Table of Contents
The key points for moving to Portugal
1/ Residence permit
A citizen of the European Union has the right to reside in Portugal for 3 months without any other formality than having a National Identity Card or a valid passport. This also applies to family members.
A citizen of the European Union who stays in Portugal beyond this three-month period must register within the following 30 days in order to obtain a "Certificado de Registo" (Registration Certificate), which is valid for 5 years. In order to obtain this document, the following are required: a valid piece of identity, 2 photos, a declaration of financial resources and an explanatory document (proof of employment for employees, a statement of activity for the self-employed or a university registration certificate for students).
Retired persons having exercised a professional activity in another country, as well as inactive persons, must prove that they have sufficient financial resources (pension, interest income, etc.) as well as health insurance.
This formality is carried out at the office of the SEF (Foreigners and Border Service, http://www.sef.pt/) that is closest to the person’s place of residence, or with the local Town Hall ("Câmara Municipal") if it has this authority.
2/ The procedure for vehicle registration
A person who moves to Portugal must register his vehicle as soon as possible after arrival, and in any event within six months following arrival.
2.1. Exemption from vehicle import tax
The vehicle must have been acquired in the previous country and have a normal series registration plate; it must also have been owned by the individual for at least 12 months before the transfer of residence. The formalities must be carried out during the six months following arrival.
2.2. Used vehicles (regulation n° 52/94) delivered to Portugal
- Registration certificate
- Ownership certificate, if possible
- Proof of tax payment
- Certificate of conformity of the vehicle’s technical characteristics with the national standards, prepared by the carmaker or dealer.
2.3. Used vehicles not delivered to Portugal
- All the documents required for vehicles registered in Portugal
- The original certificate of conformity provided in the country of registration, or a certified copy
NB : in both cases, the vehicles will be subject to a safety check carried out by an approved control centre.
2.4. New vehicles
New vehicles must be delivered before they can be registered. For registration, the following formalities are required:
- Fill in and present the appropriate request form
- Present a declaration for light vehicles (declaração de veículos ligeiros, DVL)
- Present a certificate of conformity provided by the carmaker.
Information regarding vehicle registration:
Conservatória do Registo de Automóveis de Lisboa, Rua Mouzinho do Silveira, 36 - 1250-167 Lisbon Tel: 21 311 26 00
2.5. Taxes to be paid in Portugal
If you move to Portugal, you must pay the following taxes, in addition to the VAT:
- The automobile tax (imposto automóvel), payable one time only upon acquisition of the vehicle ; the amount depends on the engine size
- The registration tax (taxa de registo), whose amount is determined by Article 25 of Regulation n° 322A of 14 December 2001, payable to the Conservatoria do Registro de Automoveis
- The circulation tax (imposto de circulacão), payable annually, the amount of which depends on the engine size and age of the vehicle.
2.6. Practical formalities and useful addresses
In order to be in conformity with the law, you must go to the Customs office (alfândega) in your residence area within the required time and with the documents specified in Regulation n° 40/93 of 30 July 1993. (change of residence and temporary admission).
Ministério das Finanças
Direcção-Geral das Alfândegas
Rua da Alfândega 5 1100 LISBOA
Tel : +351 21 881 37 00
Fax : +351 21 888 58 24
The key points for taking out insurance in Portugal
1/ Compulsory insurance and covers:
1.1. Third-Party Liability auto insurance
This includes automobiles as well as motorcycles and mopeds. Optional, non-required cover can be added in order to improve the performance of the policies. In Portugal there is a system of « package » cover, offered by insurance companies in order to meet the specific needs of each customer; they also offer interesting prices for automatic additions.
1.2. Work-place accidents
In Portugal, all employees and self-employed persons must be covered by a Work-place Accident insurance policy.
1.3. Individual home insurance
If the acquisition of property for the purpose of residence requires a mortgage loan, the financial institution always requires that the purchaser take out Fire-Multirisk insurance in order to ensure that the lender’s capital will be reimbursed in the event of an accident covered by the policy.
One of the covers for which insurance companies express some reservations is that regarding earthquakes, particularly when the building is more than 15 years old.
Life insurance (covering the risks of death and permanent disability) is required by financial institutions depending on the amount borrowed and the amount for which the lender is the beneficiary in order to ensure that it will be reimbursed for the total amount of the loan in the event that one of the insured persons is victim of an accident covered by the insurance policy during the period of the mortgage.
The cost of life insurance varies greatly and depends on 3 main factors:
- The age of the person to be insured
- The amount of the loan
- The duration of the policy
2/ Optional Insurance:
- Individual home insurance: goods, property, etc.
- Individual personal accident insurance
- Transport of goods insuranceµ
- Pet insurance
- Life insurance
- Health insurance
3/ Health insurance
If you are an employee, your employer is responsible for the formalities regarding your registration with social security at the local Centro Distrital de Solidariedade e Segurança Social.
If not, you must go personally to the Centre with a valid passport or identity card, a social security card as well as the contact information of your employer.
3.1. The health system
In Portugal, official health care services are organised within the SNS (national health service), which is part of the Health Ministry and is responsible for health centres and public hospitals. Citizens of the European Union may also benefit from the SNS, on the basis of current EU legislation.
3.2. Registration with the National Health Service (SNS)
In order to be able to benefit from health services provided by the SNS, you must register as soon as you begin to work with the health centre that is closest to your place of residence by presenting a valid passport or identity card, your social security card and a document proving your place of residence. The centre will provide you with an SNS card in your name, and will indicate who will be your family doctor. The health service offers the following services: general/family medicine, public health care, nursing care, vaccinations and other examinations. The hospitals provide external, specialised consultants, hospital services and emergency services. For every SNS consultation or service, the beneficiary pays a small fee.
In addition to the health centres and hospitals, there are various private health establishments, where health professionals work independently and supplement the offer of services on the basis of private arrangements or through agreements made with the SNS.
If you move to Portugal, you must bring your European Social Insurance Card, which enables you to receive health services before you obtain your SNS card.
3.3. Prescription drugs
The Portuguese government subsidises in part the cost of most prescription drugs. Some are completely subsidised, particularly those that are required for the treatment of particular illnesses. SNS beneficiaries pay only part of the cost of medication prescribed by their SNS doctor or their private doctor as long as they show their SNS card. Drugs for which prescriptions are required are mostly sold in pharmacies (although their sale in supermarkets and local stores has been authorised since the end of 2005 as long as their sale is appropriately supervised by qualified staff).
Praça da Alegria, n°22
Tél : +351 21 795 86 90
Fax : +351 21 324 50 79