Move to Portugal 101

Kick-start your move or retirement to Portugal

Portugal. The best place in the world to retire. Among the world's most hospitable nations. Two attractive residency programs: Golden Visa and D7.

With ongoing travel restrictions and cost of non-essential travel, Move to Portugal 101 helps all future residents to deal with documentation and administration:

  • At a distance, avoiding the need for any unnecessary travel
  • In one place, meaning no need to trawl through Google searches, social media and other
  • Best of breed, with each solution being delivered by a specialist in their area of expertise
  • Lowest cost: Move to Portugal 101 does not take any fees or commissions*. For clients who use all services select commission will be applied to prices as a client discount

  • Move to Portugal 101 is the easiest, quickest and most cost-efficient way to deal with the mandatory steps in moving or retiring to Portugal. This "packaged" solution has been built with best-of-breed service providers, all of whom are committed to continuously finding and improving the flexibility and cost of their solutions. For this reason, we have not branded the services.


    See below for the FIVE ESSENTIAL STEPS (we call this the THE BIG 5) and some IMPORTANT STEPS.


    A NIF, or Tax Identification Number, is a taxpayer number that is unique to each person. Anyone who lives, owns assets such as real estate, or has a bank account, in Portugal, must have a NIF. A NIF costs around €10 at any "Repartição de Finanças" or local Finance department, if done by the applicant in person. With no walk-ins and little travel possible, many applicants need to deal with this at a distance.

    There have been a surge in offers to assist with this step, including lawyers or other intermediaries charging hundreds of Euros, to online agents charging €125 ($150). If you cannot deal with this in person during one of your Discovery trips to Portugal then we have found the most cost-effective solution via an online service run by a Portuguese lawyer.

    Price: €73, less a 10% discount for Move to Portugal 101 * clients – contact us to apply for a NIF.

    Fiscal Representation
    ( Non-EU residents )

    Both foreigners and nationals who do not live in Portugal (live in a third state), need a tax representative. The fiscal representative will be responsible for receiving official mail from the tax authorities and any notices in relation to annual returns, tax payments due or communication with the government.

    Price: first year's fiscal representation included in NIF cost above. Multi-year fiscal representation packages and the ability to be represented by a separate lawyer or accountant are available – contact us for multi-year fiscal representation.

    Bank account set-up/opening

    For applicants from the UK our preferred banking partner is able to complete an account opening remotely via its London representative office. There is no cost for the account opening service. Support staff are available in English and the client can choose their local branch.

    For applicants from the US or Canada, a different banking partner is able to complete bank account opening remotely via a locally appointed representative. We believe we have found the most competitively priced service in the market. Support staff are available in English and a choice of regional branches where your account is domiciled, is available.For applicants from other non-EU countries, contact us for the best option.

    The documents you need for opening a bank account in Portugal are your ID (passport), proof of address in your home country (usually a utility bill), and a NIF. If you are working then you will need to prove your source of income. You will also need an e-mail address for online banking, and sometimes a mobile phone number for two-step authentication.

    As with the NIF, and because banks apply strict KYC (Know your client) and AML (anti-money laundering) rules, there have been a surge in fairly intermediation services from a range of lawyers, intermediaries or sometimes banks themselves, charging large sums of money, to "facilitate" the opening of a bank account. Values can vary from online agents charging €295 ($350) to professionals charging as much as €500 for account opening, which is often nothing more than an introduction and dealing with paperwork. As with the NIF, if you cannot deal with this in person during one of your Discovery trips to Portugal (which will be zero cost) then we have compiled a set of cost-effective solutions that vary by country (because banks have different presence in different locations). Please note that opening a bank account can be bureaucratic and so requires work by someone to deal with paperwork, if you do not do it yourself in Portugal.

    IMPORTANT: Many solutions being offered in the market are proposing a premium account which usually comes at a cost of €15-25 per month and rarely offers any benefit that is needed by you, the applicant. In our experience most new residents have simple banking requirements, and so the focus has been to find competitively-priced solutions.

    Price: for UK applicants no cost from either bank or any intermediates for account opening. For applicants from other countries outside the EU, the account opening solutions start from €200. Bank accounts will carry a monthly fee of approximately €5.50 per month. – contact us to obtain open a bank account.

