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Portugal, a country of breathtaking beauty and rich history, has become an increasingly popular destination for emigration to Portugal from all over the world. With its fascinating culture, warm climate, delicious cuisine and hospitable people, Portugal magically attracts people who want to change their lifestyle and find a new home. If you are considering moving to Portugal, it is important to understand the cultural aspects of the country in order to best adapt and enjoy your new life.
The Portuguese hospitality and community
One of the most remarkable features of Portuguese culture is the extraordinary hospitality of its people. The Portuguese are known for being warm and welcoming, and they enjoy welcoming new people into their community. Whether they are neighbors, colleagues or even strangers, there is a strong sense of belonging and support in Portugal. This can be especially helpful for expatriates who want to settle in a new country and feel at home quickly.
Traditions and festivals
Portugal has a rich cultural tradition that dates back to the past. Many of the old customs and traditions are still maintained today. An example of this are the typical festivals, such as the “Festa dos Santos Populares” in June, when all of Portugal celebrates in the streets. These traditional festivals provide a wonderful opportunity to experience Portuguese culture firsthand and immerse yourself in the community.
Food and drink
Portuguese cuisine is delicious and varied. Known for its fresh seafood, savory pies and delicious desserts, food in Portugal is considered a social event. People take time to eat, enjoy it in the company of family and friends, and share stories. Portuguese culture values food as an important part of daily life, and people are expected to engage in the country’s culinary delights.
The relaxed life
Portuguese culture is characterized by a relaxed lifestyle, often described as “saudade” – a term that implies a deep sense of nostalgia and longing. In Portugal, it is common to enjoy life to the fullest, to take time for family and friends, and to appreciate the small pleasures of everyday life. This relaxed lifestyle can be especially appealing to people who come from hectic environments.
Respect for tradition and history
The Portuguese have a strong connection to their history and traditions. There is a deep appreciation for the past that is reflected in the country’s architecture, monuments and art. Portugal prides itself on its cultural heritage and unique identity, which can also help expatriates develop a deeper understanding of the country’s people and culture.
The climate in Portugal varies by region, but overall the country can be described as Mediterranean to subtropical. Portugal, due to its location on the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, has a unique climate that differs from most other countries on the same latitude line.
In general, the climate in Portugal can be divided into three main regions:
Portugal’s mild climate, especially in the Algarve, makes the country a popular destination for sun worshippers and tourists seeking pleasant temperatures all year round. It also offers a rich variety of landscapes, from the green hills in the north to the golden sandy beaches in the south.
However, it should be noted that Portugal can suffer from heat waves during the summer months, which can sometimes lead to drought and increased risk of forest fires. During the winter months, the mountainous areas of northern and central Portugal may experience low temperatures and occasional snowfall.
In general, however, Portugal’s climate is pleasant and allows people to enjoy the outdoors and explore the country’s multitude of cultural and natural treasures throughout the year.
Portuguese is the main language spoken in Portugal, and it is the official language of the country. Portuguese is a Romance language closely related to Spanish, Italian and French. It is spoken as a native language by nearly all residents of Portugal and is the primary language in educational institutions, government institutions, media, and business.
Portuguese is also the predominant language in former Portuguese colonies, including Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and other countries where it is used as an official language.
Although Portuguese is the dominant language, some regions of Portugal also have regional dialects and language variants. One example is Mirandês, a recognized regional minority language spoken in the northeast of the country, particularly in the Miranda do Douro region. It is the second official language in this region.
In tourist areas, especially in the Algarve and in larger cities such as Lisbon and Porto, English is widely spoken as a foreign language by many people, especially in the tourism sector. In tourist areas, other languages such as Spanish, French or German are often understood, as Portugal is a popular destination for people from all over the world.
However, if you plan to live or work in Portugal, it is helpful and respectful to learn the Portuguese language, as this will allow you to better integrate into society.
Portugal has a public education system that is free and compulsory. The school system is divided into different educational levels and is based on European educational standards. Here are the main levels of education in the Portuguese school system:
Cycle (1st to 4th grade): In this cycle, students receive a basic education in various subjects such as Portuguese, mathematics, science, history, geography and foreign languages.
Cycle (5th to 6th grade): In the second cycle, the curriculum is expanded to prepare students for the challenges of the higher cycle.
cycle (7th to 9th grade): The third cycle is more subject-oriented and prepares students to graduate from elementary school.
