Although Britain is not a member of the Schengen area, and therefore customs formalities do apply, because we are members of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton moving to Portugal from UK.
There are no restrictions on the amount of currency you may bring in; medication must be for personal use only. Alcohol and tobacco are restricted. Currency may be imported in any amount – but if the value is over 4,987.98 euro (£4,060) then declare it to the customs to save difficulties if exporting it if you later wish to do so.
For three months you need do nothing but then you must apply to your nearest town hall or to the Portuguese Immigration Service, the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF), for a Registration Certificate, during the 30 days following the 3-month period. You may wish to do this earlier so that you can register for health services. The registration certificate will be valid for 5 years from the date of issue. You will need your passport and then to make a sworn declaration to the effect that you fulfil the conditions of residence. These are:
- That you are working or are self-employed.
- You have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family.
- You are enrolled on a course of study and have sufficient funds to support yourself.
After 5 years you may apply to the immigration authorities (SEF) for a Certificate of Permanent Residence.
There is a British Government Booklet which has lots of useful information about living in Portugal.
Moving to Portugal from UK with Pets
There are special rules for pets arriving from the UK and you should consult the authorities to be sure you are not held up at customs. Some services are not available outside normal working hours.
Pets require their own pet passport and microchips. Also rabies vaccinations are required within 1 year, but not closer than 21 days from departure. Your pet will also need up-to-date routine vaccinations. If you intend to bring the pet back to the UK you must ensure the rabies vaccinations are kept up to date.