Expat Portugal

For expats seeking mild year round temperatures, warm and friendly people and a country with a strong heritage and culture; Portugal rates as one of the top destinations. Located on the South Western part of Europe, sharing part of the Iberian Peninsula Portugal has become extremely popular to expats over the last 20 years.


Portugal has a great climate, with most of the year experiencing mild temperatures. Portugal is located at the Southwestern most point in Europe with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west and Spain to the east and North. It should also be noted that two groups of islands the Azores and Madeira are part of Portugal as well.

For the most part, winters are chilly and rainy, but temperatures usually bottom out around the 50 degree mark. For those looking to locate to Lisbon, expect cool to chilly temperatures from the months of November all the way to March. During the spring and summer months temperatures rise way up to the 80’s, but stay usually in the 70’s even in July and August. The summers for the most part are comfortably hot with some humidity; however those along the coast will usually enjoy a nice cool breeze.

The climate in the Azores is mild year round with temperatures averaging in the 60’s. In Madeira, expect a mix of climates, especially since each end of the island has its own. Mountains located in the middle of the island can stop the flow of rain and can keep temperatures under rapt.

For those looking for an oceanic or Mediterranean climate, Portugal definitely delivers without the high temperature extremes of some of the other countries in the region -specifically Spain and Italy.


Portugal is a democratic republic; it has a constitution in place since 1976. Portugal is part of NATO, United Nations and the EU. It should be noted that since Portugal is a Schengen country, Americans are welcomed to stay within the Schengen area of Europe for up to 90 days every six months. No visa is required, just a valid passport.

For those looking for a long term visa, expect little difficulties as long as you have the proper paperwork and wait a few months for the visa. You can find out more information regarding entry requirements and visa requirements at The Embassy of the United States in Lisbon.

Tax System

Portugal is known to have a moderate to high income tax rate for both individual income and corporate taxes. Individual income taxes top out at a high of 42%, however the top corporate income tax is much lower topping out at 27.5%. Besides income tax there is also a value added tax (VAT), vehicle tax and property tax. While very high for the world average, Portugal’s taxes are generally moderate compared to other European Union member countries.

Medical Care

The medical care and facilities in Portugal are usually rated as adequate compared to the medical system in America. It should be noted that some facilities and response times to emergencies in many rural areas may not be up to the standards in other European countries.

For those expats looking to stay for the short term, travel insurance is definitely something to consider. If you are starting up a business in Portugal, health insurance should not be difficult to acquire.

Real Estate

Portugal is an extraordinarily beautiful country with a wonderful coastline, a great climate and beautiful towns and cities. Over the last decade, there has been a real estate boom in many areas. Fueling this boom has been foreign investments. Foreigners looking to purchase property in Portugal will find little or no barriers to purchasing property. For those looking for a place to stay for the short term, you can easily rent or lease a home or flat with rental fees being moderate. While many beach villas during the summer months can be expensive, for those looking to live in the cosmopolitan city of Lisbon, expect moderate prices, except for the luxury market. Portugal has a very good quality of life and recently ranked #20 in the world.

For students and those on a very small budget, finding a place to live in Portugal might take a little leg work, but for the most part affordable housing is fairly easy and affordable compared to other European countries (such as France and the UK)


Shopping in Portugal is a wonderful, whether you are in Lisbon, one of the coastal villages or on the several islands out in the Atlantic. Lisbon is extremely cosmopolitan and offers plenty of boutiques, great restaurants and lots of nightlife and clubs.

For those looking to travel or live on the coast, you will find many areas that cater to tourists. In smaller villages and rural areas, you will not find lots of shopping venues, but these areas do usually offer culture and small markets.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Portugal varies. For the most part, if you choose to live in Lisbon, expect moderate prices. It should be noted that for the most part renting a flat is relatively affordable, the same goes for food. If you choose to live in the touristy areas expect to pay higher prices, especially during the summer season. For those that choose to live in the interior of the country in the many small towns and villages, the cost of living can be extremely affordable.

Extradition from Portugal

The Extradition treaty between Portugal and the US was signed on May 7, 1908

This treaty was entered into force on November 14, 1908

Map of Portugal