Portugal Retirement Visa – How to Apply & Relocate

Portugal Retirement Visa – How to Apply & Relocate

Are you looking into the process of obtaining a Portgual retirement visa?

Perhaps moving to Portugal is something you have thought about doing when you retire for a long time.

There are some stunning locations to choose from in Europe and Portugal is a good choice for those approaching their senior years.

The country provides a range of appealing features that make it a popular choice for retirement with hundreds of people already reaping the benefits.

However, it is essential to conduct thorough research and planning to ensure a smooth transition to this post-work paradise.

Portuguese people are some of the friendliest in Europe!

They are blessed with a relaxed lifestyle coupled with temperate weather conditions.

It has long been known that warmer weather is good for your health as you age.

From alleviating joint pain to positively affecting mental well-being, the benefits are evident.

Here we explore the process of gaining a Portugal retirement visa – how to apply and relocate.

We also supply you with information about why Portugal is in such great demand for those eager to make the most of their golden years.

Why Portugal?

Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal at sunset. Image credit: Unsplash

A retirement journey to Portugal is an exciting prospect and an opportunity to elevate your retirement experience.

The promise of mesmerizing coastlines, mountainous regions, a rich history, and a relaxed and tranquil lifestyle along with a favourable cost of living is a very appealing combination.

Geographically convenient, just a few hours from the UK, you can be home quickly if the need arises.

Family and friends can visit more regularly when compared to some further flung retirement destinations and this will ease your feelings of homesickness.

Plus, Portugal brings other destinations within Europe that much closer. So, when you feel the need to explore outside the country there are numerous choices.

If safety is a concern for you, there is virtually no worry in this regard.

Portugal is considered to be one of the safest countries in Europe. 

The big bonus is that post-Brexit, non-EU citizens can retire in Portugal.

You must apply for a residence permit which takes time however, the process is pretty straightforward; it just involves more paperwork.

Meeting the Eligibility Criteria

First of all, you must arrange your visa. You won’t get far without one.

The most common visa for retirees is the D7 Visa (passive income Visa), the most affordable option for retirement in Portugal.

The criteria have changed considerably since Brexit. Unfortunately, not only does it mean the whole process is that much lengthier, but it is also more bureaucratic.

Applicants must have a stable income or a pension, private health insurance coverage, and no criminal record.

Applications are dealt with in several stages. At each stage documentation evidence must be submitted.

Therefore, you must gather all the paperwork you need before you attempt to submit your application.

Documents you need include:

  1. A Passport or other travel document
  2. Proof of stable income or pension
  3. Proof of private health insurance coverage
  4. Criminal record certificate
  5. Proof of accommodation in Portugal
  6. Completed visa application form

Submitting Your Application

Applying to move to Portugal

Applying to move to Portugal may be easier than you think. Image credit: Envato Elements

Once you have all the relevant documentation, the next stage of your visa journey is to submit your application.

The vast majority of applicants must attend an interview as part of the application process.

This can only be done via the nearest Portuguese consulate or embassy to you in the UK and you must book an appointment before attending.

For many, it may be a long trip.

The closest embassy for most people will be in London.

Scotland also has an embassy, with the Scottish branch being based in Edinburgh.

For anyone living in Ireland, Dublin will be your closest point of contact.

The Irish embassy for Portugal is based in Dublin.

Approval of your Application

Once submitted, the application approval takes time.

Each embassy is different, and each one has a different timeline for processing, depending on how busy they may be.

Plus, if the information you have supplied is incorrect, incomplete or requires further investigation it can cause significant delays.

It is therefore vital to ensure that everything you submit is as correct as possible.

As a guide, allow approximately 21 workdays from the date on which the application is received by the Embassy.

A further 2-3 workdays should be expected for the return of your passport and other supporting documents.

You will be notified of the embassy’s decision via post or email

The Golden Visa

There is another route that retirees can take but it is more costly.

A Golden Visa may work better for you if you have the funds to support it.

To apply for this, you need to invest at least €500,000 in Portugal.

There are many ways to do so, other than in property such as:

  • Donation to Arts €250,000
  • Venture Capital/Private Equity Fund €500,000
  • Donation to Research Activities €500,000
  • Company Creation 10 employees or €500,000 + 5 employees

This visa grants qualified foreign investors a residence permit and the potential to get citizenship after five years.

Using a Migration Agent

Migration Agent

A migration agent will assist with your move in a number of ways. Image credit: Envato Elements

It is particularly important to note that visa requirements can change suddenly and without warning.

Because of this, it makes sense to hire a good migration agent.

They are well versed in the difficulties connected to immigration into Portugal.

Migration agents will have a full understanding of Portuguese laws, regulations, and visa requirements and will also understand the language.

Here are a few to consider:

Getting a Portuguese NIF

Once you have met all the requirements and have been lucky enough to have been granted a visa, your new life in Portugal can begin.

There is one further bureaucratic hurdle to get over.

As soon as you arrive, you must obtain your Portuguese NIF also called a Número de Identificação Fiscal, which is your tax identification number.

Very little can be done without one.

It is needed when you open a bank account, pay your taxes, pay bills, obtain your health number, get a driver’s license and later for any property purchases.

Getting one is simple and there are numerous ways to obtain it:

  • Go to Finanças/Loja do Cidadão (in-person or by appointment)
  • Ask your fiscal representative to obtain one on your behalf
  • Pay a company

Follow this quick easy guide which details exactly what you need to do.

Healthcare in Portugal

Portugal Healthcare

Portugal has a very good healthcare system. Image credit: Pixabay

As we near our retirement years, it is often when we depend on the health service the most.

