If you are an IT specialist, do not hesitate to go to Portugal! Many opportunities await you here

How is the IT sector in Portugal? The story of moving and starting a business.

Table of Contents

Portugal is a country of unlimited possibilities for those who want to radically change their own life and move here for permanent residence. There are really a lot of options. The country constantly needs highly qualified specialists. Foreigners are treated here with love and all conditions for work, accommodation, rest.

The Portuguese technology sector in particular offers a wide variety of opportunities. There are a lot of cooperation offers as well as the possibility to start your own IT company in a very short time. All you need to do is fulfill the requirements as well as gather the necessary documentation.

Why this industry? Sure, each of us associates IT with big salaries and excellent career prospects. But that’s not the only appeal. As a specialist, you can move anywhere in the world and work in a branch of almost any world-famous company. Personally, I chose Portugal for a reason. This country has long conquered my heart. I think that once you’ve been here, everyone will want to come back again. And many want to move to the country for good. My way was not easy and smooth, but in the end, everything turned out just as I once imagined in my dreams. But first things first.

the ultimate guide to moving into the life of your dreams

Friends, today we’re going to share with you the most precious things. We have a book in which we’ve gathered all the experiences we’ve gained during our years of living in beautiful Portugal.

In this book you will find:

– Information about the cost of living in Portugal, allowing you to “get a price tag”;

– Where to start the moving process;

– What are the options for applying for residency in Portugal and how to decide which one is best;

– Step-by-step process of collecting and submitting documents;

How I came to IT

I should probably start with the fact that at the time when I got to know IT, I was 30 years old. I was married, had a college degree in economics, worked at a small company in my hometown, was into sports, cars, and even had a family.

I accidentally got my hands on a booklet about IT. I read it in a matter of seconds, and literally immediately began to look for additional information in books and on the Internet. Of course, I knew what this field is, but only superficially. I never went into this knowledge, and I probably didn’t need it. But that day something changed. I absorbed the information, and I wanted to learn more and more.

There is a computer academy in our city. Within a week, I had signed up for a course and started to learn the basics. Of course, I knew that this was not enough. So I decided to self-develop and took part in all kinds of seminars (thanks for the access to them is now open). And in September I entered a correspondence course at a university in Moscow. Since I already had higher education, I had only two years to study. By the end of the first course I had got a job as a PHP developer, working remotely, which gave me the necessary experience. During this time, I and my wife had time to sell the apartment and take a house on mortgage. Soon we sold it too, because we decided to move to Moscow – I got an interesting offer from a big international company.

Five years passed like that. I worked, developed, and improved in my profession. One day I was sent on a business trip to Portugal. The company I was working for was rapidly expanding and wanted to open a subsidiary in Portugal. I stayed in Portugal for exactly two weeks. And during that time I fell in love with Portugal with all my heart.

When I first returned I told my wife that I wanted to live there. To which she replied skeptically, “They’re waiting for you there!” She thought I was just impressed by the trip, and that’s why I was having these conversations. But I knew that these were not empty words. My goal was to go to Portugal, to take my family there, and to stay in this wonderful country forever.

I began to gather information, as the saying goes, bit by bit. And I came to the conclusion that it would be very difficult to implement these plans on my own: there are a lot of nuances that one needs to be aware of in order to make sure that the stay is organized correctly. Otherwise there could be big problems.

The first thing I did was to start looking for a suitable job. At the same time I began to explore possible options for immigration. I decided to contact the consulting agency Movetocascais. Well, until I got to the agency, I received several responses to the requests I had sent. Two companies, imagine, two (!) were interested in me as a specialist. I couldn’t feel the ground beneath my feet with euphoria. My dream was finally becoming something manifest. I was clearly aware that the first steps had been taken, and now I simply had no margin for error. So everything had to be done right, with convention.

After talking to the experts, I was even more confident that I had made the right decision. They took care of everything. The first thing they did was to clear up the pros and cons of working with these companies, which helped me make my choice. After that, we got in touch with the representatives of the chosen company, discussed all the relevant issues, and asked to send an official confirmation. After that – explained what I need for obtaining a visa.

I began to collect the documents. During this time I was agonizing: I wondered if something could fail, if the visa would not be issued or my employer would change his mind. Of course, nothing of the kind happened. And then one day I got a call from Movetocascais and was told that I could pack my bags.

I forgot to mention that at the same time, the people at Movetocascais were looking for a suitable job for my wife. She’s an economist, so it was no problem at all. In fact, she ended up working for the same company as me. And, of course, my wife and I learned Portuguese. Well, that’s an understatement, of course. Just trying to memorize even the most important words. We decided to in-depth study the language on the spot, there are also language courses.

