Residents Both European Union & Non EU
Portugal is one of the most beautiful places in the world and is quickly becoming a very popular place for Europeans to purchase property. With that being said, there are some rules that must be adhered to before you can become eligible to own this property and live in Portugal. Portugal has its own unique system for property ownership that everyone must be aware of, even if they only wish to live in the country for part of the year. Also keep in mind that this system changes depending on where you are originally from, so non European Union residents have a different criteria to follow than EU members.
The first thing that you will have to do is you want to purchase property in Portugal is apply for a fiscal number. This is a simple requirement and can be completed by a lawyer. Should you wish to live in Portugal then you would need to advise the authorities and obtain a Residence Card. This card gives you the right to live within the country for a specific period of time usually 5 years for those people from the European Union (EU) Market. These members can also apply for a residence visa once they arrive in the country, but all others must take care of this before they travel. There are offices located all over the country and all you will have to do is go in and see an Immigration Official if you wish to apply for resident status.
If you are planning to work while you are in the country, you must provide your work permit with your application. You will receive the same benefits as Portuguese workers if you are able to submit this permit, but this proof must be provided before a work visa will be granted. Make sure that you have as much personal information as possible with you when you first apply for your visa, as you never know if you will be asked for additional identification. Keep in mind that there will be a great deal of paperwork to fill out, so do not expect to get out of the office quickly. This is one advantage that non-EU members have, as they fill out this information in their own countries and already have their visa in place when they arrive in the country.
The type of work permit that you will need is highly dependent on how long you will be in the country, as seasonal workers do not need a special work permit. Also, those who are not working seasonal jobs, but will be working for less than three months, are not required to have a special work permit either. Those who are working in the country for a year or more, however, must have a residence card, which is renewable every 5 years. Retirees must prove that they have the means to live in the country without working in order to be considered for a visa.
Spouses will be granted the same type of visa as the husband for the same length, so there will be no worries about one member of a family being allowed to stay longer than others. In addition, children under the age of 14 are automatically granted residency if one parent sponsors the child. Those who are over the age of 14 will have to go through the same process as the parents, although proof that the child is still in school is usually good enough to allow them a visa.
It might be a good idea for any interested parties to check with the Portuguese consulate in their country before attempting to move to the country because you never know how things will turn out. Unless you have a set business opportunity within the country or can prove that you have the means to support yourself without working, you might have a difficult time getting a residency card. Once again, bringing as much documentation as possible is a good idea, as you never know what will help you get your visa. This includes the obvious documents like passports, driver licenses, marriage certificates, and work related information, but can also be extended into other documents.
Some of the documents that people neglect to bring with them when applying for a visa include insurance information, pension documents, pet registration documents, school forms, bank statements, letters of recommendation from Portuguese employers, and birth certificates. Basically, you must be able to prove that every aspect of your life if true, which can usually only be done with documented proof. It might also be a good idea to have passports for any children that you are bringing, as it will make the entire process much easier. Proving the identity is probably the most important issue with immigration, so you should be prepared to open up your personal life quite thoroughly.
As long as you have a legitimate reason for being in Portugal, you should be able to get through this paperwork and begin looking for a place to buy. If you are only looking for a vacation home, make sure that you have people to watch over your home in the months that you are away. Also be sure that you have enough insurance to cover this new home, as you never know what will happen. There are different tax laws within the country that you must be aware of as well, but none of this will matter once you are relaxing on a beautiful Portuguese beach, knowing full well that the weather is much colder back home during that time of year.
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