Expat guide: Moving to Portugal
A complete guide on what foreigners need to prepare for moving to Portugal.
As Expatica article ‘Managing your move abroad’ points out, the basic things to consider during relocation are visas and permits, vaccines for family members, restrictions or taxes on shipped household items, taxes due when you ship your car, vaccines and quarantines for pets and insurance.
Portuguese visas and permits
If you haven’t done it already, sorting out your residence permit is an essential first step.
Opening a bank account in Portugal
Another essential step is opening a bank account. Visit our Banking section for details on banking in Portugal and to keep up to date with news from the financial world.
Finding a home in Portugal
So you have your visa and bank account. Now you need to find a place to stay. Read Expatica’s guide to where to live in Portugal. Should you rent or buy? Expatica helps you to do the research and decide on the best housing option. Visit our Housing sections for guides, advice and tips.
Education in Portugal
Education is another important point for you to consider when moving to Portugal with your family. You’ll need to decide on local or international education for your children and pick a school. Visit our Education section to find out about the Portuguese education system.
If you have young children, you may need to enrol them in a daycare centre or hire an au pair. Expatica’s Kids and Pre-school sections will help you to find suitable childcare. Students should visit our Higher Education section and Courses & Workshops has something for everyone.
Setting up home in Portugal
Once you have found accommodation, you’ll need to get connected and set up basic utilities. Ask around to find the most cost-effective service providers; why not try asking in the Expatica forums or Ask the Expert section?
Finding a job in Portugal
If you are looking for a job, then learn more about the management culture in Portugal before you start on your job hunt. Check out our Employment & Trends section for more advice and tips.
Learning the language
Speaking the local language is important if you want to improve your social life as well as job prospects, therefore make sure that you enrol in a language course and pay a visit to our Languages section
Healthcare in Portugal
So far so good, but don’t forget your health – moving country is stressful. Learn about the Portuguese health system by clicking on our Healthcare section.
Join the community
Get out and about, and network – become a member of Expatica’s community in Portugal, make full use of Expatica’s forums, and use the dating site to meet and interact with like-minded people in the international community.
Find out what you can expect from and how to work with a relocation firm. If your company is relocating you, look at it from the HR manager’s perspective on Expatica HR’s Relocation section. Also, consider relocation consultants who can help you plan your move with maximum efficiency.
Tax rules vary across the world for foreign-earned income so make sure that you are aware of your obligations and take the necessary paperwork with you. Visit Expatica’s Tax section for information and tips regarding taxation abroad.
Take some time to learn about your new country of residence before your relocation so that when you arrive you can adapt quickly to your new home. Expatica's Country Facts section is a good place to start.
Expatica’s Getting Started section takes you through the checklist of essential tasks to complete upon arrival: visas and permits, opening a bank account, finding a home, choosing a school, setting up home (telephone, TV and internet), finding a job, learning the language, healthcare and insurance and sorting out your driving licence.
Relocating with the family
Visit our Partners and Kids sections to find information on moving with your partner and children including tips for relocating with teens and preparing your kids for the move. Check out our Languages section for tips not only on learning a new language but on bringing up children with more than one language.
Adjusting to a new location
The stress involved in moving to a new country throws many expats off balance. Once the 'honeymoon' period is over, many expats face difficulties in adjusting to a new culture and lifestyle. Counselling can be useful in some cases. Check out Expatica’s A-Z listings to find a counsellor near you. For some expats, simply getting out and about and networking is enough to get back on track.
Networking and going out
The Expatica article ‘Notes for country movers’ offers sound advice to singles: Don't become a hermit or a bar-fly. Get out and about and try to network. Socialise with people from the office, carry on with your favourite sport, hobby or interest and this way you likely will meet some like-minded people, even if they don’t speak the same language. Couples, especially if one partner isn’t working, also need to focus on making new contacts and building up a network in their new land.
The Expatica forums are a great way to network and to meet other expats. Create a user profile and participate in the online community.
Repatriationisn’t easy, but, like relocation, if you prepare well and know what you can expect, the move will be smoother.
If you've just landed in Portugal, it's tempting to start exploring, but there are some essential tasks to get through first. Our channels offer a wealth of important information and advice for living in Portugal.
Need advice? Post your question on Expatica's free Ask the Expert service to see if we can help.
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