Moving to Portugal from the UK After Brexit

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Updated: This post has now been updated since January 1st 2021 when the UK left the EU.

The UK has now left the EU and the withdrawal period is over.

This means that UK citizens are no longer EU citizens. While the UK was in the EU, UK citizens had an automatic right to come and live in Portugal (or any other EU country). There’s now no longer an automatic right and, it seems, that UK citizens will be treated the same as any other 3rd country (or non-EU) citizen (e.g. those from the US, India, Brazil, Australia, etc).

That doesn’t mean that you can’t move to Portugal anymore: it just means that now you don’t have an automatic right and you will need to apply for a visa, attend an interview with SEF, and obtain permission to live here.

Portugal has some of the most attainable residency requirements of any EU country so, if you want to live in the EU and perhaps earn that “EU Passport,” it’s worth looking at Portugal.

If you were living in Portugal before Brexit

2020 was a messy year with Brexit, Covid, and everything else, but if you were living in Portugal prior to the 31st of December 2020, and can prove it, you may have an easier route to residency.

The Portuguese government have been quite understanding that it was very difficult to get appointments during 2020, particularly the last few months, and have introduced a grace period until June 2021.

If you can prove that you were living in Portugal before the Brexit cut-off date, you should be able to obtain a 5-year temporary residency permit in Portugal rather than the 1-2 year residency permit those applying on visas like the D7 will get.

How do you prove it? Flights into Portugal, use of your credit card here, a rental contract, or an Airbnb contract are all things that would show that you were living in Portugal.

Otherwise…How to apply for residency in Portugal

Post-Brexit, Brits will most likely need a visa to come and live in Portugal the same way as Americans or Australians do.

There are a number of visas available, but the most common visa routes are the Golden Visa or the D7 Visa.

The Golden Visa

The Golden Visa is an investment visa that gives you your residency in return for making an investment in Portugal. You don’t have to invest in Portuguese companies, however: one of the routes is buying a property in Portugal.

The property is normally required to cost €500k or more, but there are some exceptions where it can cost €350k or even as little as €280k.

After 5 years, you would have the option of applying for permanent residency (which is renewed every 10 years) or citizenship (which comes with a Portuguese passport).

The benefit of the Golden Visa scheme over other forms of residency is that you only need to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal – perfect for those that have commitments elsewhere or want to travel.

The D7

The D7 (also nicknamed the “retirement visa” or “passive income visa”) is one of the most popular visas due to its low costs and attainability. It’s essentially open to anyone with a regular and ideally passive income (such as a pension, but a remote job is also a possibility) that amounts to the Portuguese minimum wage.

Given that the Portuguese minimum wage is less than €700 per month, this is a very achievable visa for a lot of British retirees, those with rental income, freelancers, or those with a remote job back in the UK.

Read a longer writeup of the D7

The D2

The D2 (or entrepreneur visa) is ideal for those that want to start a business in Portugal. There are no limitations on what the business could be, and the suggested required startup capital is just €5k, so this could be ideal for those that want to move to Portugal to start a new self-employed career.

Read a longer writeup of the D2


The NHR scheme is open to all new residents to Portugal, not just those that are moving from outside the EU, so it’s worth mentioning here.

NHR stands for Non-Habitual Residency, which is somewhat of a confusing term as many of the people who use the scheme are, in fact, residents. It’s basically a tax incentive to attract people to Portugal, a country that otherwise doesn’t have attractive tax rates.

Many people are able to avoid paying tax completely, while others are able to reduce their tax bill considerably. As of 2020, pensioners pay 10% tax on their pensions which could be attractive for those with large pensions.

Whether or not it’s the right solution for you will depend on many factors including where your income is coming from, where you’re currently tax resident, and how it’s paid to you (e.g. dividends, royalties, etc.).

Generally, though, it’s seen as a very attractive reason to move to Portugal.

Read more about the NHR program here.

A Few Considerations

Becoming resident in Portugal *normally means becoming tax resident here. If you’re a freelancer or pensioner that mightn’t make a big difference to your life but, if you’re still in full-time employment with a UK company, it’s something you’ll need to speak to your company about.

While some companies are fine with having their employees in another country, or moving their employees to a freelance or contractor role, others are unwilling.

*Normally is the key word here: there does seem to be a possibility where you can remain tax resident in the UK, at least temporarily, but have your residency in Portugal (buy purchasing a property or renting a property). This isn’t normal, however, and so it’s recommended that you get expert help. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon (.es,, .de etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC.

119 thoughts on “Moving to Portugal from the UK After Brexit”

  1. Hi useful information thank you. Can you advise where you apply retrospectively for the 5 year residency please.
    Kind regards Ailsa

  2. Hi, I am considering moving to Portugal in about 2-3 years from now.
    I want to move to one be with my Partner (she’s a Portuguese citizen) and two to be able to work there from scratch by applying from ground basis etc, no clue on what kind of job or if it is even possible to work as a UK citizen in Portugal and what kind of visa I will need? I need help with a lot of this… I don’t have much of a clue on how to work my way around it.
    Any advice would be so amazing!

