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.
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 ia 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 poplular. In 1755 Lisbon was struck by one of the most powerufl earthquakes in Europe – it struck on All Saint’s Day when churches were full of burning candels, which helped to ignite the raging fires that followed. Over a quarter of a million popele were killed and 85% of the buildings destroyed. (more…)
Before we raise a question of pensions in Portugal, let’s talk about social insurance in general.
Once you have your registration certificate, you may register with your local health centre, and receive free state healthcare. You must obtain a National Health Care Service “User Card” in order to take advantage of the free public healthcare system. You can do this at a local health centre with a passport and residency card.
Private healthcare in Portugal is expensive, but it is the best option if you can find a relatively low-cost health insurance policy.
Just like the NHS, Portuguese hospitals are often understaffed and overcrowded, so there are often long waiting lists for non-urgent treatment. It may not be easy to arrange a specialist appointment. (more…)
Choosing a car as a mean of transportation in Portugal can be quite safe, as alcohol levels permitted are up to 0.05% and the penalties for exceeding this are severe. Hence you don’t usually see many drunk-drivers. Beware the priority from the right rule, and watch out at roundabouts as the Portuguese signalling is not always what we expect.
To get a flavour of driving in Portugal you might like to visit this website Pinglet in Portugal.
Documents you MUST carry:
Insurance certificate – obligatory at least for third party
Portuguese is practically universal in Portugal, but there are some special dialects. Nontheless it helps greatly with establishing a social life in Portugal to learn at least a few words in Portugese.
The Southern and Central dialects: these include the dialect of the capital, Lisbon, which however has some peculiarities of its own. Although the dialects of the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira have unique characteristics of their own, they can also be grouped with the southern dialects.
Most Portuguese from the towns have some knowledge of English. The language has been number one foreign language in school for quite a few years now. In more rural areas speakers of English will be fewer.
The great thing is that if you have children they do seem able to absorb languages easily, and unless your Portuguese is very good they will soon be translating for you. (more…)
If you consider buying a house in Portugal, you’ll do well to know that since it is a popular tourist destination, cost of living there may be a bit high in the season. It also reflects on the property prices.
Buying a House in Portugal
There are no restrictions to buying a house in Portugal and the process is not difficult. Once you have found a property, hire a lawyer and he or she will take care of things for you. They will draw up the contracts, check the legal title with the land registry and tax registration and that there are no unpaid charges. The tax office will issue you with a fiscal number, needed for most transactions in Portugal. These are the steps usually taken: (more…)