It is worth noting that the Portuguese education system has undergone improvements in recent years to match the educational standards of international norms. Education is a major concern in Portugal, and the country strives to make quality education accessible to all citizens.
Online school and homeschooling
Online school: Online school is called “Ensino à Distância” in Portugal. It allows students to receive educational content via the Internet or other digital platforms instead of being physically present at school. Distance education may be used in certain situations, such as extraordinary circumstances like a pandemic or students with special needs who are unable to attend school for various reasons.
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, online education was widely used in Portugal to allow students to access education while schools were physically closed.
Homeschooling: In Portugal, homeschooling, also known as “Ensino Doméstico,” is a legally recognized form of education that allows parents to teach their children at home instead of sending them to public or private school. However, homeschooling is not automatically allowed and is subject to strict requirements:
Homeschooling is not widespread in Portugal and is often taken up by parents who are looking for an alternative educational method for their children or who do not feel satisfied with the existing schools.
The health care system in Portugal is managed by the government through the National Health System (Serviço Nacional de Saúde, SNS) and provides comprehensive health care to all citizens of the country. It is a public health system that aims to make medical services accessible and affordable.
Health care for locals: For Portuguese citizens, access to the health care system is generally free or at very low cost. The SNS covers a variety of health services, including medical exams, hospitalizations, emergency care, immunizations, and preventive care.
Residents who pay into the Portuguese social security system typically have full access to health care, while the unemployed and low-income individuals may have to pay a reduced copay for certain services.
Health care for immigrants: In Portugal, immigrants living legally in the country also have the right to access the health care system, especially if they pay into the Portuguese social security system. There are specific regulations in place to ensure that immigrants receive appropriate medical care. However, it may be more difficult for some immigrants, especially those without residency or illegal status, to access certain medical services.
EU citizens and citizens from countries with bilateral health agreements with Portugal can usually receive emergency medical treatment free of charge or at reduced cost.
It is important to note that the Portuguese healthcare system is generally well regarded and provides adequate medical care. Still, wait times for certain non-urgent care can be long, especially in busy public hospitals.
To obtain additional or specialized health care services or to reduce waiting times, some residents and immigrants may purchase private health insurance plans, which usually offer additional benefits.
Requirements for vaccinations or medical certificates may vary depending on the country of origin and purpose of stay in Portugal. In general, however, there are no specific vaccinations required for entry into Portugal unless there is a particular health risk or threat.
However, for entering and living in Portugal as an expatriate, some important points should be considered:
Although there are generally no specific vaccination or health certificate requirements for entry into Portugal, health requirements are subject to change. Therefore, it is advisable to check current travel and health requirements from the appropriate Portuguese embassies or consulates or official health sources before emigrating.
The tax system in Portugal is based on the principle of residence taxation, which means that people who are resident in Portugal generally have to pay tax on their worldwide income in Portugal. The Portuguese tax system is progressive, which means that tax rates increase as income increases.
Here is some important information about the tax system in Portugal:
1. income tax (IRS – Imposto sobre o Rendimento de Pessoas Singulares): Income tax is the main direct tax in Portugal and is levied on the income of individuals. Tax rates vary according to income level and marital status. Higher tax rates apply to higher incomes. As a rule, the income tax return must be filed by June 30 of the following year.
2. value added tax (IVA – Imposto sobre o Valor Acrescentado): VAT is an indirect tax levied on the sale of goods and services. There are different VAT rates depending on the type of goods or services. The regular VAT rate is currently 23%, but there are also reduced rates for certain goods and services, such as 6% for basic foodstuffs, medicines and cultural events.
3. corporate taxes: companies in Portugal are subject to corporate income tax (IRC – Imposto sobre o Rendimento das Pessoas Coletivas). The corporate income tax rate is generally 21% for companies with profits up to a certain level and 25% for profits above that level.
4. inheritance and gift tax: Portugal levies an inheritance and gift tax on assets that are inherited or donated. The amount of tax depends on the relationship between the testator or donor and the recipient.
5. property tax (IMI – Imposto Municipal sobre Imóveis): Property tax is levied on real estate and is an annual tax based on the value of the property.
It is important to note that taxes can be complex, and it is advisable to consult a tax advisor or professional to ensure that you meet your tax obligations in Portugal correctly and take advantage of any possible tax benefits or reliefs.
