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February 16, 2024
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NHR status in Portugal: a guide on getting a beneficial tax status

The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) in Portugal is a special tax status for new residents. Its owners are exempt from paying taxes on global income in Portugal for 10 years. The income earned in Portugal is taxed at a flat rate of 20%.

From January 1st, 2024, the NHR tax regime was discontinued. However, if a foreigner was granted the status earlier, they will still enjoy the perks.

Let’s discuss who still qualifies for the NHR status after its end and the main benefits.

Alina Mishurenko
Alina Mishurenko

Explains the advantages of the special tax status

How to get a beneficial tax status of Non-Habitual Resident in Portugal

NHR status in Portugal: a guide on getting a beneficial tax status

What is the Non-Habitual Resident tax status in Portugal?

The NHR scheme helps foreigners to alleviate their tax burden in Portugal. The preferential tax status is issued for 10 years without the possibility of renewing it.

The Portugal NHR program has been operating since 2009 and allows paying fewer taxes. The conditions for the tax regime registering and operating for holders of NHR Portugal status are enshrined in Legislative Decree No. 249 of September 23rd, 2009.

The NHR status is disabled to apply for after January 1st, 2024. However, those who already obtained the status will enjoy its benefits right until the 10-year term ends.

The so-called “transition” is established for those who can prove their intention to move to Portugal in 2024. In this case, it is possible to apply for NHR status until the end of 2024.

Portugal will consider a limited amount of documents as proof of intent, including an employment contract or lease agreement.

Additionally, if a foreigner were to get a residence permit in Portugal before December 31st, 2023, they can still apply for the NHR status until March 31st, 2024.

The abolished NHR regime will continue to exist for specific applicants. University professors, research scientists, and qualified employees of projects classified by the Portuguese government as “startups” can still obtain the NHR status regardless of the application date.

Individuals can obtain a Portugal residence permit in different ways: applying for a job in a Portuguese company, enrolling in a Portuguese university, or marrying a Portuguese citizen. However, the fastest and easiest paths are the following:

  1. Under the Portugal Golden Visa Program, wealthy people can also obtain a residence permit by investing in the Portuguese economy. The program offers five investment options, including purchasing an investment fund unit.

  2. Financially independent people can get residence permits through D7 visas.

  3. The D8 visa is available to digital nomads wishing to relocate to Portugal.

Holders of Portugal residence permits have the right to live, work, conduct business, and study in the country without restrictions.

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

4 benefits of the NHR in Portugal

1. The fixed tax rate on income from employment. In a standard situation, the income tax is levied on a progressive scale. The rate can be up to 48% and depends on the yearly income:

  • 14,5% — on an income of up to €7,112;

  • 23% — on the income of €7,112 to 10,732;

  • 28,5% — on the income of €10,732 to 20,322;

  • 35% — on the income of €20,322 to 25,075;

  • 37% — on the income of €25,075 to 36,967;

  • 48% — on the income of €36,967 to 80,882;

  • 48% plus an additional tax of 2,5% — on the the income of €80,882 to 250,000;

  • 48% plus an additional tax of 5% — on the income of over €250,000.

Highly qualified professionals who receive salaries from Portuguese companies or work in Portugal as self-employed can pay income tax at a flat rate of 20%.

2. The flat tax rate for pensions from other countries is 10%. The rule applies if the recipient changed his tax residence to Portuguese and received Non-Habitual Resident status after April 1st, 2020.

Tax residents of Portugal without Non-Habitual Resident status pay pension tax as income tax on a progressive scale with a rate of up to 48%.

3. No taxes on gifts, inheritance and wealth are paid by non-habitual residents in Portugal.

4. Foreign-sourced income is not taxed at all. The holder of the Non-Habitual Resident status does not pay tax in Portugal on dividends, interest and royalties, capital gains, rental income from real estate outside Portugal, or employment in another country.

The income must be received from foreign companies and funds. You do not need to pay dividends and interest taxes if the income is received from a country that is not an offshore jurisdiction.

The standard global income tax rates in Portugal are the following:

  • 28% on dividends, interest and royalties;

  • 28% on capital gains;

  • 28% on rental income;

  • Up to 48% on labour income.

