Americans Moving to Portugal: All You Need To Know

Portugal has emerged as a preferred destination for Americans seeking a new home in Europe. This European country beckons with its pleasant, year-round climate, attractive low cost of living, laid-back lifestyle, beautiful landscapes, and welcoming and diverse culture.

Are you thinking of immigrating to Portugal from the US? Then, there’s a few relevant information you should know beforehand. Keep reading this comprehensive guide as we delve into what it is like to live in Portugal as an American.

In this article, we will cover the following:

  • Why are people moving to Portugal
  • What is American expat life like in Portugal
  • The cost of living in Portugal
  • The top Portuguese cities to live in
  • Easy residency visa pathways
  • Challenges for American expats in Portugal

Living in Portugal as an American: An Overview

Why is everyone moving to Portugal?

According to research, the amount of Americans living in Portugal rose 45% from the previous year in 2021. Some of the most common reasons why Americans are moving to Portugal include a more affordable cost of living, high quality of life, access to public healthcare, Portugal being one of the safest countries to live in, visa-free travel to other European countries, and an excellent climate are some of the most common reasons.

americans moving to portugal In 2022, the dollar surged to its highest level in two decades, while the euro fell to a new five-year low. This has made European countries with low living costs incredibly attractive to Americans who have earned or saved their money.

The rise in remote working means that many employers allow their employees to work from anywhere, allowing US employees to live in Portugal and take advantage of special visas for digital nomads. 

Portugal is very safe, ranking sixth in the 2022 Global Peace Index. International schools in the country are also excellent, attracting many American families looking to move to Europe.

The country also has a booming tech and startup scene mirroring San Francisco’s. In fact, Lisbon’s Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge is based partly on two San Francisco Bay Area bridges, a nice glimpse of home for Californians.

In addition, there is a thriving arts scene within “cultural centers” (Centros Culturais) for those interested in the arts and culture. These centers usually exhibit art, local films, and experimental music.

What is American expat life like in Portugal?

Wondering what it is like living in Portugal as an American? Here’s an overview of what you can expect when you obtain permanent residency.

Americans living in Portugal can take advantage of the country’s warm climate, high quality of life, excellent education and health care services, and tax-friendly policies that are in place to attract foreign nationals.

US citizens in Portugal can also enjoy the country’s breathtaking landscapes, which include the beautiful beaches, picturesque historic towns, and sun-kissed vineyards of Western Europe.

Not to mention that, in major cities such as Lisbon and Porto, Americans will come across a vibrant community of expats from all over the globe, making it easier to integrate into the community and make friends.

The cost of living in Portugal versus the USA

The stable Portuguese economy and comparatively low living costs are incredibly alluring to expats. You can compare the cost of living between the US and Portugal here.

A cappuccino in New York costs an average of €4.84, while in Lisbon, it comes in at around €1.87. That’s a +159.2 percent difference in price.

Fresh produce is readily available at a low cost in Portugal at local markets, noticeably cheaper than in the US.

You’ll notice that the further you travel from the main cities, the cheaper the living costs and the easier it will be to save money. Lisbon will always be more expensive than just about anywhere else in Portugal.

Where do American expats live in Portugal?

Wondering where do most American expats live in Portugal? Here are some of the most popular Portuguese cities and areas where Americans living in Portugal with a residence permit tend to base themselves:

  • Lisbon: The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, is a major hub for expatriates, including Americans. Neighborhoods such as Chiado, Bairro Alto, and the historic Alfama district are particularly attractive due to their vibrant atmosphere and urban amenities.
  • Porto: Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto, also draws expats. The Ribeira district, known for its historic charm and riverfront views, is a notable expat area.
  • Algarve: The Algarve region in southern Portugal is a popular tourist destination famous for its beautiful beaches, golf courses, and pleasant climate. British expats and foreign residents, including Americans, often choose cities like Faro, Albufeira, and Lagos as their new homes.
  • Cascais and Estoril: These coastal towns near Lisbon are popular among expats for their seaside lifestyle and proximity to the capital.
  • Coimbra: One of Portugal’s oldest cities and home to one of Portugal’s oldest universities, Coimbra offers a blend of history, culture, and a slower pace of life.
  • Madeira: The island of Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal, has also become a choice for those looking for a unique island lifestyle. The island even has a digital nomad village that welcomes thousands of remote workers from around the globe.

