How to Live in Portugal As an American Expat

how to live in portugal as an american

When deciding to move to Portugal, there are a number of things you should take into account. These include the cost of living, getting a residence permit, finding a job, and receiving a pension. While Portugal has an excellent public healthcare system, you won’t be able to get health insurance through the government system. This is why it is necessary to take out private health insurance when you are temporarily residing in Portugal. An average private health insurance plan in Portugal costs about $440 a year. A more comprehensive plan can cost around $1,100.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Portugal is low, roughly 30% less than in most other countries in Europe. This means that a retired couple can get by on about EUR1,200 a month. This would cover the cost of a full apartment and most necessities. The most expensive areas to live are Lisbon and Cascais. The second most expensive city is Porto.

Housing costs are the largest expense in Portugal, but these expenses are relatively low in smaller cities. Portugal’s minimum wage is about $770 per month, though this can vary depending on where you live. Living in a rural village is cheaper than in the capital Lisbon. You can even buy a plot of land for less than the price of a car in some areas.

Portugal’s economy has recovered from a long economic slump in 2016, making it a great place for expats. The cost of renting an apartment in Lisbon is around EUR750 (about $900) per month. Alternatively, you could live in Coimbra, an old university town. Lisbon is a popular tourist destination, but is also expensive. If you’re looking for more affordable accommodation, consider relocating to Madeira Island.

The cost of renting a house in Portugal is similar to most other European countries. You’ll likely have to pay more in Lisbon and Porto, but interior Portugal can be reasonably affordable for an American. In addition to the cost of accommodation, you’ll also need to budget for utilities, like electricity and internet.

Getting a residence permit

If you’re an American citizen who wants to live in Portugal for an extended period of time, obtaining a residence permit is the first step in your move. The Portuguese government’s SEF agency issues residence permits. These can be obtained by submitting the application and paying the required fee. Once approved, residence permits can be used for up to five years, and can help you live in Portugal legally and work as an expatriate.

For Americans, Portugal’s residency program is the easiest of any EU country. In fact, Portugal’s residency requirements are far less stringent than the ones for countries such as Malta and Austria. US citizens can apply for residency in Portugal easily, while Chinese, Russian and Indian citizens face higher hurdles. The process of getting a residence permit in Portugal for retirees is also simple.

If you plan to spend your retirement years in Portugal, you should get a D7 Visa, also known as a retirement visa. This visa is a popular choice among Americans who want to live in Portugal but cannot retire in the country. To apply for a residence permit, you need to submit documents that prove your income. Moreover, if you’re a European Union citizen, you have the right to live in Portugal, and can even apply for citizenship in the country of your origin.

Another option for getting a residence permit is to study in Portugal. While you’re enrolled in a study program, the duration of your stay in Portugal should be no more than six months. Besides, you can only work part-time when you’re studying. If you’re enrolled in a program that allows you to work full-time, you should apply for a work residence permit in the country’s SEF. This way, you’ll be able to work and stay legally in the country.

Getting a job

In Portugal, the job market is expat friendly, and there are many tech companies that are eager to hire people from other countries. These companies are growing at a rapid pace, and you can likely find a job in the technology sector if you speak fluent Portuguese. Traditional industries are more difficult to break into, but the tourism industry is likely to have jobs for those who speak both English and Portuguese.

If you have experience in teaching English, you may be able to find a job in the education sector. Many employers prefer applicants with at least a year of teaching experience. In addition to public schools, you can find a teaching job in a private school in Portugal. Private schools often pay slightly higher salaries and are more likely to hire expats.

For US citizens, Portugal is a great place to relocate to. The country offers beautiful scenery, low cost of living, and generous tax breaks for online businesses and remote workers. Another major benefit of relocating to Portugal is the right to apply for dual citizenship. After five years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship.

Many US citizens can choose to retire in Portugal and can even get residency visas for their retirement. While US citizens are not limited to one particular region of Portugal, there are large expat communities in Lisbon and Algarve. Additionally, Porto has a burgeoning expat community.

Getting a pension

For an American citizen moving to Portugal to retire, getting a pension can be an excellent option. The country has many benefits for retirees, including a high quality health system, well-equipped hospitals, and a large number of doctors fluent in English. While you might need to purchase a health plan yourself, it can be as low as EUR4 per month. There are several companies that cater to retirees, including Millennium Bank and Fidelidade/Multicare.

In addition to getting a pension, expatriates may qualify for free healthcare in Portugal. This can vary depending on your nationality and circumstances. However, in general, people who receive a state pension from an EU country are eligible for free healthcare in Portugal. In order to qualify, you must have a residence card and healthcare ‘user’ card. You can apply for these cards by registering with your local health center.

If you don’t speak Portuguese, you may want to find a pension broker who can translate for you. The exchange rate will also affect your pension. Since Portugal is part of the Eurozone, it uses the Euro, which is the official currency of the 19 EU member states.

If you are thinking about retiring in Portugal, consider your options. The country is home to a vibrant tech scene. Last year, Websummit, an international tech conference, relocated to Lisbon, and Lisbon is home to an abundance of startup companies. Because of these benefits, many young professionals are attracted to the country.

Public schools

If you’re an American, Portugal is likely on your list of top European destinations. Many Americans choose Portugal as a home because of its quality of life and relatively low cost. In fact, more than 60,000 expats call Portugal home, of whom 11 percent are US citizens. This guide will help you get started on your new life in Portugal, from the visa application process to the cost of living and healthcare.

Portugal is a relatively safe place to live, with low crime rates and a low cost of living. In addition to the low cost of living, the country has many job opportunities for foreigners. Most expats find work in the major cities and tourist areas, though there are many industries that employ foreigners throughout the country. However, the US State Department does warn expats that crime and petty theft are major issues in Portugal. It’s always a good idea to take precautions to avoid being victimized, particularly in crowded areas.

Before moving to Portugal, it’s important to get to know the country’s culture and language. While Lisbon is the country’s capital, Porto is the second largest city, about 200 miles north of Lisbon. This city is known for its picturesque hills, iconic Dom Luis I Bridge, and Port wine, and is a popular destination for international retirees and young creatives. Porto is also a hub for technology, with a thriving food scene and low cost of living.


There are many benefits to living in Portugal, particularly for Americans. The country has an extremely mild climate, over 300 days of sunshine per year, and a very low cost of living. Many Americans also choose Portugal as a retirement destination. In addition to a low cost of living, Portugal also has generous tax breaks for online business owners and remote workers. Furthermore, after five years of residency, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is an urban and youthful place that is always welcoming to foreigners. The city’s bridge, the Ponte 25 de Abril, is reminiscent of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. While real estate in Lisbon is pricier than in other areas of the country, it is still very affordable compared to the cost of living in most urban centers in the United States. Popular areas to live in Lisbon include Belem, Campo de Ourique, and Baixa.

Health insurance is an important consideration when living in Portugal. Portugal’s healthcare system is excellent, combining public and private care. Prices are generally low, so Americans can afford to take advantage of Portugal’s health care system.