    • Hi Fatima,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If your partner is a Portuguese citizen, she can apply to bring you in on the D6 family reunification visa – . That’s just one option, and I would look at this again closer to the time depending on your work situation.

      I would have a good think about jobs. Obviously you’re moving to be closer to your partner but the job market in Portugal can be quite limited.

      Another option, depending on your industry, could be to get a remote job, which you could start now, and later bring to Portugal.

      Just something to think about.

  3. Hi, James, can you tell me why Portugal seems so inviting to the British since leaving the EU and the pandemic. What are the reasons they seem so intent on Portugal? Are there more jobs, more houses, or better wages? Is life more relaxed? why is Portugal observing an enormous amount of interest from Britons now?

    • Hi Denise,

      Portugal has some of the lowest wages in Western Europe and there are few jobs available. There are plenty of houses and apartments, but some places have seen prices soar in the last few years (Lisbon and Porto especially, but also parts of the Algarve).

      The reason it’s appealing – in comparison to say Spain, which has a similar cost of living – is the residency requirements. To qualify for most visas, you need to have an income (e.g. pension, income from a remote job, etc) of around €700 per month or more. In practice, you’ll need more than this but this does allow you to qualify for visas like the D7. After 5 years you can also apply for citizenship, which is faster than a lot of other countries. English is also spoken a lot more here than in Spain, France, Italy, or Greece.

      Portugal is also a fantastic country with wonderful people and beautiful scenery, but for practical reasons that’s why so many people are looking at Portugal now.

  4. My wife and I are thinking of retiring to Portugal in the near future and wouldn’t be getting any pensions for 5-6 years. Would there be a major problem trying to retire to Portugal on a D7 and just living on savings until our pensions are activated? We would have a good amount of savings to live on till that happens or is a regular monthly payment needed.

    • Hi Steve,

      A regular payment isn’t needed but is seen as a bit more stable than savings. Plenty of people apply for the D7 with savings alone and are successful.

  5. Hi James
    I am looking to move to portugal in Feb2022 but will still be employed by a UK company so working and travelling remotely from Portugal i have had a house bank account and my Nif numbers already do you think i need the D7 Visa?
    Also my partner is coming with me who is a UK national too but we are not married so would that be okay ?
    Another question is about bringing cars into portugal this also seems rather confusing any connections you have would be useful

    • Hi Steve,

      The D7 seems to be the right option for a lot of remote workers, but I will pass on your details to a relocation company to confirm. They can also help with the car situation, which is definitely confusing.

      It will help that you have the NIF, address, and bank account already.

      As for your partner, if you can prove you’re in a long-term relationship (e.g. shared bills, same address, etc.) that is usually considered enough.

  6. Hi there

    Can the D7 visa be applied for while in Portugal for a UK Citizen if moving there first under the 90 day rule out of 180 days.


    • Hi Toby,

      You normally have to visit the consulate in the country you’re resident, so the UK.

      I’m not sure if there’s anything stopping you from taking a trip to and from Portugal in the meantime. You may need to leave, however, in order to reenter it on you visa once that’s granted.

  7. Great website.

    We have owned a house in Portugal since 2004 – could we use that as a basis to apply for e Golden Visa now?

    • Hi Andy,

      I don’t think it can be done retroactively and that predates the beginning of the Golden Visa scheme anyway.

      Having a property in Portugal will help show ties to Portugal should you apply for one of the other visas, though, such as the D7.

  8. Hi James
    Great website.
    I’m keen to leave Brexit Britain and live and work in a more forward-thinking country.
    The favourable tax rates for cryptocurrency are a big draw – although I am, of course, keen to pay my tax wherever I live.
    Anyway, are there any websites that advertise freelance/digital roles for English speakers in Portugal? I need to get job hunting!


    • Hi Chris,

      Well, Portugal is forward-thinking in some ways but not others, however I can understand your desire to leave the UK right now.

      A remote job from a country with better wages like the UK, Ireland, Germany, or the US would be ideal. There are lots of websites like:

      Also due to the pandemic a lot of jobs are becoming remote that may not be advertised on there, so it’s also worth looking at more general jobs websites like Indeed and Linkedin.

      Hope that helps.

  9. Hi James,
    Me and my boyfriend are hoping to move to portugal on the D7 visa this year. My main question is, has anyone from the UK moved to portugal this year via the D7 visa so far? With the pandemic going on, are the Portuguese embassy in London still taking applications or have they all come to a halt? We don’t want to start the process and pay all the legal fees if the embassy are not accepting applications. Second question is, is it possible to to meet the financial requirements of the D7 visa with just savings? E.g (€7.200 + €3.600)x2. As the first residency permit covers 2 years. If not then how many months of passive income from rent do you need to prove before making the application? Thanks

    • Hi Nina,

      You would need to get in touch with your nearest embassy or consulate to discuss. If they aren’t taking applications, I’m sure it’s only a temporary hold and things will get back to normal soon.

