5 categories of migrants for whom Portugal would be a perfect destination

What are the pros and cons of living in Portugal? Why should you choose Portugal for immigration?
8 min
April 12, 2024

Living in Portugal is awesome! It's one of the best countries for expats looking for a fresh start. if you are wondering is Portugal good for immigrants and expats, picture this: more than 300 days of glorious sunshine, super friendly locals, and a totally chill lifestyle. The cost of living won't break the bank either, making it even more appealing.

But hey, let's keep it real. Just like any other place, Portugal has its downsides too. To fully immerse yourself in the Portuguese vibes, it's a good idea to pick up the local lingo. And don't forget to carry some cash when you hit up those local joints for some delicious grub. Oh, and be ready for homes without central heating – it's not always cozy warm in those Portuguese abodes.

We genuinely believe that people of any kind could be happy in Portugal, but some of them will fit here even better than others. Here are those 5 categories for 2024.

1. Remote employees

Portugal will be a perfect place for you if you work remotely in almost any position. When someone talks about remote work first what usually comes to mind is the IT sector. But in this article, I would like to pay more attention to people of non-IT professions.

Of course, for IT professionals, Portugal also can be an excellent solution. But let's be honest, on average, the salaries of such specialists are quite high. That is why almost any country is suitable for them, the choice is shockingly wide (yes, we all are a little bit jealous).

At the same time, remote workers in other professions are often forgotten. But today you can do very many things completely remotely. Often if you are, let’s say, a sales manager, translator, designer, or HR specialist, your salary may be lower than the salary of a Frontend or a Backend developer. That is why the choice of countries where you can live comfortably is decreasing. In this case, Portugal is your best choice.

What are the other benefits in Portugal? The country is in 25th place of all countries in the world in terms of quality of life, according to Numbeo ranking. And only 66th place in terms of cost of living.

Looks like a great combination. 

If you want more precise data on the cost of living in Portugal, you can use the Numbeo calculator.

You need to enter the city you want to live in and some details about your lifestyle, and you’ll find out how much you would spend living in this city. Of course, the number is not 100%  exact, but it is pretty accurate. 

If you are working remotely and considering moving to Portugal, a Digital Nomad visa would be suitable for you. It allows you to live in Portugal and work for an employer outside of the country, or work for yourself while having clients outside of Portugal.

2. Bloggers, influencers, creators

Portugal is a perfect place for creative people. If you have your own blog or channel and make money on videos, photos, or any kind of other content on social media, this country will definitely suit you. And if you create something not only online but also offline, you should consider it too.

You can find in Portugal thousands of ideas for your content pretty much in any field. Whether you are working on a blog about travel, architecture, food, sports and wellness, beauty, or just any lifestyle blog, Portugal can be a perfect location for it. It is almost always sunny here and you have a beautiful picture outside the window. And what is even greater is that you can change locations effortlessly, in just a 30 minutes drive you’ll always find another beautiful spot for filming, regardless of the region in which you are residing. Not to mention Azores and Madeira, those islands are just insanely beautiful and will guarantee you thousands of new viewers easily. 

If you are creating something and promoting it online, Portugal is the right place to make photos and videos for advertising your work. 

Here are some examples of great YouTube channels made by expats in Portugal.

As for the visa that you should be looking for, you have 2 options, depending on the specifics of your income. If you have a significant amount of passive income that you receive from your already existing content (old videos, blog, website, maybe you have registered intellectual property), then you may consider a D7 visa. If most of your income is active, you should consider applying for a Digital Nomad visa for individual entrepreneurs with foreign sources of income. 

3. Sports coaches

If your life is connected with sports and you earn money coaching people, you’ll love Portugal! It is quite a sporty country, beach sports are especially popular here. You could easily find a job at one of the clubs, for example as a fitness, yoga, surfing, or paddle instructor. If you give lessons online, here you could find plenty of beautiful spots to do it. 

You also can become self-employed and start your school. There is no deficit in clients even in the low season, especially if we are talking about popular regions such as Lisbon, Algarve, or Madeira. 

If you are looking for a job, the best solution would be just to find the nearest clubs to you, for example on Yelp. Then go and talk to the owners, share your experience and ask about vacant positions. This way works way better in Portugal than finding job openings online or sending your CV. Even if the owners don’t have any job for you, they may know someone who has. Word of mouth in Portugal is everything.

