Virtual Meeting Request
Luximos Christie's International Real Estate

FAQ'S - Moving & Residency


1. I'm from the UK and would like to move to Portugal. Do I need a visa for that?

As a UK national, you will be allowed to stay in Portugal (and the Schengen area) for a maximum of 90 days over a period of 180 days in any 12 months. Please note that the 90-day period includes any trips that you might take to other countries within the Schengen area.

From 01/01/2021, you will be asked to apply for a visa before the Foreign and Border Office (SEF) to stay in Portugal for longer periods and you’ll need to follow the relevant application process for third-country nationals, pursuant the Portuguese Aliens Act.

2. What is a "Third Country"?

A “Third Country” or “Third State” is any State which is not a member of the European Union or a party to the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement or where the latter is not applicable.

3. Can I still buy a property in Portugal? Could I buy a holiday home to use during the winter and rent it out during the summer?

Yes, there are no restrictions on property ownership in Portugal to third-country nationals.

Should you wish to rent your property in Portugal, you may do it either by entering into a rental contract or by applying for a license for Local Lodging activities, whenever this is possible considering the property at stake and the place where it is located.

4. Is it still easy to get a fiscal number?

Yes, UK national or third-countries nationals should appoint a tax representative in Portugal which is a  very simple procedure.

This fiscal representation must be carried out by a qualified professional such as a Lawyer or personal accountant in the Portuguese territory, as they are legally and fiscally responsible for:

· Receiving the fees and taxes due by the represented;

· Complying with the reporting obligations, ensuring compliance within the legal deadlines; 

· To inform the represented about all tax obligations, deadlines, and possible tax offenses.

The fiscal representative also has the right to comply with your fiscal obligations and to claim, challenge or appeal on your behalf, if necessary.

5. Can I still apply to get the NHR tax benefits if I'm not here for more than half a year?

To apply for the Non-Habitual Resident fiscal status, you must comply with the following requirements:

· Be considered, for tax purposes, resident in Portuguese territory;

· To not have been considered resident in Portuguese territory in any of the previous five years.

To be considered resident in Portugal for tax purposes, you must (i) have stayed in the country for more than 183 days, consecutive or interpolated, in any 12-month period starting or ending in the year in question or having stayed less than 183 days, (ii) have a property there in a condition that one would suppose the intention is to maintain and occupy it as a usual residence;

This fiscal status is applicable for 10 consecutive years and it’s not limited to EU citizens, but to any newly resident complying with the above requirements. However, please note that the NHR does not mean full tax exemption on foreign income throughout 10 years, thus before applying for it, it is of utmost importance to assess the pros and cons of such a status in your concrete case and considering the sources and types of income.

6.  A holiday home for 6 months of the year will work for me for now. What about later on when I retire? Can I move to Portugal full time?

It is possible to move to Portugal and enjoy your retirement here, regardless of your nationality.

Please note that there is no “retirement permit” and therefore, should you wish to move to Portugal for this purpose you must request a residence permit before SEF, grounded on retirement purposes.

As a third-country national, although you cannot benefit from the EU rights of free movement and settlement, there are still some interesting options for you, and it is key that you choose the one that suits you best.

7. What are my options?

First, you must check if you are entitled to an EU passport, or more specifically, to a Portuguese passport. 

If not, there are two main paths (assuming that you won’t be moving for work purposes) that one can follow: the ARI scheme (also known as Golden Visa) or a D7 residence permit.

7.1  Residence Permit for Investment Purposes - ARI (Golden Visa)
 

a. Methods of investment in the real estate field: acquisition of real estate for a minimum of EUR 500k divided between one or more properties or the acquisition of properties at least 30 years old or located in an urban rehabilitation area together with the completion  of renovation works, with an investment amount equal to or higher than EUR 350k;


b. Minimum required stay of at least 7 days in the first year and of at least 14 days in the subsequent years;

c. Residence permit exemption to enter in the Portuguese territory and visa-free movement within the Schengen area;

d. Family reunification;

e. The possibility to apply for a permanent residence permit for investment purposes, in accordance with the Portuguese Aliens Act;

f. The possibility to apply for the acquisition of Portuguese nationality, in compliance with the conditions foreseen in the Portuguese Nationality Act.

7.2   D7 Visa

a. Allows non-EU citizens to get Portuguese residency provided they have sufficient funds to sustain themselves during their stay in Portugal;

b. Must be applied for in your home country via the Portuguese Embassy;

c. Minimum income or pension for a 12 month-duration period: 

i. EUR 7,980.00 for the first adult 

ii. EUR 3,990.00 for second or more adults

iii. EUR 2,394 per child

d. Valid for two years from the date of issuance of the respective permit and renewable for successive periods of three years;

e. Family Reunification;

f. Minimum required stay: the permit will be revoked if you are absent from the country for six consecutive months or eight interpolated months within the total period of validity of each permit;

g. The possibility to apply for a permanent residence permit, in accordance with the Portuguese Aliens Act.

h. The possibility to apply for the acquisition of Portuguese nationality, in compliance with the conditions foreseen in the Portuguese Nationality Act.

