Move to Portugal from Qatar: Your Guide in 2024

Planning your move to Portugal from Qatar involves understanding the residency requirements, navigating the property market, and integrating into a new culture.
April 24, 2024
Ana Fankhauser
April 24, 2024

Planning your move to Portugal from Qatar involves understanding the residency requirements, navigating the property market, and integrating into a new culture. This article delves into what you need to know to make your transition easy and successful, whether Portugal's tax incentives, quality of life, or employment opportunities have you interested.

Key Takeaways

  • Portugal offers a high standard of living, diverse cultural experiences, a warm climate, and robust investment opportunities, making it an attractive relocation choice for Qatari nationals.
  • Qatari nationals can opt for a Temporary Residence Permit in Portugal, based on regular income, or the Golden Visa program, which requires a substantial investment but can lead to permanent residency and citizenship.
  • To become a resident in Portugal, applicants must provide documentation, prove regular income, obtain a Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF), and potentially open a Portuguese bank account.

Why Move to Portugal from Qatar?

Why Move to Portugal from Qatar

From a high standard of living to enticing investment opportunities, Portugal has much to offer Qatari nationals looking to relocate. The country’s pleasant climate, coupled with its diverse landscapes and vibrant culture, make it a prime choice for those seeking a balanced lifestyle.

Additionally, Portugal’s strategic location within the European Union and favorable tax regime provide excellent prospects for business expansion and wealth management.

Quality of Life

Portugal offers a high standard of living that is attractive to expats worldwide. The country boasts a high safety record, ranking it as one of the safest countries globally. Portugal’s cost of living is also relatively low compared to many Western countries, making it an affordable place to live comfortably.

Moreover, the country’s large and diverse expatriate community provides a sense of familiarity and support for new arrivals.


Portugal’s warm Mediterranean climate is another significant pulling factor for many expats. The country enjoys mild temperatures year-round, with over 300 days of sunshine annually.

The sunny Algarve region is particularly appealing with its golden coasts and beautiful beaches, reflecting the pleasant climate that Portugal offers.

Investment Opportunities

For Qatari nationals, Portugal presents a plethora of investment opportunities. These range from real estate and business ventures to cultural projects. The real estate market, in particular, has been promising, with regions like Comporta experiencing a significant increase in housing prices.

Additionally, the opportunity to invest in Portugal’s cultural heritage sites offers unique prospects for those looking to contribute to the preservation of significant cultural landmarks.

Residency Options for Qatari Nationals

Residency Options for Qatari Nationals

Relocating to Portugal from Qatar entails navigating the country’s residency rules and processes. Two main types of permits can be obtained: the temporary residence permit and the Golden Visa program. Both have specific requirements and offer unique advantages.

Long-stay visas, like family reunion visas and study visas, cater to unique needs, making the relocation process as seamless as possible.

Temporary Residence Permit

A Temporary Residence Permit is a viable option for Qatari nationals planning a long-term stay in Portugal. This permit requires individuals to have regular income from a pension or investments. Valid for one year, the permit can be renewed for two-year periods, allowing for an extended stay in the country.

The primary requirement for this permit is proof of regular passive income of at least €1,070.

Golden Visa Program

The Portugal Golden Visa program is another option for Qatari nationals seeking entry into Portugal. This program grants an entry permit into Portugal for golden visa holders, offering a path to permanent residency and citizenship.

A minimum investment of €500,000 in real estate or a €350,000 investment in properties in urban rehabilitation areas can secure a Golden Visa through the golden visa scheme. The application process, while detailed, is straightforward and can be completed within six months.

Family Reunification

For those planning to move with family members, Portugal’s family reunification policies provide an inclusive pathway. Spouses and children can be included in the Portugal Golden Visa application, ensuring that the entire family can enjoy the benefits of Portuguese residency.

The process can be initiated either upon the initial move or at a later stage, allowing for flexibility in family migration plans.

Application Process & Requirements

Applying for residency in Portugal involves the following steps:

  1. Gather necessary documents
  2. Secure health insurance
  3. Demonstrate a regular income
  4. Meet specific requirements

The process can be initiated at the Portuguese Embassy, its consulates, or through the AIMA (Agência para a Integração, Migrações e Asilo).

A crucial part of the process is obtaining a Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF) and opening a bank account in Portugal.

Documents & Eligibility

Securing residency in Portugal requires specific documents and meeting eligibility criteria. Applicants must first secure a Portuguese National Visa, which is valid for four months, to complete the Residence Visa application.

