Remote Worker? Why Not Move to Portugal (or just visit)?

The small print: Portugalist may generate a commission from mentioned products or services. This is at no additional cost to you and it does not affect our editorial standards in any way. All content, including comments, should be treated as informational and not advice of any kind, including legal or financial advice. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors or omissions or damages arising from its display or use. Links to external websites do not constitute an endorsement.

As remote work becomes more and more of a possibility of people, more and more people are looking at Portugal as a remote working destination. And, why wouldn’t you? Portugal, particularly areas like Lisbon and the Algarve, has great year-round weather with 300+ days of sunshine, a lower cost of living, and is easy to fly to from most of Europe. It also has several areas that are nomad hubs, particularly Lisbon but also places like Lagos in the Algarve, Madeira, Porto, Ericeira, and Costa da Caparica.

More importantly, Portugal is looking to attract remote workers. It is actively running tourist campaigns to attract remote workers and digital nomads and, as of September 2022, it has introduced a new visa for digital nomads and remote workers.

This is aimed at the two types of remote workers and freelancers Portugal attracts:

Moving to Portugal Made Simple Cover Wish moving to Portugal was a little more simple? 

Now it can be. Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple from Amazon.

  1. People that want to spend a few months working somewhere sunny, but don’t want to move there
  2. People that want to move to Portugal and have it as their base

Both have slightly different implications.

Moving to Portugal as a remote worker

Over the past few years, Portugal has started to attract thousands of remote workers, freelancers, and digital nomads who want to move to Portugal, but continue earning from their remote jobs abroad. If you have a salary from somewhere like the UK, USA, or Germany, for example, Portugal can be a very appealing place to live.

In the past, many remote workers and freelancers did this by applying for the D7 visa (and sometimes the D2) but, as of 2022, Portugal has introduced a digital nomad visa aimed at remote workers and freelancers.

This is aimed at those from outside the EU, and will be of particular interest to those interested in having a base in Europe and also obtaining an “EU passport.”Many remote workers will also be able to take advantage of Portugal’s NHR tax regime, which offers discounted tax rates for the first ten years of residency, or Portugal’s other tax regimes which are sometimes even more appealing. Those from another EU country like France or Ireland can already move to Portugal without requiring a special residency visa.

If you’re thinking about moving to Portugal as a remote worker, the first step is to check whether you actually can. Speak to a lawyer and see if you meet the requirements.

The next step is to find out how your company will feel about it. While many companies are fine with their employees working remotely in their own country, they aren’t okay with them working remotely in another country – especially moving to another country and working remotely. It can have tax and legal complications and, unless the company has an office in Portugal, they may not be willing to facilitate it.

Visiting Portugal as a Remote Worker

As well as people who make a permanent or semi-permanent move to Portugal, there are also plenty of people that come for a few months and then return home or move on to another destination. Post-covid many companies are allowing their employees to do this, although it does vary from company to company. Many remote workers avoid getting a “no” from their employers by simply not telling them and not staying long enough in Portugal to create any problems.

Aside from getting employer approval, the biggest challenge is typically finding affordable accommodation. That’s especially the case if you want to go to a digital nomad hotspot like Lisbon, Lagos, or Madeira. Airbnbs are becoming more expensive, although with a little forward-planning and research, it is possible to get a reasonable deal. It’s also worth noting that there are other accommodation sites as well, for example Flatio, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere and There are also co-living spaces which are essentially posh hostels with great wifi and co-working areas.

You don’t need a co-working space, but they are useful for being productive and meeting other people. Lisbon and Porto, in particular, also have lots of cafés, particularly the more moden hipster cafés, that you could work from as well.  Apps like Croissant allow you to buy credit that you can use at multiple different co-working spaces. It also allows you to try multiple co-working spaces before deciding to settle on one.

Share this article

Moving to Portugal Made Simple Cover Wish moving to Portugal was a little more simple? 

Now it can be. Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple from Amazon.

Leave a Comment


  1. Hello,

    I am employed and work for a UK company but can do remote working. We are staying in Portugal for 14 days in September and I may need to work for 2 days but my employer HR team is asking me to provide the proof for my right to work for those two days. Does anyone know the rules on this please and point me to the rules?


