Often, as Portuguese citizens, we don’t fully appreciate everything our wonderful homeland has to offer.
Hospitality is a value we hold close to our hearts, so it won’t take long for you to feel at home here and you may be surprised how easy it is to make friends. Whilst appreciated, not speaking Portuguese isn’t the barrier you might think as, on every corner, you’re likely to find someone who speaks English. Even if you don't initiate the conversation, it won’t be long before someone comes to speak with you. This is very much a part of our culture.
As a country that once saw its own citizens emigrate in search of a better quality of life, the Portuguese understand the importance of welcoming those who seek to do the same in their own country. The number of Portuguese citizens living abroad is now on par with those living in Portugal itself, totaling an impressive 10 million people.
As someone who was once a part of this diaspora, I can speak from personal experience. Whilst other countries offer different benefits, after almost 20 years in Portugal, it’s safe to say that I have found my home here once again.
Portugal is the closest country of the European Union, geographically, to the United States and the two countries share a long history. Bilateral relations date back to the early years of the United States of America. Following the U.S. War of Independence, Portugal was one of the first nations to recognize the United States.
Whilst the global cost of living is rising, and the cost of real estate in Portugal has seen a significant increase over the last ten years, it is still an accessible place to live for the majority of people. Rising costs have been a fierce talking point among those who live and work in Portugal however, relative to other European capitals, Lisbon is a very affordable city, and the coast still has plenty of places that offer reasonably priced properties with stunning scenery.
Since 2008, Portugal has put a number of different tax incentives into place to motivate people to come and live here. This has encouraged many individuals and foreign investors to choose Portugal as their country of primary residence and led to an increased number of entrepreneurs coming over to open businesses. More and more digital nomads and foreign business owners are taking advantage of all that Portugal has to offer.
Beyond the practical and financial appeal of living in Portugal, the lifestyle advantages can’t be overlooked. Portugal benefits from a year-round mild climate and over 300 days of sunshine. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the gorgeous weather, whether you’re someone who enjoys sitting on a terrace overlooking the city, lounging on a beach or venturing out into nature. Portugal has something for everyone.
Slower pace of life
Portugal is a place that values a slower pace of living and activities such as coming together for an afternoon in the sun, or a long lunch with friends and family are commonplace. As mentioned earlier, Portugal has a welcoming culture, and we love to speak with and learn from those who come to stay in our country. Even if you learn some basic Portuguese phrases, your efforts will not go unnoticed and will always be appreciated.
After living here for a while, it will likely be difficult to imagine abandoning the Mediterranean lifestyle that so many come to value in southern Europe. We may be a little biased, but Portugal is a special place, and more and more people are discovering the charm this country on the western tip of Europe holds.
The Golden Visa has long been touted as an ideal way to obtain residence in Portugal, and therefore the Schengen zone, for those looking to make the move to Europe. There are, however, many other ways in which you can do this
There are several different visas that enable foreign citizens to apply for Portuguese residence. The D7 visa has been one of the most popular options among retirees and those with passive income. Other visas include the D2 and D3 visas for highly qualified workers and entrepreneurs. For those who work remotely, and are looking for a more flexible option, Portugal now offers a digital nomad visa, allowing recipients to work remotely from anywhere in the country or its islands, and allows visa-free travel to over 180 countries.
Whilst a lot of focus has been placed on the changes to the golden visa program, hope is not lost if you are looking to make the move to Portugal. Portugal remains a highly sought after destination, with plenty of incentives and opportunities for those looking to make the move, so please don't allow these bureaucratic changes to deter you from finding your dream home here.
Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.