Dreaming of moving abroad from the United States? Planning an international relocation may not be easy to organize, especially if there are kids and family involved, but it can be very exciting!
If you are imagining what it would be like to live in Portugal, there are a lot of things to consider before making the big move. But first things first: why should you consider Portugal as an immigration option?
• Wonderful weather all year round
Portugal has one of the best weather conditions in Europe, all year round. From January to December, you can expect mild temperatures, which vary from north to south, and more than 300 days of sunshine!
• Friendly locals
One factor that makes Portugal stand out in the international scene is the friendliness of its people. Portugal has friendly locals mixed with a culture of hospitality, that welcomes foreigners from all over the world. This makes it easy for you to adapt quickly, make friends and feel at home.
• Portuguese food is to die for
For foodies and foreigners looking to explore other cultures through their food, Portugal is an ideal destination. The country prides one of the best cuisines in Europe, with an abundance of delicious fresh seafood and a thriving gastronomy scene for those with itching buds.
• Excellent quality of life with a low cost of living
One of the greatest appeals of relocating to Portugal is its affordable cost of living. The cost of living in Portugal is exceptional compared to other countries that offer similar quality of life. From something as small as a cup of coffee to everyday meals in a traditional Portuguese restaurant or a train trip from Lisbon to Porto, you’ll find that living in Portugal suits all pocket sizes.
• Investing in property
Portugal also has the most affordable real estate in Western Europe, offering wonderful investment opportunities. The demand for properties for sale in Portugal has grown year after year, proving to be a valuable investment with ever-increasing returns.
Want to know more about buying real estate in Portugal?
Contact Portugal Realty's property specialists to find out how simple it is to find your dream home in Portugal...
• Low Crime Rate
For many Americans considering a move to Portugal, security is also a critical factor. The good news is, Portugal is one of the safest places in the world! The country prides itself on a low crime rate, political stability, and generally a safe environment for locals and immigrants alike to thrive.
Once you set foot on Portuguese soil, the first sights you'll take in are beautiful historical cities and towns, breathtaking landscapes, as well as impressive old-world architecture. And these are just the physical aspects of Portugal, what can be seen and is immortalized on postcards.
However, what really drives foreigners such as Americans to choose to live in Portugal, often bringing their families with them and not knowing a single word of Portuguese, is something that is not tangible...
Life in Portugal is simple, happier... Even after the "vacation" feeling fades, and you ease into daily life, the sense of well-being remains, which makes everything easier. Starting with the many benefits of living in Portugal:
• Access to Public Healthcare
Portugal boasts a public healthcare system, known as SNS - Serviço Nacional de Saúde, that is top-notch.
The government-funded healthcare system operates through a network of public hospitals and local health centres that provide excellent medical care to citizens and expatriates alike, as long as they are registered as residents in Portugal. Public hospitals are modern, well-equipped, and the majority of doctors speak English.
Any legal resident can be registered in the public healthcare system and receive healthcare services for a very low co-payment and, in some cases, for free. Yes! You read that correctly. However, before registering as a resident it is not possible to use the public healthcare system, so it is advisable to have private health insurance before arriving in Portugal to cover any necessary medical treatments.
• Education system
Portugal has a well-educated population, and one in three Portuguese people communicate in English. This mastery of English is more prominent in Portuguese who are 25 years or younger because they teach English as a subject in both public and private schools in the country.
If you are considering moving from the United States with school-age children, there are several international schools in Portugal where it is possible to continue studies with international curricula. The International Christian School of Cascais and the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon are two highly reputable schools for American students in Portugal.
However, if you choose a public school you will also be very well served, as the growing expat community in Portugal has shown that international students are easily integrated into the Portuguese education system.
Choosing a school in Portugal as easy as ABC
Want to know more about the education system in Portugal and how to choose a school adapted to your family's needs?
• Tax benefits on wages and pension income
One of Portugal's most attractive incentives is the Non-Habitual Tax Resident regime, also known as the NHR, which is available to anyone who was not a tax resident in Portugal in the last five years and meets a set of criteria.
This tax scheme allows American residents in Portugal who qualify for the programme to benefit from a discounted flat income tax rate of 10%, regardless of the amount of income earned.
• Residency through investment
In order to attract foreign investment, Portugal also offers a number of advantages for those who want to obtain residency through investment, namely in real estate.
In the current Portuguese Golden Visa program, valid until 31 December 2021, citizens from countries outside the EU, such as the United States, can obtain a residency permit under specific investment activities. These include the transfer of capital in specific amounts and for specific purposes, the creation of at least 10 jobs, and also the acquisition of real estate with a value equal to or greater than €500,000 (investment in real estate for residential purposes located in large cities such as Lisbon, including Cascais, Porto, and part of the Portuguese coast will no longer qualify for this programme after January 1, 2022).
The benefits of this program include the right to family reunification (Golden Visa holders may request a residency permit for family members under certain conditions) and the possibility to travel freely within the Schengen Area. As for citizenship, after 5 years of residency, under certain conditions, it is also possible to apply for Portuguese nationality.
To know if you qualify, it is wise to contact official Portuguese authorities or a lawyer that will help you understand all the specific requirements for your personal situation.
If you need professional help moving from the US to Portugal, our relocation partners are available round the clock to assist you and fast-track the entire process.