Immigrate to Portugal. Things you should know before moving to Portugal

Portugal was the pioneer in the maritime exploration several centuries ago. This country conquered overseas territories, including Brazil, Mozambique, and Indian state Goa to establish one of the most powerful empires of that time. Nowadays, Portugal is not the most popular European country among immigrants, but many tourists and expats are willingly moving to Portugal from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other states. If you are also wondering how to immigrate to Portugal easily, check this article to find out all the necessary facts about Portugal that will make your relocation flawless.

International removals to Portugal with Eurosender

Before you start relocating from the USA to Portugal or immigrate from overseas for either temporary or permanent stay there, you should learn at least some basic facts about this place. This will help you to feel the vibes of the country of your future residence before you plunge into the reality of life there. You can find some essential information about Portugal in the table below.

LocationPortugal is located on the Iberian Peninsula in south-western Europe. The country borders on Spain and is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The Azores and Madeira archipelagos are the two autonomous territories of Portugal.
Capital cityLisbon
ClimatePortugal has a Mediterranean climate characterized by short mild winters and long warm summers.
CurrencyEuro (EUR)
PopulationThere are about 10 million people living in Portugal. The country accepts many immigrants from former Portuguese colonies and other countries overseas.
LanguagePortuguese is the official language in Portugal. A greater part of the population speaks English fluently as well.
TimezoneUTC +1
Surprising factPortuguese has the status of the official language in Portugal, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Principe, Sao Tome, and Equatorial Guinea.

Portugal has been attracting expats from all over the world, so there are pretty many people relocating from the USA to Portugal or moving there from European countries. Those who are planning a long-term stay in Portugal have to choose the most reliable services for international removals to Portugal to send excess baggage, musical instruments, surfboard, paddleboard, and other essential items. International removals to Portugal powered by Eurosender would be the perfect choice for you.

  • Eurosender platform compares the prices of various logistics service providers for a chosen route. Afterwards, an intelligent engine chooses the best option for you.
  • You can send a variety of items when moving to Portugal from the USA, Canada, Australia, or from any other country overseas.
  • Each shipment sent through Eurosender is automatically insured at no extra price. Consider buying extra insurance package if you plan to send expensive items.
  • Take advantage of convenient online tools. You can easily estimate the delivery date and track your parcel online just in one click.

For more information about international removals to Portugal, contact our experienced logistics specialists who have already helped hundreds of our customers to move house.

Living in Portugal

Portugal borders on Spain, so these countries have some similarities as well as differences in their lifestyles. Portuguese people are not too emotional but very contented in their home country. Expats who immigrate to Portugal also report that local people are very friendly and happy. Let’s find out what positive and negative aspects of living in Portugal both locals and immigrants highlight.


  • Climate. Most people find the Mediterranean climate very comfortable for living in Portugal. Winters are not that cold, while summers with high temperatures last for about 7-8 months.
  • A tolerant society. Most local people are very loyal and tolerant of foreigners. They will be glad to help you to find a way or just have a friendly talk with a cup of coffee.
  • Historical heritage. As Portugal is one of the oldest European countries, it has many museums, castles, and other historical sites protected by UNESCO.
  • Favourable conditions for setting up a business. Those who are moving to Portugal to set up a business are more than welcome. Government is interested in foreign investments and creation of new workplaces. The newly established businesses are not supposed to pay taxes during the first year of commercial activities.


  • Cold ocean. Even though summers are very hot in Portugal, the maximum temperature of the ocean rarely reaches 22 °C. It is not very comfortable for swimming, but surfers find Portugal to be their main attraction in Europe.
  • The rising cost of accommodation. The recent influx of tourists signifies that the number of visitors exceeds the population of Portugal almost every year. That is why the apartment rental cost in major cities tends to gradually rise.
  • High unemployment rates. Portugal seems to be recovering from the crisis, but its economy is not that stable yet. That is why expats who immigrate to Portugal often find it difficult to find job opportunities in the country.
  • No central heating. As the temperatures rarely go below zero in Portugal, there is no central heating in the houses. Local people use electric heaters or traditional fireplaces to get warm.

Cost of living in Portugal

Portugal is not extremely popular among immigrants because the average salary rate is about 900 € there, which is lower than in neighbouring Spain and France. However, the cost of living in Portugal is much lower as well. It means that you will not have to spend much on food, accommodation, and utilities there. All basic monthly expenses of expats are listed in the table below.

Apartment rental300-700 € (1-bedroom apartment)
Utilities80-120 €
Internet30 €
A meal of the day8-12 €
A cup of cappuccino1 €

Visa regulations for Portugal

Those who are moving to Portugal from other EU countries or Switzerland do not need any visa either they are planning to travel or work in Portugal. If you are not the EU national planning to immigrate to Portugal, then you will have to apply for a long-stay or residence visa in your home country. You will also have to collect all the necessary documents that prove your purpose and duration of stay in Portugal.

  1. Long-stay visa. This type of visa allows a temporary stay for up to 4 months in Portugal. It can be granted in case you are moving to Portugal for medical treatment, internship, short-term employment contract, or conducting scientific research. Under a long-stay visa, you can enter and leave the country multiple times.
  2. Residence visa of type D allows requesting a residence permit in Portugal upon your arrival. It is granted to those who plan to study, work and live in Portugal for a long time. For instance, you can claim for a residence visa when you have enrolled in one of the Portuguese universities, signed a job contract with an employer that is based in Portugal, plan a family reunion, or want to immigrate to Portugal as a retiree.