    • Hi Stephen,

      I didn't quite understand what you were saying. Proof of your right to work while in Portugal? That's surely up to the company's legal/HR team rather than anything to do with you?

  2. Hello,

    I am working remotely in a 1 bed apartment near Palmela. I have to return to the office for the summer months so my place is available if anyone needs it. Broadband is fibre to the building and coax to the router. Give me a shout at [email protected]


  3. Hello,

    Where can I find a good English speaking accountant in Portugal? I'm looking for an accountant idealy in the region Coimbra, Porto, Braga. What is a reasonable tarif?

  4. Hi,

    My question does not seem to be completely related to this post but since you seem to have knowledge about Portugal and its legal aspect of it I thought its worth a try.

    I already have a job offer from Portugal. This offer will help me relocate and live in Portugal which would lead me getting a permanent residency in Portugal. However, the salary seems to be a little on the lower side. For that reason, I am thinking that while working for this company I would also work for another company remotely from Portugal.

    My question is can I work for 2 companies one for Portuguese and one for company from abroad(maybe another EU country or even US) at the same time and do I have to pay taxes for both of these employments in Portugal?

    I am a non-EU citizen and belong to Asia.


  5. Hi! I'm not sure if you're still monitoring this post but worth a try! If I want to work remotely from Portugal on a UK contract, do you know what my employer actually has to do regarding payroll and taxes (from what I understand there should be a way of telling HMRC that I'm a tax resident abroad but I cannot figure out how without them having a Portuguese branch of the company)? Any insight you have would be very appreciated thank you!

    • Hi Rosana,

      Yep, unfortunately, it seems that there are legal and tax issues to having employees in other countries and as soon as the HR department realises this, they shut down the idea of letting people work from anywhere. I know there are some companies that offer fully remote jobs, but I'm not sure how they do this. This isn't something I understand, but this is just based on speaking to a lot of people during the pandemic who tried to come to Portugal and do this.

      Aside from getting your company to set up a Portuguese branch, which presumably they won't do, there are possibly two other options.

      1) I believe is set up to deal with this particular problem. Haven't used them personally, but could be worth getting your HR department to speak to them.

      2) Become a freelancer/contractor and work with the company that way. It would mean you have less job security and would probably miss out on certain employee perks, however.

  6. Hi James,

    Great article. Very helpful, however I have a question for you. I am looking to head over to the Algarve to help my parents move and settle in (they are in the process of relocating from South Africa to Portugal on a golden visa). I intend on working from Portugal (I am employed in the UK by a UK business) for the 7 days over the festive period. What's the quickest way to get a visa for this short term period?



  7. James Cave,

    If one works for a US company in the US, and can work work that job remotely in Portugal, is it allowed? I was told by some that the US company must have an office in Portugal. Is that true? Also, what does it mean to pay social security to Portugal? So you dont pay social security in the US. And does that affect the US social security take-home when you retire?

    thanks, Gorgoegos

    • Hi Gorgoegos,

      Those all sound like good questions for an accountant (which I am not) and perhaps both a Portuguese and an American accountant.

      You would also need to speak to your HR department to see if they would allow remote working from outside the US first of all. Many don't as it can mean having to open an office in Portugal, as you mention. Some companies allow their employees to go freelance and just take them on as a contractor, however, you may lose a lot of employee benefits by doing this as well as any job security.

  8. Hi !

    Thank you so much for all the info!

    Sorry if I am repeating a question...I was wondering if with the D7 application we had to be paid into a Portuguese bank account or can I keep my current UK account with salary into that as proof of my passive income? And how many months I would need to show on this? Its a new position and I am already in Portugal waiting for my NIF number!

    Many thanks

  9. Hi, James.

    Great article, very useful indeed! I have read elsewhere that while the D7 is a popular option for remote workers, there are quite a few cases in which people are turned down for having remote work be their only source of income (as in, they don't also have a passive source of income, which the visa is technically for).

