Living and Working in Portugal
Live in Portugal
If a change in circumstances has given you the opportunity to live in portugal, you should be pleasently surprised. Portugal is a beautiful country to reside in and boasts much natural beauty including her marvelous coast line, mountain greenery and plains. Portugal has some wonderful traditional and modern architecture, boasts much art and history and is accompanied with such delights as her music, song and dance.
The cost to live in Portugal is still moderate when compared to the rest of western Europe, with the climate and relaxed way of living an added advantage. The number of people that live in Portugal fluctuates at around eleven and a half million people with the land mass of Portugal covering an area of 35,553 sq miles.
Portugal is crossed by rivers rising in Spain and flowing to the Atlantic; among them are the Douro, the Tagus, the Sado, and the Guadiana. The river valleys support agriculture, and vineyards are maintained in the Douro and Tagus valleys. On the lower hillslopes there are olive groves; grains are grown and livestock are raised on the flatter uplands as well as on the plains near the coast.
Portuguese agricultural techniques are less mechanized than those of most of western Europe, and less than 10% of the gross national product can be attributed to agricultural production. Wheat, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes, sugar beets, and olives are the main crops; sheep, cattle, and goats are raised.
The country's fishing fleets bring in vital cargoes of sardines and tuna; fishing ports extend all the way from Cape St. Vincent in the south to the mouth of the Minho River on the northern Spanish border.
In addition to light industries such as food processing and textile, chemical, and paper and pulp manufacturing, Portugal has a limited variety of heavy industries. Low-grade coal, copper pyrites, iron ore, tungsten, and other minerals are mined. Most of the mines are in the northern mountains and in Beira. Portugal's forests provide a major portion of the world's supply of cork.
The country has enjoyed considerable economic progress since it became a member of the European Community (now the European Union) in 1986. Machinery and motor vehicles, textile fibers, petroleum, and cereals are major imports, and cotton textiles and wine as well as cork, other wood products, and fruit are major exports. European Union countries are the main trading partners.
Portugal has seen much construction over the last twenty years with many homes for sale in Portugal being bought by the younger generations whom are starting to leave their parents at an earlier age and live in Portugal with their own families. Property prices have risen steadily with homes sales in Lisbon and Porto seeing the greatest rises due to the influx of the young adults from the countryside seeking work and foreign buyers, many of whom have been taking advantage of the favourable residency and tax regimes.
The property market this year (2019) is continuing to be driven by the French and Brazillians who continue to snap up the available properties in Lisbon and to a lesser degree Porto. If you would like further advice on how to buy property in Portugal or you wish to sell property in Portugal, simply get in touch and we will do everything necessary to assist you in concluding a smooth transaction.
Remember there are many sources of information for new residents wishing to live in Portugal and a great search term may simply be "Living in Portugal." Your local Embassy is always a good place to start and where you will receive unbiased advice on living in Portugal. If you have made the decision to live in Portugal, let Living Portugal Property take care of your home requirements and free your time to truly LIVE Portugal.
Living in Portugal
Political, administrative and legal system
Portugal is a parliamentary republic with a president elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year term of office. The Government is formed by the Conselho de Ministros [Council of Ministers/Cabinet], headed by the Prime Minister, who is politically accountable to the President and Parliament. Legislative power is exercised by Parliament, composed of a chamber of deputies with 230 seats. Members of Parliament are elected by proportional representation for four years. The political parties currently represented in Parliament are: the PS (Socialist Party), the PSD (Social Democrat Party), the PCP (Portuguese Communist Party), the CDS-PP (Social Democratic Centre - People's Party), the BE (Left Alliance) and the PEV (the ‘Green’ Ecology Party).
Portugal's 22 electoral districts
18 in Continental Portugal, 1 in Madeira and 3 in the Azores.
Each district has a Government-appointed Civil Governor. The Azores and Madeira are Autonomous Regions with directly elected Regional Parliaments with legislative power which appoint Regional Governments with substantial executive powers.
Portuguese Legal System
The Portuguese legal system is comparable to the German and French systems, for example, but not to the Anglo-American system. The principal source of law is the Constitution. There are three levels of courts in Portugal: district courts or courts of first instance, appeal courts or courts of second instance and the Supreme Court. Each district has a court of first instance. In some cases the appeal courts may also act as courts of first instance. The Supreme Court in Lisbon has one presiding judge and 22 judges. Any lawyer is allowed to act in any court. He or she has the title of Advogado [lawyer].
Portuguese law applies in Portugal
The police may arrest someone:
If there is reasonable suspicion that he is about to commit a criminal offence; to prevent future criminal action; or to remove him from the presence of other people. Suspects detained must be brought before a judge within 48 hours.
All nationals of over 17 years of age must register with the Junta de Freguesia [parish council] (small administrative unit) in the area where they live, in order to obtain an Electoral Card which allows them to vote in the next elections. Registration becomes permanent at 18 years of age. Such registration is voluntary for European citizens who live in Portugal, and allows them to vote in local authority elections and elections to the European Parliament.
August 2010 European Union: © 1995-2010 Reproduction authorised
Working in Portugal
Kinds of employment
The minimum working age for employees is generally 16. However, a young person can only enter into a contract of employment if they have completed compulsory schooling. From 18 years of age upwards, a contract of employment may be entered into without completing compulsory schooling.
Types of employment contracts
Contract of employment of indefinite duration: no time limit.
Fixed-term contract of employment
Duration limited in time, normally for six months, though they may be shorter (in situations provided for by law) or longer, up to a maximum of three years (including renewals).
Contract of employment for an unspecified duration
Lasts as long as necessary to replace an absent employee or to complete an activity, project, work or task to which the contract relates. This contract cannot last for more than six years with renewals.
Very short duration contract of employment
Up to a maximum of 60 days. This is only allowed in special cases such as seasonal agricultural work or tourist events lasting no more than one week (brought in with the new Labour Code of 2009).
Intermittent contract of employment
Used by companies performing an activity that is either intermittent or varies in intensity, where the employee’s activity is interrupted by one or more periods of downtime. Such contracts must indicate the annual number of full-time working hours or days. The employee must be employed full-time for at least six months in each calendar year, with four months' consecutive employment (brought in with the new Labour Code of 2009).
Part-time contract of employment
Corresponds to normal weekly working hours less than those worked on a full-time basis in comparable circumstances, if the period is not the same in each week, and having regard to the average for the relevant reference period.
Provision of legally dependent labour, usually not on the employer’s premises, by means of information and communication technologies. This type of contract may not last more than three years which would provide sufficient time to buy a new home in Portugal
A number of different contracts are commonly used for temporary work: a temporary contract of employment, a fixed-term contract or an indeterminate contract (which cannot last for more than two years) or a contract of unspecified duration for temporary provision of service.
August 2010: European Union: ©1995-2010 Reproduction authorised