And here came the cherished day. Suitcases packed, tickets in hand. And again the anxiety, worry and worry. I probably only calmed down when the plane took off. It was a clear realization that the old life was over and a new one was beginning.

I won’t go into a long description of what happened next. I will say this: everything went great! We were picked up at the airport, taken to the rental apartment (again, the agency employees helped us find it), and told that they would pick us up tomorrow morning to take us to our place of work. That’s how we ended up in Portugal, the country I had always dreamed of moving to.

About IT in Portugal

About IT in Portugal
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Today, having spent just over half a year in Portugal, I can expertly give my own assessment of the IT sphere in Portugal. And everything is stable. The field develops every year, thanks to which professionals, including myself, feel quite comfortable and confident. So I don’t wake up thinking that tomorrow, in a week or a year my profession will suddenly become irrelevant and that my services will be out of demand.

This is actually quite a competitive environment in Portugal, and a lot of companies need someone who can do the job, so if you’re a really good professional, you will get great opportunities and great pay.

What makes you so popular? First and foremost, because virtually every economic sector in the country is going through a digital transformation.

The figure is for the year.

  • Director of Information Technology can expect a salary of more than 120 thousand euros;
  • sysadmin with five years or more experience – about 40,000 euros;
  • Big Data specialist – 45,000 euros, and its manager – from 65,000 euros.

You would agree that this is not bad, right? But then naturally the question arises: why are employers willing to pay such money to foreign specialists? It is very simple. They do not have their own specialists. And in order to have them, they need to train them. And this is an unnecessary waste of money and time. By the way, there is even a special program for immigrants called Tech Visa. It is designed to simplify the process of obtaining a residence permit for specialists with IT specialization. Under the certification of the program fall companies that hire professionals from other countries. It is possible to get into the program under certain conditions:

  • If the person is not permanently residing in any EU country
  • Has the citizenship of a third country
  • does not have debts in his home country, has no criminal record
  • has knowledge of the language.
There are other requirements – work experience of 5 years, the availability of a diploma of a specialist, which must be confirmed in Portugal. It is also important to have proof of employment of 1 year.

The collected documents should be submitted to the Portuguese consulate, where they are considered for no longer than two months.

Business in Portugal - Profitable and Profitable
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Business in Portugal – profitable and lucrative

I’m planning to open my own company and I’m going towards my goal with confidence. After living here for a while I’m even more convinced of this decision. By the way, my wife is also very happy with our life today. We plan to get citizenship (it can be done after five years of living in the country), to have a child, and all the conditions for that are created here. And of course I plan to start my own IT company, hire specialists and work hard for my benefit and the country.

In general, you know, being a businessman in Portugal is very profitable and attractive, especially for immigrants from other countries. And there are many reasons for that. The fact is that the government is very interested in foreign injections, which support and therefore help the economy. And for foreigners, it is a good way to get a residence permit, and later – and Portuguese citizenship.

If you have your own business, your family members can expect to receive a quality European education.

In what area to develop business?
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In what area to develop a business?

If you’re not an IT professional, that’s okay. There are plenty of options that will allow you to grow in the direction you want. Again, from my own experience, I can make some conclusions and suggest which areas will be most profitable. First of all, of course, it is high technology. Portugal even has its own company which produces computers for schools. And in general, this area is at the most active point of its development. Therefore, if you choose it, you will never go wrong. There are other options you can take into consideration.
  1. Aqua industry. Portugal is a country by the ocean. It actively grows fish, shellfish, which are in constant demand not only within the country, but also in neighboring states. Therefore, if you set up production with supplies, you can get “in the flow.
  2. Tourist business. Thousands of tourists from all over the world flock here every year, so various travel agencies, companies for leisure, excursions are always popular.
  3. Service sector. Very profitable here you can open a tailoring and clothing repair shop, service station, restaurant or a small cafe.

Don’t forget that you have to compete with local businessmen and entrepreneurs. Small businesses in the country are quite well developed, so the competition is much higher here. But if you have a unique offer, an unusual idea, I am sure it will work out.

About working conditions and taxes
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About working conditions and taxes

An interesting fact: In Portugal, there are 14 salaries a year. Many people in Russia have also heard about the thirteenth salary – in many state-owned companies it is paid at the end of the year as an incentive for employees. In Portugal there are two such “thirteenth” salaries, one paid in summer and one in winter.

It is also worth bearing in mind that you will not receive as much as your employer says. It is mandatory to deduct taxes. For all non-residents there is a tax rate of 20%, and a social tax of 11% is also mandatory. But there are also savings options. Every year, once, you can apply for a tax refund, the state will make recalculations and part of the amount will be refunded. It is also possible to agree with your employer that some part of your salary will be paid in bonuses for meals and travel. And these are tax-free. But note that you can spend these bonuses only on the needs for which they are intended.