    No doubt many folks have been successful taking this route though. I just wondered what your thoughts were on that? It is often alluded to that it largely matters which consulate you apply to (so, which country you're from, in other words). Do you think it's likely an unwritten rule that people applying with a remote salary only have a better chance to be accepted if they are from a wealthy country (US, UK, Australia etc), as their remote job is based in a more stable economy? I'm looking to move to Portugal long-term next year and also have a good amount of savings behind me, so just speculating on the chances of being rejected. I'm from the UK for what it's worth. I'll be moving with somebody else as well, who also has a good amount of savings and is from the US.


    • Thanks for that, James, incredibly useful as always. Just read that recent article you linked. Very reassuring that a consulate mentioned to Yanira that she requires a passive income *or* a remote income. I'll definitely pursue some professional help nearer the time as well.

      Thanks again!

  10. I am a US citizen and EU citizen living in the US and a full-time permanent W2 employee working for a US-based company. I am already working fully remotely in the US. I want to start working half the year in Portugal, half the year in the US and would like to know how to legally do this. D7 doesn’t make sense because I don’t have “passive income”. I don’t want to ‘change’ my residence to Portugal, at least not at first (I may want to reside there permanently in the future but first want to check everything out). Thoughts? My wife is a US citizen and owns her own LLC and would like to do the same with me 🙂

    • Hi Nick,
      I am actually in the same situation, I work for a US company and have dual citizenship. I am fully remote here in the US but want to move to Portugal and continue to work from there. If you find out more info please let me know, and I will do the same.

  11. Hi there,

    Thanks for the informative post. I was wondering if you had any more clarity on the issue of reporting foreign-earned income as a RNH. If you have the status and have been employed in the US still, you can report total taxes paid in the US, into the Portuguese IRS and it gets approved. So from the employee side, that is all set.

    But in this scenario, if you're employed in the US--and reporting on that foreign earned income--your employer is still technically paying employer taxes to the US gov, rather than PT...but the Portuguese IRS clearly knows that is happening if you are reporting the foreign earned income.

    Any knowledge on how a US company could pay PT employer payroll taxes but still have someone on a US payroll? Seems like the only way the whole system would be above water.


  12. Hi James,

    Thanks for the article. I currently live and work in the US as a non-american, but my wife is from Italy and we are planning to relocate to Portugal while keeping my job in the US. Wanted to talk to someone who might have good insights as to the different models and costs (for me and the company) that could make this work (3rd party payroll company vs me as a contractor/consultant). If you have a good relocation lawyer/accountant that you'd recommend speaking with, I'd appreciate it.


  13. Hi James,

    I am a Portuguese national with a British passport, been living in the UK for the past 11 years and I'm planning to move back to Portugal this year.
    I'm a freelancer with a UK limited company and my wife is also a Portuguese / British citizen that works as a sole trader in the UK.
    We would like to work from Portugal permanently but we wanted to pay taxes in the UK for a few more years, do you think thats possible as a registered sole trader and limited company director?
    Many Thanks,


    • Olá Felipe,

      Assuming you haven't been on the scheme before, the NHR tax regime could be useful here for you and potentially your wife as well. It allows you to continue to pay some taxes abroad rather than in Portugal. It's slightly simpler for LTD companies. For sole traders, it'll depend on whether your wife's profession is considered high value. An accountant can recommend whether NHR is the best option for her or the "simplified regime."

      It's definitely worth signing up for when you become resident here again, even if you don't end up using it. More info:

      Many people who move abroad from the UK continue to make voluntary national insurance contributions - another thing to consider.

      • Many Thanks James,

        When you say for my wife to speak with an accountant, is it here in the UK or in Portugal?
        If there's one, familiar with this process that you could recommend we will be happy to follow your recommendation.

        • Hi Filipe,

          Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

          You'll need an accountant that's familiar with taxes in both countries and the best place to find that is Portugal, especially the Algarve where there's a big market for that.

  14. Hi James,

    Thank you in advance for any insight you might be able to provide on this.

    I will be a returning Portuguese citizen (also possess British nationality), potentially continuing to work remotely for a UK company, this will be a permanent move on my part.

    My question is in regard to UK capital gains tax on gains realised whilst living in Portugal.

    Ordinarily, this type of capital gain (cryptocurrency), would be exempt from capital gains tax in Portugal and would only incur HMRC tax liability should you return to the UK to live within a 5 year period of realising said gains.