The global income and retirement benefits are tax-exempt in Portugal if taxes are paid in the source country. A Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) or a model convention of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on income taxation must be concluded between Portugal and such a country.

Portugal DTA country list


Cabo Verde

























Hong Kong











Côte d'ivoire















São Tomé and Príncipe


Czech Republic




San Marino














How to get the Non-Habitual Resident tax status

Obtaining the NHR status was straightforward and only involved three steps. The procedure is still the same if applying in 2024 or at the end of 2023.


Up to 5 business days

Get a taxpayer number — NIF

Registration of the NIF taxpayer number takes place in person when visiting the Portuguese tax office, by email or through a representative.

Registering a taxpayer number takes half an hour to five business days, depending on the application submission method. The nuances of registration and a list of documents for obtaining an NIF.

Citizens and residents of countries outside the European Union receive an NIF through a tax representative. This could be a lawyer or a law firm. At the same time, the address of the tax representative in Portugal is indicated in the application for NIF.

As registration confirmation, the applicant receives a certificate or a plastic card with a unique nine-digit number. Also, the taxpayer has a personal account on the Portuguese tax service website.


183+ days of living in Portugal

Change tax residency

A change of tax residence occurs if a person lives in Portugal for more than 183 days a year. It is unnecessary to spend six months in a row in the country: the total period of stay is considered so that you can stretch 183 days for the entire reporting year.

The day of stay in the country is counted only if the person has spent the night in Portuguese territory. If you arrive in the morning and leave in the evening of the same day, this period does not count towards 183 days for changing your tax residence.

A person also becomes a tax resident if they have a residential property in Portugal, which is their main place of residence.

You should contact the Portuguese tax office to change your tax residence officially. If, before that, a tax representative acted on behalf of the applicant, then when the residence is changed, the NIF address also changes from the address of the tax representative to the applicant’s registration address in Portugal.


2 weeks

Obtaining the preferential NHR tax status

To apply for registration of NHR status, you should fill out a form on the website of the Portuguese tax office.

Foreigners used to apply for the preferential tax status no later than March 31st of the year following the year they changed their tax residency to Portuguese. The application indicated the year of obtaining the tax residency certificate in Portugal and the country of the previous tax residence.

The applicant also needed to confirm that they met the conditions for changing tax status.

The application status can be tracked through the account on the tax service website. The decision on the application appears in the account as an official document in PDF format.

Who can benefit from the NHR program?

From 2009 to 2023, only new tax residents of Portugal could apply for Non-Habitual Resident tax status. To do this, the applicants fulfilled at least one of the conditions:

  • have lived in Portugal for more than 183 days in the last year;

  • purchased residential real estate in Portugal;

  • served on a ship or aircraft of a company registered in Portugal on December 31st of the reporting year;

  • have been in public service in the foreign missions of the Portuguese government in the past 12 months.

Highly qualified professionals could participate in the NHR program and pay income tax at a flat rate as well. The list of professions included architects, engineers, geologists, programmers, IT specialists, research and development specialists, etc.

Starting January 1st, 2024, new rules apply. The NHR status will be granted if a foreigner obtains a residence permit or permanent residence in Portugal before December 31st, 2023. In this case, they are given time to apply until March 31st, 2024.

Those who already obtained the status before January 1st, 2024, do not need to give up on it; it will be kept until the 10-year term ends.

A "transitional" tax regime is introduced for those who can demonstrate their intention to move to Portugal during 2024. In this case, applying for the NHR status will be possible until the end of 2024. As proof of intent, foreigners can provide:

  • an employment contract signed before December 31st, 2023;

  • lease, purchase and sale agreement or other agreement on the right to use or own real estate conducted before October 10th, 2023;

  • a certificate stating that the child or other financially dependent relative was enrolled in a school, college or university in Portugal issued no later than October 10th, 2023;

  • a residence visa or residence permit valid by December 31st, 2023.

In the aforementioned cases, it is possible to apply for the NHR status until December 31st, 2024.

