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Moving to Portugal Made Simple
James Cave, founder of Portugalist.com, has written the essential guide for prospective expats who dream of a life in Portugal.
Portugal has long been touted as an expat destination (especially for retirees), thanks to a benign climate and a relatively low cost of living. According to one estimate, Portugal has a more than 900,000 foreign immigrants out of a population of 10.3 million.
The country is especially popular with Britons, who have flocked to Portugal since Brexit. The Portuguese Chamber of Commerce counted 46,231 British residents within Portugal in late 2021, and Portuguese immigration statistics showed a 34 percent increase in UK expats from 2019 to 2020 alone.
(Most residents from the UK live in the Algarve, where expats are about 10 percent of the population, but there are also sizeable British communities in Lisbon and Porto.)
With so many English-speaking people settling in Portugal, there's a very real need for practical advice in English on how to choose a place to live, obtain residency, and navigate the complexities of home rentals, property buying, taxes, healthcare, and other issues.
Fortunately, James Cave--an on-and-off resident of Portugal since early childhood--has come to the rescue with a tremendously useful book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. The book is complemented by Mr. Cave's Web site, Portugalist.com, which is billed as "everything you need to know about Portugal--from pastéis de nata to taxes and everything in between!"
(James Cave is also the co-author of a lively book about everyday life and culture in Germany, titled German Men Sit Down to Pee.)
What the book includes:
The 326-page book is divided into 11 parts, each with a variety of subsections:
, "Initial Research," includes topics such as:
, "Where Should You Move to?" discusses the country and its regions in depth:
, "Deeper Research," deals with practical issues that range from monthly expenses to employment, bureaucratic hassles, housing, schools, and finding your place in Portuguese society:
, "Scouting Trips and Trial Runs," prepares you for the vital step of in-person research:
, "Learning Portuguese," discusses the local lingo from a prospective expat's point of view:
, "Obtaining Residency," is packed with information on residency requirements, visas, etc. (The good news for non-Europeans: "Portugal's residency visas are attainable, especially compared to other EU countries.")
, "Making the move," is just what the title would imply.
, "First steps in a new land," has details on how to settle in as a new resident:
, "Renting a property," points out that "mostpeople rent when they move to Portugal, even if it's just for the first few months while they get settled." Subtopics include:
Renting in Portugal
, "Buying a property," will help you avoid pitfalls when you're ready to settle down with your own apartment or house:
, "Permanent Residency & Portuguese Citizenship," is for expats who want to settle in Portugal for good. Subtopics include:
, "Next Steps," is the author's farewell and call to action. (If you've read that far, you're probably sold on the idea of Portuguese residency or at least a long-term sojourn.)
More about the book:
The outline above just scratches the surface of what you'll find in Moving to Portugal Made Simple. Here just a few random examples of things that I learned from reading James Cave's book:
The bottom line:
If you're even half serious about moving to Portugal as a retiree, employee, business owner, or "digital nomad"--or even if you're merely thinking of buying property in Portugal--James Cave's Moving to Portugal Made Simple is an essential handbook.
You'll find the book on Amazon in two formats: Kindle e-book and paperback. See the book's Amazon.com page, visit the Amazon.co.uk page if you live in the United Kingdom, or search on "Moving to Portugal Made Simple" at sites such as Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, and Amazon.it.
While you're at it, take time to visit James Cave's helpful site for travelers and prospective expats, Portugalist.com.
Portugal photos copyright © Durant Imboden.
Copyright © 1996-2022 Durant and Cheryl Imboden. All rights reserved.