Portugal has always been a favorite of Brits thanks to the climate, culture, low cost of living, and multiple other reasons. As the United Kingdom was a part of the European Union, citizens from UK can easily live and work in Portugal. But post-Brexit, British citizens have been worrying about the fact that how their immigration journey will be affected.
According to research, as of April 2021, there are more than 30,000 British citizens residing in Portugal. A majority of them reside in Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve.
So, if you are planning on moving to Portugal from the UK, here’s a guide to help you:
Why is Moving to Portugal from the UK a Good Idea?
Portugal has been known to have a vibrant culture with clear skies and moderate weather where you can enjoy yourself any time of the year. Here are some reasons why moving to Portugal from UK is a good idea:
1. Good Weather:
Portugal enjoys a moderate Mediterranean type of climate the whole year round. Compared to the cold and dreary British weather, it is no wonder that British citizens want to move to Portugal from the UK.
2. Standard of Living is Cheaper:
The standard of living in Portugal is much cheaper and more affordable than UK. On average, rent is 20-50% cheaper than that in the UK, Even groceries, transportation, and utilities are cheaper when compared to the British prices. If you have a steady income from Britain, then you can even save a lot of money while living in a new country!
3. No Communication Barrier:
Considering that so many expats live in Portugal, English is one of the most commonly spoken languages there. Even locals understand English, so it is easy to connect with the community and feel more at home.
4. Properties are More Affordable:
If you plan to buy a property in Portugal, it is cheaper and easier than in Britain. Also, you can choose from a plethora of options such as an apartment, a beach house, or even a villa depending on your income and savings.
Which Cities are The Best to Live in When Moving to Portugal from the UK?
Portugal has hundreds of cities to choose from where you can live, and each has its own charm and character. But, most British expats prefer to settle in three major cities – Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve.
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is a charming city full of culture and charm. The city provides everything that a person moving to Portugal from UK would need – nice weather, a happening city, delicious food, and beaches!
Both young and retired expats from around the world prefer Lisbon over other cities because it has everything you need but at a cheaper cost.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe – Porto is a haven for food and wine lovers. The city is a gem with its proximity to the ocean, nearby Douro Valley, vineyards, and festivals. The city captures the essence of both modern and traditional lifestyles and merges them into one.
Algarve has been the most popular destination for people moving to Portugal from the UK. The area has a relaxed lifestyle and offers good weather, exquisite food, and great beaches for expats. The region also has over 30 golf courses, a bonus for retired expats.
How to Plan on Moving to Portugal from the UK?
Post-Brexit, British citizens can stay in Portugal for 90 days in 6 months without a visa. But if you plan to stay there for a longer period, you need to get one of the following visas:
1) The Golden Visa:
The Portugal Gold visa has been a popular option for non-EU nationals for years. Before Brexit, British citizens did not qualify for it. But under the present circumstances, you can now live in the country without any restrictions, and even get citizenship after 5 years.
One of the biggest benefits of the visa is that you only need to live in the country for 7 days a year. With the visa, you also have the added benefits of education, social security rights, and healthcare while living in the country.
If you plan to permanently live in Portugal and want to buy a property, then the Golden Visa program is the best option. If you buy a house worth £500,000 then you can apply for the program and get major discounts depending on the location and house.
2) D7 Visa:
If you earn a minimum of £1000 per month, then this visa program is for you. You get the right to reside in the country but will be required to stay for at least 16 months in the first 2-year period.
You also need to apply for this visa before moving to Portugal from UK, and will also need to provide proof of accommodation with the basic identity proof documents.
3) Non-Habitual Residence Option:
The NHR or Non-Habitual Residence status allows foreign income expats to be exempt from the Portugal tax system for the first 10 years. You can qualify for NHR if:
- You are a tax resident under the Portugal legislation
- Have not been taxed as a resident in the past 5 years
A tax resident is someone who has been in the country for over 183 years in the previous fiscal year. It also implies that you have a residence in Portugal on the 31st of December of that same year and have the intention of holding a habitual residence. Under the NHR scheme, UK pensioners are taxed at 10% for the first 10 years of living in the country.
4) British Passport Holders:
If you are planning on moving to Portugal from UK, then UK citizens have the benefit of staying in the country for 90 days on the passport only. As per the British government, if your passport is valid for more than 6 months before departure, you can stay in Portugal without a visa.
But with the present COVID-19 situation, it is best to check on all entry restrictions and requirements before moving to Portugal from UK.
Moving to Portugal from UK – Transporting Belongings
When you plan to move to Portugal, there are a few things you would want to take with you from the UK. You can import all your personal belongings to Portugal duty-free provided they are for personal use and have been used for over a year.
All new purchases are subject to taxes and you must provide receipts for them.
Before you plan to move, check out and connect with multiple packaging and shipping companies so that you know the rates involved. If you feel that it is getting too expensive you can always sell your furniture in the UK and buy new ones in Portugal.
Ready to Start Moving to Portugal from UK?
When planning to move from Portugal to UK, is a stressful task. Not only do you need to plan where you want to live, but also look for a job, and also understand the culture of the country. But, thankfully the Portugual government has made it easier for immigrants to live in the country and to become a part of their nationality.
So, start your plans of moving to Portugal from UK keeping in mind that COVID-19 is still rampant and that countries keep changing their rules and regulations regularly.