The Ultimate Tips for Moving to Portugal in 2020

Are you thinking about moving to Portugal? As lovely as it sounds, going across the world, even if it’s to a beautiful, sunny place, requires good organization. You’ll have to apply for a visa, think about finding a job there, and you’ll most likely have some trouble finding affordable housing options.

You are relocating to a nation with fantastic weather, delicious cuisine, and friendly people. Also, the healthcare and educational systems are great, so you don’t have to worry about these two things, especially if you are relocating with your loved ones. But, before you start packing your suitcases, consider reading these simple tips and make relocation to Portugal as easy as possible.

A Guide to Getting Your Visa

To apply for a Portuguese visa, you have to go to the Portuguese Embassy, consular post, or diplomatic mission in your current country of residence. Keep in mind that the processing time can take anywhere from two weeks up to three months, so you should apply for the visa on time. Also, you will have to pay a non-refundable fee. For a long-stay visa, the cost is $90.

Residence Permit

If your relocation plans include leaving for more than three months, first, you will need a long-term Portuguese visa that will allow you, later on, to apply for a residence permit. In most cases, a license is granted to enable residency for one year, after which you can apply for a permanent residence permit. For more information, you should contact the Portuguese Immigration Service (SEF), the department that deals with all the issues regarding residence permits for non-European Union nationals.

Work Permits

As a US citizen, to get a work permit, the first step is to get hired. You can start by searching online, and see what the options for professional growth in Portugal are. You can even make a list of essential relocation questions to ask your employer.

Once you have found the job, your employer will apply, on your behalf, for a work permit to the Portuguese Labor Authorities. Once the work permit has been approved, you should apply for a work visa and residence permit. The type of residence license you’ll need depends on the type of employment.

Find the Best Housing Options

Finding accommodation in Portugal is not an easy task, especially when you know that the average salary is almost the same as the average rent.

Is Renting in Portugal Affordable?

According to Numbeo, to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the center, you will need around $700 per month and $500 per month for the same sized place outside of it. However, if you need a bigger apartment, the monthly rent for a three-bedroom home outside of the center is $870, while the average net salary is around $950.

Porto and Lisbon Are The Most Expensive Cities in the Country

Rent prices depend on the part of the country in which you’re planning to live and the type of housing you are looking for. As a rule of thumb, cities closer to the coast are more expensive than the inland parts.

Porto and Lisbon top the list of the most expensive cities in the country. On the other hand, the minimum house rent you can find is in the District of Guarda. The average rental price here is around $385.

Required Documents for Renting

When signing a rental contract, you will need a valid ID or passport and last pay stubs or tax return. In case you can’t provide these documents, you might be asked for a guarantor, and they have to give the same documents.

Documents That Should Be Provided by the Landlord

However, as a tenant, you can ask for a land register, habitation certificate, a license that guarantees the building can be inhabited, and an energy certificate from your landlord. Keep in mind that you’ll probably be asked for a deposit equal to one or two monthly rents in advance.

Try to Find a Job Before Moving to Portugal

Even though the unemployment rate is still among the highest in Europe and the job market is mostly Portuguese-speaking, the growing number of international companies based here has made it easier for expats to find jobs.

Marketing and IT are the Perfect Job Options

Opportunities in marketing, IT, and other tech and online jobs are increasing, while real estate and tourism have always been a safe option for expats. To work in hospitality businesses, speaking English is mandatory. Therefore, you can look for a job opportunity in this field. However, the majority of nationals speak English well, so it will be an advantage if you speak other languages, highly valued in this field, including Spanish, French, or German.

Keep in Mind that Americans Can Use Public Healthcare Services

Portugal has a mixed healthcare system – public and private. If you want to enjoy the right to state medical services, you must be registered with your local council. Here, you must request proof of address, which you will need to register with the local healthcare system. Don’t forget to bring your residence card and your work visa, as well.

Once you have been registered with the health system, you’ll be given your healthcare number, which you will need to show whenever accessing public healthcare services.

When Living Here, You Can Use Services of Public Healthcare – And The Majority Is Free

All medical procedures, except dental care and cosmetic surgery, are covered by public healthcare. Preventative care, diagnostics, and treatment of both non-urgent and emergency conditions are included in Public healthcare.

Keep in mind that, even though medical care is mainly free, you might have to pay some fees. Visiting your family doctor, emergency rooms, or requesting ambulance services may cost you from 6 to 22 USD.

When Starting a Life Here, Think About Opening a Bank Account

As a foreigner, you have the option of opening a bank account. Setting up a bank account requires a visit to a branch. Some banks allow opening a bank account online, but you still need to visit the branch to finalize the process.

Documents Required to Get an Account in Europe

When you decide to open a bank account, you must provide a valid ID, such as your passport, the Portuguese tax number, proof of address, and proof of employment.

However, even if you’re not employed, you can open an account here. In this case, you will have to bring proof that you’re registered with the Portuguese employment center.

Find the Best Educational Option for Your Kids

If you are relocating with kids, you should not have to worry about their education because here you can find both public and private schools. However, if you want the best quality education for your children, you should expect to pay for their schooling.

Private institutions top the list of best schools in the country, and state universities are a better choice for higher education. Public schools are state-subsidized, and education is free for all nationals and foreign resident children.

Contact a Moving Company and Get Free Quotes for Your Relocation

When you get your visa approved, a new job waiting for you, and a house that will be your new home, you can start enjoying the preparations for relocating to this beautiful country. Portugal is a nation that embraces newcomers, and you will adapt to its lifestyle in no time.


When moving overseas, you can’t avoid moving stress, but you can reduce it. Consider contacting a reliable company and asking for free quotes for your international relocation. That way, you’ll be able to make a relocation budget plan. Also, by hiring professional movers that provide international moving and packing services, you will have enough time to take care of other things and finish all your relocation tasks on time.