8 Things to Consider Before You Move to Portugal
With a beautiful climate, friendly people, great food and stunning scenery, Portugal is a popular choice for those looking to relocate abroad. It can seem daunting to make the leap from your life in the UK. However, during the cold winter months, migrating to warmer climates has never seemed so appealing…
Brexit and residency
Don’t let the prospect of Brexit (Britain’s exit from the EU) put you off! There’s no better time whilst we can still take advantage of our freedom of movement. At the time of posting this, the only requirement (if you plan on staying over three months) is to register for a residence document. This happens at the local police department or town hall, and means you’ll be able to open a Portuguese bank account and rent an apartment.
Protecting your savings
On a related note, it’s not a great time to be at the mercy of exchange rate fluctuations. A sensible way around this is to match your assets to your liabilities, meaning if your long-term spending will be in Euros, you should consider holding an appropriate amount of your assets in Euros. However, if you plan on returning to the UK in the future, it is wise to keep options in both currencies.
Being in a new country is an amazing cultural experience – why not fully immerse yourself and take up some Portuguese classes? No-one knows the ins and outs of Portuguese life quite like the local people, and not only might you enjoy unique experiences and insider recommendations, but you’ll form deeper friendships that wouldn’t be possible without making some effort with the language.
Finding a place to live
If you’re looking for a place to live, booking into an Airbnb or hotel for a couple of weeks while you find places and arrange viewings is a great option. It’s wise not to rush into anything so as to avoid online scams or ending up in a place that isn’t right for you. Plus, you can relax for a while in the Portuguese sun after organising your big move! There are many long or short term storage options available to consider.
Finding a job
If you hold an EU passport, you don’t require a work permit and can start working on arrival. It’s wise to start looking before you move, as you’ll get a feel for the job market and have plenty of time to apply for things. Some Portuguese towns have more jobs available in certain sectors than others.
Make sure to bring your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) as this will allow you access to emergency healthcare for your first 3 months. After you’ve had your residence document, you’ll receive an NHS user number, meaning you are entitled to state-funded routine consultations, exams and prescriptions.
If you’re a retiree with a UK pension, it’s possible to fast-track this process, and register on arrival with your local GP. This is done by presenting your passport and S1 form, obtained before leaving the UK from the Department of Work and Pensions.
Portuguese is widely spoken across the world, making it a great choice for a second language. Especially if they’re young, children will become fluent very quickly. As well as growing up in a beautiful climate with lots of scope for adventure, a strong expat community means you can be sure you and your children will make lots of British and Portuguese friends alike.
For the movement of pets between most EU member states, including Portugal, a valid rabies vaccination and a passport are the main requirements. Fitting a microchip will also speed up the moving process as it allows authorities to easily identify your pet to its passport. Your vet will be able to advise on this, and fill out the information required to obtain the passport.
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