Moving to Portugal after Brexit

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As of now, there are around 20,000 Brits living in Portugal. And that number is steadily growing. Although Brexit and the global pandemic has eased off the number of Brits who relocated to Portugal over the last few years, it’s clear that the appetite for sunnier, cheaper living is still there.

On the day after the Brexit referendum, many felt that the opportunity to work, live and retire in Portugal had been taken away from them. Or, at least, that it was going to become much harder to do so.

Here’s the good news — this is not really the case. As Bruce Hawker, founder and publisher of the Essential Algarve magazine, says: the ‘Portuguese government will make special concessions to make it easier to take up residency here for Brits than for other non-European nationals.’

It seems that the Portuguese government is keen to maintain the level of ease for Brits to live and invest in the country.

In this article, we’ll go through the residency and visa options available to you if you’re planning to move to Portugal post-Brexit.

Bear in mind that this is just the situation now. Things change very quickly. When it comes to relocating internationally, you should always consult a legal professional or visa specialist.

None of this will be relevant to you if you’ve been living in Portugal since before December 2020. If this is your situation, it means you are protected under the Withdrawal Agreement, and you won’t have to apply for residency. Happy days!

The Golden Visa Scheme
If you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground, you may have already heard of Golden Visas. In short, Golden Visas are a way for the Portuguese government to attract UK investment in the country.

This can be the ideal option for you if you’re buying property in Portugal. On paper, you need to purchase real estate worth €500,000 to be eligible for a five-year residence permit. However, it has been known that Brits obtain permits for buying property as low as €350,000.

After those five years, you can apply for a permanent residency or Portuguese passport.

Another benefit of the Golden Visa is that you only need to spend seven days in Portugal to be eligible for it. This could be the perfect option for you if you need to be flexible. Perhaps you work in the UK but want a holiday home in the Algarve, for example.

Time’s ticking
However, be alert. The rules of the Golden Visa are changing in July 2021. From this date on, the scheme will not cover places like Lisbon, the Algarve, Porto and some of the other coastal areas. Or in other words, Portugal’s most popular expat destinations.

With this in mind, it could be a good idea to act sooner rather than later. If you’ve been dreaming of owning a flat in the centre of Lisbon, or a beach house in the Algarve, then now may be the time to take the plunge.

Through leading exchange rates and smart solutions, Privalgo has facilitated numerous Brits in buying Portuguese property. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.

D7 Visas and Residence Permits
A D7 Visa and Residence Permits are good options for you if you’re retired and receiving a foreign pension.

Take note, the monthly foreign income of your pension should match or exceed Portuguese minimum wage, which at the time of writing is around €635 a month. Yet, it’s been said that you may need be receiving more like €1,000 a month.

With a D7 visa, you’ll be able to hold residency in Portugal for a year. After that, you can renew it every two years. After five years, you’ll be able to apply for a permanent residency.

You’ll also need to spend 183 days of the year in sunny Portugal to be eligible for this kind of visa — could be worse.

NHR Scheme
The NHR (or Non-Habitual Residency) scheme is an appealing option for many Brits working or retiring in Portugal.

If you haven’t been a resident of Portugal within the last five years, but meet the country’s residency requirements, you will be able to apply for the scheme.

The benefit of being an NHR is that you’re eligible for certain tax breaks. Instead of the usual Portuguese income tax — which can climb as high as 48% — you can enjoy a flat rate of 20% for up to ten years.

This could be the option for you if you’re working in Portugal in one of the pre-defined sectors, namely science, technology and some arts.

The same goes if you’re retiring in Portugal. A NHR will still mean you get taxed on the UK pension payments. But as it stands, it will only be at 10%. Again, much less that than the 14%-48% that it is for Portuguese residents.

We’re Privalgo — specialists in foreign exchange. We are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Electronic Money Institution.

Through leading exchange rates and innovative solutions, we help Brits save money and time when they retire to Portugal. Get in touch today to see how we can help you build a rewarding foreign exchange strategy.