How to Move to Portugal From the USA

moving to portugal golden visa

Can Americans live in Portugal? 

Yes, Americans can live in Portugal. However, if they plan to stay for more than 90 days, they must secure a Portuguese residence permit once they enter Portugal. After living in Portugal with a valid temporary residence permit for five consecutive years, they are eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit or even Portuguese citizenship.

Relocating to Portugal as a US Citizen

If you’re coming from the US, we’d recommend focusing on the following:

  • Applying for the correct visa. With a valid passport, you can apply for a Portuguese visa that suits your lifestyle and needs.
  • Finding accommodation. You can find every type of accommodation in Portugal’s vibrant cities, from a one-bedroom apartment to family homes with central heating.
  • Researching transportation for your goods. Portugal offers a number of service providers that can make your Portuguese immigration journey seamless.

To live in Portugal, you must have a Portuguese residence permit. A residence permit can be obtained if you find work in the country for a Portuguese employer, enroll in a long-term course of studies, marry a Portuguese citizen, or invest in Portugal’s economy. The temporary residence permit is valid for a year and can be renewed for up to five years. After five years of temporary residency, you can switch to a permanent residence permit.

You can live and work in Portugal freely if you’re an EU citizen. However, non-EU citizens including British citizens and US citizens, will need Portuguese visas.

Portugal Visa Types for Americans

If you are moving to Portugal from outside the European Union (EU), you’ll need a temporary residence visa to establish residence in the country.

There are various Portuguese visa options available, depending on your circumstances and what you want.

Some of the most common visa options include:

Here’s a breakdown of the best visa types for Americans moving to Portugal.

Portugal Golden Visa program

The Portugal Golden Visa Program, or the Residence Permit Program, is a five-year residency-by-investment scheme open to non-EU nationals. It is part of the move by the Portuguese government to welcome foreign investors into the country. The Golden Visa program allows investors to live and work in Portugal. After five years of the program, they can apply for Portuguese citizenship and permanent residence.

Introduced in 2012, the program offers different investment routes, including:

  • Fund Subscription: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund worth at least €500,000
  • Investment or donation in the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000
  • Scientific Research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000
  • Creation of ten jobs: Creation and maintenance of ten jobs during the required period
  • Share capital and job creation: Incorporation of a company or reinforcement of a company’s share capital, in either case with an investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five or maintaining ten jobs (5 of them permanent)

You must open a Portuguese bank account and obtain a NIF (tax identification number) to get the Golden Visa. Before moving, you can obtain both a bank account and a NIF number.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA – OCTOBER 2023

The Portugal Golden Visa program has recently undergone substantial changes. The new legislation is now in effect, and it’s crucial to note that real estate investments are no longer a valid qualifying option within the program. The Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide offers more detailed information, including several attractive investment routes that remain eligible investment options for the program.

Take a look at our Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide by local experts

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Portugal’s D7 Visa

The D7 Visa (Passive Income or Retirement Visa) is designed for individuals who want to move to Portugal and secure Portuguese residency, provided they have sufficient funds to sustain themselves once in the country.

This residence visa option is ideal for retirees and entrepreneurs who wish to move to Portugal without having to make a significant economic investment.

The temporary D7 Visa will allow you to enter Portuguese territory. Once in the country, you’ll be able to request a Portugal residence permit that’s valid for a two-year period.

After this period, the Portuguese residence permit will need to be renewed, which is then valid for a further three years.

After five years of living in Portugal as an American, you can apply for a permanent residency permit and citizenship provided that you meet all the requirements under Portuguese nationality law.

To apply for this residency visa, you need to:

  • Be a non-EU national
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Earn a passive income of at least €760 per month (your income can come from pensions, transferable equity, real estate, intellectual property, or financial equity)
  • Show proof of a place to live in Portugal

Want to know if you’re qualified for the D7? Take our free D7 eligibility test to find out.