    However, I’m not sure if this tax exemption would change if you continue to work for a UK company, albeit remotely, in Portugal. Would HMRC then be in a position to demand the tax liability on said gains whilst you’re still living in Portugal?

    Would signing up to the NHR scheme be beneficial for this purpose, or would it be counterproductive?

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Mice,

      I think this is a question for an accountant, esp. one that has some experience with crypto. I would imagine the remote job wouldn't affect this, but better to ask someone who knows 🙂

      As for the NHR, it doesn't really impact capital gains esp on the sale of shares anyway. However, it's still worth signing up for it and you don't have to use it if you sign up for it. You may not decide to use it this year, but maybe it'll be useful to you a few years down the road.

  15. Hello,
    I have a question about the D7 visa. I have a remote job, but I also have to be in the United States for about 4 months of the year to work for my other job physically. So my question is will I be able to travel back to the states and work for the 4 months of the year? And should I address this in my application as income on behalf of me being able to sustain myself for the full year requirements?

    • Hi Nathan,

      The D7 does give exemptions if you're travelling for work, but if you're also going to be in Portugal for the remaining eight months that's enough to meet the minimum stay requirements.

      Personally, I would probably mention this now. If SEF question you travelling so much when it comes time for renewals, you'll be able to that this was stated in your application.

      A lawyer can advise you properly (let me know if you want me to put you in touch with one).

  16. Hey James!

    I love it that you reply to all of these questions 🙂

    I'm moving to Portugal and I'm an EU citizen. Since I work remotely and have an online business I would rather keep my personal income + business taxes in another EU country while I stay in Portugal for at least 6 months. Where can I find more info on this and if that's possible, to live in Portugal but not pay taxes to Portugal?

    • Hi Pauline,

      Tax residency can be quite complicated, but I think most people become tax resident when they spend more than 183 days in Portugal. It's possible to automatically become tax resident earlier, for example if you give up your residency somewhere else, but this is the simplest and most common way people become tax resident here. Once you pass the six month mark, I think it's fairly likely that you really should be tax resident in Portugal at this point. It's still a grey area, but much less so than before that.

      Note: You should apply for residency after being here for three months (not the same as tax residency) but in practice a lot of people from other EU countries don't and live sort of under the radar.

      If you fall in love with Portugal and decide to stay longer, and end up needing to become resident/tax resident here, you should look into NHR. For some professions, it can allow you to pay taxes on remote work in the country of your employer. In some cases, it can also be a better deal tax-wise than what you're currently paying.

  17. Hi team

    Thanks for the great article

    I am looking to work from Portugal and have been told i can work remotely from any region (just has to be in Portugal due to the pay entity)

    I am a type 2 diabetic so wanted information about how i can manage my diabetes in Portugal and the health care as i will relocate from te UK, currently here i get free medication for my diabetes

    • Hi Baz,

      That's quite a big topic, but I'll try and answer it quickly.

      Essentially Portugal has a NHS like the UK which you would be eligible to use once you become a resident. If not free, I imagine your prescription would be heavily subsidised.

      Portugal also has a private healthcare system that's very affordable and a lot of people who move to Portugal use it to get faster referrals, English-speaking doctors, etc.

      • Hello James, please let me know if you can assist. I am currently working for an IT company in Germany. I have EU (Italian) passport. My wife doesn’t have EU passport.
        With the pandemic, my office closed permanently so I am officially working from home.
        We would like to move to Portugal. I need to keep an address registered in Germany as far as I know and will continue paying 31,5% +- taxes. So I am ok with German laws, right?
        What about in Portugal? Do I need to pay taxes? Paying taxes in both countries don’t worth it. What about my wife? In Germany she has permission for 5 years for being married with an EU member. How should we register her in Portugal?
        What else should I pay attention?

        • Hi Gago,

          You should look into the family reunification visa for your wife:

          Moving to Portugal normally means being tax resident here on your worldwide income (including income from Germany). Tax treaties between Germany and Portugal likely exist to prevent double taxation, but it doesn't normally mean you get to pick where you can pay taxes. That said, depending on your profession, you may qualify for Non Habitual Residency which may allow you to pay things like income tax in Germany.