Benefits of living in Portugal
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Benefits of living in Portugal

Living in Portugal, you have to love the country. My wife and I just love it. Everything is great here, from the climate to the locals who are always friendly and helpful. Nearby is the ocean, where you can go at any time to relax or go surfing.

A very pertinent issue for visitors is related to housing. I can not say that renting an apartment or house here is very expensive. But keep in mind that the price can vary significantly depending on the area. For example, to rent an apartment closer to the center will be more expensive than on the outskirts of the city. But so, in fact, everywhere.

By the way, if you decide to save money and rent an apartment on the outskirts, do not worry about the fact that the center will be difficult to get. The transport system in Portugal is quite developed. In addition, you can easily rent a car for a long period, and in the future – to get your own. A very popular mode of transport is a bicycle – you can both buy and get it as a working tool.

Local attractions deserve special attention. You know, one of the important advantages of a residence permit in Portugal is the ability to travel freely to other European Union countries. But as practice shows, in the beginning, even to plan such a trip is not worth it. In Portugal itself there is a lot to see. We, for example, after living here for six months, we did not have time to travel around the country and enjoy its beauty.

If you don’t speak Portuguese at an adequate level, it’s okay. For the first few weeks you can easily get by with a little English. At the very least, most Portuguese will understand what you want and can help you if you need it. If you are planning to stay here for a long time, or permanently, it’s no problem to enroll in a language course. Talking with native speakers also helps, so you can learn Portuguese in a matter of months.

I’ve made a list of the main benefits during my stay, which are highly appreciated by all who visit. I am happy to share them with you.

  1. Climatic conditions. My wife and I live in the south, in winter it never gets colder than +5. In summer it’s not too hot either, because the ocean is nearby. The conditions are great for surfing and diving. By the way, you can dive even in winter, as long as you have a wetsuit.
  2. Infrastructure. It is a truly European country with the appropriate conditions. The streets and public transport are clean. Many cafes, restaurants, stores.
  3. Excellent ecology. Fresh air year round – it’s great!
  4. Maximum security. Portugal is one of the safest countries to live in. It is not afraid of day or night. Many car owners do not even close the car at night.
  5. Compatible rental housing. If you rent an apartment or house for a long period, it is very profitable. But about this I will tell a little later.
  6. .
  7. Beneficial purchase of real estate. It is possible to take an apartment on credit. If possible, it can be leased and receive for it a good sum, which will cover to some extent the credit payments. By the way, in the near future we also plan to buy a small house for ourselves. Already looking at options.

A little bit of medicine
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A little bit about medicine

As far as medical care goes, the impression is a bit ambiguous. For example, the wife of a good acquaintance recently gave birth. They, like us, immigrated from Russia, but have lived here a little longer than our family. My friend told us that they did not pay anything for the birth, the service was excellent, anesthesia was wonderful, everything went very well, without complications. His wife had a doctor who accompanied her through the entire pregnancy and was present with her at the birth. That’s great, isn’t it? My friends loved it, they couldn’t be happier.

<However, I also have personal experience with the nursing staff, and by the way, not a very positive one. I once hurt my leg by jumping off a bicycle and dislocating my knee. So, I was treated for more than two months! They brought me to different specialists: first for X-ray, then for tests. In the end, prescribed physical therapy, for which I had to stand in line. And this, by the way, took another two months. Because the equipment was busy. The story ended with me buying ointment at the drugstore and curing my knee myself.

I don’t know.

I don’t know, maybe it was just so coincidental. The rest of my acquaintances do not complain about medicine and its level. I have never been sick again, so I will hope that this is just an unpleasant coincidence.

Some cons
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Some “minuses”

Of course, I also want to say a few words about what I personally dislike and don’t like. Otherwise, I think, my story would not be objective, or there could be an opinion that Portugal is just a perfect country, a paradise on earth. It’s not like that at all. Yes, it’s good, great, but there are some nuances. For example, toll roads. This is a problem I encountered when I bought a car. So, if you do not have a special billing device, then just a few days later you get a letter demanding payment. Yes, the fee is small. But to repay the debt, you only have to go to the post office. At first it seems that the amounts are small, let more debt accumulate. But you can’t put it off in any way. Now I know this from my own experience. If you do not pay on time, you will receive not a penny fine from tax authorities. So I paid 300 euros for late payment out of ignorance.

By the way, urgency is also needed when it comes to paying taxes. If they are not paid on time, the fine can grow to unfathomable size. So my advice is to pay everything on time, no matter how small the amount. They are very strict about this here.