      Savings are important, but they’re usually not seen as enough. You would need to show that you have regularly been receiving rental income. A rental contract would also be useful to show it’s going to continue.

  10. Hi, I’ve a non-EU passport, but living in Scotland. As a three-year freelancer with about £20K p/a business, do you think I could explore this visa. I read from your post that €12K in savings is recommended. I appreciate you have an extensive pre-requisite list on your website , but do you offer a consultation service for introductory questions, so I know what I need to prepare in order to begin the D7 process?

  11. About the golden visa programme, where do you apply for it? Do I have to go the Portuguese consulate or go to a website? Do I apply for the visa before applying for a job in Portugal when I’m in the United Kingdom? Is it true that you can invest 250,000€ for a culture/artistic project or something like that. I’m doing law in university in the uk and I also got a business diploma from college and I’m interested in moving to Porto Portugal. What websites shall I look for a job in Portugal? Can I do marketing there? Do I look for the apartments when I’m in UK?

    Would love to contact you more about Portugal, is it possible if you can drop your email for me please?

    • Hi Valentino,

      A few quick answers to your questions. I’ve also sent you an email.

      Most people apply for the Golden Visa through a lawyer as many specialise in this. That’s not necessary, though. You can also do it yourself through SEF.

      Yes, you apply before moving to Portugal. If you’re planning on getting a job in Portugal, however, it may not be the best visa for you, particularly if you’re highly skilled. There are also visas for people to move to Portugal to work. This isn’t the only visa.

      Yes, the 250k is one option. It’s also possible to invest 280k in a property in need of renovation and in a remote area. Those two are the cheapest options. is a popular jobs website. Linkedin is also useful for finding jobs.

      I’m sure there are marketing jobs.

      It depends on the consulate, but some require you to have rented a place before they grant you a visa.

  12. Hi James your blog is very intuitive thank you. My wife and I hate the UK since the Tory Government has got stronger and stronger, our house is up for sale now. We will have a reasonable nest egg, both in our 50s. Unsure whether we can rent somewhere long term and be self sufficient or would we have to purchase somewhere? Thank you

  13. Hi James

    My husband and I are British citizens and we are hoping to move to portugal in 2023. We first looked at spain, but we will both need to work and the job market for non Spanish persons does not seem favourable.
    We aim to sell our house in the uk to fund the move, and should have around 60k in the bank. We also have 2 young children.
    My questions are;
    1. is there a visa which will allow us to work in portugal straight away
    2. Will the funds we have enable us to gain a visa?
    3. Are we likely to be able to find jobs?

    My husband runs pubs/ b&b and I work in admin/client services.

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Nicky,

      I can’t really speak to the Spanish market, but I wouldn’t say there is a lot of employment (particularly employment that pays well) in Portugal.

      A lot of people that come to Portugal either come with a flexible or remote job or they start a business here. The D2 visa, for example, would allow you to start a business here. The D7 visa can be an option if you get a remote job. There are jobs in some industries like tourism, real estate, and call centre work, but they generally aren’t well-paid unless you branch out and do something yourself.

      I would perhaps look into remote jobs from the UK in admin/client services to begin with. Your husband may want to check what jobs are available in those industries here, or consider starting something himself. If there are any remote jobs in those industries, that’s also worth looking into.

      The financial criteria for those visas are basically about being able to support yourself i.e. you earn at least the Portuguese minimum wage, which is around €700 per month. You can add a partner on that visa if you earn an additional 50% of that and 30% of that for each child.

      Having the 60k savings as a buffer will definitely help your application, but I don’t know if it would be enough on its own.

  14. Hi James,

    Thanks for your posts, they’re super helpful!

    I have a question I need help with, me and my partner came to Portugal in November with no real plan on how long we would stay. We’re still here now and in talks about applying for residency (with the proof that we were here before December 31st). We both work in the UK and I would potentially need to be back by around May/June, so the idea is that we start the residency application so we can legally be here past the 90 days (which would be April 1st)

    Would you foresee an issue with this, if we started the residency application but left Portugal instead, I don’t know how long it takes for the residency to come through but could potentially be leaving before it’s granted. Also regarding taxes, will this have an affect on my taxes if I start a residency application but don’t live in Portugal long term?

    Any advice would be SUPER helpful!
    Many thanks

    • Hi Emma,

      Normally to meet residency requirements you’re supposed to spend 6 months continuous or 8 months with gaps in Portugal which, after that length of time, would also make you tax resident in Portugal.