          However, you also need to consider that while many employers are okay with remote work they don't like the idea of remote work in another country due to payroll and tax issues.

          I think your main concerns should be whether:

          1) Whether you qualify for NHR and whether you would be able to continue to pay taxes in Germany
          2) Whether your employer is okay with you working from Portugal

  18. hello,

    I am a full-time, W2 remote employee for a US company based in NYC, with the current freedom to work in any US state.

    Would a permanent move be possible under these circumstances, so long as I clear it with my employer and have the D7 visa? Could my employer actually save on costs by no longer having to provide health insurance coverage while I'm abroad?


    • Hi Em,

      It sounds like it would be possible, but it would be important to clear it with your employer. Many don't like the idea of their employees working in other countries (for legal, payroll, and security reasons) while others require you become a freelancer rather than an employee to make it work.

      So start by trying to clear it with your employer.

      Let me know how you get on.

    • There are a few things to consider here:

      First, the D7 and qualification for the temporary residency permit. Sounds like you know about these requirements, and they're fairly well-documented and consistent for all cases.

      Second, taxation. There are three aspects to taxation that are important to understand: income tax, capital gains tax, and social security tax.

      On income tax, if you qualify for NHR, you would pay a 20% flat tax on income from a Portuguese source, and be tax exempt from "foreign source income". The question I can never get a straight answer on is if "foreign source income" is W2 income paid to a US bank with a US address, while I maintain a US home. I've consulted a few tax attorneys in Portugal who have given inconsistent answers. If you end up having to pay the 20%, you can always take the Foreign Tax Credit on your US tax return (or vice versa) so that you are not taxed twice for the same income. My guess is that depending on your situation, you may end up paying slightly more in Portugal.

      On capital gains tax, real estate capitals gains is treated differently. Capital gains from securities (stocks, bonds, etc) is a flat rate of 28% (there is no short-term capital gains distinction in Portugal). You will end up paying more in tax in Portugal, but you can credit any tax paid in the US to your Portuguese return.

      Social security is the one I can't quite figure out. There is a social security agreement between the US and Portugal (, but my aforementioned attorneys do not believe my situation (which is similar to yours) would be applicable, though I cannot understand why.

      The part I haven't touched on is retirement income tax, which doesn't apply to me (or, it seems, you). This is also different, and the rules changed this year.

      Taxation is a highly important aspect of expat life. I strongly recommend you ignore yahoos on the Internet (like me) and find a competent professional to do an analysis of your situation.

      You also mentioned health insurance. Non-permanent residents and citizens of the EU are required to obtain private health insurance. As part of your completion of the D7 process and once you obtain the temporary residency permit, you are allowed to obtain permission to use the public health system. For a healthy couple of working age, expect to spend €100-200/month on private insurance. Generally, expats should avail themselves of the private system and leave the (overworked, overburdened, but still pretty great) public system to the locals.

    • Hi Em,

      From what I've been reading, it takes six months to become eligible for social security once you land in Portugal. Though you have to pay social security taxes to Portugal, and your employer does as well, which is significantly higher than U.S. taxes.

      According to KPMG (link below), you can file for a temporary tax exemption if you plan on staying less than a year. But the issue I've been having with that is how do you convey the "temporary aspect" with your D7 residency visa, as they appear to contradict one another?

    • Hello, Em,

      Have you figure it out with your employer?
      I am living in Wisconsin and working remotely for a NY company and thinking about moving to Portugal for a year. I have not spoken to them yet about it. Curious to know what your employer said.

      Thank you.

      • Dina, I'm in the same exact situation as you. In my head I can just move to Portugal while keeping my residency(I own property) and bank accounts in US and file everything here as usual but it might be more complicated. If you find more info I would really appreciate it. I will do the same.
        Cheers and thanks for all the info.

  19. Hi James, thanks for writing this great article.

    I'm from Brazil, a family member(married) of a European and we are currently living in Ireland, I hold the Irish Residency Card and I work here normally but my wife is a stay-at-home mum, so she doesn't work at the moment. We are planning to move to Portugal and apply for residency permission but I will continue working remotely for the same Irish company, is this currently possible since I'm the one working, not my wife? Is there anything that we should provide during the visa application process?

