Are you considering leaving America for a new life in Europe? Here are 10 Reasons to move to Portugal from the USA
Now is a perfect time to consider a move to Portugal from the USA. Portugal is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s most popular relocation destinations. In fact, it’s one of the easiest countries for Americans to move to. This small Atlantic country has so much to offer, from scenic destinations like the Algarve, Silver Coast and Madeira, to generous tax breaks for remote workers and online business owners. Not only that, but the cost of living in Portugal is one of Western Europe’s lowest.
For those who move to Portugal from the USA for the long-term, there’s the option to apply for Portuguese citizenship after just five years – one of the fastest timelines in the European Union. Having dual citizenship can bring you some awesome benefits, including more freedom of travel, better scope for tax planning, increased quality of life, and access to a safe haven. Armed with an EU passport, you’ll benefit from freedom of movement across the entire Eurozone. That includes not just freedom of travel, but the full rights to live, work, study and retire across all countries in the EU. As you can see, living in Portugal as an American is a great idea. Without any further ado, let’s dive in and look at 11 reasons to move to Portugal from USA in 2023.
10 Reasons to Move to Portugal from USA
- Tolerant and progressive Society: Despite its conservative Catholic heritage and recent dictatorship, Portugal has evolved into a progressive and accepting country. As an LGBTQ foreigner, you’re highly unlikely to experience any form of homophobic violence. People are more likely to just accept you with a relaxed indifference – considering that it’s none of their business anyway. That’s a good recipe for a peaceful life.
- Low gun crime: You might be surprised to discover that Portugal has some of the most relaxed gun ownership laws in the EU. Portuguese citizens can own guns for hunting, target shooting, pest control and collection. Despite this, gun crime in Portugal remains extremely low. Mass shootings on a United States scale are practically unheard. In 2016, Vice News tracked all the mass shootings across Europe. Portugal featured only twice. In both instances, five people were injured. None died. In the same year, the US had 133 mass shootings within just 164 days, including the notorious Orlando nightclub attack in which 49 people were killed.
- Safer food: Thanks to EU regulations, Portugal has significantly stricter sanitary and animal welfare standards than the US. For example, the US uses chemical washes such as chlorine, growth hormones in animal feed, genetically modified foods that aren’t labeled and pesticides that are banned in the EU. That means no chlorinated chicken or high fructose corn syrup. In some regions, such as Madeira, locally grown produce (such as bananas and avocados) is plentiful and low-cost. Produce that doesn’t grow in Portugal is often brought in from nearby Spain, reducing environmental costs in terms of transportation.
- Diverse choice of destinations: Portugal has some stunning places to live in. Whether you’re a fan of year-round sunshine, or prefer a cooler climate, Portugal has it all. Madeira is a great place to opt out of winter permanently with the fabulous Madeira beaches, while Porto offers a similar climate to San Francisco. The Algarve region is loaded with golden sand beaches and boasts a lively international community, while cosmopolitan Lisbon has everything that a world capital should offer. Central Portugal has countless historical towns, such as the old university city of Coimbra, and affordable real estate investments that still have plenty of mileage for the Golden Visa in 2022 and beyond.
- Affordable state healthcare: Europe has long been known for its state healthcare, and Portugal’s no exception. When you become a resident, you’ll be eligible to access good quality healthcare anywhere in the country – free or low cost (depending on the treatment). All you need to do is get an SNS number to join the Portuguese healthcare system. If you still prefer to go private (to get faster treatment), then health insurance in Portugal is very affordable compared to the US. Also, health issues don’t get as politicized as they do in the US.
- Generous tax breaks: Let’s now look at wha’s on offer in terms of tax benefits when moving from Portugal to USA. Portugal isn’t a tax haven or even a low tax country. It uses a progressive income tax scheme with a top threshold of 48%. But one of the main attractions for foreigners who move to Portugal from USA is the non habitual residency (NHR) tax scheme. The NHR grants preferential tax treatment for a period of 10 years to individuals (foreigners or citizens) who haven’t been taxed as a Portuguese tax residents during the preceding five years.
- Cash out cryptocurrency tax-free: Another big benefit of a move to Portugal from USA is Portugal’s tax treatment of income from cryptocurrency investments. At present (although this is set to change eventually), Portugal doesn’t tax gains on cryptocurrency. This applies to investments only. Day-trading would likely be classified as work and taxed accordingly. If you’ve made large gains on crypto in the last few years and are thinking of cashing out, a move to Portugal from USA to become a tax resident could be an interesting solution for you.
- Easy residency visa pathways: So, how to get into Portugal as a US citizen. For starters, all US citizens can enter Portugal visa-free as tourists for stays of up to 90 days. During that period, you can use your 90-day allowance to travel freely across other countries in the Schengen zone. For those who want to stay in Portugal for the long term, the two best options are the D7 visa or the Golden Visa.
- Five years to full EU citizenship : In fact, Portugal has one of the fastest citizenship by naturalization pathways in the whole EU, 5 years of residence and you qualify for one.
- Access the entire Schengen zone: Remember that 90 days in 180 limit on travel across Europe? Well, as a resident of Portugal, you’ll be able to reset it by going back to Portugal (instead of leaving the Schengen area altogether). But once you’re a Portuguese citizen, the limit gets removed completely. You can travel across Europe for as many days as you like. You can also move freely to any other EU country if you decide that Portugal is no longer the right fit. Ocean and mountainside views in Madeira
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