Moving to Portugal - Where should you start?

As Portugal is within the EU, moving there from Britain to become a resident is often touted as being relatively straightforward. The "relatively" part is key, however, as the ease of this process is, of course, all relative. Certainly, it's easier to move to Portugal than Brazil, for example, but that doesn't mean it's the easiest thing in the world. There's still plenty to sort out before boarding that plane and waving goodbye to the British weather once and for all.


Portugal has many of the same rules as the UK when it comes to work. Employment starts at 16, for example, and the typical working week is 40 hours in length. Anyone making the journey without having secured a job beforehand may wish to consider this when choosing where to live. Seeing as almost half of the country's entire population live in either the Lisbon or Porto regions, this is - quite understandably - the biggest job market as well. Similarly, coastal towns and cities are much more densely populated than rural inland areas.

Registration Certificate

Anyone looking to stay in Portugal for longer than three months will need to complete a Registration Certificate. It is this which formalises the right of residence and permits people to stay on a longer-term basis. This doesn't need to be undertaken before the move, however, but once a person or family has passed the three-month mark. After this, they will be afforded 30 days in which to apply.

This is done because one requirement for the Certificate is proof of a professional activity as a worker within Portugal. An affidavit will need to be provided to categorically state the individual has a job, is self-employed or has sufficient funds to provide for themselves and their families. Proof of this needs to be offered, as well as a valid passport, photographs, proof of accommodation and an administration fee.

Obtaining certification shouldn't be a lengthy process. In fact, they are often awarded straight away once the relevant information has been provided and deemed to be satisfactory. The certificate will last for five years before it needs to be renewed.

Cartao de Utente

This is a health card that entitles the holder to the same level of healthcare that a Portuguese national would receive. Not only that, it can also provide certain holders with a discount on medicines or certain treatments. Anyone without a Cartao de Utente will need private health insurance for cover in case of an accident or emergency.

Compared to the rather more in-depth processes that certain other countries have installed as a compulsory requirement, measures for moving to Portugal are, indeed, straightforward. That being said, however, it's still worth keeping on top of things and getting issues in order long before it is required to ensure no nasty surprises or chaotic rushes later on down the line.

Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013

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