    Thank you very much for your attention.

    • Olá Jose

      This is a good question for an immigration lawyer as I'm not sure of the answer. Please let me know if you want me to put you in touch with someone.

  20. Hi

    I’m a canadian that just moved to Portugal on a D7 visa. I’m in discussion with a Canadian company for a job (IT) where I would work from home. They want to hire me « in Canada » so I was wondering what is the tax implication? Would I pay tax in both country? Am I allowed? Thanks

    • I would love this information as well please! I am a Canadian working remotely for a Canadian company, and living in Lisbon since last July. I'm planning on staying for the foreseeable future but any talk of double tax is out of the question and therefore would not be worth it.

      • Would also love any recommendations of lawyers/tax accountants familiar with NHR in Portugal and Canadian tax residency. I'm a dual Portuguese-Canadian citizen, looking for remote jobs that would hopefully allow me to stay tax resident in Canada, while living in Portugal permanently (if that is possible!).

  21. Hi I am wondering what would be the best thing to do in this case:
    Let's say a dual citizen of both Portugal and Canada is employed full time by a Canadian company and would like to move to portugal forever. Would they have to change residency to portugal even though they are working full time for a Canadian Company?

    This person does not want their TFSA contribution room to be limited in the following years so they are just wondering. Any help would be great!

  22. Hi James,

    I think you missed my query. Can you please connect me with relocation lawyer as I would like to relocate to Portugal. I am working for American company in IT industry. Your inputs will be valuable as I can better realign with responsibilities better from Portugal in Portugal incredible environment.

  23. I’m an Indian citizen working for a company remotely and living in the USA. I’m a blockchain developer and I would like to move to Portugal and work remotely for the same company. Do I need a visa? If so, what visa would I need to apply for ?

  24. I’m a Canadian citizen working for a company in Canada and we’re working remotely from home. I’m a software developer and I would like to spend a year in Portugal and work remotely for the same company. Do I need a visa? If so, what visa would I need to apply for?

  25. Hi, if I have an online business do you know if I can apply for a D7 visa or does it have to be just income from a passive income that I need?

    • Hi Georgina,

      Apologies for the delay in replying.

      I'll pass your details onto a lawyer who can better answer this question.

  26. Hi,

    I'm considering working from Portugal (I've been working remotely in US for the past 4-5 years), however my situation is a little bit more "delicate" (I would like to enroll my kid at school in Portugal as well).
    Why do I say "delicate"? Because I currently have dual-citizenship (US citizen and European Union citizen), so I don't know exactly under what type of visa (if needed) we could fall under! I still consider working for the same US employer and filling my annual taxes in US!
    Thank you

    • Hi Dan,

      Thanks for your message.

      It sounds like you will be doing a full move to Portugal rather than a digital nomad approach where you only spend a few months here. I will put you in touch with the experts who can discuss the best tax options.

      • Hi James! I am also in the same situation as Dan, can you please put me in contact with an expert?

  27. James, I am looking at language studies at the university level in Portugal, beginning in October if the covid virus allows, maybe the spring semester. I work at home online now as an engineering contractor, not as 1099, tho. My company is OK with me doing the same from Portugal. Does this fall under the 'don't ask, don't tell ' situation? ...........................................................
    thanks, David

    • Hi David,

      The digital nomads who come to Portugal to work remotely often only do so for a few weeks, so it's a grey-er area as to what's legal and what isn't. It may be worth getting expert advice on what visa would be best for both study and remote work. I can put you in touch with some companies that can help, if you like?

    • Great post! (I am wondering by the way if your profile photo was taken in Sintra? I have an almost identical photo of myself with the same background is why I ask.) I am wondering if you can share contacts who might be able to help me with a situation. I am a US citizen and a full-time permanent W2 employee working for a US-based multinational company (has a small office in Lisbon by the way). I am already working fully remotely in the US. I want to start working half the year in Lisbon, half the year in the US and would like to know how to legally do this. D7 doesn't make sense because I don't have "passive income". I don't want to 'change' my residence to Portugal, at least not at first (I may want to reside there permanently in the future but not without 'testing the waters'). Thoughts?

      • Hi Monique,

        I think my photo was taken in Lisbon somewhere but I'm not sure where.

