Residency in Portugal
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Learn How to Become a Portuguese Resident as a Non-EU Citizen

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Brenda L.



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Are you thinking about moving to Portugal? Wonderful decision! It's no surprise that this European treasure attracts foreigners due to its stunning scenery, lively heritage, and warm weather.

As a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, you will need to take certain additional measures before moving over to enjoy the weather and delicious food.🚀

So, how do you evolve into a resident of Portugal? It's really fairly simple! You'll just require a little patience. We'll lay things out for you in a straightforward manner, so stay scrolling to learn everything.

Understand your non-EU citizen rights

As a non EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, you will require a visa to live, work, or study in any EU country. So that's the main rule in Portugal! 😬

Portugal is currently a hotspot for nationals from USA, UK, Canada and Brazil. And you can also become a resident!

Why should I move to Portugal?

Why Portugal, you ask? Portugal offers an appealing blend of low-cost living and high quality of life-the best type of hi-lo. The weather is just great, having lots of sunshine and a comfortable temperature. 💙

Let us not overlook the beautiful natural beauty that surrounds us. The lively streets of Lisbon, the fine wines of the Douro Valley (from the whole country, really!), and the magnificent beaches of the Algarve provide something for everyone's taste. The interesting history and lively culture create a fascinating setting for daily living. 🤩

How can I start my new life in Portugal?

Once you've decided on Portugal as the place to live, prepare for a brand new lifestyle. Simply follow these instructions ✅:

  1. Get a Portuguese NIF;
  2. Choose and apply for your Visa;
  3. Move to Portugal;
  4. Get your residence card with AIMA;
  5. Change your NIF address and become a legal tax resident.

⚠️ It's critical to remember the stages of the residency procedure.

When you arrive in Portugal with your Portuguese tax number and secure a place to stay, we'd appreciate it if you could register your Portuguese address with the local authorities, aka Finanças. It's an online method that helps keep things organized. You must complete this part to become a tax official resident in Portugal

1 - Request your Portuguese NIF

To begin your new life in Portugal, you must obtain an NIF, also known as a "Número de Identificação Fiscal" or Tax Identification Number. 😊

You will need an NIF for practically anything in Portugal, so we provide a comprehensive guide explaining everything about NIF right here.

What is a NIF?

The NIF is your Portuguese tax identification number. It's a simple and straightforward document to identify yourself for fiscal reasons in Portugal.

There are numerous ways you can profit, such as creating a Portuguese bank account or establishing a bill or rental agreement. It's flexible and will make your life a lot easier!

⚠️ Navigating daily life in Portugal could prove tough lacking a NIF.

2 - Choose and Apply for a Visa

The next step is to choose and apply for your visa. ✅

To comply with legislative criteria, non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens intending to live in Portugal must first get a visa for admission, followed by a residency permit.


There are nine types of visas that you could apply for 😊! They are:

  • D1 - Work visa: suits those who have an employment offer from a Portuguese company in Portugal.
  • D2 - Entrepreneur Visa: Ideal for those holding a business plan and funding who wish to expand their businesses in Portugal.
  • D3 - Highly Qualified Worker Visa: Suited for those in tech, science, or with high ranking activity who have an employment offer in Portugal
  • D4 - Student Visa: the fit for those who intend to study in Portugal and have been accepted into an accredited institution.
  • D5 - Mobile Student Visa: A specific visa for individuals who intend to complete their studies or internships in Portugal and are coming from another EU institution.
  • D6 - Family Reunification Visa: For family members who are coming to join either a legal Portuguese resident or an EU citizen living in Portugal.
  • D7 Visa Portugal - Passive Income Visa: Ideal for those with passive income, either from retirement, investment, or property management.
  • D8 Visa Portugal - Digital Nomad Visa: A solution for remote workers who intend to live in Portugal.
  • D9 Visa Portugal - Golden Visa: A high-ranking visa for high-value investments either in art or the Portuguese stock market.

If you wish to do it all by yourself, a Document Consultation Check with a lawyer to make sure all your documents are correct to apply for your visa.

To apply for a visa, you must gather the required documentation and schedule an interview at your local visa office or consulate. You can check the office and embassy lists here.

⚠️ Keep in mind that this is a long process, especially depending on where you apply. Be prepared to spend months before making your move and gathering extensive documentation proving you fit the conditions of your visa.

3 - Move to Portugal

Once you receive your visa, you can travel to Portugal! 😬

When you arrive here, make sure you define a place to stay, either the one on your visa application or another location, and schedule your AIMA appointment to convert your visa into a resident card.

4 - Get your residence card with AIMA

Attend your AIMA interview within the four-month duration of your visa to convert it into a residence permit. ✅

You'll need to provide all documents you presented at your visa interview, but with updated information, such as a new place if you have one, recent proofs of income, and a criminal record.

After some weeks, you'll receive your resident card at home. Now you are an official resident of Portugal, but there is one last step to complete your move.

5 - Update your NIF Address

After receiving your Resident Card, update your NIF Address. 😬

It's critical to keep your details accurate. Ensure that your formal communications and taxes are addressed correctly. This is critical for efficient operations and becoming a tax resident in Portugal.

Why do I need to keep your NIF Address Up-to-Date?

Updating your NIF address ensures that you receive critical government letters and tax alerts. It's also the official stage in becoming a tax resident. 🚀

It's an easy method to keep informed, connected, and manage your responsibilities. It also helps you maintain your legal rights in Portugal.

What exactly changes after altering my NIF address?

You'll officially become a Portuguese Tax resident! 🎉

Your tax situation after settling in Portugal

Once you change your NIF address in Portugal, the country instantly recognizes you as a tax resident. The method is uncomplicated and assures compliance with tax requirements. 😊.



Ensure your native nation does not consider you a tax resident. Examine local tax laws and determine what you must do to prevent double taxation. Every country has its own set of norms.

Portugal has agreements in place to avoid dual taxation with a number of countries. However, you should be aware that your home country's laws may require you to pay additional taxes on income, houses, assets, or time spent there.

What can I do to prevent this?

If you wish to keep things simple, contact a tax specialist in your native country or review the tax legislation there. They can guide you through any potential issues.

This is a useful advice to guarantee that you handle your tax obligations correctly and avoid any double-taxation issues if your country has an agreement, or that you pay the necessary taxes in both locations.

Final words

Each stage, from the beginning to complete integration into society, takes you closer to enjoying everything Portugal has to offer.

Enjoy your adventure! Why not try it? Start your amazing Portuguese experience today!

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to learn Portuguese to live in Portugal?

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As a Brit, do I need a Visa to live in Portugal?

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Is it possible for my family to join me?

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