I was also unpleasantly surprised by the car service in Portugal. The level of service here is quite low. Once I gave my car in order to change the oil. I waited for two weeks. By the way, this is another good idea for opening a business. If you are a true professional and want to develop in Portugal, I sincerely advise you to open a car service here. I will certainly be your regular customer. Among the local population, too, a lot of clients will pull up. That’s for sure!

Residence permit and citizenship in Portugal: features of obtaining
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Nationality and citizenship in Portugal: peculiarities of obtaining

I guess I’ll start with citizenship, because it’s a very pressing issue for my wife and me right now. As I said, to become a citizen of Portugal, to obtain a passport, you must live in the country for five years. Only after that time you can apply. It is mandatory to pass the language exam. And, of course, gather the necessary list of documents.

But before applying for citizenship, it is necessary to issue a residence permit. To do this, there are several options. The first is to enter the country on a work visa. To do this, you need to get an invitation from the employer and collect a package of documents. For many of our fellow citizens this is the most preferred and affordable way to move to Portugal.

Another attractive option is to invest in several ways. For example, the purchase of real estate. It does not matter if you buy it for personal use or if you end up renting it out and thus receive a passive income. In addition, now it is quite profitable investment, because the cost of real estate in the country is constantly increasing. Buying an apartment, for example, you can sell it in a couple of years at a bargain price. But there are some nuances, or rather a certain minimum of finances that need to be invested. So, if the object is more than 30 years old, and it is subject to reconstruction, the value of the contribution must not be less than 350 thousand euros. Without restrictions, you can buy absolutely any kind of real estate, as long as its value is from 500 thousand euros.

For other investment options:

  • opening a deposit (from 1 million euros);
  • purchase of securities (from 1 million EUR)
  • investment in research, cultural, artistic activity, in the country’s companies

We should separately consider the possibility of obtaining a residence permit for the opening of the business. In this case it is mandatory to create jobs (from 10). You can start a business from scratch, or buy ready-made, as well as – to open a branch of an existing one. Conditions are quite acceptable, in my opinion.

About finding accommodation in Portugal
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About finding accommodation in Portugal

I want to talk a little bit about housing options in Portugal. With the search, in principle, there is no problem. But only if you are not in Portugal for the first time. If you are going to the country for the first time, it is better to take care about where you will reside, because without a place of registration it is impossible to issue a residence permit, and this means that you will be in the country illegally. In this regard, it is very convenient to cooperate with agencies such as Movetocascais, which helps to find an accommodation, and quite good. That’s what I say as someone who knows. Because in the beginning they helped me too.

What to do next is up to you. When your lease expires, you can try to find another place to rent on your own. But be prepared for the fact that most apartments in Portugal are often rented without furniture. This is very uncomfortable for foreigners. But if you are already settled in the country and you have the opportunity to purchase the most necessary things, there is no problem.

If you have a pet, this will not be a barrier. In Portugal, the law is very loyal in this regard, and the owner of the apartment simply can not refuse tenants if they have animals or small children.

In Portugal, the law on this issue is very loyal and the owner of the apartment simply can not refuse tenants if they have animals or small children.

Buying a house in Portugal is also quite realistic. Especially now that values have dropped significantly since the lockdown. Available to buy an apartment on a mortgage with a down payment. Find a suitable property can be on the local Internet resources or through real estate agencies. The price, as in the case of renting, varies enough. And it depends not on the area, but on the house in which you want to buy an apartment. Nowadays, the coastal areas are actively built up, and the cost of housing is more expensive in new buildings than in the old ones. To buy an apartment, you should have a certain amount of money on hand – about 10% of the total cost. But if you take into account taxes, it is better to be more. If the purchase price of over 92000 euros, note that you will have to pay property transfer tax (up to 8%). Also among the mandatory – stamp duty. It is also worth considering the cost of a notary, about 1.5% of the amount of the transaction.

What about the mortgage?

As for mortgages, then it is not difficult to obtain. Approved even for foreigners. Enjoy a small mortgage interest – something like 1.5%. So if you take out a loan for, say, 30 years, it won’t be difficult to pay it back. I don’t want to predict anything yet, but it’s possible that we’ll also use this option.

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Returning to the topic of my story, I want to emphasize once again that the IT sector in Portugal is growing fast. Highly qualified people are needed in large companies. Therefore, if you have experience, appropriate education and skills, as well as a desire to live in comfortable conditions in one of the best European countries, do not put off your dream. Follow my experience, ask for help from Movetocascais and in a short time your life will change dramatically. Believe me, any risks will be justified. The most important thing is to make the right arrangements for your stay.


*Материал отражает историю героя статьи в интерпретации автора; относительно описанных методов и процессов при получении ВНЖ – они могут не совпадать с реальным мнением редакции MoveToCascais по этому поводу. 

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