      I guess it’s possible to get the 5-year CRUE residency now, and that’ll cover you for the next 5 years, but if you don’t spend 6+ months per year physically in Portugal you’re unlikely to be accepted for permanent residency and citizenship after the 5 year mark.

      To answer your other question, if you came in November, you should have been here for 90 days by now.

      • Hi James,

        Thanks for getting back to me

        We were under the impression that the 90 day rule only begun from January the 1st when Brexit was ‘official’ so we’ve been counting 90 days from then, is this incorrect?

        The key is we wouldn’t want to stay in Portugal long term (well we’d love to but don’t think our work will allow) so we’d only be applying for residency to extend our stay slightly, as we’ve been told that once the application is underway we are legally allowed to stay here? So in a sense we realise we may never actually get the residency even after applying, particularly as we don’t think we would be able to stay in Portugal for more than 6 months in the year. We’d be using it as a buffer to try and stay past the 90 day mark (as of Jan 1st). Is our thought process incorrect here, is it not worth undergoing the process in this instance?


        • Hi Emma,

          It’s confusing because there are two rules that both have 90 days in them.

          1) As a non-EU/EEA/Swiss, you’re allowed to be in the Schengen Area for 90 days within every 180 days.
          2) You’re supposed to register for residency after having spent 90 days in Portugal.

          The second one is the one that matters here in terms of applying for residency.

          But it sounds like you’re not looking for residency (i.e. to be able to live in Portugal) but just to be able to visit here for more than 90 days at a time.

          Unfortunately, judging by some articles written by Americans, it doesn’t seem possible to extend a Schengen Visa. Some suggest that you can overstay it and hope for the best but I don’t know if that’s something I would recommend.

  15. Good morning James,

    I have had a Portuguese property for 20 years. I pay all my utility bills, IMI etc. I also have a Portuguese car.
    I currently have my money in UK banks/funds.

    Would you be able to advise me on 3 questions:
    1. If this is enough evidence to get a VISA before the June deadline even though I have not been able to get to Portugal since October 2020 due to covid restrictions (Assuming I get to Portugal before end June)?

    2. Will I have to move all my UK money to Portugal or can I move just a portion of it?

    3. My partner is going to continue to work in the UK and maintain her property, just using the standard 3 months in Portugal every 6. Will it be easier for her to get a VISA on the back of my residency 2 years from now?

    May I just say. This is a very clear article that makes simplifies a complex topic.

    • Hi Paul,

      1. If you were there in October 2020, that might be good enough. I would book a flight to Portugal as soon as flights open up to try and get your CRUE. There are residency visas if that doesn’t work, but it’s definitely worth a try as this option would be much easier.

      2. You won’t have to move all your money. You may need to show sufficient funds, which often need to be in a Portuguese bank account. The Portuguese minimum wage is around €700 per month, so 1 year would be €8400. They may ask for 2 years’ worth. It does depend a lot on your local câmara so worth finding someone who has applied there in the past 6 months.

      3. Yes, there’s the family reunification visa (d6).

      Thank you for the kind words.

      • Thank you for the rapid reply

        Is CRUE the acronym for the residency?

        That is good news about the funds, I have had a Portuguese bank account for many years and I can move some money before June.

        Do you know which department of the câmara I need to contact as I am going to have to book a meeting remotely/via phone from the UK until I can get to the câmara office.

        • Hi Paul,

          CRUE is the residency certificate For EU Citizens (Certificado de Registo de Cidadão da União Europeia). It gives you the right to live in Portugal for 5 years. After this, you can apply for permanent residency and also citizenship.

          Unfortunately, I think you have to physically visit the câmara to get your CRUE which is why this is so challenging. Obviously, a lot of people can’t travel now (and couldn’t in 2020 either) and there were a lot of restrictions on visiting the câmara. You’ll need to wait closer to the time and will probably need to make an appointment.

  16. Lots of great information here, I wish I had found it earlier as all my questions would be solved!

    I had plans to move to Portugal last year/this year before the cut off date however was really confused as my rights and what to do and didn’t get done in time.

    I was living there from October 2020 – February 2021 – I wanted to stay permanently and missed the cut off date for the 31st December 2020 and then became confused about how long I could stay or not and what to do so I left and am now back in the UK.

    Ideally, I would like to go back permanently and my landlord said the place is available.

    Do you know if it’s possible I will still be eligible under the EU rights from before 31st December 2020 and who I should contact to try and sort this?

    Lastly, I wonder if you know about capital gains tax in Portugal? I currently have investments which would be subject to UK capital gains tax so that is something on my mind if I did get residency there.

    Any help is appreciated!

    • Hi Matt,

      As I understand it, if you visit your local Câmara Municipal with evidence that you were living here at the end of last year, you can register as normal. This is in place until the end of June this year.

