American Moving to Portugal From US - Earthrelo
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Portugal is the product of the flaming spirit of the Mediterranean and astonishing development of western Europe. The ever growing economy of Lisbon draws tons of foreign investors and startups. This has given rise to enormous job opportunities for historic neighborhoods. Recent studies state how more than 60,000 expats have decided to reside in Portugal. The best part is, out of them, 11% are US citizens.

Here in this guide, we have listed all the necessary information that you need to know before moving to Portugal. If you are all set for your adventurous move to Portugal from US, read on. Let’s begin with the country guide!

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Moving To Portugal From US

Ideally, when you ship your belongings to Portugal from US, you will find that the process of relocation is quite crazy and easy. This is because of the phenomenal geographical position with a huge variety of options including sea freight and air freight. Although you can also consider sea freight due to its affordability, road freight is never an option.

Here is a short table to help you get an idea of the average costs of the sea for freight for a 20ft container of furniture as per World Freight Rates.

Departing Destination Price Duration
New York City, USA Lisbon, Portugal $1,229.11 14 days
New York City, USA Figueira Da Foz, Portugal $1,297.98 14 days
Los Angeles, USA Lisbon, Portugal $2,993.41 27 days

Quick Facts About Portugal

Capital Capital
Languages Spoken Portuguese, English, Spanish
Population 1.03 crores (2020)
Currency Euro
Time Zone (GMT-1)
Religion Christianity, Roman Catholicism
Country Dialing Code +351
Driving On The Right Side

US Expat Destinations In Portugal

Portugal is home to excellent destinations for expats. Ideally, when Americans moving to Portugal seek expat destinations, they can consider a variety of options. These include,


It is a diverse city and is brilliant for families, expats, and students. It has a vibrant and thriving LGBT + community. The capital city of Portugal has everything required for being an ideal choice for anyone wishing for the buzz of a big city along with a historic view. The city is filled with English-speaking people and loaded with remote workers and tech nomads. The best part is, it is one of the best places to invest in real estate.


This city is often overlooked and overlapped by Americans moving to Portugal because of its northern location. However, this beautiful city rests on the banks of the River Douro. Similar to Lisbon, Porto is a highly safe city especially for families. In fact, the region is cheaper than Lisbon. Staying here is generally great due to the cheaper cost of living. The region is excellent for its Port wine, vibrant streets, local gastronomy, etc.


This is one of the oldest and greatest options of all time. If you are someone looking for a small and cheap city other than Lisbon and Porto, here is your choice. The region is becoming quite popular and famous amongst expats day by day. Braga is famous for its lively nightlife along with its rich history. The region is home to the oldest cathedrals in Portugal. The region is situated in an ideal place that has comfortable neighboring areas with transport facilities and schools. Back in 2020, Braga was rewarded as the best city in the world for retirement as well as the happiest city in Europe.


This region is not a destination that expats will generally consider to move immediately, but this island is becoming famous day by day. Especially remote workers who have chosen this island as their favorite place for retirement. The biggest city on this island, Funchal is a rising city that offers an excellent setting with warm weather all around the year. The island isn’t much overrun with tourists. English is the basic speaking language here.

Offering feasible shipment rates, we at Earthrelo offer door-to-door freight shipping service by calculating the moving rates as per your desired services and preferences. Send us a mail now to get your final shipping rates.

American Working In Portugal

The job market in Portugal is highly rising and racing at a rapid rate. Especially in Lisbon, tech companies and startups are beginning to thrive phenomenally. Hence, if you are an expert belonging to the online business field or belong to the IT sector, Portugal is the right place for you. For further details on working and traditional sectors, you need to gain some good grip over the Portuguese language. However, in case you are a polyglot, you can actually find the best jobs in the tourist sector.

Speaking of the salary, the average salary in Portugal ranges between $1,200 and $2,000 depending entirely on the experience and qualifications of the worker. On the contrary, the lowest wage in Portugal is $752 a month. However, it is important to bear in mind that the minimum wages must not be taxed. Anyone relocating to Portugal from US will only start paying taxes if they earn over $780 per month.

Every worker needs to contribute to the social security of the country. They are taxed at a rate of 11% of your income. In return for paying taxes, moving to Portugal from US yields fantastic benefits including,

  • Old Age Pension
  • Invalidity Benefits
  • Unemployment Benefits
  • Maternity And Paternity Benefits
  • Work Injuries and Other Health Condition Benefits
  • Disease and Sickness Benefits
  • Death Benefits

Taxation In Portugal

Generally, you are required to pay your taxes on all your American earnings in America and Portuguese earning less in Portugal. Americans relocating to Portugal from US are obliged to file tax returns for both countries.

