The rating takes into account both accessibility and speed of receiving medical services, life expectancy and quality of patient care.

Disadvantages of living in Portugal

  • Low salaries. Even high-level specialists rarely earn more than 2,000 euros per month. If you take into account the standard of living in Portugal and what its cost is, this amount will be quite enough. But it will be extremely difficult for people who are ambitious and expect high incomes.
  • The cost of real estate. Rental prices vary depending on the region. For example, in Cascais, renting a one-room apartment in the city center will cost about 1800 euros, and in Lisbon – from 1200 euros. When buying a property, the cost per square meter in the Portuguese capital Lisbon starts from 3,000 euros, and in Cascais – from 4,400 euros.
  • Bureaucracy. The general unhurriedness extends to government agencies as well. You can wait weeks for the necessary document to be processed. Frequent phenomena are the requirements of documents that do not exist in nature.
  • High taxes. The income tax here ranges from 14.5 to 48% and depends on the salary level. And you will also need to pay tax on real estate if you buy it, and on all income earned in Portugal, if the migrant did not receive the status of a tax resident.

For more information about moving to Portugal, see the big video “Our life in Portugal”.

What are the types of visas for moving to Portugal?

If you plan to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days, you will need a national D visa. There are several categories of national visas:

  • Work visa:This requires a contract and an invitation from the employer and confirmation that the hired specialist cannot be found in the local labor market.
  • Study visa: to do this, you need to enroll in a university, college or other educational institution, have an invitation from the educational institution, proof of financial viability, medical insurance and other documents and apply for a student visa at the nearest consulate or embassy of Portugal.
  • Family association visa: the holder of Portuguese citizenship or residence permit, as well as the spouse who received a residence permit, have the right to transport their direct relatives to the country.
  • Investment Visa (Golden Visa): the minimum investment amount is usually 500,000 euros. However, if investments are directed to the reconstruction of real estate objects that are older than 30 years or are not located in large cities, the minimum investment amount can be reduced to 250,000 euros.

How to get a residence permit and permanent residence in Portugal?

In Portugal, there are several ways to obtain a residence permit (residence permit), including a work, student, investment and family reunification visa: first, such a visa gives a residence permit for a year, after which it must be extended. Permanent residence can be obtained after 5 years of residence in Portugal on one of the listed visas.

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