      Capital gains is normally 28% in Portugal. I imagine the UK system is a little more generous as it has the capital gains allowance, but it’s worth speaking to someone who knows what they’re talking about (not me) before moving to Portugal. That way you can decide what to hold and what to sell before moving here.

      Unfortunately, the registration is something you need to do in person at your local Câmara Municipal although it is possible to get a NIF and even Portuguese bank account in advance, which may be needed.

  17. James,
    I would like to retire to Portugal when I’m 55 in two years with my wife. We both currently hold UK passports, however I can obtain an Irish passport as I was born in Ireland. Financially we will be able to purchase a property without a mortgage and I will have a good private pension. As my wife will not have EU citizenship or income in her own name what do we need to do about a visa and healthcare. Thanks

    • Hi Geoff,

      Very lucky on the Irish passport. With this you’ll have no problems moving to Ireland and your wife could join you through the family reunification visa. It’s something I’ve written about here –

      Under this visa, you would be financially responsible for her (although it sounds like you won’t have a problem meeting the requirements). Both of you, as residents, would be eligible for the public healthcare system. A lot of people take out private health insurance as well just to get bumped up waiting lists.

      With regards to the pension, I’d have a look at applying for the NHR scheme. More relevant info here –

      All in all, it should be pretty straightforward once you get the Irish passport.

  18. Hi James,

    I’ve got some questions about moving to Portugal, wondering if you could put me in touch with someone who can help?

    Many thanks,


      • Hello James,

        I am polish Citizen but living in UK for 18 years,I have polish passport and my 10 year old daughter has a british. I work online and i am self -employed. I would like to move to Portugal in July and send my daughter to international school.I would kindly ask for any contact who could advice me with documents and visa and what are requierments of earning to rent the flat there. I am not sure if I will need one.

        • Hi Leona,

          As an EU citizen, you can move to Portugal. You may need to apply for the D6 visa to bring your daughter to Portugal since she has a British passport.

  19. Thank you for the really useful article,

    I have a UK passport, my partner has a Dutch passport, we can marry if it makes life easier.

    We are looking to purchase a property in Portugal and spend half the year there and half the year in the UK, is this possible? Would I still be able to claim citizenship and obtain my own European passport after 5 years?

    Many thanks


    • Hi Ella,

      Yes, it’s possible.

      Your partner can move to Portugal on his Dutch passport easily and there’s a family reunification visa, for example, which would allow you to join him in Portugal.

      You could then both move to Portugal, spend half the year here, and be eligible for Portuguese citizenship in 5 years.

      A few points:

      * You don’t need to marry as Portugal recognises “stable unions,” however you may need to prove that you are a long term couple (e.g. joint bank account, utility bills at the same address, etc. That said, a lawyer can tell you whether it’s worth marrying or trying to prove you’re a long-term couple.

      * As for spending time in Portugal, you’ll need to spend 6 months consecutively or 8 months with gaps.

      * You would be resident (and tax resident) in Portugal rather than the UK.

      * You can apply for Portuguese citizenship in year 5, however, the process takes around 18-24 months.

      Let me know if you need any more help with this.

  20. Hiya
    My husband is a self employed builder and has been offered work in the algarve. As a subcontractor he would still be self employed so am I right in thinking we would need to apply for D7 visas?
    I would be looking to expand on my VA business remotely so would also be self employed. Our daughter is only 5 months old so I’m assuming she wouldn’t require a visa?
    I feel like I’ve read 500 different things today and confused myself, but your website is by far the clearest.
    If you have any recommendations for people we can talk through the application with that would also be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Hi Olivia,

      Thanks for the kind words about the website.

      I will pass your details onto someone who has more expertise as they would be better able to say whether your husband is more suited to the D7 or D2.

      Your daughter would be included as a dependent on whichever visa you go for and you would just have to show you have the means of supporting her. That amount is normally 30% of the Portuguese monthly minimum wage (so 30% of €635 or around €190 per month) so it should be very achievable.

  21. I’m a UK citizen based out of Switzerland working full time and have owned a property in Portugal (but not lived in it) since 2017.

    Because of the Covid situation my employer has changed their policy so that employees can work remotely without restrictions in the future.

    Therefore I would like to relocate to my property in Portugal and live and work from there for around 6 months a year.

    However, it is not clear which resident category I could fit into. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, including company’s who could help with the paperwork.


    • Thanks Sean,

      Yes, good question for the experts! I will put you in touch.

      I imagine your choice will be between relocating to Portugal on something like the D7 visa or choosing to do stays of up to 90 days in 180 days, which is another thing to consider if you decide not to relocate permanently.

      WIll let them confirm though.

  22. Hi James,

    Thank you for the article, a good and useful read!

    My husband, myself and two children are currently in the UK from Cape Town where we used to live until December, planning to relocate to Portugal when the lockdown eases.

