After deciding to move and live in Portugal or buying a second home, you need to spend some time learning about what is involved.

But first things first: you’ll need to find a home.

Portugal has fantastic locations by the sea, like the Algarve or the Lisbon coast. There you’ll find housing options to suit all needs.


In this new venture, the first step will be to obtain a Portuguese fiscal identification number. It is also wise to open a bank account in the country, so you can setup payments for utility bills, maintenance, gardening, condominium fees etc.

In a property’s acquisition, fiscal charges must be taken into consideration at the time of the purchase, as the buyer will have to support the payment of the Municipal Tax on Onerous Transfers of Property (IMT) and Stamp Duty (IS).

When resorting to financing, namely to housing credit, the buyer shall bear the Stamp Duty over the credited value.

Buying the house

After knowing all this and choosing the property, you’ll have to go through the necessary due diligence.

Legal documents analysis and other procedures are needed for business settlement, like the promissory agreement signature, tax payments and declarations, the signing of the final deed and updating the owner information on the Land Registry Office.

After the ownership transfer you’ll have the necessary documents to update the service contracts, namely for water, electricity, gas, telephone and Internet. You’ll also be able to apply for multi-risk insurance.

Fiscal privilege

Foreigners moving to Portugal may be eligible for the Non-Habitual Resident Status. We can briefly define it as an exclusive fiscal privilege granted on personal income tax by the Portuguese Tax Authority. It is available to new residents or to Portuguese emigrants that fulfil the requirements, namely qualified professionals, entrepreneurs, company managers or pensioners.

Legal entry

When moving to Portugal, foreigners outside the EU will require a visa or residence permit to stay in the country. Immigration rules will differ, depending on the purpose and the intended length of the stay in Portugal.

Family and school

Coming to Portugal with the family will require, most of the times, to find a school for children, either in a Portuguese or in an International one.

Expat parents with kids attending to international schools often believe they’ll be more open to new experiences and cultures.

Foreigners often choose to move to Portugal because the country will provide quality family time. Especially in the Algarve, you won’t have to drive more than one hour to cross the whole region, so the time that you save in traffic jams and long travels is quite considerable. Portugal will also provide a lot of fun recreational activities, either within towns or in the countryside.


Physical activity is very important to maintain our mental and physical health and it creates a great environment to make new friends and to mingle in the corresponding social clubs.


Portugal is an outstanding country for golfing. There are over 90 courses in Portugal, from north to south, in the most beautiful locations. Mild winters and warm summers help to keep the grass picture perfect. The pleasant weather will invite you all year round. In Portugal, every day is a golfing day.


Perfect climate, bright sunshine and favourable winds, makes sailing along the Portuguese coast a true pleasure. You may find the fabulous Atlantic Ocean in a calm mood which will provide a relaxed sailing journey or, sometimes, more temperamental conditions, which will create energetic challenges for the crew.

Cascais bay, near Lisbon, and Lagos bay, in the Algarve, are amongst the best regatta locations in the world, which is why these cities regularly host some of sailing’s most prestigious events and trophies. Many international races take place in the Portuguese waters, such as the European Championship in Vilamoura, the Volvo Ocean Race in Lisbon and the TP/52 Audi Med Cup in Portimão. You’ll find companies, schools and yacht clubs promoting sailing and teaching it to those who want to learn.


Safety is a mandatory criterion to be observed when families decide to live abroad. That is why so many expat families are moving to Portugal. The feedback from the foreign residents who have moved to Portugal is overwhelmingly positive, as Portugal remains the 3rd most secure country in the world, only outscored by Iceland and New Zealand, quite remote countries.

Quality of life

Portugal ranks an impressive 6th out of 68 countries in the overall results for 2018. In three indexes, the country ranks in the top 10, including fifth for ease of settling in and second for quality of life. With Portugal’s highly positive ranking for quality of life, it is no surprise that almost eight out of ten expats (79%) are satisfied with local socialising and leisure activities. 94% of the respondents state they’re happy with the weather.

A great place to raise a family and to enjoy one of the highest levels of quality of life in the world.

Cláudia de Sousa Antunes
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