Exceptions among specific specialists. In any other case, new residents of Portugal no longer have a chance to apply for NHR status unless they fall under the following categories of workers:

  • employed in and are tax residents of Madeira and the Azores;

  • professors, scientists, researchers, or innovation centre employees;

  • employed in or lead entities benefiting from tax incentives for IAPMEI or AICEP registered companies with investment over €3 million;

  • highly qualified workers of the companies that benefit from the Investment Promotion Tax Regime (RFAI);

  • highly qualified professionals in entities that export at least 50% of their turnover;

  • employed in companies of significant value to the Portuguese economy;

  • Research and Development workers who benefit from the R&D tax incentive system (SIFIDE).

Those who work for start-ups can also get an NHR status. A start-up is a company or business that:

  • is operating for 10 years or less;

  • has less than 250 employees;

  • has a turnover under €50 million;

  • is not affiliated with a larger company;

  • is based in Portugal or has more than 25 employees;

  • is an innovative company that attracts investment from Banco Português de Fomento.

Vladlena Baranova

Vladlena Baranova,

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

Each tax story is different and combines many factors. Your plans for earning income and living in a particular country are of fundamental importance in tax planning. We recommend that you seek advice from specialists in tax structuring who will help you choose the best tax regime based on your current situation and goals.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain a residence permit in Portugal?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain a residence permit in Portugal?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Was the NHR status in Portugal cancelled?

    It was ultimately cancelled in November 2023 following the debates and the resignation of Portugal’s PM António Costa.

    From January 2024, foreigners can no longer obtain the NHR status for the first time. But those who already applied for it, obtained it, or got a residence permit in Portugal can still get the status, as well as in some other cases.

  • What is the NHR status in Portugal?

    The NHR special tax regime was designed to support foreigners in Portugal. The preferential tax status was initially issued for ten years. The NHR program has been operating since 2009; however, it was disabled to apply for after January 1st, 2024.

    Those who already obtained the status will enjoy its benefits right until the 10-year term ends. Additionally, the NHR can still be obtained after 2024 if:

    • a foreigner can prove their intention to move to Portugal in 2024;

    • a foreigner is a university professor, research scientist, or qualified employee of a project classified by the Portuguese government as “startups;”

    • a foreigner was to get a residence permit in Portugal before December 31st, 2023.

    Under the Portugal Golden Visa Program, wealthy people can also obtain a residence permit by investing in the Portuguese economy.

  • When can you apply for NHR in Portugal?

    To apply for the Non-habitual Resident program, one should register in the Portal das Finanças and request a password. This can only be done before December 31st, 2023, or later, in certain cases only.

    Usually, the application must be submitted by March 31st of the year following the year one became a tax resident in Portugal.

  • How long does it take to get an NHR status?

    It usually takes about two weeks for an application for the NHR regime to be accepted or declined.

  • What are the benefits of NHR in Portugal?

    The benefits of the NHR program in Portugal include:

    • tax exemption on almost all foreign sources of income;

    • a 20% flat rate on certain Portuguese-source income, which may be lower than a standard rate, which is up to 48%, depending on the amount of income;

    • exemption of tax on gifts or inheritance to family members;

  • What happens after 10 years of NHR in Portugal?

    Once you have been a tax resident for ten years, the NHR status and benefits cannot be used anymore. You will be liable to tax on your worldwide income and gains at the full tax rates.

  • Who is eligible for NHR in Portugal?

    Only new tax residents of Portugal could apply for Non-Habitual Resident tax status. The NHR special tax regime is disabled starting 2024. However, to still get the benefits, the applicant for the NHR must fulfil at least one of the conditions:

    • a foreigner can prove their intention to move to Portugal in 2024;

    • a foreigner is a university professor, research scientist, or qualified employee of a project classified by the Portuguese government as “startups;”

    • a foreigner was to get a residence permit in Portugal before December 31st, 2023.

  • How do I apply for NHR in Portugal?

    1. Get NIF, an analogue of TIN.

    2. Change tax residence to the Portuguese one.

    3. Apply for the NHR tax status.

  • Are pensions taxed in Portugal?

    With NHR status, pensions are taxed at 10%. There is no wealth tax or inheritance and gift tax on assets outside Portugal.

  • Do expats pay taxes in Portugal?

    Yes, if they lived in Portugal for more than 183 days during the last year.