Moving from UK to Portugal

Portugal has been a very attractive destination, not only due to its lush sights and inexpensive living but also because of its lenient tax policies, at least when compared to other countries in Western Europe. Unfortunately, Brexit has relinquished free movement across the EU for UK residents and citizens, but there are still many legal routes you may take if you want to move from the UK to Portugal.

Can I Move to Portugal from UK?

Brexit’s transitional period came to an end on 31 December 2020, meaning that, from 1 January 2021 onwards, the UK is considered a “third country” from the viewpoint of members of the EU, including Portugal. Therefore, you may need to jump through some legal hoops first.

Do I Need a Visa to Move to Portugal?

If you intend on staying in Portugal for more than 90 days, you’d have to apply for a national visa. A number of different visas are available for UK nationals. These include:

Temporary Stay Visa

This visa allows you to stay for one year, with absolute freedom to enter and exit the country. You may use this visa for various purposes, such as:

  • Study and research
  • Internships or volunteer work
  • Work
  • Professional training
  • Health
  • Youth mobility
  • Religious purposes

Residency Visa

If you wish to settle in Portugal for a longer period, you’ll have to pursue a Residency Visa. This visa gives holders a window of four months so that they may schedule an appointment with the Immigration and Border Services and apply for a Residence permit.

The residency visa is obtainable only if you are planning to:

  • Work
  • Study and research
  • Engage in professional training, volunteer work, or internship
  • Reunite with family members
  • Retire

Business Visas

Business visas are granted to individuals who wish to do startups or establish ventures in the country. The following visas fall under the umbrella of business visas:

  • Startup Visa: For innovative business owners whose startup companies have their potential approved by IAPMEI, create qualified job positions, and can conceivably have a turnover of €325,000 within the next 5 years.
  • Tech Visa: A new type of Startup Visa but offered to tech and innovation business owners.
  • D2 Visa: For entrepreneurs who wish to conduct business and live in Portugal. This visa may be issued to individuals who already have a business and want to start a new one in the country.

How to Apply for a National Visa and Documents You Have to Provide

Currently, UK nationals can apply at one of the two Consulate General of Portugal offices operating in the UK. One is located in London and the other one in Manchester.

You’d have to fill out the application form, which can be downloaded from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. You must also accompany the completed form with the following documentation:

  • Passport or travel document with a validity exceeding at least three months from the expiration date of the visa you’re applying to
  • Two passport photographs (identical)
  • A return ticket or similar transport document
  • Criminal records from the UK covering a period of one year at least
  • Form whereby you authorise the Immigration and Border Services (SEF) to access your Portuguese criminal records
  • Evidence that you can cover the costs of your stay or a statement of responsibility signed by a Portuguese national or permanent resident.

The above documents must be provided for all visa types but, apart from these, you will be asked to submit documentation related to your purpose of stay (work, study, etc.).

You may apply for your Portuguese visa within the six months prior to your trip. The processing time could take at least 15 days, so it’s important to submit your application as soon as possible in that six-month window. We recommend that you apply at least three weeks before your travel date.


Children older than 6 years of age must pay a fee. The cost per child (up to 12 years of age) is 40€, and the cost per adult is 80€. This fee is not refundable.

Once I Enter Portugal with a Valid Visa, What Should I Do?

Residency Permit

Upon entry, you must book an appointment at the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) nearest to your address or, alternatively, reach your local town hall to file a Residency Permit application and receive a registration certificate.

The original Residency Permit is valid for a year, with the possibility of extending it twice. Each extension is valid for two years. After these two extensions, you’ll be eligible for a Permanent Residency Permit or even Portuguese citizenship in some cases.

To obtain a Residency Permit, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have proper living space and that you can sustain yourself during the period of your leave. You will also be asked to provide your passport or ID card, proof of address, tax number, social security number, and completed application form, as well as other documentation relevant to the purpose of your stay.

Golden Residence Permit

The Golden Residence Permit (or Golden Visa) is catered to investors, as in, those interested in buying property in the country. Under a Golden Residence permit, you have free access to Europe’s Schengen Area and the possibility of bringing your family into the country to live, work, or study.

To qualify for a Golden Visa, you must:

  • Invest a minimum of €250,000.
  • Spend at least 7 days in Portugal during the first year of your visa and at least 14 days per year for the next two years.
  • Possess no criminal records.

How to Apply for D7 Visa (Portugal from UK)

The D7 visa – also known as the Passive Income Visa – targets retirees and entrepreneurs and does not require you to make any investments. To apply, you must file your request at a Portuguese embassy in the UK. Then, you must obtain your D7 residence permit by scheduling an appointment with the SEF.

To be eligible for the D7 visa, you’d have to meet certain annual financial thresholds, consisting of the minimum amount of income from pension programs. These thresholds are:

  • €7,200 for the first adult
  • €3,600 per subsequent adults
  • €2,160 per child

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to pay taxes for the same income in both UK and Portugal?

As of this moment, the UK has a double taxation agreement with Portugal, which means that you will only pay taxes once for the same income. If you are a legal resident in Portugal, you must declare your global income to Portuguese Tax Authorities, regardless of the origin of those funds.

How do I receive healthcare in Portugal?

You must register at the Portuguese National Health Service (SNS) and your local centro de saúde (local health centre) with your Residency Permit, passport, and Tax Identification Number.

Healthcare in Portugal is not free, though the fees are reasonably cheap and you may be exempt from paying them if you’re unemployed or pregnant.

What happens if I submit an incomplete visa application?

Your visa application will get rejected if you fail to submit all the required documentation. There is no delay or inquiry from officials as in the case of other Schengen visa applications.

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