You can also check out other visa programs in our Portugal Immigration Guide, including visa options for working in Portugal. The Digital Nomad Visa is an excellent option if you want to work remotely from Portugal.

Benefits of the D7 Visa

The top advantages of the D7 are:

  • No active business involvement (unlike some other visa types, such as the D2 Entrepreneur Visa, the D7 Visa does not require individuals to establish or manage a business in Portugal)
  • Fast visa process
  • The entire family is eligible
  • Visa-free movement in the Schengen Area
  • Right to live and work in Portugal

Portugal’s D2 Visa

citizenship by investmentThe D2 Visa is a residency program for individuals who wish to start a new business, expand their existing business, or invest in entrepreneurial ventures within the country.

The Portugal D2 Visa requirements are:

  • To be a non-EU national
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • The acquisition of a Portuguese company
  • Having a pre-existing company abroad
  • Intending to open a branch in Portugal or proposing a comprehensive business plan for a new company in Portugal

The applicant will be required to demonstrate their business’s potential economic and social contributions to Portugal.

Benefits of the D2 Visa

Some of the key benefits of this visa are:

  • D2 Visa holders can start a new business in Portugal, invest in existing businesses, or engage in entrepreneurial activities in the country.
  • Family reunification
  • Visa-free travel in the Schengen Area
  • Permission to live and work in Portugal

European citizenship through heritage

If you have a family member – a parent, a grandparent, or a great-grandparent, from an EU country you may be eligible for EU citizenship. The countries in the EU that provide the most favorable routes for citizenship by descent are Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Portuguese citizenship can be obtained after living in the country for five years, provided you meet the requirements under Portuguese nationality law. After you get your citizenship, you can also request a Portuguese passport.

As a Portuguese citizen – or any EU citizen, for that matter – you can enjoy benefits such as the right to live, work, and study in any EU country.

Portugal visa: the required documents

Regardless of which visa program you are applying for, you must submit a visa application form to the closest Portuguese Embassy or Portuguese Consulate in the US.

You will need to download a Portuguese visa application form for the Schengen Area.

The following documents will be required:

  • Two passport photographs
  • A valid passport and copies of your previous visas
  • A copy of your return ticket reservation, depending on your nationality
  • Travel insurance with Schengen Area coverage
  • Flight dates and times
  • Accommodation plans for the duration of your stay
  • Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your stay
  • Proof of civil status
  • Proof of economic status
  • You may need to show extra documentation (e.g., students will need to show proof of enrollment to a Portuguese institution)

Finding Accommodation in Portugal

To rent or to buy?

Your first decision is whether to rent or buy a home when moving to Portugal.

While renting gives you flexibility and the safety blanket of a landlord to carry out repairs, you won’t be building equity in a rented property. Buying property is an attractive alternative that can save you money in the long run, but finding and maintaining a property can seem too much work for some expats.

Overall, an investment in real estate is not only a pathway to residency but a sound investment with a stable opportunity for financial growth.

How to find the right property in Portugal

Find-the-right-property-in-Portugal-png If you don’t speak the Portuguese language, we would advise using experts to guide you through the process of making a Portugal real estate purchase.

It can be a complicated process, so we would seriously recommend seeking independent legal advice in your home country and Portugal in addition to working with an experienced real estate agent.

Make sure to also find a buyer’s real estate agent in Portugal if possible. Goldcrest, our real estate division, is a buyer’s agent who can provide tailored advice for your needs. We can guide you through the whole process, from scouting properties you won’t find on the market through to property acquisition.

In our article, Buying Property in Portugal, you can also learn about the home-buying process for expats looking to live in Portugal.

How to Get a Mortgage in Portugal

Here are the basic steps to getting a mortgage in Portugal.

Pre-application

First, speak to a broker or complete an online form. They’ll let you know whether a mortgage approval is likely and under what conditions. Assuming that goes well, you’ll get a quote, usually just a day or two after the initial assessment.

