Should I move to Portugal from UK?

Many UK nationals dream of moving abroad to live in sunnier climes. With hot weather and sandy beaches almost always on offer, it’s no wonder why! One of the top dream destinations is Portugal. Portugal is full of friendly people who are very welcoming to those wishing to move to the country. Also, another great thing about Portugal is, when compared to the UK, it is a lot cheaper to buy a house and general living costs are much less. This is because the country offers some incentives for those moving there as well as easy to understand regulations and taxations. In addition, thanks to the pros of the country, there is already a large community of British people.

There are, of course, many pros to living in Portugal. Firstly, the weather is, for the most part, fantastic! Portugal is well known for its sunny weather and attracts many tourists during the summer who are keen to sunbathe on the beaches and get themselves a nice tan. However, like other Mediterrean countries, at times, Portugal can experience some heavy rainfall so it’s best to be prepared for all eventualities.

Also, the country also offers tax breaks for foreign residents as a result of the non-habitual resident tax regime. Thanks to this, over 10,000 people who have moved to Portugal from elsewhere have gotten a break from their taxes since the regime started in 2009. In order to apply and take advantage of this regime, you must have a right to reside in Portugal and have not been a Portuguese tax resident 5 years before taking up residency in the country.

However, there are some possible cons to moving to Portugal. First of all, although not entirely essential, it would be a good idea to try and learn the Portuguese language in order to communicate with the nationals. Learning any language can be difficult and Portuguese is no different. Although, if you have some knowledge of Spanish, then it may become easier to learn Portuguese due to the similarities between both languages.

Also, having lived in the UK, you will be quite used to driving on the left side of the road. When moving to Portugal, you will need to learn to drive on the right side of the road instead. In addition, it is important to note that Portugal is a bureaucratic country. This means that while you are likely to receive great service within the country, the government officials’ main priorities when working is themselves, then the state and lastly, the people who live there.

Now, how do you move to Portugal from the UK? Well, here is a fantastic guide to help you follow your dream and move to the fantastic country of Portugal!

Things have changed recently in regard to moving to another country as a result of Brexit. When moving to the UK, you will need to pay import tax in order to transport your items to your new home in Portugal. The amount paid differs depending on what is being transported so it’s best to go online and use the tax calculators which are great to work out the amount of tax you should expect to pay on your items.

Another very important thing to find before making the move is, of course, a place to stay. Portugal has many properties available with a lot that are reasonably priced thanks to the low cost of living.

A great place to look for accommodation is Idealista which can be accessed online. Idealista lists accommodation available for long-term renters and has listings all over the country from Lisbon and Porto to towns in the Algarve such as Tavira and Albufeira. Like other property websites, Idealista gives a breakdown of the facilities in the accommodation as well as nearby amenities and the all important cost of renting the property.

Another thing that may be important to know is how to transport your pets at your home in the UK to your new home in Portugal. Perhaps the easiest way to do this, and the most comfortable for your pets, is by ferry. You are able to get on a ferry from Portsmouth in the UK to Santander which is in Spain. If you book well enough in advance, you will be able to secure a pet-friendly cabin on the ferry which will give added comfort to your pet – it is also important to note that, when on the open decks of the ferry, dogs must be muzzles at all times. For reference, Santander is a 7 and a half hour drive from Lisbon and a 9 hour and 22 minute drive from Albufeira.

The last things you’ll need to do before making your move official is the paperwork.

You will need to get yourself a fiscal number (NIF). WIthout this, you will not be able to open a bank account in the country nor will you be able to buy any property. To do this, you need to arrive at your local finance office with proof of ID as well as proof of your current address. This has no cost and you will be able to receive your NIF without any kind of representative.

It’s also advisable you set up some kind of medical care before moving to the country and to do this you should get a Utente number. This number allows you access to Portugal’s own version of the National Health Service, the SNS. To get this, you must arrive at the nearest Saude to your residential address with your passport, NIF number and your residency certificate. Here, you will be involved in a short interview which will, in turn, give you access to your Utente number.

In addition, other parts of paperwork include contacting HMRC and letting them know you have moved so they can supply you with a new tax number. Furthemore you need to open a new bank account as well as exchange your UK driver license for a Portugeuse one – check out​ for more in depth information on that.

So, to conclude, moving to Portugal, or moving anywhere, from the UK can be very difficult and has a lot of important steps that must be followed. However, hopefully this guide will be useful and help you follow your dream and move to Portugal from the UK.

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