Moving to Portugal



Portugal has all the assets to offer a cheap and fast move for Europeans and for other foreigners alike; Portugal is served both by sea, land and air with its 82,900 kilometers of roadways and its 65 airports. Learn about the immigration and moving process from top international moving companies with ExpatFinder.

Whether you are a frequent visitor, a transit traveler in awe of the majestic landscape or someone who has set his heart on spending his retirement years on sunny shores, Portugal is a natural choice.

Making up the greater portion of the western littoral of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal encompasses the Azores (Açores) Archipelago, Madeira, and Porto Santo; it is bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. Lisbon, the capital city, is located on the west coast. The City has just undergone a recent face-lift of its underground system. Must see attractions include the new bridge over the river, the Ponte Vasco da Gama, and Europe's second largest Oceanarium. The British make up a good portion of holidaymakers who just can't resist the beauty of the world-renowned Algarve beaches with its golf courses. Some expats have uprooted to this idyllic land with the great promise of a new beginning, be it for a career move or a new lifestyle. You will easily get lost in all the splendor of the land, but you can also get lost in translation, as the Portuguese, even if they are multilingual (French, English, German, or Spanish), prefer to communicate in their mother tongue. Plus, the Portuguese language is tough to learn.

Visa Requirements

With 20 years of membership in the European Union, Portugal has elevated its status not only as a component of a prominent organization, but as an economic might pulling in investors and major communication companies to its fold.

For short-term stays, nationals of EEA Member States must register within 30 days of the end of their first three months in the country at the Town Council (Municipality) in which they live. When they register, they are issued with a registration certificate that is valid for five years, or for the specific period of residence, if less than five years. Family members must have a valid identity card/passport, evidence of kinship and the registration certificate of the national of the EEA Member State before obtaining a registration certificate. All foreigners are mandated to obtain a residence card (autorização de residência) to live permanently in Portugal, including EU nationals. You can apply for the residence card from the nearest Foreigners' Department (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras/SEF) of the Portuguese Ministry of Internal Affairs. Non-EU citizens must obtain a visa (visto para residência) from a Portuguese consulate in their home country before coming to Portugal, whatever the purpose of the visit: study, work or lifestyle. Expats need to present a valid identity card or passport for a registration certificate, and must give a sworn declaration.

Local Culture

"Portugal is a friendly country, and Lisbon, in particular, is very welcoming of the new wave of young expats that have moved there. Freelancing makes it more difficult to integrate, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means you don’t get to meet people through work, and so have to make more of an effort."- James Cave, Expat in Portugal

The Portuguese culture, like its sun-kissed beaches, is warm and welcoming. However, you should still adhere to the formalities and address the locals with titles such as "senhor" and "senhora." It is very important to learn at least a few handy Portuguese words and phrases. Any attempt to speak the language will be well received. The Portuguese are very polite. Remember to use "Por favor" (please)! "Obrigada" (thank you) if you're a woman, "Obrigado" if you're a man. Family life is the vital ingredient in Portuguese society. Locals are likely to embrace extended family and maintain extremely close ties. It is even said that nepotism is part of the way of life in Portugal. The pace of life in Portugal is what most of us can only aspire to - laid back, even in business establishments. Uncertainties loom, and Portuguese is a difficult language to grasp, still, Portugal is the picturesque land of dreams.



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