        I will pass your details onto the experts 🙂

  28. Hi James,

    Thanks for all your helpful information, could you recommend a lawyer that could help with the D7 visa, we are ready to get started. Thanks!

  29. Hi James, great article, thank you.

    Do you have any further info on the D2 Visa? I'm trying to figure out which option would be suitable for somebody who is employed remotely with a company outside of Portugal (i.e. working full time, but remote).

    Thanks for any tips,

  30. Hi James,

    When establishing residency and working remotely for a US company, one would be subject to paying taxes in Portugal. As the US requires it's citizens to pay tax while living abroad, does that mean paying tax in the US as well?
    Thank You,

    • You are not taxed "twice".

      If you are a remote worker with a W2, demonstrating that your income is taxed in the US, you are eligible for NHR and pay no taxes to PT. You do have to file an annual tax report in PT. You will only pay US taxes.

      If you are a remote worker as a 1099 contractor, you will pay tax in PT. When you file US tax return, you will show taxes were paid in PT and not have that income taxed again in the US. On your US tax return you will claim FEIE (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion). Take a look at the FEIE and foreign housing exclusions. However, in the end you pay taxes to PT - which are much higher than US tax rates, so 1099 worker beware.

      If you own a business in the US and do not work, but take owner draws or dividends, you will be considered "passive income" and eligible for PT NHR. Again, you file an annual tax return in PT and pay no tax, then file and pay taxes in the US.

      *One caveat to note is that at some point, PT may scrutinize owner draws to determine that you are not actually working in PT. If you have employees on payroll in the US, this will support your claim you don't work. Or if you make a trip back to the US annually, to do "all the owner work/management" during that time, but that seems a little iffy.

      • Hi Jill,

        Just curious to know whether your comments on how a W2 remote worker gets taxed in Portugal has been confirmed in practice? I’ve seen other comments stating that even if you are working remotely for a foreign company, the fact that this work was done while living in Portugal makes it NOT foreign-sourced income but rather Portugal sourced, and therefore taxed at the progressive rates. Am hoping to hear from someone in this situation that can confirm how this is actually interpreted by the Portuguese tax authorities. Thanks!

        P.S. to James, thanks for the informative article. Would you be able to recommend any contacts (tax specialists) that would be able to assist with some questions I may have regarding Portugal tax implications for remote employees. Thanks!

        • I contacted a tax professional in Portugal that stated a W2 is best to qualify for NHR and income would be exempt from Portugal taxes as it shows you already were taxed in the US.
          I live in a state that has no income tax, so I just pay Federal taxes.

          • Hi Jill,

            Thanks for the insight on your experience with the W2. I was curious about your experience with the AT and utilizing the NHR. Was it successful this past year? Additionally, were you able to file paperwork to pay U.S social security taxes versus Portuguese? From what I've read, you can apply to pay U.S. social security taxes if you plan on being in Portugal less than a year, but it won't be accepted if more than a year?

            Any help you might be able to provide would be appreciated.


  31. Hi!
    I am a permanent resident in USA and me and my husband are planning to request citizenship in short term We are both from Portugal (home country). Long term, we have the plan to get remote US jobs and comeback to Portugal for living with US incoming jobs.
    Is this dream possible having dual citizenship? what is the implication on taxes?

  32. Hi James, thanks for taking the time to write this up

    Any advice for a Brit who's considering whether he can still move in 2021 even though Brexit is on the horizon? I'm a software developer working via an umbrella company for another company here in the UK

    • Hey Adam,

      Well, nobody knows what'll happen with Brexit. It could be that the UK will get some kind of deal that allows people to move to Portugal easily or, if the UK is going to be treated like the US and all other 3rd countries, it could be that you'll need to apply for a visa. Maybe it'll all become clearer next week.

      • Any update on this? As someone stuck in the not-so-UK and wanting out, but wanting to work remotely, but travel for a year at least before deciding where to live, with PT being a possibility here, at which point becoming tax resident will happen.

        • Hi Luke,

          The new restrictions on visiting the Schengen Area for UK citizens will mean you can only spend 90 days in the Schengen Area in a 180-day period. A 3-month stint should give you a good feel for the country.