If you practice online coaching, have a blog about fitness, and make money online, you may be eligible for a Digital Nomad visa. If it is not your case then after finding an employer you can apply for a work residence permit from the territory of Portugal (article 88.2 of Portuguese immigrational law), or you can open a legal entity in Portugal, and then apply for a residence permit as an entrepreneur (article 89.2 of Portuguese immigrational law).

4. Retired or “early retired” people

To be honest, sometimes it can be very hard to force yourself to work living by the Portuguese beach, simply because all day long you see people relaxing under the sun and drinking beer and you just wish you could do the same. Well, guess what, there are people who actually can! And not just during their vacation, but all year long. 

If you have retired or live from your passive income, Portugal is waiting for you. It has all you may need. First of all, as was mentioned before, prices here are very reasonable. Second, the climate is amazing and you can spend all your free time outside, which sounds like a dream. And Portugal can offer any kind of entertainment you may think of. It has something for people of any age and interests. Concerts, museums, exhibitions, clubs, and any kind of sports activities. You just have to decide what you want and choose the most suitable part of the country. 

For example, for active social life it definitely would be Lisbon or Porto, for surfing - Nazare or Peniche, for great beaches there is no better place than Algarve. But anyway, you always can spend a couple of hours in the car or train and find yourself in another part of the country, so it is possible to combine all the activities. Life without work has never sounded more appealing, am I right?

Here you can track the most interesting events all over the country to make sure you are not missing anything.

For the lucky ones who think this point is about them, your visa is D7.

5. People who want to live off-grid

Portugal has a lot of land for sale for very reasonable prices. You may find plots for 20,000 euros or even lower! There are also many offers where the land is sold together with the ruin of a house, and it could be much easier and legally simpler to reconstruct the old building than build a new one. So it is pretty easy to become a landowner here.

Combined with a good climate, this makes the Portugal good for living and ideal for cultivating your own land and living off the grid. No wonder people all over the world are coming here to start a new life, create a farm and be closer to nature. 

If you have already experienced this agricultural lifestyle or just want to try it, Portugal is the right place for you. To know more on the subject you can join the great off-grid expat community.

And if you don’t want to feel isolated in your land, you always can get together with other people, there are plenty of projects, where expats create communities and live together creating sustainable villages like this one.

If you are interested in this type of lifestyle, you need to find a visa type that will allow you to immigrate. Here you have a lot of options depending on your personal situation. If you have a passive income, it will be a D7 visa. If you are planning to combine living in nature with online work, you need to get a Digital Nomad visa. If you want to earn money from farming (regular farming, not a crypto yield one!), your only way is to register as an entrepreneur and apply for residency already in Portugal (article 89.2 of Portuguese immigrational law).

If you are considering relocating to Portugal, you will discover a remarkable life awaiting you. Portugal offers a high standard of living and an array of opportunities. To establish your residency, obtaining a residence permit is necessary, enabling you to legally reside and work in the country.

Portugal provides a favorable environment for both local and foreign professionals. There are various employment options available, making it an appealing destination for foreigners seeking work opportunities. Whether you wish to pursue a career or start your own business, Portugal offers a conducive environment for professional growth.

When it comes to choosing a city to settle in, Portugal boasts several exceptional options. Lisbon, the captivating capital, offers a blend of historical charm and modern allure. Porto, renowned for its breathtaking views and world-famous Port wine, is equally enticing. Other noteworthy cities such as Faro, Coimbra, and Braga also possess unique qualities that make them desirable places to reside.

Regarding visa types, Portugal provides a range of options to cater to different circumstances. From Schengen visas for short-term visits to specialized visas for employment, education, investment, and family reunification, you can select the appropriate visa category based on your specific requirements. Read guides.

Prepare yourself for an extraordinary journey in Portugal, where your residence permit, employment prospects, and the enriching lifestyle will contribute to a remarkable experience. Embrace the opportunity to explore the country's splendid beaches, rich history, and warm Portuguese hospitality. Here's to a new chapter in Portugal!

Are you planning to move to Portugal?

You can do a lot independently, but contact us if you need expert help:

See more details here. 

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Foto: KAL VISUALS, Kaylee Garrett, Wendell Adriel, Karim Sakhibgareev, Julian Dik

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Anastasia Chepasheva
Immigrant and writer
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