 

7.1 Residence Permit for Investment Purposes - ARI (Golden Visa)

a. Methods of investment in the real estate field: acquisition of real estate for a minimum of EUR 500k divided between one or more properties or the acquisition of properties at least 30 years old or located in an urban rehabilitation area together with the completion  of renovation works, with an investment amount equal to or higher than EUR 350k;

b. Minimum required stay of at least 7 days in the first year and of at least 14 days in the subsequent years;

c. Residence permit exemption to enter in the Portuguese territory and visa-free movement within the Schengen area;

d. Family reunification;

e. The possibility to apply for a permanent residence permit for investment purposes, in accordance with the Portuguese Aliens Act;

f. The possibility to apply for the acquisition of Portuguese nationality, in compliance with the conditions foreseen in the Portuguese Nationality Act.
 

7.2   D7 Visa

a. Allows non-EU citizens to get Portuguese residency provided they have sufficient funds to sustain themselves during their stay in Portugal;

b. Must be applied for in your home country via the Portuguese Embassy;

c. Minimum income or pension for a 12 month-duration period: 

i. EUR 7,980.00 for the first adult 

ii. EUR 3,990.00 for second or more adults

iii. EUR 2,394 per child

d. Valid for two years from the date of issuance of the respective permit and renewable for successive periods of three years;

e. Family Reunification;

f. Minimum required stay: the permit will be revoked if you are absent from the country for six consecutive months or eight interpolated months within the total period of validity of each permit;

g. The possibility to apply for a permanent residence permit, in accordance with the Portuguese Aliens Act.

h. The possibility to apply for the acquisition of Portuguese nationality, in compliance with the conditions foreseen in the Portuguese Nationality Act.
 

8. How long before I am a permanent resident?

You will be considered as a permanent resident after 5 consecutive years of Portuguese residence (with temporary residence permits), counted from the date of issue of the first temporary residence permit.

After that, you can apply for a permanent residence permit before SEF. For this purpose, you will need to present some supporting documentation and prove that you have the basic knowledge of the Portuguese language (by means of a Portuguese language first-level assessment).

9. Are these permits easy to apply for? How long does it take?

With the help of a legal professional, it is usually a straightforward process and its length will depend on the SEF’s work and on the documentation being ready to be presented (namely documentation issued and legalized in the country of residence of the applicant, such as an updated criminal record). Usually, it takes between six to twelve months to complete the entire process.

10. Are there quotas for either type of visa?

Not currently. 

11. If I buy a property will I definitely qualify for one of the residence visas?

The D7 Visa only requires that you have sufficient means to live in Portugal, which means that it is not mandatory to buy a property.

In the case of Golden Visa, it is also not mandatory to buy a property, as there are various options for investment from that you can choose. Nevertheless, the most popular and tested way is related to real estate investments with the minimum required investment amounts described above.

12. Does buying land to build on allow me to make a Visa application?

Yes, the plot of land can be considered real estate for Golden Visa application purposes, provided that the purchase price meets the minimum investment amount required. Please note that you will need to have all the plot documentation in place before applying to the Golden Visa, and it is advisable to verify the construction standards applicable before proceeding with the purchase.

As for the D7 visa, you will need a Portuguese address, so you will need to rent a property during the construction process or wait until the habitation license is granted on the property you are building. 

13. Do I have access to the Portuguese National Health System?

Once you hold a residence permit and therefore you become a legal resident in Portugal, you have the right to access the Portuguese National Health System.

For this purpose, you will need to request your Health Number before the local Health Centre of your area of residence.

14. Do I need to exchange my driving for a Portuguese one?

You may drive in Portugal with your foreign driving license for the period of 185 days following your entry into Portugal and before setting up residence (driving as a tourist).

Once you are a resident in Portugal, there are specific rules that are applicable considering the country of origin (where your current driving license was issued), so every situation must be checked on a case-by-case basis.

15. Why is Portugal a good place to invest?

Aside from the obvious benefits of climate, lifestyle and accessibility, the past year has taught us that above all it is important to surround ourselves with what makes us happy. Many have decided to make big changes and instead of looking for a holiday home in the sun are choosing somewhere they can both work and relax in equal measure; a place that feels safe and familiar. Portugal offers the best of all worlds, attracting both international investors and new residents to a market that is stable and not speculative. 

16. How safe is Portugal?

Portugal is currently ranked at number three on the list of safest countries in the world, with only New Zealand and Iceland rated safer. 

17. How do I know which area will suit me?

If you haven’t visited Portugal before, we’ll be able to guide you to the right area based on your interests, budget and lifestyle. The style of property is key too, certain areas will be mainly composed of a certain kind of property.

