Moving to Portugal after Brexit: what has changed for the UK citizens
After Brexit, citizens of the UK can still travel to Portugal visa-free for up to 90 days every half a year. For those who want to stay longer, rules have changed.
Living and retirement in Portugal are still possible. For that, you will need to obtain residency in the country. Investing in a Golden Visa or obtaining a D7 visa for financially independent individuals are the most convenient options for people who don’t work or study in Portugal.
Working in Portugal is now available to citizens of the UK after obtaining a work permit or a Blue Card, which is essentially a residence and work permit for highly qualified professionals. These are the Golden Visa and the D7 visa – their main requirement is only to have enough funds.
Investors with a Golden visa or a residence permit after the D7 Visa also have a right to work and run a business in Portugal.
Ways to move to Portugal after Brexit
There are many ways to obtain a residence permit in Portugal. Most of them include major life events, such as marriage, employment by a local company or enrolling at a Portuguese university. However, there are two options to obtain Portugal residency for UK citizens who are not willing to change their whole lifes and tie it to Portugal just yet. These are the Golden Visa and the D7 visa – their main requirements are only having enough funds.
The Portugal Golden Visa program allows investors from the UK and other non-EU countries to obtain residency in Portugal. To join the program, one has to invest in the country’s economy by at least €250,000. There are seven investment options, including purchasing real estate or fund shares, capital transfer, and starting a business.
Golden Visa holders can live in Portugal for as long as they want, provided that they renew their residence permit on time every two years. On the other hand, if the investor is not living in Portugal, they are obliged to spend at least seven days a year within the country to keep the residency.
This option is available to anyone who has reached the age of 18 years old, has no criminal record, and has earned investment money outside of Portugal.
The D7 visa allows people with passive income or remote jobs to obtain residency in Portugal.
To be able to apply for a D7 visa, one has to have a passive income equal to the minimum salary in Portugal, which in 2022 is €705 per month —renting real estate, intellectual property, or securities, as well as pension and salary from a remote job count. Aside from that, the applicant has to rent or buy housing to be able to apply for the residency.
This type of visa is valid for four months and allows two entries into the country. Once the applicant has arrived in Portugal, they apply for a residence permit. The residence permit issued based on the D7 visa is valid for two years. After that, it can be extended for another three years.
To keep the residency and be able to renew it afterwards, the holder has to spend a significant part of every year in Portugal; the required period is six months in a row or eight months in total.
Golden Visa vs D7 visa
|Terms||Residency based on a |
|Residence by investment|
|Funds needed||€705+ of monthly income||€250,000+ one-time investment|
|Time frame||At least 4 months||At least 6 months|
|The requirement to stay in Portugal||183 days a year||7 days a year during the first year|
14 days during the subsequent days
|Family members who can join||Spouse, children under 21, parents||Spouse, children under 26, parents|
|Fees for residence permit cards||€155 for each family member||€5,340 for each family member|
Portugal Golden Visa:
requirements and conditions
The Golden Visa program has been operating in Portugal since 2012. In ten years, it has provided residence permits to over 27,000 investors from all over the world.
Anyone who meets the requirements of the program may join it. The main requirements for applicants are:
- age over 18 years old;
- no criminal record or prosecution;
- investment money is earned outside of Portugal;
- the legality of income is proven;
- no depts in Portugal;
- medical insurance is provided.
Along with the investor, their close family members can also join the program. This applies to the spouse, children under 18 and financially dependent children under 26, financially dependent parents, and siblings under 26 years old under the investor’s custody.
There are seven investment options to join the Golden Visa program:
- Real estate purchase. Investors can either buy a building built more than 30 years ago for at least €350,000 or newer real estate for €500,000 or more. The investment threshold is lower for properties located in sparsely populated areas – at least €280,000 for older buildings and €400,000 for newer ones.
- Purchase of investment fund units. The minimum fund investment is €500,000 with a minimum holding period of 5 years.
- Supporting arts and restoring cultural heritage. The threshold for those who want to invest in the development of arts is €250,000.
- Investment in research activities. For those who are willing to invest in research activities in Portugal, the threshold is €500,000.
- Capital transfer. €1,500,000 of funds transferred to a Portuguese bank also counts as an investment.
- Business investment. Foreigners who create at least five new job openings by investing €500,000 and more are also eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa program.
- Opening a company. A new business registered in Portugal that provides at least ten new job openings gets its owner a Golden Visa.
Real estate eligible for the Golden Visa program
How to obtain Portugal Golden Visa as a UK citizen
The purchase of real estate and investment in funds are the most popular options among Golden Visa applicants. These options are relatively fast and returnable in a few years. The real estate can be resold after five years of ownership, and the minimum time of holding fund shares is also five years.