    He and the children are Portuguese citizens (as well as SA), but I only have British citizenship. Our marriage was registered in Lisbon several years ago, and we all have NIF numbers.

    We are planning to go over to Portugal around July time, do I need to apply for a visa to enter prior to arrival, and if so, what sort of visa would I require?

    Many thanks for any information in advance!

    Best regards,


  23. Hi
    Looking to take early retirement later this year….will have a lump sum and roughly £18k a year for 15 years..state Uk pension 10 years after I retire..
    My wife and I have been looking at a Park home on a residential site to purchase..would buying this help with any visa ?
    My wife is looking at doing nails/manicure/etc as a side line
    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated


    • Hi Ian,

      With a pension, it sounds like the D7 visa would be the right visa for you and £18k would meet the financial requirements. The d7 also allows you to run a business in Portugal, so your wife would be able to do her sideline.

      You will need an address in Portugal but I don’t know if a park home would necessarily help any more than an apartment. Personally, I would focus on getting the visa first.

      • Thanks buddy for you help and advice….lockdown permitting we’ve got plans to visit Portugal this year hopefully to view a few places and get the ball rolling
        Thanks again

  24. Hi James.
    My fiancé and I are hoping to move to Portugal in mid 2022. We will have a small passive income from a business in the UK but will need need employment once we are there. Obviously this is something we’ll look at nearer the time, but we would both be looking at something along the lines of personal training or coaching. We have just started learning Portuguese too.
    As well as visa options, is there any other bits of advice you could share please? Many thanks, Scott.

    • Hi Scott,

      I’m going to put everything together in a book so hopefully that’ll give you a birdseye view of everything that you need to know.

  25. Hey!

    I arrived in Portugal on 7th of December 2020, with no return ticket. I’m staying with close family friends and I intend to stay for at least a year. I work remotely (still working in the UK) but have a steady salary (it’s not huge though!). Because I arrived before Brexit, what can I do? How do I obtain the 5-year residency permit? I can’t seem to find anything online, and I’m not sure who to contact.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  26. Hi there, I am a non-resident non-domiciled British citizen living in the UAE. I also have a Jordanian passport. I do not have an income at the moment but have small savings. I am looking to share a property with friends in Portugal and create income by selling farm produce and healing retreats ie. we each pay a share to purchase one property. Will this be a problem for me to get a residency in Portugal?

  27. Hi! Name’s Kenny. I am a business owner looking to move to Portugal, to buy a plot of land and live “off-grid” with my mrs – Claire. My business’ income would be our main support at getting us there – and is fast reaching a point of self sustainability. We would be looking at making money in many ways once we are there – our 2 main skills being my barbering, and her artisnal soap-making and other products. We would also look at selling goods from our allotments etc. I’m fairly confused at the extent of visa options and very inexperienced with it all. Any advice on where to start? I’d hate for us to go about things in the wrong way or order, or make an application at the wrong kind of visa. But still, great info on here – definitely the clearest of websites so far – i think it just takes a bit of life experience to understand these things. Thank you.

    • Hi Kenny,

      Thanks so much for getting in touch and your kind words about the site.

      If you already have any kind of “passive” income such as money from a pension, property rentals, etc then you may be eligible for the D7. If not, and if your money is going to be made solely from your businesses here, then the D2 (entrepreneur) visa would be the better option.

      This visa (the D2) allows you to come to Portugal and start a business. The d2 is slightly more challenging than the D7 as your eligibility will be judged on your business plan, but aside from that it’s quite achievable.

    • Reply
  28. Hello.
    Great piece. Question please we are brits have NIFF NHR Atestado from the Junta Freguesia and have been living in Portugal since Feb 2019 have all the evidence you highlight but stupidly never got our European residency. My question is how do we get our CRUE and can you recommend someone who can help us?

    • Hi Mona,

      Apologies for the delay in replying.

      Normally you would go to your local Câmara with all your documents to get your CRUE. You will need to check with your local Câmara as to whether they still have appointments during this lockdown period.

      Obviously, you’ll need to prove that you have been in Portugal pre December 31st 2020. Be aware that saying you were in Portugal as far back as February 2019 could make you eligible for taxes in Portugal if you earned money during this period.

  29. Hiya, I just found your site. I am living in Scotland since 2005, but have Dutch nationality. Do I need a visa to emigrate to Madeira for retirement? Thanks

    • Hi Eveline,

      You’re lucky in that you have an EU passport.

      As far as I understand, when you apply for residency in Madeira, you’ll be given your CRUE which is a 5-year temporary residence permit and you have an automatic right to live in Portugal.

      Those on a visa, on the other hand, need to apply for the right to live here and then be granted their visa in 1-2 blocks until they get to the 5-year period.

