January 15, 2024
Reading Time: 7 min

How to move to Portugal for permanent residency

With a Portugal permanent residence card, you can live, work and do business there. It is optional to live in Portugal to maintain the status.

You can apply for permanent residence after five years of holding a residence permit, subject to several requirements. Learn how to get permanent residency in Portugal and what this status provides.

Alina Mishurenko
Alina Mishurenko

Told how to get permanent residence in Portugal

How to move to Portugal for permanent residence

How to move to Portugal for permanent residency

What is permanent residency?

Permanent residency differs from a temporary residence permit in that it is issued indefinitely. It does not need to be renewed every one or two years. However, you need to update the permanent residence card; for example, it is renewed every five years in Portugal.

Permanent residence in Portugal almost gives the same rights as citizenship, except for political ones. With a permanent residence card, you can not participate in elections and hold public office. 

Permanent residents of Portugal can not enjoy all the opportunities for travel and relocation to other countries available to citizens of the country. The Portuguese passport opens visa-free entry to 172 countries, while the permanent residence card allows free travelling to 26 countries of the Schengen Area.

How an investor can obtain permanent residence in European countries and what this status provides is explained in the article 5 questions about residence permit and permanent residency.

Portuguese permanent residency requirements

To become the owner of a permanent residence card in Portugal, you first need to obtain a temporary residence permit. After five years of maintaining the status, you can apply for permanent residence.

Residence permits in Portugal are obtained by study, employment or marriage with a citizen of Portugal, for family reunification. Moreover, this status can be obtained if there is passive income and housing in the country or under the state investment program.

Obtaining a residence permit in Portugal by investment takes 8 to 10 months. Conditions for investors are more straightforward for applicants for a residence permit on other grounds.

Conditions for obtaining a residence permit in Portugal


Other types of residence permits 

Residence permit by investment

How long to live in the country

1.5 years during the first 2 years or 16 months in total

7 days a year

Participation of family members



Knowledge of the Portuguese language



Permanent residing in the country for citizenship



The Portugal Golden Visa applicants invest at least €250,000 in the country’s economy to get residence permits. The residence permit program in Portugal offers investors five options:

  1. Purchase of investment fund units — €500,000+. Suitable funds that invest most of the capital in companies headquartered in Portugal. The money can be returned after 5 years.

  2. Business investments — €500,000+. You can either invest in an existing business or open your own. At the same time, it is necessary to create 5 new jobs.

  3. Opening a company. The option does not require a certain amount of investment, but the investor must create at least 10 jobs.

  4. Investments in science — €500,000+. The government must approve research projects.

  5. Investments in culture and art — €250,000+. The money should be used to support art and the reconstruction of national heritage sites through authorities, state institutions, public or private funds.

To maintain a residence permit in Portugal, the investor must keep the investment and spend at least seven days in the country annually. The residence permit card is renewed every two years.

To maintain Portugal PR, it is enough to spend more than six months in the country within three years from the date of obtaining the status.

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

7 opportunities provided with a residence permit and permanent residence in Portugal

1. Residing in Portugal. A residence permit in Portugal allows you to enter the country legally, even when the borders are closed. Investors can permanently reside in the country or spend holidays there.

2. Travel without visas. The Schengen countries allow Portuguese residents to enter without a visa. You can spend up to 90 days there in half a year.

Visa-free countries with Portugal permanent residency

at-flag Austria

hu-flag Hungary

no-flag Norway

be-flag Belgium

is-flag Iceland

pl-flag Poland

cz-flag Czech Republic

it-flag Italy

sk-flag Slovakia

dk-flag Denmark

lv-flag Latvia

si-flag Slovenia

ee-flag Estonia

li-flag Liechtenstein

es-flag Spain

fi-flag Finland

lt-flag Lithuania

se-flag Sweden

fr-flag France

lu-flag Luxembourg

ch-flag Switzerland

de-flag Germany

mt-flag Malta

gr-flag Greece

nl-flag Netherlands

3. Free education for children. A residence permit and permanent residence in Portugal allow you to enrol a child in a kindergarten or school for free.

Residents can enrol in Portuguese universities; their diplomas will be recognized in other EU countries. Residents can get a higher education free of charge on a competitive basis.

4. Quality medicine. Portugal has a high level of treatment. It confirms the life expectancy: the country’s citizens live an average of 82 years. It is longer than in Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic, or Croatia. The average life expectancy in Europe is 78 years.

To receive complete health care in Portugal, you must register with the National Health Service (NHS). To do this, you must get a user card — Cartão de Utente. The document must be presented each time at the hospital and pharmacy.

You can get an NHS user card at the polyclinic in Portugal, where you live. You must take a residence permit or Portugal permanent residency card.

Medicine is free for citizens of Portugal and foreign citizens with the status of a residence permit or permanent residence if they make contributions to the Social Security Fund. Everyone pays for additional diagnostic studies.

