Portugal has become increasingly popular for expats looking for a new home. With a variety of visa options, low cost of living and real estate prices, an attractive tax regime and sunny Mediterranean weather; it’s no wonder Portugal has become one of the most attractive destinations for expats.
Whether you’re looking for a permanent or temporary home, Portugal has something for everyone.
Large expat workforce
The number of expats in Portugal has skyrocketed, with a staggering growth of 364% over the past 5 years. This influx of expatriates has not only contributed to the cultural diversity of the country, but has also had a significant impact on the economy. Expats in Portugal now contribute a staggering €1,800 million to the Social Security System, boosting the overall financial stability of the country.
The presence of expats in Portugal has not gone unnoticed, leading to various positive outcomes for the local population. For instance, the average local salary has seen a remarkable increase of 8% in just the first four months of 2023; a direct result of the economic stimulation brought about by expatriates.
Additionally, expats have played a pivotal role in stimulating tourism in Portugal. Their presence has generated a staggering €2.14 million in tourist tax, a significant boost to the local economy. In response, the Secretary of State for Tourism, Commerce and Services has introduced an initiative to increase the number of workers in the tourism industry by 20%.
Affordable housing and cost of living
When it comes to affordable housing and cost of living, Portugal is a dream come true for expats. In fact, Lisbon is one of the least expensive cities for expats to live in, costing 40% less than bustling cities like London or Amsterdam. This means that expats can enjoy the high quality of life that Portugal has to offer without breaking the bank.
For those looking to buy property in Portugal, there are no restrictions for expats. However, the best deals are often found outside of major cities and popular coastal spots. In regions like Algarve and Albufeira, buying a house can cost around €500,000. While in inland and semi-rural areas, a house can be as little as €100,000-€200,000. But it doesn’t stop there. In some semi-rural regions of Portugal, you can even find houses for as low as €1. However, it’s important to note that these houses are often run down and require significant repair and renovation. Expats considering these deals should carefully consider if the effort and money required to restore these houses make the purchase worth it!
The Portuguese lifestyle, with its sunny Mediterranean weather and welcoming community, more than makes up for the relatively quiet surroundings. Plus, Portugal is a small country, making it easy to drive to more bustling regions within a few hours. So, whether you’re looking for a charming country house or a cozy city apartment, Portugal offers a range of housing options.
Multiple visa options
For expats considering a move to Portugal, the country offers multiple visa options to make the process as smooth as possible. One popular choice is the Digital Nomad Visa, which allows individuals to live and work in Portugal. To qualify for this visa, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can make at least €3,040 per month.
Another option is the D6 Visa, which is perfect for family members of EU citizens. This visa allows married couples (or other direct relations) to apply for a Portuguese residency card without submitting a full visa application. It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of a family member’s status; and to follow them abroad.
For retirees or those who rely on passive income, the D7 Visa is the ideal choice. This visa is specifically designed for individuals who have a regular income from sources such as pensions or rental properties. To be eligible, applicants must earn at least €760 per month.
While the Golden Visa is still an option for expats, it’s worth noting that the rules surrounding this visa are currently under review. This means that it may not be available for much longer, so it’s important to stay updated on the latest regulations if you’re considering this pathway.
With multiple visa options to choose from, Portugal truly caters to the needs of expats.
The NHR program
The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program, is an attractive tax regime for new expats in Portugal. This program is designed to encourage foreigners to live and invest in the country by offering generous tax benefits. One of the main advantages is that most of the income derived from abroad is exempt from taxes, making it an appealing option for individuals with foreign-sourced income.
For self-employed or high-value professionals, the NHR Program offers a flat income tax rate of 20% on locally derived income, which can lead to substantial savings. High-value professions eligible for this program include architects, doctors, engineers, and IT specialists, among others.
In addition to the tax benefits, expats enrolled in the NHR Program are also exempt from wealth tax and inheritance tax, further enhancing the financial advantages of living in Portugal. Transferring cash to Portugal is also hassle-free, as expats are not required to pay any fees.
To be eligible for the NHR Program, expats must have a valid residence permit and a domicile (home) in Portugal. It’s important to note that applicants must not have been residents in Portugal for the past five years.
How RHJ Group can help
If you’re considering a move to Portugal, RHJ Group is here to help make the process as smooth as possible.
Our experienced team can assist with visa applications, and ensure you’re set up before moving to Portugal. We can also help you find the perfect property to rent or purchase, taking into account your preferences and budget. And if you’re interested in taking advantage of the NHR program, we can provide expert tax planning advice.
Best of all, your first consultation with us is free, so why not chat with our team and see how we can help you embrace the Portuguese lifestyle!