Portugal’s economy is made up of various sectors, with services, industry and agriculture being the main components. Portugal has developed a growing and diverse economy in recent years, but it also faces challenges.
1. services sector: The services sector is the largest economic sector in Portugal and contributes the largest share to gross domestic product (GDP). Important sectors include tourism, trade, financial services, information technology, telecommunications, real estate and other services. Portugal is known for its beautiful beaches, historic cities and cultural attractions, making tourism an important industry.
2nd Industry: Industry in Portugal includes various sectors such as textiles and clothing, automotive, engineering, electronics, chemicals, food processing and renewable energy. Industry plays an important role in the economy and is responsible for creating jobs and exporting goods.
3. agriculture: agriculture has lost importance in recent decades, but still plays a role in the Portuguese economy. The main agricultural products include olives and olive oil, wine, cork, fruits, vegetables and fishing. Portugal has a long tradition in wine production and is known for its high quality wines.
4. export and trade: Portugal exports a variety of goods, including clothing, footwear, cork products, machinery, chemicals, agricultural products and automotive parts. The main trading partners include other EU countries, especially Spain, France and Germany.
Although the Portuguese economy has experienced moderate growth in recent years, the country still faces some challenges, such as high public debt, unemployment and low wages in some sectors. However, the government is seeking economic reforms and investment to promote growth, increase competitiveness and improve social stability. Portugal is a member of the European Union and benefits from EU support programs and funds that help promote the country’s economic development.
Of course, Portugal is also affected by Europe-wide inflation. Therefore, for current prices, please refer to the Cost of Living website. Auf dieser Website werden die Informationen aktualisiert, so dass Sie immer auf dem neuesten Stand sind.
The real estate market in Portugal has experienced a significant increase in recent years and has become an attractive destination for international investors, expatriates and vacationers. Several factors have contributed to this development:
1. attractive prices: Compared to many other countries in Europe, real estate prices in Portugal are still comparatively cheap, especially in rural areas and smaller towns. This makes the land attractive to investors and buyers looking for a property in a beautiful setting at an affordable price.
2. increase in demand: Portugal has become a popular tourist destination, resulting in increased demand for vacation homes and apartments. The beauty of the country, the pleasant climate and the hospitable atmosphere have led many people to buy a property in Portugal.
3. tax advantages: Portugal offers some tax advantages for expatriates and investors, including the so-called “Non-Habitual Resident” (NHR) program, which allows certain foreign nationals to pay reduced or even exempt income tax for the first ten years after their transfer of residence to Portugal.
4. Golden Visa: The Golden Visa program is another incentive for foreign investors who want to buy real estate in Portugal. It allows non-EU citizens to obtain a temporary right of residence in Portugal if they meet certain investment conditions, including the purchase of a property above a certain value.
5. stable economy and political environment: Portugal recovered from the economic crisis in the 2010s and recorded moderate economic growth. The political environment is stable, which boosts investor confidence.
However, it is important to note that the real estate market in Portugal can vary by region. In metropolitan areas and popular tourist regions such as Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, property prices are generally higher than in rural areas. Demand in major cities is often high, which can lead to limited property availability.
Before buying a property in Portugal it is advisable to do thorough research, understand the local real estate market situation, enlist the help of a reputable real estate agent and possibly consult a lawyer to make the buying process smooth and clarify all legal aspects.
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Starting a Business in Portugal: A Guide for EU Citizens Emigrating to Portugal
Portugal has become an attractive destination for EU citizens looking for a new lifestyle and business opportunities. Starting a business in Portugal is comparatively uncomplicated and offers numerous advantages for entrepreneurs.
1. choose legal form and business idea: The first step to starting a business in Portugal is choosing the right legal form and business idea. You can choose between different business forms, including sole proprietorships (Empresário em Nome Individual), partnerships (Sociedade em Nome Coletivo), corporations (Sociedade por Quotas or Sociedade Anónima) and others. The choice of legal form depends on your business goals, liability structure and number of founders. It is advisable to seek advice from a lawyer or a tax advisor to determine the appropriate legal form for your business.
2. apply for tax number and NHR status: Before you start your business you need a Portuguese tax number (Número de Identificação Fiscal, NIF). EU citizens can apply for the NIF number online or submit it in person to the Portuguese tax authority (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira). In addition, EU citizens who transfer their residence in Portugal and are considered Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) can benefit from tax advantages, especially for their income from abroad. This status provides reduced or exempt income tax for a period of 10 years.
