Living in Portugal


Live in Portugal

If a change in circumstances has given you the opportunity of living in portugal, you will be pleasantly surprised. Portugal is a beautiful country to reside in, boasts much natural beauty, has a marvelous coastline, mountain greenery and countryside plains.

Portugal has both traditional and modern architecture. Boasts much art and history and is accompanied with such delights as her music, (Fado) dance and culinary fayre.

The cost to live in Portugal is still moderate when compared to the rest of western Europe. The climate is enjoyable and the relaxed way of living is an added advantage.


Population and Area

The number of people that live in Portugal fluctuates at around eleven and a half million people. The land mass of Portugal covering an area of 35,553 sq miles.

Portuguese rivers that rise in Spain and flow to the Atlantic, include the Douro, Tagus, Sado (Troia), and 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.


Economy and Industry

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. Cotton textiles and wine as well as cork, other wood products, and fruit are major exports.

European Union countries are the main trading partners.



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, whilst 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.


Benefits of Living in Portugal

The benefit of living and working in Portugal is the stress-free lifestyle. It is not hard to move to Portugal if you are coming from a country in the EU. You do not need a work permit to work here; you just need to figure out whether you want to stay here for longer than six months. If you do, you will need to file for your residency card. If you are a non-EU resident, you will need to apply for a work visa.

You will need to determine whether you are applying for a short-term visa (three months) or an extended visa. An easy way to get your foot in the door is by working for a multinational company that can help you deal with the paperwork. Do not hesitate to contact me to learn about the wonderful opportunities for moving to Portugal. I will provide you with as much information as you need in order to make your move successful and find you the right accommodation in the right location of your choice.


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, with the following political parties being represented in Parliament:

  1. PS (Socialist Party)
  2. PSD (Social Democrat Party)
  3. PCP (Portuguese Communist Party)
  4. CDS-PP (Social Democratic Centre – People’s Party)
  5. 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 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:

  1. District courts or courts of first instance
  2. Appeal courts or courts of second instance
  3. 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 and has the title of Advogado [lawyer].


Portuguese law applies in Portugal

The police may arrest someone if:

  1. There is reasonable suspicion that he is about to commit a criminal offence
  2. To prevent future criminal action
  3. To remove him from the presence of other people

Detained suspects must be brought before a judge within 48 hours.

All nationals 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


Moving to Portugal

If you have the opportunity to move to Portugal, I wouldn’t look twice. Portugal is a great place to live, work, or retire. Of course, when anyone is moving to a new destination, there will be pros and cons. Consider what matters the most and what exactly you are looking to get out of this experience.

The biggest reason people move to Portugal is that the people are very friendly and are good at welcoming newcomers. Even though there might be a language barrier, don’t be alarmed if your neighbors bring over some homegrown vegetables or a bottle of wine and want to converse and get to know you. It’s all about community and creating a positive relationship with the people around you.

One con that might take some time getting used to is the pace of life. Depending on whether or not you are moving from North America or another fast-paced destination in the world, you might find it hard to get used to the slow pace of life. This just means that you can relax more and not rush through life. It’s not necessarily a con that you should relax more and be less pressured on a daily basis.

Depending on whether you are a retiree looking to move to Portugal and not work or you are a working individual who wants to move here and find a job, the process and opportunities differ slightly. Shipping goods to Portugal is also quite simple.


Moving to Portugal for nationals of a European Economic Area Member State and Families.


Registration / Residence Permits

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.

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.


Working in Portugal

The job market is Portugal is good, (2022), at the moment, depending on which field of work you want to enter. If you are working in the IT sector, tourism, health, agricultural, or the call center sector, Portugal wants you more than other professionals. If you are an entrepreneur looking to start your own business in Portugal and contribute to its economy, this is a really good sign. Employees who reside and work in Portugal work 40-hour workweeks, which is the same almost all around the world.


Working Age in Portugal

The minimum age for working in Portugal for employees is generally 16, however, a young person can only enter into a contract of employment if they have completed compulsory schooling.


Kinds of employment

From 18 years of age upwards, a contract of employment may be entered into without completing compulsory schooling.


Working in Portugal – 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. This was 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.


Tele-working in Portugal contract

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

There are a number of contracts that are commonly used for temporary work.

  1. Temporary contract of employment
  2. Fixed-term contract
  3. Indeterminate contract (which cannot last for more than two years)
  4. Contract of unspecified duration for temporary provision of service.

August 2010: European Union ©1995-2010 Reproduction authorised


Real Estate in Portugal

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 (2022) is continuing to be driven by 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. 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, with your local Embassy being a good place to start and where you will receive unbiased advice.

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.


Contact Living Portugal Property

Professional Advice on Buying Property in Comporta.

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