The Temporary Stay visa allows for a stay in Portugal of up to one year, offering flexibility for Qatari nationals planning a short-term visit or a permanent move.

Obtaining a Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF)

A Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF) is essential for tax identification in Portugal. The NIF can be obtained by visiting a tax office in Portugal with a valid Qatar passport and proof of address.

This number is critical when applying for a residence permit and for other legal and financial transactions in Portugal.

Opening a Bank Account in Portugal

Opening a bank account in Portugal is a necessary step in the relocation process. The process requires specific documents and a personal visit to a branch to apply. Qatari nationals who already have an account in a bank with a branch in Portugal may not be required to open a new account, but having a local account can simplify financial transactions and tax matters.

Living & Working in Portugal

Living & Working in Portugal

Living and working in Portugal offers a unique blend of leisure and opportunity. The cost of living in Portugal is relatively low compared to other Western countries, making it an attractive place to live and work. For those considering moving to Portugal, the job market has opportunities in various sectors, such as:

  • tourism
  • call centers
  • IT
  • healthcare
  • agriculture
  • hospitality

However, settling in a new country also involves adapting to the local language and culture.

Cost of Living

Portugal offers an affordable standard of living, with its cost of living being generally cheaper than Qatar by 39%. Housing in Portugal varies, with Lisbon experiencing the highest rental prices at 20 €/m2 in some areas, while the Western region offers the lowest at 5.4 €/m2.

The average monthly grocery bill is about €200, making everyday living affordable.

Job Market & Opportunities

The job market in Portugal offers a range of opportunities across various sectors. Over the past few years, job prospects in Portugal have improved, particularly in healthcare, tourism, and IT.

The minimum wage in Portugal is €820 per month as of 2024, with employees expecting a salary range between $1,200 and $2,000 depending on the sector and role.

Language & Cultural Adaptation

Adapting to Portugal’s language and culture is a vital part of the relocation process. While younger and middle-aged people frequently speak English in larger cities, learning some fundamental Portuguese is highly advised.

The Portuguese people value humility and are known for their complex character, mixing amiable and deferential attitudes with cynical humor.

Healthcare & Education in Portugal

Healthcare & Education in Portugal

Portugal offers excellent healthcare and education facilities. The country’s National Health Service provides most essential services free of charge, with minor fees for non-essential treatments.

For education, international schools with American or English curricula are available, catering to expatriate families, including those from Qatar.

Public vs. Private Healthcare

Portugal offers both public and private healthcare services. While public healthcare services are tax-funded and provide most essential services free of charge, they often face challenges such as long waiting times and staff shortages.

Private healthcare, on the other hand, provides a high level of care with shorter waiting periods but is more expensive.

International Schools

Portugal is home to several international schools that cater to expatriate families. These schools offer American or English curriculum, providing a familiar educational environment for children from Qatar. A prominent example of these educational institutions is the United Lisbon International School, located in the capital city.

Real Estate Investment for Qatari Nationals

Real Estate Investment for Qatari Nationals

Investing in Portuguese real estate presents lucrative opportunities for Qatari nationals. Foreigners are permitted to buy and invest in real estate throughout Portugal, and the vibrant real estate market offers a variety of options for investors.

Investment regions such as Lisbon, Comporta, and Quinta do Lago have been particularly dynamic, attracting considerable international investment.

Property Prices & Locations

Property prices in Portugal vary by location. The average house price is €1,187 per square meter for houses and €1,243 for flats. You can find a comfortable rental in Lisbon for around €800 a month, and it will be located a half-hour walk from central tourist neighborhoods. The rental will be a one-bedroom house.

The Vilamoura region, on the other hand, had a relatively modest increase in average housing prices, seeing an increase of around 10%.

Mortgage Options

For Qatari nationals interested in purchasing property in Portugal, various mortgage options are available. The variable mortgage rates begin at 3.3% per year. However, this is contingent upon a 30% loan-to-value ratio. Fixed mortgage rates are offered at 4.1% for periods up to 5 years, with loan-to-value ratios going up to 70%.

Taxation & Financial Considerations

Understanding taxation and financial considerations is crucial when relocating to Portugal. To be considered a tax resident in Portugal, an individual must spend over 183 days per year in the country.

The income tax rates in Portugal are progressive, ranging from 14.5% to 48% based on taxable income.

