Moving to Portugal as an Expat: A Comprehensive Guide
Moving to Portugal is not for everyone, but if you're curious about the possibilities of living abroad and making a life for yourself in a new country, then some exciting things might convince you to give it a try. Although Portugal has become one of the most expensive European countries during recent years, its beautiful landscape and pleasant weather will undoubtedly make you feel different than anywhere else. The people are warm and friendly, but be aware that English speakers aren't very common outside of the touristy areas. Here is a guide you will find helpful if you plan on moving to Portugal as an ex-pat.
The Cost of Living
Expats living in Portugal will find the cost of living to be on par with other European countries. You can expect your monthly bills and expenses to be around 10% higher than they would be if you lived in Germany, Italy, or other major European countries, which makes sense given that Portugal is cheaper than those places. Expats who want a taste of Portugal's finer things will find their money goes a lot further if they live in the Algarve region. Some of the more popular tourist areas offer expensive real estate, but there are plenty of affordable options for foreigners who want to make Portugal home.
Buying a Home
Although Portugal is famous for its beautiful coastal scenery, it can be pretty expensive to buy or rent a home in popular areas. Foreigners will find that purchasing land and property is not as easy as they may think. But it can be a lot smoother when you have a real estate agent on your side. In the words of professionals from https://portugalbuyersagent.com/, you need an agent to guide you through every step of the process with ease. There are many benefits to working with a real estate agent. First, agents have access to listings that are not available to the general public. They also have knowledge of the market that can help you get the best price for your home. So if you're looking for someone to help guide you through the complex world of real estate, it's worth considering hiring a real estate agent.
The Labor Market
Although the unemployment rate in Portugal is much lower than in other European countries, there are not many jobs available for expats outside of tourism. Many people in Portugal are retired, so the job market is limited. If you have your own business or can speak Portuguese fluently, then it's possible to start a new career here as long as you know the ropes. The Portuguese people love their coffee and fish, meaning restaurants and cafes are always in high demand.
Visas and Work Permits
Foreigners who want to live and work in Portugal should start the process by checking with their local Portuguese consulate. Several visas are available, but many expats avoid them because they're complicated to get. Work permits for foreigners living in Portugal can be very challenging given that there aren't many job opportunities for expats outside of tourism.
Taxes and Other Legal Issues
The Portuguese tax system is highly complicated, and most expats prefer to hire a professional accountant who can help them navigate it. If you plan to live in Portugal for more than 183 days, you will be required to pay pretty standard taxes for European countries. Paying all of your taxes and complying with other legal requirements in Portugal is a lot easier if you have an attorney who can help you defray your legal costs.
The education system in Portugal is divided into two parts. The first part includes compulsory education, which spans nine years, and the second part is made up of secondary education, which spans four years. Expats who want to enroll their children in Portuguese schools will find that most foreigners choose English-speaking international schools, but some Portuguese people prefer public schools.
The healthcare system in Portugal is quite good, and there are several public hospitals and private institutions. A few consulates in Portugal offer medical advice, but the best place to start seeking medical help is through your local embassy or consulate. Expats who want high-quality healthcare will find that they have to pay out of pocket unless they have an excellent medical insurance policy.
Living in Portugal is quite manageable for expats who are willing to put some time into finding the best place to live. There are some stunning areas of Portugal that foreigners can afford if they look in the right places. Those with Portuguese friends or contacts will adjust easier since most foreigners feel very isolated when they first move to Portugal.