How do you maintain relationships in the family without losing your business? A nontrivial question that more and more people in Russia are asking more and more often every year. You can have a job or a business that you love and nothing forebodes trouble, but even so, no one is immune to burnout. Usually, at this point people just give up, let the situation go on its own, and often lose everything so dear to them. But what if I told you there was another way?
I know this problem very well myself. Back when my family and I were in Kyiv, it was completely normal for me not to see my family for days at a time. The work routine overtook me, and it was only after living in different conditions and making drastic changes in my life that I understood how terrible it was.
Today we will tell you the story of Vitaly and Olga, an entrepreneur from Moscow who did not sit still and did everything to save their marriage by deciding to move with their family to Portugal.
How did it all start?
I never thought I would ever have to leave Russia. I met my wife back in Novosibirsk where we opened our first store, the income from which allowed me to move to Moscow after a few years. When we first moved, everything was great. A huge city, new opportunities, acquaintances. Moscow in the mid-noughties seemed like the ideal place to live. It was only after living in such a rhythm for 10 years that I understood how exhausting it was.
I initially thought, of course, of returning home. To leave noisy, dirty, stuffy Moscow with my family back in my native Novosibirsk. True, I quickly pulled myself away – such a step back was not an option. So I put the problem aside and we went on vacation.
This was the first time we had been to Portugal, and we were thrilled. The weekend in the Azores was just perfect: the warm Atlantic Ocean, wonderful nature, and an evening walk through the picturesque streets of Ponta Delgada. We hardly ever went to mainland Portugal, but even so, we saw a completely different world.
I truly realized this when we returned home. I remembered that recently I had been thinking about going back to Novosibirsk, but why not try to move to a nicer place? I wanted to forget about the cold winters and move to a small villa somewhere on the ocean. After a few weeks of thinking and family advice, we knew we really should try it.
While we decided to move, there were still questions that kept us from just snapping. The main one was what to do with the business that remains in Moscow? In addition, would we be able to just move to a foreign country like that, without knowing the language? What kind of move can we talk about at all, given the quarantine restrictions around the world? True, we decided not to panic prematurely and get into the details first.
It’s funny, but we originally didn’t even think about Portugal, where we just returned from a month ago. Maybe the problem was the fresh impressions of the vacation, but first of all, we were interested in Spain as one of the most popular options among other immigrants from Russia. In Spain, everything was ambiguous. Yes it is warm, yes it is sunny and by the sea, but judging by the reviews of people who have lived there for a long time, there are also many problems. Conflicts with locals, an overburdened tax system, and environmental problems were in every second story in the immigrant groups.
In the same forums and groups, we found the first mentions of Portugal as an interesting option for relocation. It turned out to be, predictably, the perfect option for us. Beautiful climate, excellent environment, transparent and clear immigration programs. At the same time, Olga and I learned that in Portugal it is possible to get a residence permit for passive income, which solved the issue of the business relocation. Given that we have seen everything with our own eyes recently, all doubts fell away at once.
How to arrange a move to Portugal with family?
Well, the goal is set, so it’s just a matter of small things. It remained to solve the question with the management of the stores that remained in Russia, to understand all the intricacies of the immigration process, to find good language courses, to gather all the necessary documents and certify them … This may sound naive, but we planned to do everything ourselves. It was good that we quickly came to our senses, and we did not waste our time.
In one of the thematic groups, we found a mention of the service MoveToCascais and decided to try to sign up for a consultation. They told us there was no need to worry and it would not be a problem to move, even with quarantine restrictions. Looking ahead – indeed, our move was not affected in any way.
The next couple of months were spent getting ready. My wife and I executed NIF, opened accounts in a Portuguese bank, and finally closed all the issues in Russia, which did not allow us to just take off and fly. At MoveToCascais we were offered to visit Portugal again on a tourist visa, see the capital and Cascais, find suitable accommodation, and meet them in person at the office.
Journey to Portugal and collaboration with MoveToCascais
While it wasn’t our first visit to Portugal, it was just as impressive. Lisbon is an amazing city. We knew it as soon as we arrived. Even at the airport, the air smelled like the ocean. And what to say about the city itself! It would seem what to expect from one of the dozens of European capitals – but Lisbon exceeded all our expectations.
In the capital, we stayed less than a week and went directly to Cascais. There we met our manager from MoveToCascais who took us on a little tour of the city. After exploring the city, we were invited into the office where we had a short presentation about how the move would take place. Here we found our first accommodation: a great two-bedroom apartment 5 minutes from the waterfront. When all the issues were resolved, it was time to head home. This time, though, we were sure we’d be back very soon.
New life in Portugal
It’s been almost a year since then. Portugal residency my wife and I received our residency back last spring, and now we’re in the process of moving into our new apartment. So far we have not decided to buy our place, but everything is still ahead of us!
Surprisingly, the move helped me sort myself out. I finally got some time for myself and it helped my work. You have to admit it’s hard to stay productive when you have a bleak Russian winter landscape outside your window. It’s different here.
We sent our son to an international school at the beginning of the year, and so far everything has been great. He overtook us long ago in terms of language learning and already communicates comfortably with local children.
Moving with family to Portugal in 2021
Friends, this concludes our story today. I hope that Vitali had the main message – do not give up, even in the most hopeless situation. There is always a solution and many of our fellow countrymen find it right here in Portugal.
A similar story happened with one of our first clients, Alexei. He was doing well in Russia – he had a successful business, family, and plans for the future, but there was still the same question: how to find time for both family and work. Today Alexey and his wife live in the Algarve, the warmest region in Portugal, and things are slowly getting better for them. Their business is growing, their daughter is graduating from an international school and plans to enter a local university next year, and, most importantly, they finally have the opportunity to devote time to themselves and their family, which they lacked in Russia.
Friends, you too can take the first step towards your dream life today and we are happy to help you solve any issues related to the legalization in Portugal and settling in place. All that is required from you is to contact us in any convenient way and we will tell you what you need to do to spend next year on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. We look forward to seeing you in Portugal!