    Travel insurance

    For visa applications the Portuguese consulate requires travel insurance with specific coverage. This travel insurance should NOT be confused with private health insurance.

    Our preferred insurance providers (there are different "better" solutions per country, and by age) work with a flexible policy that can offer coverage from 120 days (the official length of the D7 visa granted at the consulate) to as long as one year ( to allow for delays caused, for example, by Covid-19 and delays or closures in SEF services).

    IMPORTANT: there is some confusion in the market between travel insurance and in-country private health insurance. While some applicants have used the latter, and in some instances the consulates have accepted (erroneously) the latter, it is very risky. One of the key requirements of the correct travel insurance is that it contains repatriation cover. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself ill before your SEF entry interview and have to be repatriated to your country of origin for treatment, then a local policy will be invalid (as you will not yet be resident in Portugal and can therefore not be repatriated to a country of which you are not yet a resident). Please make sure you get the correct insurance.

    Price: insurance policies are both individual and based on length of time and, in some instances, pre-existing conditions. Policies are generally in the hundreds of Euros range – contact us for travel insurance.


    Our preferred rental partner has access to a large portfolio of properties in the Algarve and a network of rental partners/properties across most major Portuguese locations (greater Lisbon, Porto, Silver coast, etc). Other regions are covered by a finder service.

    Golden visa property options are via a property finder service that incorporates Golden Visa options in both high-density (only valid until 31st December 2021) and low-density areas of the country.

    Our preferred insurance providers (there are different "better" solutions per country, and by age) work with a flexible policy that can offer coverage from 120 days (the official length of the D7 visa granted at the consulate) to as long as one year ( to allow for delays caused, for example, by Covid-19 and delays or closures in SEF services).

    IMPORTANT: Many applicants for the D7 visa have been approved (incorrectly) using an Airbnb or short-term contract. They often only realise there is an issue after arriving in Portugal where SEF, the Junta de Freguesia and the Finanças require at least a 6 months' minimum contract. Save yourself the stress by obtaining the correct contract type and length. On the Golden Visa front, anyone wishing to obtain residency via an acquisition in a high-density area must buy and submit the application before the end of 2021.

    Price: the agency commission is usually included in the quoted price but sometimes paid separately by the tenant – contact us to rent a D7 visa-compliant property or to get help with finding a Golden Visa (from €280K).


    Even if you do not use all THE BIG 5 services, we are happy to make introduction to any of the IMPORTANT solution providers below.


    Transferring money between countries and currencies, or foreign exchange (forex), represents the world's biggest financial activity (bigger than the stock market). The majority of this is done by specialist forex providers. Banks tend to be more expensive and the average saving by using specialist forex company, is usually 3-4 % of the value being transferred. While this may not seem like much, in a property purchase or a regular rental payment, this quickly adds up!

    IMPORTANT: The general rule is to never use a bank for foreign exchange transfers. For smaller transfers, a number of reliable online forex providers exist, for larger and regular transfers, a company with a longer and proven track record, and more protection in place, is recommended.

    Price: no cost – contact us for forex.

    Health/medical Insurance

    Portugal has a tax-funded public healthcare system that covers all residents, including expats that live in Portugal. However, many new expat residents choose to continue with private medical coverage that usually provides quicker access to initial consultations and shorter waiting times. The cost of private health insurance is, in some instances (for example, in the case of the US market) a fraction of the total cost that would be payable in the country of origin.

    Health & medical insurance solutions vary by coverage, age, and pre/existing conditions. Our preferred service providers work with a range of solutions, including access to insurance options for the 70+ market.

    Price: health insurance policies are individual and based on a range of factors including pre-existing conditions. Policies are generally in the dozens to hundreds of Euros per month range – contact us for health insurance.

    * T&C: No commission is charged by Move to Portugal 101 for any of THE BIG 5 clients who use all THE BIG 5 services, otherwise Move to Portugal 101 reserves the right to retain any commission. Move to Portugal 101 reserves the right to prioritise clients who opt for all THE BIG 5 services. Each provider is independent.

    We would appreciate 5 minutes of your time to complete our survey aimed at foreign nationals living in Portugal, or expats thinking about moving or retiring to Portugal. Click here for the survey . Thank you in advance.