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Expat

Last updated in September 2019 | 13 Comments from Portugalist readers.

The following are just a few of the articles on Portugalist about living in Portugal.

Cost of living in Portugal (with specific guides for Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto).
Making friends in the Algarve
Making friends in Lisbon
Renting long-term in Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto.
Finding a room to rent in Lisbon
Brexit & Portugal
Online shopping in Portugal
Does Amazon deliver to Portugal?
Downsides to living in Portugal
Portuguese Citizenship Guide
Renting a car long-term in the Algarve

Learning Portuguese

Learning Portuguese – Main Guide
Free resources for learning Portuguese
How to learn Portuguese completely online
Learning Portuguese in Lisbon
Podcasts for learning Portuguese
European Portuguese course

Last updated in September 2019.
If you spot a mistake, leave a comment below.

13 thoughts on “Expat”

Leave a comment or ask a question below. I try and answer all of them.
  1. My wife and I live in Panama and plan to move to Portugal Jan. 1 to get longterm visa. The consulate here requires proof of residence once we get there. Do we need to book a home sight unseen? Can we just give an address of an Airbnb (we plan to stay in one while we explore and look to where we want to settle).?

  2. My husband and I plan to retire to Portugal. We will not be working. We will be receiving Social Security income from the United States. Must we pay any tax on that income. Must we become residents or citizens. We plan to rent not purchase. Where do we start to make a plan

    • Hi Joan,

      I believe you would pay tax on social security income, but it’s not something I know a lot about so I’d recommend speaking to a financial professional who has worked with clients in a similar situation.

      You don’t necessarily need citizenship, but I think as Americans you would need to get a residency permit to stay in Portugal. After 5 years of living here, you can apply for permanent resident status. The non permanent status is often allocated in 5-year blocks anyway, so there isn’t too long a period where you would be unsettled.

      As for renting, I’ve written quite a bit about where to find properties for rent (e.g. this article about renting in the Algarve).

    • It’s definitely something I need to write about – I’ve lived in both, although I know Portugal must better – but it’s a huge topic that could cover cost of living, expat quality of life, politics, etc.

      Let me know what specifically you had in mind.

  3. When I move south I intend to continue working offshore in the oilbusiness for my Norwegian employer. Are there any tax insentives or difference in taxrates that would make Portugal more attractive then Spain ? If buying a house how much of the house cost do I have to pay upfront and what would the expected intrest rate be on a loan ( on average). Houses apear to be more expencive in Portugal then Spain.

    • Hi Johan,

      I’m not really qualified or knowledgeable to give advice on taxes, but Portugal does offer some scheme such as NHR (non habitual residency) and the flat 20% rate which many people find attractive. It’s worth looking into.

      Houses vary in cost depending on where you’re looking at. House prices in Lisbon are now very expensive, but you can easily get a house around Castelo Branco for less than €50k. The old “location, location, location” motto applies here, and I imagine it’s more or less similar in Spain.

  4. Hi, im travelling in April 2020 to Portugal haven’t worked out an itinerary yet but hoping to get around the country the most we can so spending approximately 12 days. Is it safe to buy tickets online for the train travel through local https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en website or should we be buying a
    Rail pass instead. Traveling from Australia then after portugal heading to Amsterdam but thinking we will fly as it may be quicker.

    • Hi Gennet,

      It’s definitely safe to buy from cp.pt. You may also want to consider bus travel as well, as the trains only cover some parts of the country (bus website = https://www.rede-expressos.pt/en ).

      The rail pass may or may not be good value. I think it makes a lot more sense in other countries where train travel is more expensive but, in Portugal where train travel is fairly cheap, you really need to add up the cost of the journeys you want to do to see if it’s worth it.

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