Why are foreigners moving to Portugal?

It’s not a secret that Portugal is known for its hospitality and that it’s used to welcoming tourists from all over the world. What may come as a surprise is the fact that more and more people are buying a one-way ticket to Portugal in order to settle down, invest and actually make a living here. So, exactly why has this country become a trend and how is Portugal convincing the international crowd to leave their home country and restart their life on Portuguese soil?

The unparalleled Quality of Life

Living in Portugal has many perks and they start with the fact that it’s a small country with a population of only 10 million people and there’s safety in numbers – according to the Global Peace Index 2020, Portugal is the third most peaceful country in the world. This ease opens the door to adventures and exploration in such a beautiful country with incredibly different landscapes, all stunning and inviting. From some of the best beaches and surf spots in the world to the natural countryside, not forgetting the cosmopolitan cities filled with great restaurants and cultural activities, it’s no wonder that many foreigners have fallen in love with the country, its great weather and welcoming community. Portugal’s nightlife is another hot spot – the friendly locals also adore a good night out, and you can find places that fit all your needs, from a calm jazzy wine bar to a loud nightclub pumping techno.


The Community

The international community in Portugal has been consistently growing and is thriving in multiple areas, from all sorts of new start-ups to cool new internationally-owned restaurants, cafes and beach bars.

Part of this settling down is also linked to the existence of excellent international schools, such as the Deutsche Schule Lissabon, the Colégio Luso-Suíço, the Lycée Français Charles Lepierre and the Redbridge School in Lisbon; or the Lycée Français International and the Colégio Luso-Francês in Porto. It is perfect for families seeking a new life in Portugal.

Comfortable Lifestyle with Lower Expenses

The cost of living in Portugal is another factor that’s easily convincing the foreigners to not only move to Portugal but to invest in Portugal. In general, most daily goods, services and utilities are less expensive than in other European countries, which means there’s room for enjoying the good things in life – shopping, going for drinks, eating out, tickets to the theatre, concerts or sporting events, weekend getaways, investment in real estate… Some of the best places to live in Portugal come with some amazing real estate opportunities.

The Tax Benefits

It’s easy to see why the well-off foreigners are so eager to move to Portugal, but there’s still one more very big, convincing argument – Portugal’s “non-habitual residents” (NHR) scheme. With the goal of attracting “high value” residents to the country, the Portuguese government created the NHR status, which presents a list of extremely interesting benefits:

Reduced tax rates and some exemptions for new residents (EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or holders of a residence permit) during their first 10 years in Portugal. Tax-free foreign income, including capital gains on real estate, interest, dividends and rental income. A small 10% tax on foreign pensions. Attractive tax treatment on investment properties. Low wealth tax rates. When all is weighed and tallied up when moving to Portugal foreigners dramatically increase their purchasing power by, at least, 30% on average compared to their home country.

In Sum

Here we enlisted some of the reasons why ex-pats are choosing Portugal as their new home. But fear not, while this process may sound scary and filled with a lot of hidden steps along the way, you can count on Landing Pad to help you with the whole process of moving here, from getting your Tax Identification Number (NIF) to finding a good school for your children, or helping you find the perfect house.

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