Moving to Portugal: administrative procedures and international health insurance

Portugal is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for expatriates, with around 27,000 foreign residents in 2023. In this article, you’ll find detailed information on the steps you need to take to establish residency in Portugal. Find out more about the registration certificate, international health insurance, the NIF and the Portuguese tax system.
Find out why health insurance is crucial when you choose to live in Portugal and get a free quote for your international health insurance!


What international health insurance is right for expatriates to Portugal?

Whether you are European or not, it is essential to take out international health insurance if you are planning to expatriate to Portugal. What’s more, the costs of medical care abroad add up quickly, and you could soon find yourself in a difficult situation.
Expatriate 1st euro insurance offers you immediate coverage from the moment you arrive, and as soon as you start spending on healthcare. Get a free quote for health insurance in Portugal, and we’ll recommend the option that’s best for you.

What are the administrative formalities for living in Portugal?

Citizens of European Union member states no longer need a visa or residence permit to settle in Portugal. A valid passport or identity card will suffice. For stays longer than 3 months, you’ll need to obtain a registration certificate from your local “Câmara municipal” to regularize your stay.

European citizens can apply for the “Certificado de registo de cidadão da união europeia” by presenting their identity card or passport. It is advisable to bring a birth certificate translated into Portuguese, and this application costs 15 euros.

If you have been living in Portugal for more than 5 consecutive years, you can apply to the Aliens and Frontiers Department for a permanent residence permit. The documents required for this application are :

– Identity card or passport
– Declaration that you are engaged in subordinate or independent professional activity in Portugal.

Or :

– Declaration that you have sufficient resources.
Proof of international health insurance.
– A criminal background check

There are two types of permit, one valid from 90 days to one year, and the other valid for 5 years, renewable for a maximum of 10 years.
Remember to apply for your NIF (tax identification number) within 30 days of your third month in Portugal. You’ll need it for various administrative procedures, such as opening bank accounts or subscribing to subscriptions. You can apply for the N.I.F. either at your local tax office or online via the council’s website.

How do I obtain an insurance certificate for a Portuguese visa or residence permit?

When you take out a Mondassur international health insurance policy, you’ll immediately receive your insurance certificate. Please note that this proof of insurance is required for your visa or residence permit application. Without it, your request cannot be processed.
If you are already insured, you can obtain this certificate :

– Online, from your personal space on our website.
– By Whatsapp by contacting us on +33 7 66 54 12 12.
– Call us on +33 1 80 87 57 80.
– By requesting it via our contact form.
– By sending us an e-mail to

What is the tax regime for expatriates in Portugal?

The Portuguese tax system is still attractive, but note that Portugal will cease to grant tax exemption to foreigners from 2024. This measure is designed to prevent property prices from rising.
Non-usual resident status can be applied for by anyone who meets three criteria:

– Living abroad.
– Not have lived in Portugal for the previous five years.
– Intend to settle in Portugal.

To obtain residency status, you must stay in Portugal for at least 183 days a year, or have a principal residence there.
The “non-habitual resident” tax regime is still in place for people wishing to reside in Portugal who have not been domiciled for tax purposes in Portugal for the past 5 years. This tax regime is valid for 10 consecutive years from the date of arrival in Portugal. Once this period has elapsed, Portugal’s general tax rules will apply.

Why do foreigners in Portugal need international health insurance?

Portugal has long attracted many expatriates thanks to its tax advantages and lower cost of living than France, making it easier for them to invest and enjoy their leisure time. However, with the announcement of the end of the special tax regime reserved for Europeans from 2024, the tax situation is changing.

Foreigners in Portugal, because of their age, often have greater health needs, and prefer private healthcare for the quality provided. But these private health services can be expensive. That’s why international health insurance is essential for expatriates in Portugal. This insurance provides comprehensive coverage for their public and private medical expenses, and ensures their peace of mind in the face of ongoing tax changes.

Even if you’re a long-term resident in Portugal, you’ll need international health insurance. It ensures that you are covered in the event of illness, accident or any other situation requiring medical intervention anywhere in the world. Get a free quote for health insurance in Portugal today!

If you’re thinking of moving to Portugal, don’t forget to take into account recent changes in administrative and tax formalities, particularly as regards tax exemption for foreigners. Be sure to check with the Portuguese authorities and consult a tax expert to ensure you comply with all legal requirements.

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