  33. I'm curious, I am actually a Dual Citizenship Between the UN and Canada. I am currently self employed with a company online. They pay in USD. But funds gets released into my Portugese Pay Pal account and transferred into my Portugese Bank Account.

    Would you have any idea what I need to do to make things legal for me here regarding taxes?

    I use to have a hair salon, in the Azores so I know I need to switch my business status from Salon, but I pay my Social Assistant every month. But now with the switch of how I make my income is a tad confusing and I am not getting straight answers.

    Because I don't need a Visa to work here. But I'm not with a European company. Best part is I need to figure this out for Canada lol

    • Hi Marinda,

      I think you really need to speak to a really good accountant (and maybe even more than one).

      Let me know if you need me to suggest one.


  34. Hi James,
    I enjoy your website and all the info you provide. My wife and I are considering a move to Portugal in the next couple of years. I have a job where I can work remotely for a US company. I would also meet the requirements for passive income in the form of savings. My question would be is the D7 the best option for me? If so, do you have some lawyers you know that would be able to help us through the visa process from the US? We would most likely live somewhere between Porto and Lisbon on Silver Coast.

    • Hi Gregg,

      Apologies for the delayed response. I will put you in touch with some lawyers who can advise on the best visa.

      Thanks for the kind words about the website.


      • HI James,
        Thanks for getting back to me. If you could forward me some names, I would appreciate it. I have a question about D7 that I am a little confused about. I know it would be for people who have passive income. I have sufficient funds in cash. Would that count for the visa? Also, I will plan to work remote for a US company. Will I still be able to get the D7? I do not need that income to prove my ability to support myself but I have read in other places that you cannot work at all?

  35. Hi James -

    This website is awesomely helpful! I am US citizen who works remotely as an independent contractor consultant for 15+ years. I would like to spend at least 1 year in Portugal while working. Can you recommend a legal firm to work in order to get a D7 Residence Visa. I do not currently have passive income in the US. Do you know if this would this be a barrier?

    My best,

  36. Hi James,
    I have a place in the Alentejo where I can stay and would like to pursue a D7 visa. Can you please advise the legal firm you work with?

  37. Hi James,

    Thank you for the information! My wife and I have US based jobs and can work remotely. We are contemplating a move to Portugual for a year to use as a base for traveling more throughout Europe and North Africa. We would maintain our jobs and income from our US jobs. Will it be relatively easy to get a Residency Visa so long as we meet the income threshold? Should we want to extend our stay, is it easy to renew under the same circumstances? Thank you so much!

    - Joseph

    • Curious about the implications for the US-based company. Would allowing remote work abroad open the company itself to complex legal/tax liability?

      • Hi Santos,

        It's a complex question and obviously something that many companies are worried about, however, there are a lot of US companies that allow remote work and many with employees or freelancers (depending on how they structure things) in Portugal (among other countries). An accountant or tax specialist would be able to advise.

        There are sometimes specific legal considerations, particularly for industries that deal in very sensitive data (e.g. finance) but, again, I would say that you need the input of an expert here.

        • Hello James,

          I just came across your article and I'm hoping you can point me in the right direction.

          I'm a British citizen, while my husband and son have dual citizenship (British & Italian).
          I have my Italian citizenship ceremony at the end of this month, but won't have an EU passport yet.

          I am an IT contractor currently working through my UK ltd company. I urgently need the help of a specialist who can advise me on how to set up legally in Portugal.

          Thanks and I hope to hear from you.

      • Hi Santos,

        I have the exact same question because I am considering approaching my employer about working abroad remotely (I currently work in the US remotely). There are definitely considerations from the employer's perspective and just last night I ran across an amazing presentation by an attorney that specializes in international employment law. I am leaving the link below (hope that's ok) because it's a literal gold mine of employer implications/risks and I think important for any employee to understand:

  38. Hi!

    So glad I found you! I'm trying to do a part time US / part time Portugal life for a year while I decide whether to make the full time move to Portugal . As a US based business I am trying to figure out the tax questions for what I want to do. Do you have a suggestion for how to find a good accountant in Portugal (Porto preferred) to assist with these questions?

    Muito obrigada!