Terms and conditions

If the quote matches your budget, your broker will ask you to sign a terms and conditions sheet and pay a fee of €495. Note that if your mortgage is declined, the fee is typically refunded.

Mortgage application

Your broker should assist you with this and will submit it on your behalf. The broker will also walk you through any supporting documents you might need, such as financial statements.

Approval and deposit

All being well, your mortgage will be approved, and you’ll soon have a new Portuguese address.

Your broker will confirm the terms and conditions and ask if you wish to proceed. Assuming you answer yes, you’ll need to open a Portuguese bank account. Then you’ll be asked to deposit enough funds to cover the valuation fee.

Education in Portugal

Both the standard of teaching and the general level of English in Portugal are very high, with the country ranking in seventh position in the 2021 Education First English Proficiency Index.

Regardless of nationality, children in Portugal must be in school between the ages of six and 18. If you live in Portugal, residents can access free education through public schools.

There are also excellent international schools in the country, particularly in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve region. The Carlucci American International School Of Lisbon and the International Christian School of Cascais are two excellent options for American students in Portugal. Lisbon also has options for French, German, and British curricula.

 

Healthcare in Portugal

Public healthcare

Portugal has a public healthcare system called the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS). The SNS provides medical care at low or no cost, depending on your circumstances. It’s a publicly funded system that operates through a network of public hospitals and community health centers.

Portuguese citizens and legal residents of Portugal can be registered in the public healthcare system. Tourists can’t register for the public system but can still get emergency treatment if necessary.

Suppose you’re coming to Portugal from elsewhere in the EU. In that case, you’ll need to show your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your country of origin and your passport or identification document. This will allow you to get medical care via Portugal’s public system.

Private healthcare

Partly because of the crowded public healthcare system, retirees in Portugal often carry private health insurance.

Even as a retiree, if you come from outside the EU, you’re not entitled to public healthcare until you’re a resident. That means you’ll need private health insurance when you move to Portugal.

Americans Retiring in Portugal

What to consider when retiring

First, establish what exactly you want from your retirement.

It might be that you want to play golf regularly, take up new hobbies like cooking or pottery, or you might want to simply enjoy an authentic Portuguese lifestyle. You might want to take up a gardening project or go trekking along the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.

Whatever your dream lifestyle may be, it’s a good idea to factor them into your decision to retire in Portugal.

Getting a Portuguese Retirement Visa

If you’re considering retiring in Portugal, the D7 Visa is a great option. Also known as the Retirement Visa, the D7 does not require you to make substantial investments or seek employment in the country.

To qualify for the D7 and obtain a residence permit, applicants need to demonstrate a consistent passive income source outside of Portugal, totaling at least more than Portugal’s minimum wage, €760 per month. Eligible passive income sources can include pensions, rental income, or income from remote work. This visa allows retirees to enjoy Portugal’s stunning landscapes, rich culture, and pleasant climate while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle.

Leisure activities

Portugal is a wonderland of leisure activities for US citizens retiring in Portugal. If you love golf, look no further than the Algarve region, which has some of the best golf courses in Europe. If you’d rather sample the gastronomic delights of Portugal, consider Porto, with its burgeoning food and wine scene.

Want nothing more than to lounge on the beach by day and tuck into a fresh-from-the-ocean seafood dinner every night? Portugal has an Atlantic coastline extending 600 kilometers from north to south, with picturesque beaches hugging the coast the whole way.

Learn Portuguese

If you want to speak Portuguese, you will likely find the language a little complicated.

However, with patience and practice, you’ll get to grips with basic Portuguese – and, perhaps with the help of a couple of Portuguese friends – you shouldn’t find it too difficult.

Most Portuguese citizens and many foreigners speak excellent English, although, in more interior areas, you may find that older people do not speak English.

Portugal living costs for US retirees

Moving to Portugal, you may be pleasantly surprised by the living costs, although you will find that prices are increasing in bigger cities such as Lisbon.

Non-Habitual Tax Regime for Americans

The NHR program is a popular program from the Portuguese government that gives generous tax benefits to expats in Portugal for ten years.

Launched in 2009 by the Portuguese government, the Portugal NHR program is designed to attract expats to Portugal.