18. What sort of budget will I need?

The best way to work out how much you will realistically need to spend is to have a discussion with one of our experienced Private Brokers. They can help to create a portfolio of properties that matches your needs and together you’ll create a “wish-list” and discuss what sort of compromises you might need to make to get the maximum benefit from the funds you have available.

19. Can I arrange a property viewing trip with you?

We’ll be able to suggest local hotels in the area of your search and put together a schedule for a few days of viewing properties combined with exploring areas and towns to make sure everything fits fully with what you’re looking for.

20. Will there be lots of pressure to buy while I am there?

It’s important to us that you really enjoy the search for your property, we’ll do the hard work in advance of your arrival and our goal is always to make it a fun trip while still covering important things like meeting a lawyer to ask questions. The market does move quickly sometimes and we’ll keep you informed if there is other interest in a home. We work at your pace and won’t push you to make a decision you’re not ready for.

21. Do you charge a fee for your services?

Our fees are paid by the seller of a property, so you can relax and enjoy our high levels of service and care, knowing that they will not cost you anything extra.

22. Will I need a lawyer?

We’d recommend that you use a local lawyer to handle your conveyancing needs along with any other documentation that goes along with the process such as obtaining your fiscal number, your residency documents and even exchanging your driving license for a Portuguese one if necessary.

23. Can I get a mortgage when buying a house in Portugal?

Within our group, there is a dedicated company that acts as a Mortgage Broker, officially authorized by the Bank of Portugal with the registration number 0001174. hugely experienced in working with international buyers, we can help to negotiate the terms and conditions with any lending institution in Portugal. You should keep in mind that this will be subject to status and you’ll need to provide documentation to receive an offer in principle, but If you are looking to finance part of your purchase we would like you to know that we have the structure and the means to find the best mortgage solution for you. 

24. What is the procedure and how long does it normally take?

The purchase process in Portugal is very simple compared to many other countries, the most difficult part can be finding the right property. With the right team working for you the process is easy and would normally take between one and three months. This really does depend on what is agreed when you take a property off the market, everything will be specified in your promissory agreement which is usually signed within a week of your offer being accepted.

25. What kind of expenses will be incurred as a buyer?

The main costs as a buyer will be the IMT & Stamp Duty but there are some other smaller charges eg for the deed at the notary. You should also budget for your lawyer and if you’re going to apply for a mortgage there will be fees associated with this. Depending on the property there may be charges to connect utility services like electricity, water, and internet.

26. Should I get specialist tax advice?

Questions about taxes associated with a property purchase or renting out a property can usually be answered by your lawyer or fiscal representative. If you’re intending to become a resident of Portugal, again your lawyer can help you decide if you’re eligible for a tax regime such as the NHR. If you’re looking to move investments, pensions, or pay yourself dividends from companies outside of Portugal it might also be worth speaking to a specialized wealth management company.

27. What happens if the exchange rate moves during the process?

If you’re bringing funds into Portugal from outside the Euro-zone it is important to speak with an expert about the exchange rate well in advance of making a purchase, this will help to give you a clearer idea of your budget in the local currency and also how to transfer funds without paying excessive charges. 

28. Is healthcare expensive?

This really depends on your age and requirements, there are several companies that offer comprehensive private insurance policies and if you’re planning to become a resident in Portugal full time you would normally qualify for the national health service.

29. Do you provide an after-sales service?

Yes! Once you’ve found the right home we’ll coordinate with your lawyer, the seller, and your mortgage provider to ensure a smooth process. When the property is yours, we’re able to help you source everything that you’ll need for your new home, from a painter to a gardener. We can also help you with setting up your utilities; gas and electricity, cable tv & internet, and home insurance

30. Can I rent my property through you?

We do offer a long-term letting service from our Porto office but if you’re looking to organize short-term holiday lets for a property either in the Algarve or Porto we’ll be able to put you in touch with a local management company to help organize everything from marketing to maid-service.

 

Information partially provided by Mestre Associate Lawyers. This information is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the applicable legislation.

 

CONTACT REQUEST

Featured Properties: Porto, Algarve

New apartment, for sale, in Porto centre, Portugal
Ref.: LS03953
€ 320 000
New and modern apartment, for sale, in Matosinhos, Porto, Portugal
Ref.: LS04050-F13
€ 275 000
Villa with garden and sea views, for sale, V. N. Gaia, Porto, Portugal
Ref.: LS03907
€ 450 000
Luxury villa for sale, with pool and tennis, Silves, Algarve, Portugal
Ref.: 1CS00498
PRICE U/ REQUEST
Villa for sale, pool, sea and mountain views, Loulé, Algarve, Portugal
Ref.: 1LS00376
€ 675 000
Sale of new triplex apartment in city center, Faro, Algarve, Portugal
Ref.: 1LS01079
€ 407 000
© 2018, LUXIMOS.  | ENTREPORTAS