Healthcare in Portugal

National Healthcare Service, the SNS, is the public healthcare system in Portugal subsidized by the government and social security contributions of working nationals and residents. The SNS covers primary healthcare services, maternity care, preventive care, and some dental services. In fact, legal residents and nationals still have to pay about 40% per cent of the total cost of medical services. That is why some of them opt to obtain additional private healthcare insurance which compensates the costs not covered by public healthcare insurance.

While legal residents and expats have the right to use the SNS, non-residents and temporary visitors should purchase private health insurance. However, the EU nationals and Swiss citizens can access public healthcare services for free with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

School and education

Pre-school education in Portugal is still optional, but most children go to kindergartens where they learn the basics. Starting from the age of 6 till 15 children go through the stage of basic education. Consider that education in Portuguese schools is conducted in the national language. It is a good idea to register your child in a public school if your kid is a first-grader. Otherwise, it is better to search for international schools many of which are in the Greater Lisbon area.

Upon graduation from secondary school, many students decide to enrol at the university. Some of those prefer local higher educational establishments, while others move abroad to study and work. Some of the Portuguese universities participate in such student projects and initiatives as Erasmus, which means that foreign students are welcome to apply for particular courses or programmes in Portuguese universities.

The job market in Portugal

The economy of the country was in recession after 2009, but it is showing the signs of recovery now. Even though the country’s GDP is rising, the Portuguese economy is not that stable as in Germany or Norway. Most job opportunities are available in the service sector, while agriculture and forestry still remain a driving force in the country.

Those who are planning to immigrate to Portugal to work are supposed to sign a contract with an employer-based in Portugal. In case you are moving to Portugal as a self-employment person, then you will have to prove that you have enough funds to support yourself while living in Portugal.

Property information

As Portugal becomes more popular among tourists and expats, the prices for accommodation tend to go up with each coming year. We have prepared a table with average prices for different types of apartment rentals in major cities of Portugal. Consider that those prices may range depending on the furnishing and distance from the city centre.

private room250-300 €220-270 €
1-bedroom apartment in the city centre700 €650 €
1-bedroom apartment in the suburbs450 €420 €
2-bedroom apartment in the city centre1050 €750 €
2-bedroom apartment in the suburbs750 €400 €
3-bedroom apartment in the city centre1250 €1200 €
3-bedroom apartment in the suburbs850 €800 €

Driving in Portugal

If you are planning to rent or own a car in Portugal, then you need to take care of several necessary aspects beforehand.

  • Check whether you need to upgrade your driving license. Citizens of some countries do not need to exchange their driving license to a Portuguese one and can use it till the expiry date. Meanwhile, the nationals of other countries have only 6 months to exchange their driving license in case they are moving to Portugal for the long term.
  • Drive on the right side of the road.
  • The quality of the Portuguese roads is excellent, but you will have to pay for using them in most cases. If you are going to travel across the country by car, you will have to purchase toll roads.
  • Stick to the speed limits: 50km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h in rural areas, and 120 km/h on motorways.
  • Always take the following documents with you while driving in Portugal: driving license, proof of ID, car registration documents, and third party insurance.

Cost of moving to Portugal

When expats are planning a move, they are usually wondering about the average moving costs to Portugal. Those who relocate from the United States are eager to estimate how much is shipping from the USA to Portugal. We at Eurosender would help you with relocation by offering the cheapest way to move furniture to Portugal and send other household appliances. Furthermore, you can easily ship motorcycles, coffee machines, musical instruments, and other items used daily. With international removals to Portugal provided by Eurosender, you will get lower than the average moving costs to Portugal.

Arrange everything with our experts and get the most affordable cost of moving house to Portugal by booking freight shipping services and requesting an individual offer. Our professionals are always ready to help you and estimate the average moving costs to Portugal for you.

Check our services for international removals to Portugal once you decide to relocate from the USA, Canada, Australia, or any other country.

The most popular destinations from where you can move to Portugal

Moving to Portugal from Canada

The citizens of Canada do not need a visa to enter Portugal for a short-term stay. In case you want to live in Portugal for a longer period, you will have to apply for a corresponding type of long-stay or residence visa. Anyway, moving to Portugal from Canada will be fast and unobstructed when using courier services. Relocation will be pleasant and easy with Eurosender as we offer lower than the average moving costs to Portugal for you.

Moving to Portugal from Australia

Many Australians are wondering what it is like to immigrate to Portugal from overseas. Eurosender affirms that it is not as scary and challenging as you might imagine. You will get the cheapest way to move furniture to Portugal when booking shipping services with Eurosender. That way, moving to Portugal from Australia will be a piece of cake because you do not need to take care of your excess baggage and personal belongings with you. Our logistics partners will make sure that your stuff is transported to your new home safely.

Moving to Portugal from the United Kingdom

Many British citizens are moving to Portugal from the United Kingdom as they decide to set up a business or retire in Portugal. These two countries are not far away from each other, but you still need to transport your personal belongings, household appliances, musical instruments, and excess baggage overseas. Arrange everything with Eurosender and get the most affordable cost of moving house to Portugal by booking freight shipping services and requesting an individual offer for relocation and removal.

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.