Lot’s of people often ask me ‘Can I just move to Portugal?’ Well the short answer is no, you still have to register as a resident and follow the visa and formal paperwork requirements. However, it is much easier for some people to just move to Portugal than it is for others.
Can I just move to Portugal as an EU Citizen?
If you hold an EU passport then it is probably easier for you to move to Portugal than anyone else, because of the freedom of movement benefits that come from being part of the EU. As an EU citizen you automatically have the right to live and work in Portugal.
However, you must register as a resident if you intend to stay there, and this must be done within 90 days of your arrival. If it is your intention to stay, take your EU passport to the local Camara or Loja do Ciadao (you may have to make an appointment in advance) and you will apply for a CRUE certificate – Certificado de Registo de Cidadão da União Europeia. This usually gives you 5 years of temporary residency and then after this point you can apply for permanent residency (and – if you meet the requirements – Citizenship).
Can I just move to Portugal from UK?
Unfortunately, since BREXIT, you cannot simply just move to Portugal from the UK. Leaving the EU has made this process a lot more complicated for British citizens and you will need to apply for a visa for your purpose – either work, study or retirement – in Portugal. For example, if you are an entrepreneur you can apply for the D2 visa and if you are retired and receiving a pension you can apply for the D7 visa.
The you will need to use the visa to apply for residency which will be temporary initially. You will then need to renew this residency until you are eligible for permanent residency (if you want to stay permanently). You will need to apply through SEF which stands for Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras. If you would like to read more about this you can have a look at this article on moving to Portugal after Brexit.
Can I just move to Portugal from the USA?
Again moving to Portugal from the USA is not as straight forward as moving from other EU countries, but it is still possible. It is a similar process to what the Brits now have to follow – apply for your visa first and then use that you get your residency certificate.
You may find this article helpful on moving to Portugal from the USA. Popular ways Americans move to Portugal are with a D7 retirement visa, the Golden Visa and D2 working or entrepreneurial visa. You can also consider the following:
- Schengen Visa (shorter term for tourists and travellers)
- Study visa
- Tech visa
- Startup visa
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Is Portugal a Good Place to Live?