Portugal Country Profile

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Capital City

Largest City

10.3 million

Life Expectancy
81.5 years
GDP (nominal)
$255.9 billion

Cost of Living
English Proficiency
Inexpensive (3/7)
Very comfortable (1/5)
Very Safe (2/7)
Very clean (1/5)
Very High (1/5)

Taxation Type: Residence-based

The Non-Habitual Residence (NHR) regime is available to new residents, under which, your worldwide income can be tax-free for 10 years.

Sovereign Research's take:

Portugal is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), allowing its citizens to live and work in any other EEA country, plus Switzerland. (The EEA consists of 27 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.)
Portugal is one of Sovereign Research’s most favorite countries. 

For starters, bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is one of the continent’s touristic gems.

The country’s attractions include the vineyards of the North, the medieval villages of the Central region, and the glamorous southern Algarve region, famous for its resorts and golf courses. 

And the cost of living is more than reasonable, attracting scores of digital nomads and retirees alike.

In fact, we think Portugal is a great option even for American retirees, considering the relative proximity to the US. (A direct flight from New York to Lisbon takes about seven hours.)

And it doesn't hurt that Portugal constantly ranks as one of the safest countries in Europe.

But outside of these obvious drawcards, Portugal has many other selling points. 

First, you can obtain a flexible residency there through its world famous Golden Visa program. Investments start at only €250,000. 

However, the Golden Visa only makes sense if you don’t plan to live in Portugal – on average, Golden Visa holders need to spend only seven days per year in Portugal. 

Otherwise, the country’s D7 Visa for “people with means” should be a better choice – and it requires no investment at all.

Another reason to like Portugal – it currently does not tax crypto gains, making it a great option for folks sitting on unrealised crypto gains.  

Portugal is also a great place to become a citizen. It takes only five years of residency to become eligible for naturalization, and the process is straightforward. Plus, a Portuguese passport is a great travel document.

And if you have any Portuguese blood in you, the country also enables you to obtain Portuguese citizenship based on your ancestry

One thing to watch out for in Portugal is taxation. The personal tax rates there reach an astounding 48%. 

However, thanks to the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime, for the first ten year of your life there, all of your worldwide income becomes tax-free, while any of your Portugal-based income is taxed at a flat 20%. You need to apply for the NHR separately.

(And if you spend less than six months per year in Portugal, you won't become a tax resident there – in which case you won’t have to worry about Portuguese taxation at all.)

Portugal is also a great country in which to have a baby. Your new child will become a Portuguese citizen at birth if born in the country. But unlike in most countries in the Americas, there is a condition you will need to fulfill for this to happen – one of the child’s parents needs to have been a Portuguese legal resident for at least one year before the birth..

Service Providers available in Portugal in Sovereign Research's Rolodex:

  • Immigration (residency, citizenship)
  • Full relocation services (real estate search, bank account opening, driver's licence, etc.)
  • Tax advice (attorneys and/or accountants)
  • Corporate services (company formation, etc.)
  • Real Estate (agents, lawyers)
  • Banking contact
Obtain access by signing up for Sovereign Confidential