If you qualify for NHR status, you’re exempt from most taxes for ten years on income earned abroad from pensions, investments like 401Ks, capital gains, rental income, or work.

NHR Ending: October 2023 Update

The Portuguese Government submitted the State Budget Proposal for 2024, and it includes the changes that determine the end of the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime. 

This is the initial version, which will still be subject to debates and votes, but which, given the majority that the Government party holds in the Assembly, cannot and should not be ignored. In effect, the proposed change has the following consequences from 01/01/2024: 

  • Anyone who already has the NHR at the time of entry into force maintains the regime under the same terms until completing ten years of benefiting from the status
  • Anyone who meets the conditions for registration as non-habitual residents on 31 December 2023, as well as holders of a residence visa valid on that date, will be able to register within the deadline available (until 31 March 2024) and benefit from the scheme. 

The final vote on the budget law will take place on 29 November 2023. Until then, we will closely monitor the evolution of this topic. You can find more information in our article: Is the Portugal NHR Program Ending?

Take a look at our Portugal's NHR tax regime: the complete guide

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Transportation of Goods for Americans Moving to Portugal

Customs

Americans moving to Portugal should know about the customs regulations regulating the moving and shipping of goods across the Atlantic.

Before moving to Portugal, you must go to your local Portuguese Consulate and request a Certificado de Bagagem (Luggage Certificate). You can obtain this by giving a complete inventory of the possessions and household goods you plan to take to Portugal.

As long as you do not have any special medication, you should be able to find what you need in Portugal or import it once you are already there.

Shipping and flying goods

When moving your household goods and belongings to Portugal, several options are open to you.

Shipping by sea is the most wallet-friendly option but is also the slowest. You should receive your items within one to three months.

By comparison, shipping by air is the fastest and most expensive option. Your items should be with you within a week. You will need to trade off either expenses or time when choosing one option over the other.

Here is a table to provide you with some information on the average cost of sea freight for a 20 ft container of furniture (according to World Freight Rates and SeaRates).

Flight departure

Flight destination

Price

Duration

New York City, USA

Lisbon, Portugal

$1,229.11

14 days

Los Angeles, USA

Lisbon, Portugal

$2,993.41

27 days

The price for shipping a meter cubed 250 kg (about 551.156 lbs) container of household items to Portugal:

Departing 

Destination

Price

New York, USA

Lisbon, Portugal

$2,705.42

Los Angeles, USA

Lisbon, Portugal

$3,205.42

Storage

For home goods storage, you might need a place to keep your items on either a short-term or long-term basis. Unfortunately, your options in Portugal may be limited. Portugal is amongst the European Union (EU) countries with the fewest options for self-storage per capita.

Pets

For Americans moving to Portugal with pets, be aware that Portugal abides by European rules for bringing pets into the country. If you are taking your dog or cat on your brand-new adventure, ensure you’re familiar with these rules.

In short, you can bring up to five animals to Portugal as long as it is for non-commercial purposes. The rules will vary on whether you are coming from within or outside the EU. Only dogs and cats can accompany you from America or outside the EU.

The pets must also be microchipped or have a readable tattoo and be vaccinated against rabies. This vaccination should be administered before or at the same time as the microchip is implemented and at least 21 days before the animal moves.

Your dog or cat must also enter Portugal through a Traveler’s Point of Entry, which includes Lisbon Airport or the airports in Porto, Faro, Funchal, Ponta Delgada, Ilha Terceira, or Beja.

americans moving to portugal pets Certain dog breeds are considered to be dangerous. These include Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, Pitbull Terrier, Rottweiler, American Staffordshire Terrier, Tosa Inu, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. While these breeds are allowed into Portugal, at the Traveler’s Point of Entry, the owner will need to sign the following:

More information on moving to Portugal with your pet can be found here.

Vaccinations

There are no special vaccination requirements needed for Portuguese immigration when moving to Portugal.

Routine vaccinations like measles-mumps-rubella, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), and polio are required. A yearly flu shot is also recommended.