Real estate purchase is also one of the most affordable options. Getting the Golden Visa will take at least €280,000 and six months. Here’s how the process goes with the help of Immigrant Invest specialists.
The procedure of obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa by the purchase of a real estate
Before signing a contract with the investor, our specialists run a thorough preliminary check to see if the applicants are eligible for the program and if there are some facts we should take into account while preparing the documents. This step allows us to minimise the risk of rejection for our clients.
The real estate specialists from Immigrant Invest provide the investor with a list of properties for sale based on their requirements. After a few options are shortlisted, we negotiate the terms with the sellers.
The investor travels to Portugal to see the chosen properties in person and make a final decision. Aside from that, they will open a bank account, get an individual taxpayer number, and draw up a power of attorney for a lawyer that will then operate on the investor’s behalf.
Our lawyer accompanies the deal and gets the ownership certificate of the property.
With the help of Immigrant Invest lawyers, the investor gathers all the documents required for the application. After the papers are ready, we translate and notarise them and fill out the government forms.
Aside from documents, the investor must also submit their biometric data in person.
The Portuguese immigration service, SEF, usually processes the application within six months. After it is approved, the investor pays the fee for issuing the residence permit card and receives it within two weeks.
Benefits of a Portugal residency permit for UK citizens
Opportunity to reside in Portugal. Any residence permit allows living in Portugal without any limitation as long as the permit is valid. Portugal attracts retirees, digital nomads, and expats from all over the world with its mild climate, access to the ocean, rich cultural heritage, and relatively low prices.
Tax optimisation. New residents of Portugal can obtain a beneficial Non-habitual Resident (NHR) tax status for ten years. It reduces the tax on income earned within Portugal from the potential 48% to 20% and allows avoiding any tax on global income at all.
Access to local English-speaking schools and kindergartens. For those who are considering moving to Portugal with kids, there is no need to switch to homeschooling. There are lots of English-speaking educational facilities. For instance, there are more than 20 international schools in Lisbon alone.
Access to local healthcare. In Portugal, healthcare is generally cheaper than in the UK. A visit to a general practitioner will cost you around €5, and treatment in an accident and emergency department will be €15.
Prospect to obtain a Portuguese passport. Anyone legally residing in Portugal for five years can apply for citizenship and get a passport.
The applicants must prove that they have spent the required time in Portugal. For Golden Visa residents, the requirement is seven days per year, and the D7 visa holders, on the other hand, have to spend at least 183 days a year within the country.
Aside from that, applicants will have to prove their knowledge of Portuguese by taking an exam or providing a certificate from an educational institution in a Portuguese-speaking country.
How to obtain a Portuguese passport after holding a Golden Visa as a UK citizen
After five years of residing in Portugal, Golden Visa holders can apply for Portuguese citizenship. The requirements for applicants include:
- physically residing in the country for at least seven days during the first year of holding the Golden Visa and for at least 14 days during the two subsequent 2-year periods;
- absence of criminal records for offences that carry a prison sentence of three years or more by Portuguese law;
- prove knowledge of the Portuguese language.
To prove the knowledge of the language, one has to provide a certificate of Portuguese proficiency at the A2 level. There are several ways to do so, including attending classes in an educational institution and passing a state tasting.
The list of documents to apply for citizenship includes:
- an identity document;
- a birth certificate;
- a certificate of non-conviction;
- a certificate confirming knowledge of Portuguese at the A2 level;
- a completed application form.
Frequently asked questions
For short stay visits, the requirements for UK citizens haven’t changed. They are allowed to stay in Schengen states, including Portugal, visa-free for up to 90 days every 180 days. For longer stays, a visa or a residence permit is required.
There are several ways to obtain residency in Portugal. They include investing in the country’s economy and applying for a Golden Visa, proving a passive income of at least €705 per month and getting a D7 visa, being hired by a Portuguese employer, and more.
Brits who are looking to continuously live in Portugal or retire there now have to obtain residency in this country.
The amount of money needed to relocate to Portugal legally depends on the type of visa or residency permit one is looking to obtain. To immigrate to Portugal with a D7 visa, a minimum passive income of €705 is required. The investment threshold for Golden Visa investors is €250,000.
If you want to move to Portugal from the UK as an employee of a local company, you need to have a one-year contract with a salary higher than the minimum salary threshold.
Yes, any UK citizen can purchase real estate in Portugal. Moreover, this purchase can be used as an investment to participate in the Golden Visa program and obtain a residence permit.
The process of relocating depends on the chosen way of obtaining residency. For instance, getting the Golden Visa will require a minimum of six months and at least €250,000 of investment. The D7 visa, on the other hand, takes four months and no investment. However, it does require residing in Portugal for at least half a year.