Friendly, Relaxed and Sunny Lisbon – Plus Other Advantages to Life in Portugal 2021

What do Expats Think of Portugal – Lisbon in Particular?

Lisbon has been voted third in the Expat City Ranking 2020.

Expats in the Portuguese capital give it top grades for the ease of getting settled (3rd in the respective index) and the local quality of life (4th).

Portugal – a Wonderful Country: Climate and Leisure

Close to nine in ten expats living in Lisbon (89%) say they are happy with the local leisure options (compared to 71% globally), the majority (54%) are in fact are very happy (compared to 31% globally).

An even larger share (96%) are satisfied with the local climate and weather, which is hardly a surprise, considering Lisbon enjoys approximately 300 days of sunshine a year, with the mean temperature in double digits, even during the coldest months.

According to one Irish respondent, Portugal in general is “a weirdly wonderful country, with plenty of idiosyncrasies but the people are kind, life is relaxed, the food and drink are excellent, and the weather is generally great.

Safety, Work Life Balance and Finances

Expats, enjoy more about life in Lisbon than just the sun and the sea: not one single respondent had anything negative to say about their personal safety, and close to nine in ten (87%), rate the urban environment positively (compared to 65% globally).

Around four in five respondents are generally satisfied with their job (79%) and work-life balance (83%).

Housing is perceived as expensive in Lisbon, but expats living there do not struggle with their personal finance. Nearly two in three (66%) are satisfied with their financial situation, ranking the city tenth in the world for this factor.

Financial Considerations: Moving to Portugal to Live and Work

So how easy is it to turn thoughts of moving to Portugal – into actual reality?

The popular Golden Visa (GV) and Non Habitual Residents (NHR) schemes can be combined and offer a route for individuals to move to Portugal and to enjoy tax advantages once they re-locate there.

EU Citizens

EU citizens already have a right to live in Portugal, without formal immigration or investment being required.

The motivator for EU citizens is therefore the NHR.

  • It is possible, with careful structuring, for NHRs to not be taxable on income, other than Portuguese-source income, for the 10 year NHR designated term (must not have been resident in Portugal within the last five Portuguese tax years).

Combination of GV and NHR

Certain non-EU individuals and families apply for GV status as an insurance, to enable them to move to Portugal, in case of difficulty within their home country. Whilst many individuals seek to move to Portugal immediately, a number do not wish to actually move to Portugal unless they need to.

It might however, be valuable for these individuals to now apply for NHR, to be able to enjoy the benefits that it offers, in case they do relocate to Portugal in the future.

To apply for NHR, a fiscal representative such as Dixcart, needs to be appointed in Portugal and the individual must have a place to live in Portugal, this could be rental of a modest apartment.

Additional Information

If you require additional information regarding moving to Portugal, please contact Catarina Sardinha at the Dixcart office in Portugal:

Back to Listing