5. Tax incentives. Residents of Portugal can receive the special tax status of a Non-habitual Resident (NHR). It allows not to pay income tax received outside of Portugal if paid in another country. Also, the status enables the reduction of the tax rate on income from professional activities in Portugal to 20%. Without NHR status, the income tax rate reaches 48%.

To become a tax resident of Portugal and obtain a preferential NHR status, you must stay in the country for more than 183 days a year.

6. A European bank account. A residence permit or permanent residence in Portugal allows you to open an account in a European bank, keep your savings in hard currency, and not lose money on commissions for foreign transfers.

7. An opportunity to obtain EU citizenship. Holders of residence permits and permanent residence cards in Portugal can apply for citizenship there.

Permanent residency in Portugal is an optional step on the way to citizenship. You can apply for citizenship after 5 years of being in the status of a residence permit. The status of permanent residence in Portugal is convenient for citizens of countries where it is forbidden to have a second citizenship, e.g. Kazakhstan.

Portugal is a member of the European Union, so with its passport, you can live and work in any country of this association. In addition, Portuguese citizens travel visa-free to 172 countries, including the US, Canada, UK, Japan and Australia.

How to get Portugal PR after a Golden Visa: a step-by-step process

An investor goes through several mandatory steps before applying for permanent residence in Portugal. The process usually takes about 6 years.


2 weeks

Decide on your investment type and pass Due Diligence

Immigrant Invest lawyers will consult you and help you to make a decision. A certified Anti Money Laundering Officer carries Due Diligence checks as the Portuguese authorities. The check allows us to identify all potential issues in advance and reduce the rejection risk to 1%.


Up 2 weeks

Set up a Portuguese bank account and tax number

This stage requires a short trip to Portugal. Our lawyers will accompany you to the tax office and bank and help with translation and other issues.


Up to 1 month

Complete investment

Investors purchase investment fund units, create a company and the required jobs or invest in supporting arts or science.

The lawyers collect all the supporting documents to prove the investment made.


5—6 months

Gather all necessary documents and submit your application

E-copies of the papers are sent for consideration to the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum of Portugal, AIMA — the Portuguese Immigration Office.


Up 2 weeks


The investor and their family must come to Portugal to submit original documents and fingerprints for residence permit cards. The appointment for fingerprinting must be booked in advance in the electronic register.


6—8 months

Approval and getting the residence permit cards

AIMA checks the investors’ documents for up to eight months from submitting the original documents and biometric data.

After approval, the investor pays the fee for the residence permit cards. They are prepared within two weeks and issued personally to the investor or their lawyer by proxy, who then sends the documents to the investor.


After 5 years

Apply for permanent residency

Investors can apply for Portuguese permanent residency after holding residence permit cards for 5 years. They must prove basic Portuguese knowledge at the A2 level to get the status.

What makes Portugal attractive for moving

Portugal has a developed system of education and medicine, a good climate and ecology, safety, low cost of accommodation, quality food and wine.

The climate in Portugal depends on the area: in the north, the weather is cool and rainy; in the south, it is warm and sunny. On the border with Spain, the climate is continental: hot summers and cool winters with low rainfall.

In northern Portugal, the summer is sunny and warm, without the sweltering heat. Winters are rainy, especially in the Porto city region and further north. Snowfall in Portugal is rare. Snow is mainly found in the Serra da Estrela mountains.

In central Portugal, including Lisbon and the Silver Coast, mild winters and hot, dry summers exist. Hot summers are easier to endure in the coastal, central and southern regions as the sea breeze keeps the temperature pleasant.

The southern part of Portugal and the Algarve are some of the sunniest places in Europe. The sun stays even in winter. Therefore, the south of Portugal is a popular holiday destination.

The average annual temperature in Lisbon

The coldest winter in Lisbon was on February 11th, 1956. The minimum temperature that year was -1.2°C

The cost of living in Portugal is one of the lowest in Europe. The cost of living in Lisbon is 34% lower than in Paris and 32% cheaper than in Berlin. Basic expenses for a month of living in Portugal:

  1. Rental housing: renting a three-room apartment in the city centre — €1,400; utility bills for a three-room apartment of 85 m² — €110.

  2. Groceries: milk, 1 l — €0.90; baguette — €1.30; eggs, 12 pcs — €2.50; local cheese, 1 kg — €8.50; rice, 1 kg — €1; chicken breast, 1 kg — €6.2; lettuce — €1.20; apples, 1kg — €1.80.

  3. Entertainment: three-course dinner for two in a restaurant — €40.

Entertainment. There is something for everyone in Portugal: relaxing on picturesque beaches, water sports, hiking, sightseeing tours or exploring mediaeval architecture.

The country has entertainment and educational leisure centres for children and adults, where you can spend time actively. For example, the Lisbon Zoo and Aquarium, the Santo Andre Safari Park, the Evora Museum City, and the Surf Reserve.

