10 Steps to Move to Portugal From the UK

Ana Fankhauser
December 3, 2021
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There's so much to discover about Portugal. Despite having a famous older brother, Portugal has a distinct culture and history of its own.  For British expats, Portugal has always been a popular choice, and it is still among the most favored locations. Yet, the citizens of the United Kingdom are uncertain about the options available to them for relocating to Portugal as a result of Brexit. But it is still viable to relocate to Portugal following the UK's exit from the EU. This article will walk you through the many emigration possibilities available to you.

Allow us to go through 10 major elements, including healthcare and living costs, along with the world famous Portuguese custard tarts.

#1 An EU Citizen's Registration Certificate

To stay in Portugal for longer than three months, EU nationals and their family members who are also EU citizens must apply for a registration certificate. This certificate must be obtained at their local council within 30 days of arriving in national territory for the first three months. The fee is EUR 15 for adults and EUR 7.5 for children under the age of six.

The Registration certificate is valid for five years from the date of issue or for the duration of the citizen's stay in Portugal, whichever is shorter. A fine of between EUR 400 and EUR 1500 may be imposed if you stay in Portugal for more than three months without applying for a registration certificate.

#2 Understand the Visas for the UK Nationals

UK nationals can apply for one of two types of Portuguese national visas to migrate to Portugal; the type you require will depend on how long you expect to remain.

Visa for a Short-Term Stay

UK citizens do not require short-term visas; however, if you want to stay more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a Temporary Stay Visa.

This visa is valid for up to a year, and you can visit the nation as many times as you desire during that period. The visa can be used for the following purposes:

  • Work
  • Investigate and research
  • Professional development,
  • Volunteer work or internships
  • Youth mobility
  • Religious motives
  • Health

Visa for Residency

You will need to apply for a Residency Visa if you intend to live in Portugal on a more permanent basis. The Residency Visa is good for four months and allows you to visit the country twice.

During these four months, you can settle in and schedule an appointment with Immigration and Border Services to apply for your Residency permit.

#3 Visa Type D7

Another non-EU visa that has recently become accessible to UK citizens, as a result of Brexit is the D7 visa. The D7 Visa permits non-EU citizens to migrate to Portugal if they have sufficient finances to maintain themselves.

Retirees and entrepreneurs frequently use this visa, commonly known as the Passive Income Visa. You don't have to invest in Portugal for a D7 visa, unlike the Golden Residence Visa.

To apply for this visa, you must first submit a D7 Visa application to the Portuguese embassy in the United Kingdom. It is valid for up to four months; within that period, you must schedule an appointment with the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), who will then approve your D7 Residence Permit application.

#4 Healthcare Choices

In Portugal, where socialism is immensely popular (more on that later), a fully socialized healthcare system is to be anticipated. All Portuguese citizens have access to the Serviço Nacional de Sade (SNS), free for under-18s and over-65s and significantly subsidized for everyone else.

Non-citizens may, thankfully, use the SNS as well, albeit their fees are less subsidized. All you have to do now is obtain your Portuguese social security number and apply to become a resident. More information about this procedure may be found in our reference to Portuguese healthcare.

You should ensure that you are properly registered for healthcare once you arrive in Portugal. You can register at your local health center (Centro de sade) with the following information:

  • Certificate of Residency
  • Passport

Your local tax office (finanças) can provide you with a tax identification number. If you're working, you'll also need your social security number, which you may receive from your boss.

After you've registered, you'll be given a health number, which you should produce for any doctor you see.

#5 Taxes

Because the UK and Portugal have a double taxation agreement, you will not have to pay tax on the same income in both countries while residing in Portugal. If you are a resident of Portugal, you must report all of your worldwide income to the Portuguese authorities, regardless of where it originated from. Non-residents will only be subject to taxation on income earned in Portugal.

If you must pay tax in Portugal, you must obtain a tax number. If you want to purchase or sell property, create a bank account, or sign long-term rental agreements, you'll need a NIF. UK nationals may be eligible for the Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) tax scheme in addition to the double taxation agreement. The Portugal NHR tax system is a scheme that provides tax benefits to foreign residents; it has proven to be quite effective, with over 10,000 people already benefiting from it.

#6 Permit to Reside Under the Golden Residence Permit Scheme

Portugal is a European country. The Golden Residence Permit Scheme, commonly known as the Golden Visa Program, is a residency-by-investment program for non-European people interested in investing in or purchasing real estate in Portugal. People from the United Kingdom were not eligible for this program before Brexit. But, now that the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the EU, Brits can apply for the Golden Residence Program.

One of the most tempting features of the Golden Residence Permit for the UK citizens is that it allows them to travel freely within Europe's Schengen Area, something that Brexit has taken away from them. The Golden Visa also permits investors and their families to live, work, and study in the nation.


#7 Permit to Stay in the Country

Once you have your Residency Visa, make an appointment with your local Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) or go to your local town hall to apply for your Residency Permit and acquire a registration certificate.

The Residency Permit is normally valid for one year and may be renewed twice for another two years. You can apply for a Permanent Residency Permission or even citizenship after residing in the nation for five years on this permit. When applying for your Residency Permit, you'll need to show that you have enough money and a place to live.

The papers you'll need will vary depending on why you're staying, but you'll almost always need your passport or ID card, as well as your tax number, proof of residency, and social security number, as well as the completed application form.

#8 Passports

In Portugal, you can apply for or renew your British passport. When traveling within the Schengen region, keep your passport with you at all times. You should use your EU / EFTA passport to enter and depart Portugal if you hold citizenship of an EU / European Free Trade Area (EFTA) country in addition to your British citizenship.

If you remain in Portugal on a residence permit or a long-stay visa, it does not count against your Schengen 90-day visa-free maximum. If you go outside of Portugal to other Schengen nations, be sure you don't stay more than 90 days in any 180 days. You are responsible for keeping track of how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver and adhering to its terms.

EU nations that are not members of the Schengen region are subject to different laws.

#9 Purchasing Real Estate is Simple

When it comes to government perks, there is also relatively little red tape that prevents foreigners from purchasing property in Portugal. In most circumstances, all you need is a Personal Fiscal Number (PFN), which you may obtain from your local tax office.

Furthermore, if you spend at least €500,000 on Portuguese real estate, you may be eligible for a Golden Visa, which grants you and your dependents a free Portuguese resident card. You may even upgrade this to Portuguese citizenship after five years if you pass a simple language exam and 'show links to the nation.' Setting up a long-term presence in Portugal is simple if you have the cash.

#10 Requirements for a Transit Visa in Portugal

If you're flying to a non-EU/EEA nation but have to land in one of Portugal's airports, you could require a Portugal Airport Transit Visa.

A Portugal Airport Transit Visa is not required for all nationals of Schengen countries. You must present the following supplementary papers when applying for a Portugal Airport Transit visa:

  • A valid visa (if one is required) for the destination country.
  • The ticket for your final destination country.

Summing Up

If you're considering relocating to Portugal, it's a good idea to consider medical coverage while you're there.

Start constructing a customized plan to safeguard your most valuable assets — you and your family – with a free estimate. Compared to citizenship procedures in other nations, English is widely spoken across the region, and the process of becoming a citizen is very simple. Moving to Portugal from the United Kingdom is still viable, notwithstanding the consequences of quitting the EU.

There are immigration paths to Portugal from the UK whether you want to live, work, study, or even invest in real estate.

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