Moving to Portugal

Information on from the


Registration / Residence Permits

Nationals of a European Economic Area Member State and Families

For a period of residence of up to three months there are no conditions and formalities other than the need to hold a valid identity card or passport. Direct family members of a national of an EEA Member State who hold one of these documents enjoy the same rights.

Nationals of EEA Member States who intend to move to Portugal for over three months must register within 30 days of the end of their first three months in the country at the Town Council (Municipality) in which they live. When they register they are issued with a registration certificate which is valid for five years or for the period of residence, if less than five years.


The issuing of a certificate of registration requires a valid identity card or passport and a sworn declaration that the applicant.

1. Is working under a contract of employment

2. Self-employed in Portugal

3. Have sufficient resources for himself and for his family

4. Is registered in a public or private education establishment and has sufficient resources to maintain themselves and their family


Nationals of an EEA Member State who move to Portugal must ask the Town Council (Municipality) where they live for a registration certificate. Before these can be issued, a valid identity card or passport, a document proving the family relationship and the registration certificate of the national of the EEA Member State they are accompanying or going to join must be presented.

Family members of nationals of an EEA Member State who are nationals of a third country must apply for a residence card from the Direcção (Central Office) or Delegação Regional [Regional Office] of the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras [Immigration Service] in the area where they live within 30 days of the end of their first three months in Portugal.

Before the residence card can be issued, a valid passport, a document confirming the family relationship and the registration certificate of the national of the EEA Member State who they are accompanying or going to join must be presented.

August 2010 © European Communities 1995-2010 Reproduction Authorised


Tips on Moving to Portugal


What an Exciting time

Closing your real estate transaction and holding the key to your new home in Portugal is a fantastic feeling, however a wonderful part of this procedure can be found when it comes to moving into your new home.

Drawing from personal experience, I know there are lots of ways to help make your household move easier and smoother.


Make a list

Before you pack even one box, set up a simple record keeping system.  Then place a number on each and every box you pack and include its contents on your list beside the appropriate number.

Make sure to be specific when describing the boxes contents. “X-Z files” is better than “files”, and “Plastic ware” is better than “misc. kitchen” Packing time can be a great incentive to cut down on your belongings.

Separate items you aren’t sure about into three groups; throw away, keep, give to charity (or sell, if you’re into garage sales).


Organisation helps you plan for a peaceful and exciting move

Obtain plenty of supplies. When you think you have enough, get more, as you will need more supplies and boxes than you think you, and you can always return unused supplies once the truck is loaded up.

Don’t forget the plastic packing tape and either newsprint, packing paper or bubble wrap. Use wardrobe boxes. Not only are these boxes great for clothes that need to remain hanging, but they are ideal for bulky, lightweight items (comforters, pillows, blankets, etc.).  Just remember to keep these boxes light enough to carry.


More moving strategies

Colour Coordinate. Designate a colour for each room in the new home.  Then put coloured stickers on the box that belongs in the appropriately coloured room.  Don’t forget to put a matching sticker on the door of each room as well.


Pack ahead

Pack up anything you don’t need for the last few days/weeks you are in your house.  Pare everything down to “must-haves”.  This will save you valuable time on moving day.


Use your luggage

Clothing, sheets, towels and paper goods are just the thing to pack into your duffle bags and luggage.


Don’t forget

Keep the items you will need for your first day/night once you have moved.  Include bedding, shower curtain and other things you will need before you can get unpacked. Moving is certainly not the most fun you can have, but good planning definitely helps make the process bearable.



Living in Portugal