Unravelling all the Jargon in Plain English
It can be quite difficult when moving to a new country, especially if you don’t speak the local language. In this Jargon Busting article, we hope we can help you to get around the language barrier and on your way to setting up your new life in the beautiful Algarve.
My Personal Experience with Portuguese System
I will start by saying, from personal experience of living in the Algarve for over 20 years, that although sometimes it may seem a little daunting and the system is at times very slow it really is a breeze.
The Portuguese people are very welcoming and most speak English, even if only a little, so it’s easy to get by.
The first thing you may notice is that life is just so laid back here. Sometimes it can get frustrating when things don’t get done when they are supposed to.
But hey just talk a walk outside in the year-round beautiful weather and take in some of the amazing views and relax. You will soon realise the Algarve is a great place to live, forget the system will get there in the end!
Portuguese Visa You Can Apply For From The UK
So on to the list of Portuguese Visas and Documents, you may need or come across in your time here. Collated in the order you may need them or come across them from the day you decide to move to the Algarve.
The list will be added to and updated as and when changes take place in the system or if we find others we have missed that we feel could be important.
Starting with Visa and Documents you can apply for in the UK before you make your move. If you have decided you are going to move to Portugal or at least give it a try to see if it’s going to be good for you and your family. I guarantee it will be 😉
To begin with there are quite a few visas available depending on your situation. Below are the ones that apply to UK citizens and the basic requirements needed. Use the links to find out more when you find the one that suits your needs.
- If you are wanting to come to Portugal and stay over 90 days aloud as a tourist could Apply for The Residence Visa. With this temporary visa, you will be allowed to stay to apply for the more permanent Residence Permit (see below).
- If you have €500,000 to invest in either property or business in Portugal you could Apply for the Golden Visa Scheme.
- If you can prove you are earning enough to be self-sufficient in Portugal you could Apply for the D7 Residence Visa. This includes pensioners and Digital Nomads, although there is now a visa aimed at Digital Nomads (see below)
- If you have employment or in some cases are looking for employment in Portugal you could Apply for a Temporary Stay Visa. There are many different cases for applying for this visa, please use the link to find out more
- If you can prove your income is enough to be self-sufficient in Portugal by working online you could Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa.
Documents you may need to bring with you
Once you have your visa or if you are coming as a tourist with the idea of staying longer than the 90 days permitted there are some documents you should make sure to bring with you to Portugal.
- Obviously, your Passport makes sure it is valid for at least 3 months after your intended stay. You can renew your passport by post from Portugal so it’s not imperative.
- For your current driving licence, you will need to change this over to the Portuguese version ‘Carta de Condução’.
- Your original birth certificate. Although you could have it sent over by registered post when required. Just make sure it is available as it is needed to apply for certain visas and documents.
- You will need your Criminal Record which can be obtained online from your local Police Station. So again you could also have this sent out when required
- You will need to take out sufficient health insurance to cover the period until gaining your permanent Residence Permit ( please note this does not include any temporary visas).
- If you are a pensioner you may be covered by UK-funded healthcare, check before you leave.
- If you are getting married or already married to someone already resident in Portugal you will need your marriage certificate.
Portuguese Visas You Can Apply For Within Portugal
If you are already in Portugal, even as a tourist and still within your 90-day limit for staying, you can apply to stay longer by applying for the following visas.
- If you decide you want to outstay your 90-day tourist period you can Apply for The Short Term or Tourist Visa. This will allow you the time to apply for a more permanent visa
- Again you could also Apply for a Temporary Stay Visa which will give you up to a year during which time you can leave the country and re-enter during that period. It will also give you the time to apply for a permanent visa.
- Another option if you are already in Portugal and decide you want to stay over the 90 days aloud as a tourist could Apply for the Residence Visa. With this temporary visa, you will be able to stay to apply for the more permanent Residence Permit (see below).
- Applying for the Golden Visa Scheme is open to you if you have €500,000 to invest in either property or business in Portugal.
- You can also Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa from within the Portuguese territory.
- This also is the case with the Applying for the D7 Residence Visa.
All the above visas will allow you to stay in the country for at least 1 year giving you plenty of time to test the water and make sure it’s the right decision for you and your family. If you decide you want to stay it will also give you the time to apply for a more permanent residence visa.
What if I Have Been a Resident Before Brexit
This only applies to those already resident in Portugal before the Brexit cut-off date of Jan 1st 2021.
- Confirm your status by Applying for a New Resident Permit
Applying for the Residence Permit
Once you have any of the above visas you can then apply for the permanent residence visa as below.
- Once you are happy that the Algarve is the place you want to live and you have gained any of the visas above you should Apply for a Residence Permit.
This will mean you are a full Portuguese resident and are entitled to all the benefits that apply to a person living there. The Resident Permit is issued for 1 year and can be renewed for a further 2 years twice giving you 5 years in total.
What About Benefits or Documents Once I am a Resident
Once you have the Resident Permit you can obtain or change the following.
- NIF or (número de contribuinte). This is your tax number. You can get this from your local finanças office
- Número de Utente gives you access to medical care from the Portuguese system. You can get this from any centro de saude
- Carta de Condução you need to change your UK Driving Licence to a Portuguese carta de condução. You can do this at your nearest IMT instituto de mobilidade e transportes office
- Conta Bancária you are now eligible to open a Portuguese Bank Account. I guess go on advice from other as to which one is the best for you.
The final move – Apply for Nationality & Passport
So if after 5 years you are still in the Algarve it may be beneficial to go all the way and become a Portuguese Citizen with dual passports.
- Applying for Portuguese Nationality & Passport is your right as a full resident of the country.