If you’re planning on moving from the UK to Portugal, there are plenty of considerations you need to make before you do so that will ensure your transition goes smoothly. Although Portugal has some similarities to the UK, its culture and ways of doing things can be quite different; so it’s important to prepare yourself as best you can before making the move. This guide will help you do just that!
Prepping for your move
When planning a move to Portugal, one of your biggest concerns should be obtaining legal residency and proper documentation. Third nationals can only be granted either residency, temporary or short-stay visas if they fulfil requirements such as; having a valid travel document; insured for travel; not having a criminal record in your home country; possessing sufficient income to pay for travel expenses, accommodation and food expenses, as well as other incidental expenses.
Before you move to Portugal, consider where the best place for you to live would be; the range of options varies according to your specific lifestyle. For example, you might want to live overseas with your family, or retire to a place where you can enjoy the beautiful, blue skies and sunshine all year long. This guide will offer different opinions on your own ideas, whatever they may be.
Our advice about taxes
If you’re moving from another country, your tax obligations will be different in Portugal. You’ll have some initial paperwork to sort out when you get here and a new ‘Número de Identificação Fiscal’ (NIF) card (similar to a national insurance number) that you need in order to work. This can be applied for at ‘Oficinas do Portal das Finanças’, throughout Portugal.
As non-habitual residents, if you stay here for more than 183 days or your NIF has a Portuguese associated address then you are subject to income tax on your worldwide income. However, there is a special scheme available called ‘non-habitual resident’ allowing you to avoid paying tax on foreign source income; if it is not remitted into Portugal. It also exempts some capital gains from taxation as long as they are not remitted into Portugal.
If you are planning to move to Portugal, your first priority should be figuring out what the tax rates are, and how they compare to the country you previously lived in. We’ve created a webinar guide to personal taxes for expats in Portugal. Our managing director was involved in the topic and is knowledgeable about the subject, so it’s worth a watch!
Link to the webinar: Watch again
Best visa for you
As we’ve discussed above, there are many visa options available. Not all options are suited for you and your lifestyle, so it’s important to determine which one is the best for you before applying.
There are two types of Portuguese National Visas for United Kingdom citizens. The ‘Temporary Stay Visa’ or the ‘Residency Visa’. The best resource on these visas can be found on the official Portuguese website.
We have published an article to detail the different non-EU visas available to you, you can choose either the D7 or D2 visa. The D2 Portugal Visa, known as the immigrant entrepreneur visa, lets you commence investment activity in the country, follow this link for more information: Portugal’s D2 Visa for Foreign Entrepreneurs: Everything You Need to Know
If you’re willing to provide your own relocation funds to Portugal, you can apply for the ‘D7’ visa. Check out this blog post with more details: D7 Visa Portugal: A simple guide for Portuguese residency in 2021.
And lastly, for those wishing to make moderate to significant investments in Portuguese assets or property, or who wish to set up business in the country, the Portuguese Golden Visa has long been an extremely popular option, an option that seemingly offers no end of attractive incentives and benefits. The programme recently changed this year, 2022, but do not worry, RHJ accountants are here to clarify the process, just read our guide: The Portugal Golden Visa Changes in 2022
All the lawyers from RHJ law, our sister company, are multilingual and can offer their help in any decision. In the event that you’re still not sure what you should apply for, in preparation for moving, please feel free to contact us and we will walk you through your options.
Finding properties in ideal locations
Portugal offers something for everyone – you can experience the electricity of a larger city or the charm of a peaceful countryside.
A good idea is to speak with a real estate agent before setting out to look for properties. They will advise you on what areas are best and help you find a good location that fits your needs. Moreover, they can inform you about any restrictions and point out property scams that might be prevalent in certain areas of Portugal.
RHJ Accountants is affiliated with Unu Rede Imobiliária, a real estate company; who can provide specialised services like renting or buying a home. Contact RHJ Accountants if you would like to discuss Portugal’s properties; and we will organise an appointment for you with Unu Rede Imobiliária to be your guide.
Frequently asked questions
Moving from the UK to Portugal is both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. To help you tackle the transition, here are a few frequently asked questions about moving to Portugal from the UK.
What would be the benefits of living in Portugal?
There are a number of reasons that Britons move to Portugal, and some of the most compelling reasons to do so include:
- Low-cost living
- Let’s start with Lisbon and Porto – these vibrant cities have much to offer visitors
- Portugal’s coastline includes scenic destinations such as the Algarve.
- A job market that welcomes expats
- Relatively straightforward visa requirements
- Cheaper prices for real estate
- You will experience a community atmosphere there
- One big reason to immigrate to Portugal is that people speak good English, making it easier for you to settle
If I’m moving to Portugal, what should I do?
When relocating there are many things that need to be taken care of, but you should take these considerations into account
- Correctly apply for the proper visa
- Sign up as a resident upon arrival
- Apply for your state healthcare
- If you want to drive, you will need to get a Portuguese driver’s license
- For travellers that plan on bringing any pets with them, ensure you check the requirements
Is it possible for me to move to Portugal without a job?
It is true that you do not need a job to move to Portugal. There are a variety of routes that one can use to gain Residency Visas, these include:
- For the purposes of study and research
- Formal training, internships, or voluntary work
- Bringing families together
- Retirement purposes
- Religious purposes
- It is possible to live in Portugal without a job if you are able to sustain yourself with individual revenue.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions about relocating to Portugal from the UK.
How RHJ Accountants Can Help
We recognise more than ever that individuals and businesses from the UK and other countries may be globally mobile. We aim to make you aware of the tax-efficient opportunities, available tax relief and structure finances for life at home and abroad.
Our international team of specialists operate from offices in the UK and Portugal. We work together synergistically to provide tax efficient solutions to our clients to help them grow their business whilst keeping tax liabilities to a minimum.