Portugal inside Sovereign Research resources
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29-Nov-2211/29/22November 2022 SC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
25-Oct-2210/25/22Europe Offers Great Tax Incentives for New Residents Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
19-Oct-2210/19/22Total Access Monthly Call Recording: Portuguese Residency & Citizenship with Patricia Valadas Coriel Sovereign Total AccessTAMonthly Calls
29-Sep-2209/29/22September 2022 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
15-Sep-2209/15/22Plan B Strategies of Team Sovereign Man Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
22-Aug-2208/22/22Legally Counter the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
06-Jul-2207/06/22Case Study: A South African in Portugal Sovereign ConfidentialSMCCase Study
29-Jun-2206/29/22June 2022 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
06-Jun-2206/06/22A Common-Law Partnership Can Lead to Foreign Residency Similar to Marriage Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
03-Jun-2206/03/22Total Access Special Report - Country Profile: Portugal Sovereign Total AccessTAOther
30-May-2205/30/22May 2022 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
05-Mar-2203/05/22European Golden Visas 2023: A Comprehensive Roundup Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
15-Feb-2202/15/22The Blue Card: European Residency for Professionals Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
29-Dec-2112/29/21December 2021 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
24-Nov-2111/24/21The Ultimate Plan B Guide: How To Be Free in an Unfree World Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
15-Oct-2110/15/2110 Residency Options for Digital Entrepreneurs, Freelancers & Remote Employees Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
05-Oct-2110/05/21European Citizenships by Ancestry: Part I (Southern Europe) Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
30-Aug-2108/30/21August 2021 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
17-Jul-2107/17/21Best European Visas for People with Independent Means (2023 Edition) Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
15-Jun-2106/15/21Here Are 15 Factors to Consider Before Your International Move Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
10-Jun-2106/10/21Global Cyptocurrency Regulations and Taxation: A Roundup Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
26-Feb-2102/26/21February 2021 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
19-Feb-2102/19/21Important incoming changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa program Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
09-Feb-2102/09/21The Sovereign Man Starter Guide Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
29-Jan-2101/29/21January 2021 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
25-Jan-2101/25/21Reporting requirements when applying for residency/citizenship programs Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
11-Jan-2101/11/21Portugal’s Golden Visa: Real estate in Lisbon, Porto, and coastal areas will soon NOT qualify Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
15-Dec-2012/15/20Obtain these foreign residencies without leaving your home country Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
30-Nov-2011/30/20November 2020 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
20-Nov-2011/20/20Why Portugal has gone from great to amazing option to consider for your Plan B Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
30-Oct-2010/30/20October 2020 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
15-Sep-2009/15/20These eight countries are offering 12-month visas or temporary residencies to digital workers Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
31-Aug-2008/31/20August 2020 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
31-Jul-2007/31/20July 2020 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
01-Jul-2007/01/20June 2020 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
31-Jan-2001/31/20January 2020 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
24-Jan-2001/24/20Madeira: This island offers low tax and easy access to Europe Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
25-Oct-1810/25/18Have a Jewish ancestor? You might qualify for Spanish or Portuguese passport Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
05-Oct-1810/05/18Best startup programs around the world Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
25-Apr-1804/25/18Another Portuguese residency option for retirees and online entrepreneurs Sovereign ConfidentialSMCCase Study
04-Aug-1708/04/17Portugal and Spain residency visas: Here is how to ditch winter for good Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
06-Jul-1707/06/17Golden Visas - a Roundup of Economic Residencies around the World Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
06-Apr-1704/06/17Sovereign Man Country Rankings: The Right Country for YOU, with Simon's insights Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
25-Oct-1610/25/16Portugal: A firsthand experience of applying for the Portuguese Golden Visa Sovereign ConfidentialSMCCase Study
26-Feb-1602/26/16Meet FATCA’s even nastier cousin: CRS Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
03-Mar-1503/03/15SMC Comprehensive Residency Update: 2015 Edition Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
10-Aug-1408/10/14Portugal: A Fast Track to EU Residency (and a tax scheme for current EU nationals) Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert

Articles featuring Portugal

Second Residency

How Portugal’s Non Habitual Residency Program (NHR) Can Work For You in 2022

Can Portugal’s Non Habitual Residency (NHR) program help you optimize your global tax obligations? In today’s episode, we take a closer look at how the program works. Let’s get into the details below… Portugal needs no introduction as a safe, relaxed and scenic Plan B destination. Boasting a temperate climate and a low cost of […]

Trends & News

How to Start a New Life in Portugal for Under $300,000

Could you imagine yourself owning a quiet countryside home in an area of southern Europe with a low cost of living? What if living there legally allowed you to pay NO income taxes for the next ten years? And you could do it all for €300,000 or less (currently about $294,500 USD)… Something like this […]

International Diversification Strategies

4 Reasons to Consider Portugal for Your Plan B

In September 1968, after four decades iron-fisted rule, Portugal’s de facto dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar, suffered a freak accident that caused a massive brain hemorrhage. Miraculously he survived. But he never recovered from the injury, and his enemies seized on the opportunity to remove him from power. Salazar had ruled since 1932. You don’t […]

HQA Visa Portugal
Second Residency

Portugal HQA Visa: A more affordable alternative to the Golden Visa

Looking for Golden Visa flexibility… without the hefty price tag? As we’ve said before, if you’re looking to settle in Portugal, you don’t need a Golden Visa — you can get the D7 Visa without the need for a property investment. The downside — you need to be six months or more on the ground […]

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