Moving to Portugal: the red tape that must be done

Are you interested in an expatriation to Portugal? Learn about the paperwork that’s essential to your installation.


Administrative formalities of residence in Portugal

Citizens of a Member State of the European Union do not need a visa or residence permitto settle in Portugal. A valid passport or ID card is sufficient.
For stays lasting more than 3 months,it is necessary to obtain a certificate of registration from the town hall of your place of residence (“Câmara municipal”) in order to regularize your stay.

For European citizens, the resident card for European expatriates in Portugal is called “Certificado de registo de cidado da unio europeia”.

To apply for “Certificado de registo de cidado da unio europeia” you must present your identity card or passport to your town hall. It is advisable to carry a birth certificate extract translated into Portuguese. It is necessary to travel in person in order to obtain this document. The procedure is paid for (Tariffs).

What to know : obtaining a “Certificado de registo de cidado da unio europeia” is essential, you will be asked when registering your car. You can consult a guide for more information on importing a vehicle into Portugal,

After 5 consecutive years of expatriation in Portugal, you will have the opportunity to apply for a permanent residence permit in the service of foreigners and borders. The documents to be presented at any request are:

  • An ID card or passport
  • A letter from the employer
  • 2 photos of recent identities
  • A criminal background check document
  • Proof of health insurance

Two types of permits are issued: one valid for 90 days to one year and one valid for 5 years renewable for up to 10 years.

Administrative formalities to obtain an N.I.F.

Every Portuguese resident has a tax number called “NIF.” It is necessary to have a tax number for many administrative procedures such as opening a bank account or signing up for telephone subscriptions.

To obtain an NIF, the application is made at the tax office of your place of residence. Are you looking for accommodation in Portugal? Check out the article on the good plans and pitfalls to avoid finding accommodation in Portugal. If you do not have a place of residence in Portugal at the time of your application, you can use the address of a friend or lawyer present in the country. Each member of a family receives a specific number.
More information on tax services in Portugal is available on Portugal’s official finance portal.

Administrative formalities and tax system in Portugal

The Portuguese tax system is particularly attractive. To qualify for this plan, you must register no later than March 31 of the year following your arrival with the tax authorities. For more information on taxation in Portugal, you can read an article dedicated to this subject.

The tax system for “non-usual residents” is dedicated to people wishing to reside in Portugal and who have not been tax domiciled in Portugal in the last 5 years.

This plan is particularly popular with retirees. Pensioners staying more than 183 days a year in Portugal with the status of “non-usual residents” are exempt from income taxes on private sector pensions.

This tax system has a validity of 10 consecutive years from the arrival in Portugal. At the end of this period, the general rules of the Portuguese tax system apply.

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