Moving to Portugal: Pros and Cons

No country is without its ups and downs. Here’s a brief overview of the pros and cons of living in Portugal as an expat.

Pros of living in Portugal

  • Great weather in most parts of Portugal most of the year
  • Friendly people and a local culture that welcomes foreigners
  • Delicious fresh seafood and a thriving gastronomy scene
  • Lower cost of living and less expensive real estate prices than in many other Western European countries
  • Low crime rates and a democratic state (Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world)

Cons of living in Portugal

  • Healthcare: particularly if you’re from the US, neither US health insurance nor Medicare will cover you here. So, you’ll likely have to invest in some private international health insurance. If you become a resident, however, you will be able to access the Portuguese healthcare service (SNS), which is very affordable.
  • Often limited availability of goods and services, especially in rural areas
  • Moving away from friends and family has the potential for homesickness, loneliness, and culture shock
  • Most Portuguese people speak English, but learning Portuguese is a must, as it can help you integrate into the community and get your daily tasks done.

Portugal versus Spain

Both Portugal and Spain are excellent countries for expats to move to. Portugal is considered more affordable and laid-back than its closest EU neighbor, Spain, and its property market hasn’t seen the same ups and downs.

While Portugal has been known as a sleepy retirement spot in the past, buying a home in Portugal now is just as much about the return on investment as it is about the lifestyle.

If you’re undecided between Portugal and Spain, check out our handy Spain versus Portugal comparison guide here.

Moving to Portugal: How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

You’re about to embark on an exciting journey – moving to Portugal!

There’s a lot of information on the internet. Still, it’s always best to check with reputable professionals to ensure you’re making the right choices for your situation to find the most appropriate visa option for you.

If you need help relocating to Portugal, our team of experts can help. Global Citizen Solutions specializes in assistance with residency and property investment in Portugal.

Exploring Visa and Immigration Options for Portugal

If you're considering making the move to Portugal, it's essential to be informed about the various visa and residency options available. The Golden Visa Portugal program is an attractive option for many, offering residency to investors and their families. For those eyeing retirement in this beautiful country, the Retirement Visa (D7) is tailored for you. Digital nomads can take advantage of both short and long stay options with the Nomad Visa (D8). Meanwhile, the NHR - Non Habitual Tax regime provides significant tax benefits for new residents. 

For the entrepreneurial spirit, Portugal offers the Entrepreneurship/startup Visa (D2) - Start-up Visa (open company) tailored for those looking to establish their businesses in the country. Those with specialized skills can explore the Work visa for highly qualified employees (D3). Additionally, if you have Portuguese ancestry, you might be eligible for Citizenship by descent

However, moving to a new country isn't just about visas. If you're thinking of buying property, our guide on Buying Property in Portugal can offer invaluable insights. Dive deeper into the immigration process with our comprehensive Portugal immigration guide. For Americans specifically looking to relocate, we have curated information on Americans moving to Portugal. Lastly, one can't forget the importance of the NIF (Tax Registration Number), a crucial step in any relocation process. 

Why choose Global Citizen Solutions for your Immigration Visa?

GLOBAL APPROACH BY LOCAL EXPERTS

  • GCS has offices located across Portugal.
  • Members of the US-Portugal and UK-Portugal Chambers of Commerce in Portugal, and the Investment Migration Council (IMC).
  • Our expert team can help you throughout your journey to secure your Visa. 

100% APPROVAL RATE

  • Our successful track record in applications provides reassurance to applicants. 
  • We have helped clients from more than 35 countries secure residency in Portugal.

ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOLUTION

  • With a single channel of communication, our approach ensures that you have complete clarity on your application. 
  • Our BeGlobal® Onboarding System allows for a total flow of information.

TRANSPARENCY AND PRIVACY

  • Our pricing is clear and detailed, you will not face any hidden costs.
  • All data is stored within a GDPR-compliant database on a secure SSL-encrypted server.

Frequently Asked Questions about Americans Moving to Portugal

Why do Americans move to Portugal?

An excellent year-round climate, fantastic beaches a short distance from the capital, great food, high quality of life, and low living costs are some reasons Americans move to Portugal. There are also some successful tax incentives that US citizens can benefit from in Portugal.