      • Hi James, I have another question I hope you can answer. I grow my own vegetables and have sitting to preserve my food via water bath and pressure canning according to the American system with mason jars. I can beside vegetables, also fruit, pickles and meat. Would you know if I would be allowed to bring filled jars with my move or would you know where to find that info. Thanks Eveline

        • Hi Eveline,

          Not sure.

          You certainly can’t take meat or dairy into the EU now. I’m not sure about preserved vegetables (I think fresh fruit and veg is banned).

          • I think I will have to eat everything I have canned in the coming months and then just take the empty jars with me. I don’t want to loose the jars if they get confiscated as they cost me a lot of money when I bought them from the USA as that was cheaper than buying them in the UK, even with the tax and transport. Still it was a lot of money. Thanks anyway.

  30. Hi there

    I am British citizen come to Portugal on 27/12/21 tried to register my self but there was no appointments in December I have proof of my flight ticket one night hotel proof and also bayed some stuff from the shop proof my question is still I am under withdrawal agreement or not

    • Hi Aziz,

      Unfortunately, we haven’t really heard from many British people who’ve tried to claim residency post January 1st 2021. There is a grace period, and obviously there were extenuating circumstances given Covid, but the only way to find out is to actually get an appointment and see what you get told.

      As far as I know, this has nothing to do with the withdrawal agreement.

        • Hi Simon,

          If applying for a visa (the conditions post Brexit) you apply from the country where you’re resident and then move to Portugal, attend an interview with SEF, and get your residence card.

          If you’re eligible for the pre-brexit conditions, you won’t need a visa but you will need to come here to get your CRUE (Certificado do Registo de Cidadão da União Europeia).

          Also worth pointing out that if you’re applying for residency in Portugal, it’s assumed this is where you’ll be spending the majority of your time. Spending the majority of the year somewhere else can complicate things, especially with taxes.

  31. Hello everyone,

    Does anyone know if the same rules for living in Portugal apply to Madeira?

    We had planned to move there last year before Brexit but the pandemic got there before us!



  32. Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

    My mom lives since 28 years in Monchique and we want to join her there this year. My husband is British. I am German. As a European I believe I have the right to bring my husband? Is there a route through marriage or do we have to apply for the D7 scheme for him as well?

    Thank you for your kind advice!


  33. Hi James,

    Really helpful post!

    I work in digital and am self-employed, and I’m looking at moving to Lisbon early this year from the UK. I’m a UK resident, and my contracts will not be disrupted by location.

    What is the first thing that I need to do? I know that UK residents get 90 days automatically as part of the Brexit agreement, so does that mean that I need to do nothing until I land in Portugal? Or do I need to apply for something in the UK?

    Any help or advice or just a point in the right direction would be really helpful!

    Thank you,


    • Hi Josh,

      I think the post could probably do with an update now Brexit has actually happened, but it’s still a little unclear what the relationship between the two countries will look like. Basically, will UK citizens be offered anything different to what already exists to 3rd country citizens.

      Most people are assuming that the main route for self-employed people like yourself will be the D7 visa (or D2). Although you may need to come to Portugal to get a NIF, open a bank account, etc., this is something you normally apply for while in the UK.

      I’ve written a little more about it (the d7) here:

      I need to write about the d2 as well.

      • Thanks James.

        It is very confusing – not least because I can’t get an appointment at the Portuguese Consulate in London.

        It seems that I need to do things when I come over, and yet, I have to come back to the UK to apply at the Consulate…

        A post about this now that Brexit has happened would be amazing – I’m sure I’m not the only person who’ll be asking questions like this!

      • James, in a follow-up to this, do you know any Lawyers in Portugal who can assist me with applying for the D7? I believe that I need a fiscal representative to create a NIF as well as offering some help/advice.
        I have been able to arrange an appointment at the London Portuguese Consulate for the 28/01 but need some help before this!
        Thank you!

    • Hi Josh

      Just saw this and I am in the exact same position.

      Having been bounced between embassies and consulates and god knows who else for the past week I finally thought I was getting somewhere with an online Visa application through but completion of this needs to be done in person from the UK apparently and there are no more time slots (or its just closed) in London so depending on where you are you may have better luck. Seems like there are still slot available in Manchester/Edinburgh.

      Going to check out the recommendation here on D7 as this hasn’t come up before but happy to keep you in the loop here if I get anywhere.



      • Hi Joe,

        Yes, I have tried VFSGlobal and they aren’t much help – London is full and you have to keep checking in the hope that new appointments come up or somebody cancels – they literally don’t offer any other help. And you can’t go to Manchester or Glasgow if your address is in and around London.

        I spoke to somebody at VFS and they said I need to apply for a National Visa at the consulate.

        I’m guessing that when you have this you can go to the SEF in Lisbon after you’ve arrived and continue with your application for a D7 visa…don’t take this as gospel though as I’m still trying to figure this out.

        Brexit is the worst.