Tax Residency & Double Taxation Agreements

Tax residency in Portugal is based on the number of days spent in the country in a fiscal year. A Qatari national becomes a tax resident in Portugal if they stay for more than 183 days, consecutively or non-consecutively, within a fiscal year.

A Double Taxation Treaty between Portugal and Qatar offers Qatari residents reduced tax rates on specific types of income derived from Portugal.

Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program

The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program is a significant part of Portugal’s tax regime designed to attract foreign investment and retirees. This program offers full tax exemption on foreign-sourced income for a consecutive period of 10 years.

This is a significant advantage for Qatari nationals planning to relocate to Portugal, as it allows them to benefit from their overseas income tax-free.

Renewals, Permanent Residency, & Citizenship

A crucial part of the relocation process is understanding the requirements for renewing residency permits, applying for permanent residency, and obtaining citizenship. After holding a Golden Visa for five years, the holder can apply for permanent residence or Portuguese citizenship. Each of these processes has specific requirements and benefits that can help Qatari nationals make the most of their life in Portugal.

Renewal Process

Renewing a residence permit in Portugal requires a valid residence permit or one that has expired no more than 6 months prior, along with proof of means of subsistence and accommodation.

Temporary Residence Permits can be renewed each year for a maximum of five years before the holder can apply for permanent residency.

Permanent Residency

Permanent residency in Portugal can be applied for after five years of legal residency. To be eligible for permanent residency, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Continuous legal residence in Portugal for five years
  • Possession of a place of abode
  • Sufficient means of subsistence
  • Basic knowledge of Portuguese.

Portuguese Citizenship

Portuguese citizenship provides a host of benefits, including visa-free access to over 180 countries, the right to live, work, and study in Portugal and other EU countries, and potential tax benefits. Qatari nationals can obtain Portuguese citizenship through investment by maintaining their investment in Portugal for at least 5 years.

Portuguese citizenship requires a five-year period of legal residency and knowledge of the Portuguese language.


Portugal offers an attractive proposition for Qatari nationals seeking to relocate. With its high standard of living, pleasant climate, and enticing investment opportunities, it presents an ideal destination for both personal and professional growth. The generous Golden Visa program, affordable cost of living, and robust healthcare and educational systems further enhance its appeal. Whether you’re considering a temporary move or long-term relocation, Portugal offers a unique blend of opportunities and benefits that make it a prime choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main reasons for Qatari nationals to move to Portugal?

Qatari nationals are drawn to Portugal for its high quality of life, pleasant climate, and investment opportunities. These factors make Portugal an attractive destination for relocation.

What are the residency options for Qatari nationals in Portugal?

Qatari nationals have two main residency options in Portugal: a temporary residence permit or the Golden Visa Program. Both options offer pathways to residency in the country.

What are the requirements for obtaining Portuguese citizenship?

To obtain Portuguese citizenship, you need a five-year period of legal residency and proficiency in the Portuguese language.

How does the tax system work in Portugal?

Portugal operates a progressive income tax system with rates ranging from 14.5% to 48% based on taxable income and offers a non-habitual resident program with tax exemptions on foreign-sourced income.

What are the benefits of the Golden Visa Program?

The Golden Visa Program offers benefits such as obtaining permanent residency and citizenship, visa-free access to the Schengen Area, and including family members in the application. These advantages make it an attractive option for many individuals looking to relocate or invest.

About Movingto

Movingto is a leading immigration law firm that specializes in helping individuals and families navigate the complex process of relocating to Portugal. With a team of experienced lawyers and immigration experts, provides tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of each client.

Why Choose Movingto?

  • Expertise and Experience: Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of Portuguese immigration law and years of experience assisting clients with various visa applications, including the D7 Visa, Golden Visa, Startup Visa, and Family Reunion Visa.
  • Personalized Approach: We understand that every client's situation is different. Our lawyers take the time to listen to your goals and provide personalized advice and guidance throughout the process.
  • Comprehensive Support: offers a comprehensive range of services beyond legal advice, including assistance with document preparation, property search, and relocation planning.
  • Competitive Fees: We offer competitive fees and transparent pricing so that you know exactly what to expect.
  • Exceptional Client Service: Our team is committed to providing exceptional client service. We are responsive, attentive, and always available to answer your questions.

Whether you are an entrepreneur seeking to establish a business in Portugal, a retiree looking to enjoy the country's favorable tax regime, or a family seeking to reunite in Portugal, is here to guide you every step of the way.

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