If you’ve been feeling the pull towards Portugal recently, you’re not alone. According to the provisional results from the 2021 census, Portugal’s foreign population has increased by 40% since 2011.
The Algarve and Lisbon area have the highest number of foreign residents but the number of foreign citizens in other areas of Portugal, including in more remote locations, is also on the rise. With the foreign population looking to increase further in 2022, let’s look at some of the main reasons more people are choosing to call Portugal home.
Portugal has a mild year-round climate and boasts more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Despite being a small country, the weather can vary quite significantly depending on where you are. The Algarve and Alentejo offer the warmest, driest climates with the north offering slightly cooler temperatures throughout the year.
The Atlantic coastline helps moderate the weather as well, providing a nice breeze during the summer months and bringing the temperature up in the winter thanks to the heat stored over the warmer months.
Over 900km of Coastline
To accompany its sunny climate, Portugal is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. There are over 360 beaches that been awarded the European Blue Flag, widely considered to be the gold standard for beaches.
In 2020 and 2021, the Algarve was voted as the leading beach destination in Europe. Whether you enjoy sunbathing, waterspouts or just a long walk in the sand or up on the cliffs there are a variety of beaches to enjoy in Portugal.
It really is a wonderful place to be for those who love to be close to the ocean. Not only do you have the mainland of Portugal to enjoy, but the islands of the Azores and Madeira are beautiful places to explore with fantastic beaches. No matter where you are in Portugal you’ll never find yourself more than a few hours from the coast.
Europe’s Historical Treasure
Portugal is Europe’s oldest nation, and has a vast history. Its culture has been influenced by the array of different groups that have settled in the country, from across the globe. Portugal has 25 sites that are classified as world heritage sites including monuments and historic city centres. Whilst Portugal’s cities hold plenty of cultural sites, the smaller towns and villages are wonderful to explore and full of charm as well.
As you move through Portugal, you’ll notice the significant differences in the appearance and architecture across the country. The north is Romanesque, and houses plenty of historical monuments among its varied and rugged landscape. The central region also has many historical monuments among a lush interior and home to the ancient city of Coimbra. In the south of Portugal, the influence of the Arab rule is still very evident in its architecture and the historic monuments in the region.
In comparison to other European countries, the price of property in Portugal is quite affordable, especially in Lisbon compared to other capitals across Europe. Whilst property prices have risen, and are expected to continue rising, purchasing property in Portugal is often more attainable than in other areas of Europe.
There’s Something For Everyone
Historically, Portugal has been a popular choice for retirees. Its climate, friendly culture and laidback way of life is a big pull for those retiring. Under the non habitual tax regime, pensions are taxed at a flat rate of 10%, which can be a big benefit for those who move over.
Non habitual resident tax regime offers tax benefits to foreign citizens who come and reside in Portugal. The extent of the tax benefits depend on your individual financial situation but there are advantages to applying for the regime for just about anyone. The tax breaks of foreign pensions were one of the regimes big selling points, and even though the situation has changed, there are still many benefits both to those who are retired and those still working.
It’s not just retirees that are coming over to Portugal, young families and digital nomads are also starting to make the move. The way of life, tax benefits, access to public services, education and visa free travel throughout the Schengen zone are all factors that are encouraging a growing number of foreign citizens to Portugal.
Citizenship after 5 Years
One of the biggest benefits to obtaining Portuguese residency is the speed at which you can obtain full citizenship if you desire. Portugal is among the EU countries that offer the fastest route to citizenship, and compared with many other countries the process is fairly simple. You have to maintain residency in Portugal for five years before you can apply for citizenship and take a test to show sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language and demonstrate active ties to the national community.
Portugal also allows dual citizenship meaning you can retain citizenship in your home country, which isn’t always the case in other countries. An EU passport offers many benefits including the right to travel, live, work and study freely throughout the European Union, without restriction.
Thinking about making the move in 2022?
If you are one of the many thinking about taking the leap and moving to Portugal this year, then know there are plenty of others thinking the same as you. If you’d like to find out more about Portugal and what you can buy here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can have a browse through the current properties we have here.