Permanent residency in Portugal: Ericeira

The best place for surfing in Portugal is Ericeira. It is located in the only surf reserve in Europe. The state protects the territory: building and other interventions are prohibited here

Safety. In 2023, Portugal was ranked seventh out of 163 in the Global Peace Index. The country has a low crime rate, no internal conflicts and the risk of terrorism is minimal. Portugal does not participate in international political conflicts and wars.

Good ecology. 352 Portuguese beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag. This award is given to beaches whose water meets high-quality standards and is suitable for safe swimming. Therefore, the beaches of Portugal attract tourists from all over the world.

The development of coastlines is prohibited in the country so as not to harm the environment. 79,5% of electricity in Portugal is generated by renewable natural energy sources such as wind, solar and water power plants.

By 2050, Portugal plans to become carbon neutral and switch all public transport to electricity.

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

  • What is the difference between permanent residence in Portugal and a residence permit?

    The status of permanent residence in Portugal gives more opportunities than a residence permit. Inside the country, it provides almost the same rights as citizenship, except for political ones: permanent residents can not vote in elections and hold public office.

    Permanent residence in Portugal is issued indefinitely. It is optional to live in the country. It is necessary to renew the permanent residence card every 5 years. A residence permit in Portugal must be obtained every 2—3 years.

  • What does a permanent residence in Portugal provide?

    With a Portugal permanent residence card, you can travel without visas in the Schengen countries and enter Portugal, even if the borders are closed.

    The status of permanent residence in Portugal does not oblige you to reside there permanently. In Portugal, you need to spend more than 6 months in the first three years from the date of obtaining the status and then move to another country and maintain permanent residence.

    Holders of permanent residence status in Portugal can work and do business there, receive tax benefits under a special program, send their children to school for free, and receive complete medical care in public hospitals.

  • What is the fastest way to get permanent residence in Portugal?

    To obtain a permanent residence card in Portugal, you need to obtain a temporary residence permit and spend five years with the status of a residence permit.

    Get a residence permit in Portugal the fastest under the state program for investors — within 8 to 10 months. Investors contribute €250,000 to the country’s economy in exchange for a residence permit card. Participants of the program can choose where to invest money. The most popular option is the purchase of shares in investment funds.

    To maintain the residence permit status, it is enough for investors to be in Portugal for 7 days a year. A regular residence permit requires you to live in the country permanently.

  • Can I get Portuguese citizenship with permanent residence?

    Yes. An investor with permanent residence status in Portugal can immediately apply for citizenship.

    Permanent residence status is an optional step on the way to obtaining Portuguese citizenship. You can apply for Portuguese citizenship 5 years after receiving a residence permit.

    With a Portuguese passport, you can travel without visas to 188 countries around the world. USA, Canada, UK, Australia and Japan are on the list of visa-free countries for Portuguese citizens.

  • Is Portugal comfortable for life?

    Yes. Portugal has a sound ecology and climate. Prices are lower than in some other EU countries. In Portugal, there are active leisure centres for children and adults:

    • the Lisbon Zoo and Aquarium;

    • the safari park in Santo Andre;

    • the city-museum of Evora;

    • the surfing reserve in Ericeira and others.

    Tax incentives are provided for new residents of Portugal. Non-habitual Resident tax status allows you to pay tax on professional income in Portugal at a flat rate of 20% instead of progressive income tax at a rate of up to 48%.

  • How to get permanent residency in Portugal?

    Foreigners obtain a residence permit that is initially valid for two years. After that, they can renew their residence permit for another three years. Then, after living in Portugal for at least 5 years, they can apply for Portugal PR.

    Applicants send documents to the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum of Portugal — the Portuguese Immigration Office.

  • How hard is it to get residency in Portugal?

    It’s not so hard if you meet the requirements. Residence permits in Portugal are obtained by study, employment or marriage with a citizen of Portugal, for family reunification. Moreover, this status can be obtained if there is passive income and housing in the country or under the state investment program.

  • How can I get PR for Portugal?

    Residence permits in Portugal are obtained by study, employment or marriage with a citizen of Portugal, for family reunification. Moreover, this status can be obtained if there is passive income and housing in the country or under the state investment program.

  • Is Portugal easy to get PR?

    Yes. Once you’ve been in Portugal for five years, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit to stay in Portugal indefinitely. After this, you may be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

  • Can Indians get PR in Portugal?

    Yes. To move to Portugal from India, an Indian national will need to apply for a residence permit. It can be issued for various purposes, such as working, study, training, or family reunification when applicable.

    After five years of maintaining the status, they can apply for Portugal PR.

  • How long is PR valid in Portugal?

    The status of permanent residence is issued indefinitely. However, you need to update the permanent residence card; it is renewed every five years in Portugal.

    Permanent residence in Portugal almost gives the same rights as citizenship, except for political ones. With a permanent residence card, you can not participate in elections and hold public office.