The US asks all the US citizens irrespective of where they live to disclose their worldwide income to the IRS. However, it is suggested that you do proper research regarding the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

Moreover, discovering the NHR(Non-Habitual Resident) program in Portugal is highly worthwhile. In case you sign up for the NHR program, you will be exempt from several taxes and will need to pay only a flat rate of 20% on other taxes for a total period of 10 years.

Looking for a moving company in Portugal? We are the leading international moving companies Portugal that are committed to offering seamless moving services. Send us a mail to connect further.

Healthcare For American People

Healthcare In Portugal is quite different from that of US. Unlike in the US, you don’t have to fall into debt to pay all your medical fees. The government funds the healthcare system generously. Anyone aged under 18 and more than 65 receives complete free healthcare.

However, being an expat it is important to know that you cannot enjoy public healthcare benefits as a temporary resident. But, there are always exceptions in cases of emergency. Unless you gain your permanent residence, you need to sign up for private healthcare insurance. However, one lucky part is, private healthcare options in Portugal are cheaper and will cost you around $440 for a very basic yearly healthcare plan and around $1100 for another extensive coverage.

Housing And Accommodation

When it comes to renting and buying real estate in Portugal, renting is likely to be more flexible than buying. It will allow you to adjust in the neighborhoods, Country, and life generally. Moreover, you can even rely on your landlord for all your repairs, maintenance upgrades, and fees. Dissimilar to the US, landlords are accountable to pay the condo and maintenance fee of their units and not the tenants.

On the other hand, Purchasing the property can earn you more cash in the future. However, bear in mind that you will be solely responsible for dealing with all the fees, taxes, and maintenance issues related to your property. Nonetheless, you are entitled to take a mortgage with competitive terms in Portugal.

Speaking of cost, rents in Portugal are quite affordable. For instance, you can get a one/two-bedroom apartment in Lisbon for around $750-$1,500 per month, while the same property in US will cost you about $2000. But, this doesn’t end here. Keep in mind that in cities like Porto or even smaller ones, you can get such properties for competitive pricing of $500 per month.

Hence, if you are planning on relocating to Portugal for a longer period, say for retirement, buying a real estate property will be highly valuable. Portugal has quite minimal restrictions for buying properties and the entire government encourages the non-Portuguese residents to invest in the real estate market via programs like the Portuguese Golden Visa.

Visa And Registration

Ideally, Americans don’t require any visa to enter Portugal. Anyone having an American passport can visit the country straight for 90 days for any business or tourist purpose. However, if you are planning to move to Portugal from US, you need to get a proper residence permit.

The Portuguese government provides a vast range of visas like work visas, residence visas, and family reunification visas.

Being an American, you are required to obtain a Portuguese residence permit if you plan to stay there for more than 3 months. If you stay in Portugal with an accurate residence permit for 5 years, you can apply for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship.

The Visa Process

Being an American, you have plenty of options to attain the essential visa and residence permit for your move to Portugal for the long term. Among all, the most common option to acquire your initial resident permit involves the D7 Visa and Portugal Golden Visa.

The immigration and border service generally known as Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) in Portugal maintains and looks after all the visa application processes. The government allows online applications through this platform. Recently, resident permits can be renewed automatically and this has made it quite convenient for all citizens moving to Portugal from US.

Education In Portugal

Education in Portugal is fun. The entire system will be well set with affordable and excellent quality education. The country provides free education for all its citizens and residents up to the age of 18. In case you live around or in Lisbon, you will easily get an international school with an American, Global, or British curriculum.

The average annual school fee in a private school in Portugal ranges from $9,700 to $16,600. However, this depends on the curriculum and school as well.

Cost Of Living In Portugal

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 8.00€ 15.00$
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 101.49€ 168.37$
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.15€ 0.14$
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 33.43€ 66.71$
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 0.96€ 1.56$


Irrespective of the place that you move to, moving is an exhilarating decision for expats. However, at Earthrelo, we provide the most feasible international moving services to Portugal. While finding a moving company in Portugal, reach out to none other than us. Dealing in a comprehensive range of services, we are the best licensed moving companies Portugal. Give us a call today and book your FREE quote along with phenomenal shipping. Happy Moving!

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