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Thinking of buying a property in Portugal?

If you've already been here on holiday, you will be fully aware of the beauty of this country and its many attractions. You may already feel the time is right to make the move, however,  you should also know why Portugal is so special and the perfect place for making your investment.

Imagine living in a country where you can find a huge diversity of landscapes and environments, stunning sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, golden plains and mountains, vibrant and cosmopolitan cities.

Here you can practice water sports, play golf on the best courses in the world, experience the stunning nature, or just get out into the country and discover unbeatable heritage, wines and cuisine.


The winters are mild and summers are warm and dry,. Fortunately, even on the hottest day their is usually a lovely breeze. The Algarve has over 300 days of sunshine per year is extremely lucky to receive an excessive amount of hours of sunshine per year reaching values as high as 3300 in the south of the country and 1600 in the north, some of the highest in Europe.

Will you be welcomed?

The Portuguese are polite and friendly, welcoming all visitors regardless of where they come from. As visitors come here from all over the world, Portugal has adapted over the yaers to accomodate eveyone. 

A large part of the population speaks foreign languages, specifically English, however by living in Portugal you will soon learn the launguage and this will help when dealing with some of the day to day management fo your property.


Portugal has an excellent geographical location. At the meeting point between three continents, Europe, Africa and America. There are three international airports that can connect you to other major cities all over the world.

The motorways are extremely quiet, even in the busier months and driving is very easy.

Public trasport operates throughout the year with a very effiecient network running to all of the towns and cities.

Tax incentives - Move to Portugal and enjoy a subsatntial tax reduction on your pension.

It is the ultimate dream for many people - to work hard, build up a nest egg and retire abroad to a climate with year-round sunshine. Now there is an added financial motive to move overseas. The new pension freedoms will allow you to move abroad, take your hard-earned savings with you - and potentially escape some of the taxes that would otherwise apply not only in the UK but other EU countries.

By moving to Portugal , it could be possible to take your pension and pay absolutely no tax on it for the first 10 years. This applies even if you withdraw large sums, a move which in the UK and other countries could attract crippling tax charges, as such withdrawals are treated and taxed as ordinary income.

Does this sound too good to be true? To benefit from these rules, retired people would have to plan the move carefully and make sure they meet strict residence criteria both in their country of residence and their new destination country. Advice from a professional who has experiened with the taxation laws of Portugal is a must. But with careful planning and advice, the end result could be a transformed retirement - and a large tax saving

Retiring to Portugal

Who can retire in Portugal?

For citizens of the European Union, retiring to Portugal is fairly straightforward as they can easily apply for residency and enjoy many of the same benefits as local residents. EU citizens can apply for a residence permit from any of the regional offices of the Portuguese Immigration Service or SEF (Servico de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras). A list of regional offices is available here.

Under Portugal's retirement residency law, non-EU citizens who want to retire to Portugal will need to apply for a residence permit at a Portuguese consular office in their home country before relocating to Portugal. You will typically need to show a valid passport, proof of income, proof of health insurance and submit to a criminal background check. Non-EU nationals can obtain a temporary residence permit for five years, after which they will be able to apply for permanent residence. Read Expatica's guide for more information about residence and work permits in Portugal.

Non-EU residents looking to retire in Portugal can also take advantage of the Golden Visa scheme, which was introduced to attract investors from non-EU countries. This option is only open to third-country nationals who are able to fulfill at least one of these requirements:

  1. purchase real estate with the value of at least EUR 500,000 or above.
  2. purchase of real estate property with a minimum value of EUR 350,000 for the purpose of refurbishing (properties must either have construction dating back more than 30 years or be located in urban regeneration areas)
  3. make a capital transfer equating to EUR 1 million or greater towards the country
  4. create at least 10 job positions
  5. make a capital investment of EUR 350,000 or more towards research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions involved in Portugal's scientific or tech systems
  6. transfer a capital investment of at least EUR 250,000 to support Portugal's local arts or the country's national heritage sector      
  7. make a capital investment of EUR 500,000 or more for purchasing shares in investment funds or in venture capital geared to capitalise small and medium companies in Portugal.

Expats who acquire the Golden Visa are granted rights to the following:

  • A residence visa waiver for entering Portugal
  • Permit for living and working in Portugal under the condition that they stay in Portugal for a period of seven or more days in the first year, and 14 or more days in the subsequent years
  • Visa exemption for travelling within the Schengen Area
  • Family reunification
  • Application for permanent residence and Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation provided they fulfill all the requirements.

Is your investment safe 

Over  the last 20 years, Portuguese real estate has experienced major development, both due to the fact that construction quality is becoming increasingly more sustainable, and due to the changes in spending power.

However, even so, the Portuguese real estate market did not suffer the exaggerated growth seen in other European countries. In Portugal, until late 2013, the number of new constructions was aligned with respective sales. In the last two years, demand has returned which, while ensuring the sale of existing stock, has also made the price index rise to values close to those registered in 2010.

Therefore, Portuguese real estate is a safe haven for domestic and foreign investment, and none of the data available suggest the existence of a property bubble in Portugal. This fact in itself is proof that there are competitive conditions for investment in the sector.


In Portugal, official services for providing healthcare to the population are organised as the National Health Service. In addition to this public service, there are freely available private health institutions and professionals.

The hospital network is made up of modern and well-equipped units, distributed throughout the country, which have long-standing relationships with the major international insurance companies.

In order to make overseas patients feel more comfortable, hospitals are implementing personalised patient care and monitoring services, with English as the language of communication.

Portugal also has an Integrated Medical Emergency System, which guarantees the fast and accurate provision of healthcare to accident victims or anyone suffering a sudden illness, and rapid response times by the emergency services.

Moving to Portugal with children. What about education?

International schools

In Portugal you can access a high quality public and private education system, which offers the opportunity to learn the third most spoken European language in the world.

If you are looking for an international environment, you should known that international schools can be found all over the country, attended by Portuguese and foreign students. At these schools, students may study international programs such as the "International Baccalaureate (I.B.) programme”, or the "British GCSE and GCE examination systems”, for example.