Becoming a resident

If you are an EU citizen, you are free to live and work in any EU country. However, if you are intending to stay in Portugal got more than 3 months, you need to register your intention with the local town hall (camara) – and this must be done within one month of your 9oth day in Portugal.

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The document that you need to obtain is often referred to as “residencia,” but the correct name for it is in fact the “Certificado de registo de cidadao da uniao Europeia”. This is usually issued for an initial five years and if you are still resident after this time, you can apply for permanent residency. 

According to the official instructions, you need to visit the camara with just your passport and be prepared to sign and declare that you either have work in Portugal or are self-employed, or that you have sufficient funds to support you and your family, along with valid medical insurance.

This documentation is invariably sufficient, but in some cases, new residents have been asked for other documents as wide-ranging as bank statements, translated employment contracts and social security declarations, so It’s best to take a huge folder of all-imaginable paperwork!

Although many document agencies offer to assist with the residency process, it is usually best to try to obtain the documents yourself, at least initially. If nothing else, it is valuable practice for living in a country fond of bureaucracy! The majority of people have residency documents issued with minimal hassle, especially if they fit the typical profile of retiring expats. The time for document agencies may come if you happen across one of the more “complicated” town halls.

It is also important to note the fairly recent “Golden Resident Permit” programme. This allows individuals with significant funds to invest, and those who plan to create employment, to effectively “fast-track” their residency. This scheme may prove useful to non-EU nationals who plan to buy high-end property in Portugal (with a value over €500,000). Full details are available here.This scheme is not relevant to EU citizens.

We know it’s a minefield to get your affairs in order, so if you would like to chat to the Portugal Buying Guide Team, call them on 0207 898 0549 – they’ll be happy to help in any way that they can. Also, if you are in process of getting your financial affairs in order before you make the move fill in your details to be contacted by an expert who can guide you through the process.

 


Further reading for Living In Portugal

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Finding work in Portugal

There are a number of ways that UK expats can fund their lifestyle in Portugal.
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Social life in Portugal

The best way to get settled in Portugal is to find out as much as you can about your new community.
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Heathcare

One of the first things you need to do once you arrive in Portugal is find out where your nearest hospital is.
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Education in Portugal

Are you emigrating to Portugal with school-age children?
 

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When purchasing property legal hold-ups can be disastrous. You need to make extra sure that you have an English-speaking, impartial solicitor looking out for your best interests from the very start.

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