Expatriation is the fact of living in a country other than your native country for many reasons (personal, family, professional, etc.). It is possible to expatriate for a short period (professional transfer, studies, etc.) or for an unlimited period.
According to a study in 2017 from the Portuguese Service in charge of immigration (SEF), the total number of expatriates for 2017 was 421 711 people, mostly living in Lisbon, Faro, Setubal and Porto but also in other towns of the country as identified below :
In 2017, 29 000 residence permits were issued by the Portuguese authorities to citizens of the European Union, i.e. an evolution of 23% compared to 2016 :
|Number of resident permits issued||Evolution N-1|
The same study from the Portuguese Service in charge of Immigration (SEF) in 2017, showed that the most represented nationalities are the following :
The highest increases of expatriates in 2017 concern the Italians, the French and the British :
|Italians||8 523||12 925||+51,6%|
|French||11 293||15 319||+35,7%|
|British||19 384||22 431||+15,7%|
According to figures provided by the British Embassy in Portugal, even though the number of British persons registered as permanent residents reaches 22 431, the official estimation is 45 000. And with the Brexit procedure in progress, Chris Sainty, the new British Ambassador in Portugal, has strongly encouraged his citizens to register before 29thMarch 2019 in order to officialise their tax residence in Portugal, if they want to, and in order to benefit from all the advantages.
He specifies that the Portuguese government has been very compliant and he has no doubt about a future agreement between the United Kingdom and Portugal after Brexit. Such an agreement will concern the British citizens who are living in Portugal, the British tourists but also the almost 300 000 Portuguese citizens who are living in Great Britain.
The French community includes 16 611 people registered with the French Consulate on 31stDecember 2018, of which 45% in Lisbon, 20 to 30% in the North, 15% in the Algarve and about 13% in towns in the Centre of Portugal as well as in Madeira and Azores.
Registration of French people living outside of France with the French Consulate is not an obligation, so the figures provided are not the exact reality but they give an idea.
The number of Italian citizens living in Portugal has increased by more than 50% in 2017, i.e. almost 12 300 people officially registered with the Portuguese authorities. Indeed, this can be explained by the fact that, in Italy, private retirement pensions are taxed at nearly 56%. It is obvious that our Italian neighbours have many good reasons for expatriating to Portugal !
The breakdown below shows that more than half of the expatriates listed are women and the most represented age category is the 35-39 year-olds, followed by the 30-34 year-olds :
All of these data confirm that Portugal continues to attract more and more foreign citizens, due to tax benefits but also the quality of life in this country which has managed to pick itself up after the big economic crisis and find major axes of growth in order to develop internally and externally.
This article will be updated when the 2018 data is available on the SEF website.
For more information about the Non-Habitual Resident Regime: lien article RNH
Portugal & You can assist you in your expatriation project in Portugal from seeking real estate to all the necessary administrative procedures for your installation.