3. company name and registration: once you have defined your business idea and chosen the legal form, you need to register your company name. Make sure the name you choose is unique and not already in use by another company. Registration takes place in the Portuguese Commercial Registry (Registo Comercial) or in the Central Business Information Center (Centro de Formalidades das Empresas, CFE). You will need the necessary documents to complete the incorporation process, including proof of identity, NIF number, and your company’s formation documents.
4. company account and capital: it is advisable to open a separate bank account for your company to manage the business transactions. Some banks in Portugal offer special deals for entrepreneurs. You must also pay in the minimum capital for your chosen legal form. In Portugal, there is no general minimum capital requirement for most companies, but specific amounts may be set depending on the legal form.
5. permits and licenses: Depending on the nature of your business and the industry in which you wish to operate, certain permits or licenses may be required. Find out the legal requirements and regulations for your business area and make sure you obtain all necessary permits before starting a business.
6. employees and employment contracts: If you plan to hire employees, you must comply with the labor laws and regulations in Portugal. Familiarizing yourself with working conditions, collective agreements and social security contributions is important to ensure a legally correct working relationship. You may also need the assistance of an employment attorney to draft the necessary employment contracts and policies.
Starting a business in Portugal offers EU citizens a promising opportunity to benefit from the country’s business opportunities and tax advantages. It is advisable to seek advice from an experienced attorney or tax advisor prior to incorporation to ensure that you can meet all legal and tax requirements.
No special visa is required for EU citizens to emigrate to Portugal. EU citizens enjoy the right of free movement within the European Union and can settle and work in Portugal without a special residence permit.
Here are the steps you need to follow as an EU citizen to emigrate to Portugal:
1. research and planning: start with thorough research about living and working in Portugal. Find out about the Portuguese health, education and tax systems, as well as the cost of living in the regions where you plan to settle. Plan your move and collect all the necessary documents.
2. residence registration: Once you arrive in Portugal, you must register with the local authority (Câmara Municipal) to register your residence situation. You will receive a certificate of registration, often called a “Certificado de Registo de Cidadão da União Europeia” (CRUE). This registration should be done within 90 days of your arrival in Portugal.
3. apply for a tax number: you must apply for a Portuguese tax number (Número de Identificação Fiscal, NIF) in order to conduct business and tax transactions. The NIF number can be obtained from the local tax authority or tax office.
4. social security and health care: EU citizens are entitled to social security benefits in Portugal if they pay into the Portuguese social security system. If you work or are self-employed in Portugal, you are automatically included in the social security system. EU citizens are also entitled to health care benefits in the Portuguese health care system. You should register with the local health center to access medical care.
5. non-ordinary resident (NHR) status: As an EU citizen emigrating to Portugal, you can apply for non-ordinary resident (NHR) status under certain conditions. This status provides tax benefits, especially for income from abroad, for a period of 10 years. You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for NHR status, so it is advisable to consult with a tax advisor.
6. registration for family members: If you are emigrating to Portugal with your family, your family members must also follow the above steps and register with the Portuguese authorities.
Portugal is generally considered a safe country with a low crime rate compared to many other European countries. The Portuguese government and law enforcement agencies have been working to ensure security in the country and provide a safe environment for tourists and residents alike.
Crime: Portugal is often considered one of the safest countries in Europe. The crime rate is low compared to other countries, and most crimes are petty crimes such as pickpocketing and theft. However, as in any country, it is always advisable to be vigilant in tourist areas or busy cities and take basic safety precautions to avoid pickpocketing or fraud. Overall, visitors and residents can generally feel safe in Portugal.
Demonstrations and riots: Portugal is politically stable; demonstrations and riots are rare. When demonstrations do occur, they are usually peaceful and of limited scope. Most protests are about specific issues or political questions and are rarely violent in nature. Portuguese authorities are generally well placed to ensure public safety during such events.
Nevertheless, it is always advisable to keep up to date with current developments and possible demonstrations or events in the country. The embassies or consulates of your home country can provide useful information and travel advice.
As with anywhere in the world, there is no absolute guarantee of safety and it is important to use common sense and be aware of local conditions and safety measures in order to feel safe while in Portugal. Overall, however, Portugal is known as a safe and hospitable country that many travelers and expatriates are eager to visit and experience.