Is it easy for Americans to get a Portuguese visa?

As an American citizen, you’ll need to get a residence permit in Portugal if you want to stay there for more than three months.

Moving to Portugal is relatively straightforward for US citizens. There are a number of different ways for Americans to get a Portuguese visa, through work, marriage, or the Golden Visa investment program.

After five years, you can apply for permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship, provided you meet all the requirements under Portuguese nationality law that includes passing an essential Portuguese language test.

Where do Americans live in Portugal?

Most Americans in Portugal live in Lisbon, Porto, or the Algarve. Portugal offers an array of stunning locations, whether you are looking for a buzzing city, peaceful village, or waterfront beach house.

Are there international schools in Portugal?

If you live in Portugal, you will find that there are many excellent international schools in the country, most of which are located around the Lisbon and Cascais area and in the Algarve in the south of the country.

Why are so many Americans retiring in Portugal?

The advantages of retiring in Portugal include excellent healthcare infrastructure, a pleasant year-round climate, and safety.

How to retire in Portugal from the US?

You can retire to Portugal from the US by either applying for a D7 Visa or through the Golden Visa program.

Can a US citizen move to Portugal?

A US citizen can enter Portugal without a visa and stay there for 90 days. You will need to secure a visa and obtain a residence permit for a long-term stay. Different visa options are better suited to different people.

How much money do you need to immigrate to Portugal?

Portugal’s cost of living is significantly lower than America’s. With the D7 Visa, you will need to earn a passive income of at least €760 per month. Many foreign investors opt for the Golden Visa scheme, with minimum investment starting at €250,000 (for the cultural Golden Visa option).

Is healthcare in Portugal free?

American expats can benefit hugely from the Portuguese healthcare system. Portugal has a public and affordable healthcare system called the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS). The SNS provides medical care at a low cost or for free, depending on your circumstances and if you have a legal residence permit.

 It’s a publicly funded system that operates through a network of public hospitals and community health centers. There is also the private healthcare option, which has an excellent reputation and is becoming increasingly common.

Is it safe to live in Portugal?

The Global Peace Index ranked Portugal as the sixth safest country in the world in 2023. 

What are some of the bad things about living in Portugal?

Some downsides to living in Portugal for US citizens include a slow bureaucratic process, poor insulation in homes, a potentially cold winter, a language barrier and the need to learn Portuguese if your circumstances require (particularly in more remote parts of the country).

If you’re considering working in a bar or coffee shop, note that the Portuguese minimum wage is relatively low compared to other western European countries. 

Can I move to Portugal without a job?

Portugal has a thriving job market and there are plenty of job opportunities available, however, US citizens can move to Portugal without a job if they have a passive income through the D7 Visa or if they make an investment through the Golden Visa program.

American students also do not need a job to move to Portugal if they’re moving with a student visa. 

How many people are immigrating to Portugal from US?

The number of Americans living in Portugal is at its highest level in over a decade. According to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), at the end of 2021, about 7,000 Americans were living in the country.

Why is everyone moving to Portugal?

The growing interest in moving to Portugal can be attributed to several key factors. These include an enviable quality of life characterized by safety, excellent healthcare, affordability, and a warm climate, to name a few.

Are a lot of Americans moving to Portugal?

Yes, the wave of American expats in Portugal has grown over the past year. According to data from the Portuguese government, close to 10,000 US citizens were living in Portugal in 2022.

Can US Citizens Get Portuguese Citizenship?

If you reside in Portugal for five years, you become eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

Why move to Portugal?

Portugal beckons with its pleasant, year-round climate, beautiful beaches, delicious food, high quality of life, and low living. These factors make Portugal a fabulous option for those seeking a serene, yet vibrant place to live in the European Union.

More About Portugal

Americans Living in Portugal: Join the Expats in Portugal
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Portugal D7 Visa 2023 Guide + Free Eligibility Test
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D7 vs. Golden Visa Portugal: Which One Is Right for You?
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A Complete Guide to the Portuguese Education System
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