Moving to Portugal in 2020. Detailed guide.

Moving to Portugal in 2020. Detailed guide

This guide presents detailed steps to help you overcome all the difficulties with such an important issue as moving to Portugal. The article will answer many questions: how to transfer belongings and pets, how to get a visa and a job and tell you about banks, taxes, and education.

Is it hard to go to Portugal for permanent residence? It depends on the type of visa, knowledge of the language, and your ability to work. Also, the important factor will always be the time – how much time you have left for the move. If we talk about the preparation of documents, it is always difficult, for anyone.

However, it is worth enduring, because there are many positive things to look forward to in Cascais:

    • friendly people;
    • high-paying jobs;
    • quality and affordable education, medicine;
    • beaches and modern urban centers.

Migration to Portugal

Moving to Portugal
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The move involves several stages:

    • Preparing documents.
    • Booking a hotel or room in Cascais.
    • Hauling belongings and pets.
    • Reporting.

Important: study Portuguese customs regulations to go through all procedures correctly. For example, pets must have a passport and vaccinations, there must not be anything prohibited in the suitcases (lists are attached to the law). Those things that will be detained at customs are almost impossible to return (only through the consulate or diplomatic mission).

Be aware that you, as a resident of a non-European country, will be seriously checked for compliance with all the rules. It is important to know the law so you can cross the border without problems and protect your rights.

Delivering things by air, road, or sea (where the first options are the fastest and most expensive, the third is affordable and slow, and the second is something in between).

If you’re carrying something large, you may need the services of storage companies.

Visa and work permit

Visa and work permit
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The main permissive document that entitles you to enter Portugal is a visa. It can be issued for study or work – the most affordable option for obtaining a long-term visa.

To obtain a visa, you must apply at the diplomatic mission, consulate, or embassy of Portugal in the country of current residence. Be prepared for a large number of documents and a lengthy visa application process. We recommend finding out in advance the list of papers to be collected – this will make the task a little easier.

To apply for a visa it is necessary to determine in advance the purpose of your stay in the host country. You can request a visa for work, investment, study, family reunification, etc. The cost of a visa usually does not exceed 100 euros. The accommodation card will cost about 88 euros.

If you expect to get an investment visa, you will have to pay about 500 euros. A residence permit costs about 5,500 euros.

A work permit is necessary for official employment. For example, students will not be able to work, as well as tourists. But those who went on a work visa can safely apply for a position in Portugal.

How to find accommodation

There is affordable accommodation to rent in Cascais, but be aware that there can be problems during the tourist season or in early fall when students arrive. Contact a renter in advance and reserve a room, apartment, or house.

Be prepared for serious living expenses. The average rent payment is equal to the average salary. Therefore, there are often many people living in the same house: locals and tourists sharing accommodation. Prices may be slightly lower on the outskirts of the city.

If you want to buy a house, there is no problem with it if you have a long-term visa. Centralized heating, water, and electricity are hooked up through the utility companies within a few days. Paying for utilities is even easier – all the utilities have their apps that have a payment function.

How to get health insurance

How to get health insurance
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When you enter the country, you will be asked to take out health insurance, a guarantee that you can afford treatment in case of emergencies. Insurance money is available 90 days from the time you sign up, so it only makes sense if you’re staying in Cascais for longer than 3 months.

If you become a taxpayer (get a job), you will be eligible for free health care. The Portuguese healthcare system is of high quality and has long waiting lists – you may have to wait several weeks for a doctor’s appointment. For this reason, many people still prefer to buy private insurance – it is affordable and much faster.

Don’t forget to register at city hall and confirm your residential address before you visit a public health clinic.

Banks and taxes

To open a bank account in Cascais you usually need:

    • come to the branch;
    • provide your passport, tax number (documents proving your right to stay in Portugal may be required);
    • pay the amount of the minimum deposit.

Thereafter you do not need to go to the bank, because online banking is widely available in Portugal and all transactions are done via your smartphone.

By the way, a non-resident of Portugal can also open an account there-even when in another country.

As for the tax rate, it is different for each salary range. Residents file a tax return. This is done online at Portal das Finanças (Financial Portal). Keep in mind that you will need a Portuguese tax number to pay your taxes (this issue is resolved at the town hall).


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Portugal’s education system is virtually the same as other European countries. International schools are available for foreigners with different languages of instruction: English, French, and German. You can qualify for free secondary education if you enroll in a public school with Portuguese as the language of instruction.

Higher education is quality and affordable. If you know Portuguese, you can become a highly-skilled professional. A Portuguese diploma greatly increases your chances of employment.