Thankfully, Portugal has an excellent healthcare system offering private and public services.

As already discussed, to begin with, you must arrange private health coverage in the interim period before qualifying for access to the public health system.

Once you become a resident, you’ll be entitled to the full benefits of Portuguese healthcare.

To use health care in Portugal you need an SNS number however, for UK expats from outside the EU, you should use your residency card instead.

The latter will be the situation for anyone moving to Portugal with the D7 Visa or the Portugal Golden Visa.

Your peace of mind during retirement is ensured thanks to affordable healthcare services and excellent medical facilities in Portugal.

There is plenty of information about the Portuguese health system as an expat to check out online.

Buying a Home in Portugal

Buying a home is a worthy investment when you move to Portugal permanently.

Portuguese property prices increase in the same as in any other country. Perhaps not quite as much as they do in the UK, but it makes good financial sense to eventually buy your own home.

House prices are cheaper for the most part, with Portugal having some of the best-priced real estate in Europe.

If you have a smaller budget, avoid cities such as Lisbon and Porto as well as much of the Algarve because these locations tend to be the most expensive.

Opt instead for areas along the Silver Coast or the Azores. Homes in these places tend to be cheaper.

To save even more money, move inland. Though you won’t be on the coast, many villas have private pools to compensate.

Properstar has published some interesting figures about the cost of buying a home in the country.

Recent figures from the National Statistics Institute show the average house price in Portugal at just EUR 1,187 a square metre – EUR 1,243 for flats, and EUR 1,090 for houses.

That compares to EUR 2,649 in the UK or EUR 2,300 in France. As you can see, Portugal fares very well.

Entering into the Portuguese property market without any prior experience can be a minefield.

Follow this downloadable all-you-need-to-know guide to purchasing your home in Portugal.

Decide Where are you Going to Live?

Lisbon Skyline

Be sure to explore all of your options when moving to Portugal. Image credit: Unsplash

Portugal is brimming with some stunning locations.

If you are already familiar with the different regions and have spent time exploring already, you are likely to know where you are going to relocate to.

If not, do you want to live by the sea, amid Portugal’s more central areas with historic towns, rolling hills, and lush forests, or is city life calling you?

Try and narrow your search and concentrate on a few locations.

Visit each place and do a pros and cons list for each.

If possible, consider renting a property in your desired location for a trial period before making a long-term commitment.

Get out of your comfort zone and start conversations with those already living in the area.

It’s the very best way to find out more about it!

Retirees need to think about their preferences, budgets, and lifestyle priorities when choosing the perfect retirement destination in Portugal.

After all, it will be a costly mistake should you end up living in a location you don’t enjoy.

Popular Locations with Retirees

Sintra, Lisboa, Portugal

Portugal has some great places to choose from, including Sintra, shown above. Image credit: Pexels

Once you have obtained your Portugal retirement visa you will need to pick a place to call home!

Luckily, Portugal has a diverse selection of towns and villages to choose from.

Each area has its unique lifestyle, climate, and attractions.

Here are some of the most popular places to spend your golden years in Portugal

Lagos: An upmarket location sitting in the Algarve Region. Packed with historical sites, a pretty old town area and pristine beaches. Lagos offers a relaxed lifestyle, excellent healthcare facilities, and plenty of amenities for retirees.

Sintra: Nestled in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains, Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its fairytale palaces, lush gardens, and romantic atmosphere.

Castelo Branco: Located in central Portugal. This area offers a peaceful and culturally rich environment for those seeking a quieter way of life along with very favourable property prices.

Figueira da Foz: Sitting on the Silver Coast this area is arguably the cheapest in the country. Residents can enjoy dining at local restaurants, shopping at markets, attending cultural events, and exploring nearby nature reserves.

Alcobaça: Located in the central-western region of Portugal. Despite being small, Alcobaça hosts a variety of cultural events and activities throughout the year, including festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions. Residents can immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy its vibrant community spirit.

Póvoa de Varzim: A small town that sits not far from central Porto in the northern region. It offers an appealing combination of affordability, proximity to a major city, and a relaxed coastal lifestyle. It is a popular area with both locals and visitors as its main beach is one of the best in the North.

Portimão: Ideally located between the Central and Western Algarve. Although it may be a city, it is quite small. You can easily live here without a car. There are great amenities ideal for retirees, including malls, hospitals, and many hotels and restaurants.

Wherever you settle, Portugal’s exceptional quality of life, combined with its affordability, accessibility, and diverse range of lifestyle options, makes it a popular destination for those seeking a fulfilling and rewarding retirement experience.

Using a Reputable Moving Company

WACO Truck

White & Company Truck

Moving to Portugal is a far more arduous task than moving home within the UK.

Getting a Portugal retirement visa is just the start of your moving journey.

You will need the help of an experienced and reputable European mover such as White & Company.

White & Company offers comprehensive services across the entire country, tailored to meet your needs regardless of the scale of your relocation.

From the careful packing of your possessions in the UK to ensuring their safe delivery to your new home in Portugal, we accompany you every step of the journey.

Additionally, we offer storage solutions for your belongings, providing flexibility in your relocation process.

If you prefer to go ahead of your belongings to secure temporary accommodation, our purpose-built facilities guarantee the safety of your items in the UK until you are ready for them.

For more information on shipping your goods to Portugal, give us a call.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form on our website, and one of our helpful members of staff will get back to you asap.

With over a century of experience since our establishment in 1871, there is little we haven’t encountered. You can trust us to provide you with our utmost attention and assistance at all times.

Don’t hesitate to make the call – it could mark the beginning of a life-changing decision.

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