  34. hi I am looking to move to Portugal for better life and work I am looking at how to rent homes and looking at visa and residency is there anything els that i should be looking into

    • Hi Kris,

      Eligibility (visas) is one thing to look at. Another thing is affordability or whether you can afford to live here. Portugal isn’t an expensive place to live, per say, but most people need some form of external income (remote job, pension, etc.)

  35. Hi
    I am a British citizen, I could not manage to get my Proof of residency and NIF of portuguese before 31 December 2020 because of the Pandemic and flight banning.
    Can I do it now i mean after brexit.
    Thank you

    • If you were living in Portugal prior to January 1st 2021, you’ll need to prove it but there is a grace period until June.

      The most common way to prove it is something like a rental contract, but card receipts, flight tickets to Portugal, etc could all help. It’s possible you won’t be asked for any of these things, but it’s always good to be prepared.

      If you weren’t in Portugal, I’m sure there will be other ways to move to Portugal such as via the d7 visa. These ways haven’t really been established yet, though.

  36. Hi James
    My wife and I are about to embark on moving to Portugal for retirement. We would go down the NHR D7 route. Could you please forward details of any professional people who might assist with the process?
    Many thanks

  37. Hi there,

    I have a holiday home in Portugal, and am out here at the moment but working remotely for a UK business. Will I still be able to do this? I have tried getting a NIF and residency but need a representative? Is that correct?

    • Hi Ellie,

      It’s all become a little more complicated due to Covid. You would normally get an appointment with Finanças and, as an EU citizen, wouldn’t need a representative.

      It’s now possible for someone who’s resident here (basically, someone who has a NIF) to get one for you as your representative. If you have someone who can do that for you, I’d recommend it. You should also set this to your PT address if you want to show you’re resident here. There are also companies that offer this service with fees that start at around €50. That could be an easier option.

      There is a grace period for registering until June but I would try and get this sorted as quickly as possible in January. You basically want to prove that you’ve been living here (so copies of your flight ticket, card purchases in Portugal etc could all help, if needed). I’m imagining if you do it in January, it’ll be a little simpler but who knows.

      Working remotely won’t be an issue, but being resident here does mean being tax resident here too. Hopefully your company are on board with this. Many are but some are not.

  38. Hi,

    Do you have any recommendations for citizenship lawyers in Pt? My father left Lisbon 40 years ago and has lived in Britain since where I was born, however, never renewed his Pt passport in this time. My grandfather remained and is now buried in Lisbon for which I believe there is a route to citizenship via a grandparent(?)

    I’m thinking a week today would be a good time to think about getting EU/Portuguese citizenship if permitted; I’m comfortable speaking Portuguese also.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  39. Hi,

    I’ve been living in Portugal June but do not have a residency permit – will i be able to get a permit in the grace period from January?

    • Hi Ross,

      If you can prove you were living here, yes. If you’re still in Portugal, I would try and get it done now if possible.

      Be aware also that if you’ve spent more than 183 days in Portugal already, you should already be resident here (and paying your taxes here).

        • Hi Jen,

          The NIF is sometimes used to track whether you’ve been in Portugal or not so, yes, I would try to use this as evidence. If you have some kind of rental contract that would help too. Also, any evidence of you entering Portugal (e.g. flight ticket).

          Basically, get as much evidence together. You don’t always know what will and won’t be accepted.

  40. Hi there.

    I’ve managed to get a certificate of registration from the town hall, but not a NIF as yet. I will be returning to England shortly to visit family and then returning to Portugal early next year – Jan or Feb. Do I need to get a NIF now, or can it wait until I return? Also do you know about driving licences? I understand these also need to be changed to a Portuguese licence, but does that need to happen before Dec 31st as well?
    Thank you!

  41. Hi There,

    I am a dancer and UK citizen, I will be joining a Portuguese junior dance company on 6th January 2021, I have an official contract of this also. I won’t be getting paid but I also won’t be paying for the course either, I’m not sure if this makes me a student or not. I have researched a lot, but I haven’t found any information on what I need to do in terms of applying for residency or visa. Please could you advise on what I should do?

    Many thanks,

    • Hi Hayley,

      It’s very difficult to say because nobody knows what’ll happen to the status of UK citizens on the 1st of January.

      It depends a lot on how long you need to stay in Portugal for. Many people are assuming that, if there’s no Brexit deal, UK citizens will still be able to visit Portugal for 90 days in every 180 days as is the case with people from the US for example. If you’re going to be less than 3 months, that could be fine.

      If you need to be there longer than 6 months, then normally you should be thinking about becoming resident in Portugal anyway in which case it’s probably better to organise that before Jan 1st.

      I couldn’t tell from your comment whether you’re joining the dance company to learn or to work (unpaid). Should you end up needing a visa (and you might not know this until the Brexit talks conclude) you would need to know what type of visa.

      Unfortunately your move to Portugal starts at a very awkward moment in time!


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