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Moving to Portugal

“Half the World belongs to Portugal”

One fun fact that sets you in the right mindframe when moving to Portugal is this:

In 1495, the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed – this gave the eastern half of the New World to Portugal. It included Brazil – and China. Portuguese is still the national language of Brazil. And Portugal and England have the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world, signed in 1373, and still in force today.

Portugal joined the EU in 1986 and is a member of the Schengen area. The capital city is Lisbon and the currency is the euro.

Portugal has a rich seafaring history, traces of which are all around – the Moorish and Oriental influence can be seen in the architecture and art throughout the country. Christian religious festivals are popular. In 1755 Lisbon was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in Europe – it struck on All Saint’s Day when churches were full of burning candles, which helped to ignite the raging fires that followed. Over a quarter of a million people were killed and 85% of the buildings destroyed.


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:

After 5 years you may apply to the immigration authorities (SEF) for a Certificate of Permanent Residence.

moving to portugal

Expats in Portugal

There are several sites where you can get information about expat clubs, news and communities. These three sites will give you a taste of what is available.

There is a British Government Website which has lots of useful information about living in Portugal.

Moving to Portugal from the 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.

Top tip on relocating to Portugal

Get to know the markets in Lisbon – they are fascinating. Feira da Ladra sells most things, Mercado da Ribeira sells food and in Mouraria you can find all kinds of Asian and African goods.

Go ahead and get a free quote on removal to Portugal from UK.

Published By VanOne
Last updated on 12th August 2019

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