The expat laws of Portugal

Are you new in Lisbon, or thinking about moving to Lisbon? Portuguese laws can be a little complicated for newbies. So it’s good to watch your step before falling into a never-ending pit of legal halabaloo.

Are the expat laws of Portugal so bad?

There can be several reasons for you to move to Lisbon. You might be an entrepreneur willing to expand your business to Lisbon. Or you might be impressed by Lisbon’s climate. Miss Legal has tried to break down the Portuguese laws while trying to make it more understandable and relevant for you.

We’ve listed some of the main laws for your convenience.

  • If you’re from EU, you don’t require a work Visa permit since Portugal is a part of the Schengen. You’ll just be needing a Visa residence from the immigration and border control department. This Visa residence leads to license residence. It’s important for you to note that license residence is a permanent thing. If you plan to stay longer your aim should be license residence. However, for a short-term stay, residence license will do the job.
  • It’s a common question among our readers, does it require any amount of share capital? Yes, it does. You have the option to choose between the amount of share capital but the real amount of money in the bank or already invested.
  • There are no specific laws that establish any minimum value when it comes to investment. Yet the decision lies on you to choose a value which is worth generating some economic activity within the company.
  • While we’re talking about investment, make sure the amount of investment is impressive enough for you to get the Visa. If the value is minimal, do not expect the Visa to be granted.
  • Here are some of the terms on the basis of which you can acquire your residence license without having a previous Visa. These may involve creating an investment activity by the company/person in the National territory over a period of 5 years.

Life of an expat in Lisbon.

  • Transfer of capital amounting to EUR 1 million or more.
  • Creation of at least 10 jobs.
  • Acquisition of immovable property of EUR 500 000 or more.
  • Transfer of capital amounting to EUR 250 000 or more, for investment or support for artistic production, restoration or maintenance of the national cultural heritage, through direct central and peripheral administration services, public institutes, public foundations, private foundations with public utility status, inter-municipal entities, entities that integrate the local business sector, municipal associative entities and public cultural associations, that carry out assignments in the area of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage.
  • Acquisition of immovable property, the construction of which has been completed for at least 30 years or located in an urban rehabilitation area and rehabilitation of real estate acquired, in an aggregate amount equal to or greater than EUR 350,000.

Here's all you need to know.

  • Transfer of capital amounting to EUR 350,000 or more, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds for the capitalization of companies, which are set up under Portuguese law, whose maturity at the time of investment is at least five years and at least 60 / pct. of the value of the investments to be made in commercial companies based in national territory.
  • Transfer of capital amounting to € 350,000 or more, for the purpose of setting up a commercial company with its head office in Portugal. Together with the creation of five permanent posts, or to increase the share capital of a company with headquarters in the national territory, already established. With the creation or maintenance of jobs, with a minimum of five permanent, and for a minimum period of three years.
  • For entrepreneurs, the Visa policy is pretty straightforward. You can invest in the Golden Visa program which allows you to invest in a residential/commercial property and have up to €1,000,000 in your account.
  • Transfer of capital amounting to EUR 350,000 or more, which is applied in research activities carried out by public or private scientific research institutions, integrated into the national scientific and technological system. If you’ve acquired this Visa, you can travel to other European countries as well.
  • After six years, you’re entitled to the citizenship of Portugal. Guess what? That is the time when you can live and work anywhere in the EU.

Doesn’t that sound amazing?

  • There will be times when you’d want to go out gambling. Remember to enter licensed premises for it. If you find any suspicious activity involving drugs leave that place immediately. Selling or trafficking of drugs is a criminal offense under severe penalties.
  • US expats find the tax exemptions very relaxing. The exemptions are not just for the US-based expats, but every foreigner who is willing to stay in Portugal for 10 years.


Tips for living in Lisbon as an expat

Portugal is an expats dream. People who wish to explore different business opportunities have loved it due to its relaxed tax laws. Which not only allow the business people to breathe but also take risks. Once it’s a hub for entrepreneurs, it's easy for them to find like-minded people. It’s almost crazy that you’ll find a table everywhere with people indulged in a deep conversation, filled with arguments about new projects or working on their existing projects. You’ll love it if you’re someone who likes talking about new ideas.  

Following the Portuguese laws.

There’s also a concept of store sharing. What this means is that different businesses sell their products under a single roof. The whole point is to cut the costs even further. Portugal’s beaches are also considered the best. In short, if you plan to move to a country which has the best of nature, wildlife, tax laws and above all a great lifestyle for less money. Consider Portugal as a strong option.

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