Individuals and legal entities who manage local lodging establishments (AL) are required to provide proof of continued operation of these establishments.

This obligation was established by the recent Law No. 56/2023, dated 10/06, which, following the ‘More Housing’ program, approved measures in the housing sector.

Until When?

Until December 7, 2023.

How to Prove?

The proof of activity is done online through the Electronic Single Counter.

Who is Exempt?

AL establishments that operate in the owner’s own permanent residence are exempt from this (new) obligation, provided that this operation does not exceed 120 days per year.

What are the Consequences of Non-Compliance?

There is a possibility of cancellation of the respective registrations by decision of the locally competent municipal mayor if this demonstration is not provided. This measure aims to combat ‘phantom’ AL registrations.

We can assist with fulfilling this obligation, contact us if you need help!

In response to the concerns about the significant impact of increased monthly payments for families with housing loans for purchasing or constructing their permanent residence, Decree-Law No. 91/2023, dated 11/10, has come into effect.


It establishes an exceptional and temporary measure aimed at reducing the installment payments made by mortgage borrowers and stabilizing them for a period of two years.


What Has Changed for Borrowers?


Temporary Fixation of Installments: Individuals who have obtained bank financing for the acquisition, construction, or renovations of their permanent residence, under variable or mixed interest rate contracts (in the case of the latter, as long as they are within the variable interest rate period), can request to fix the amount of their installment at 70% of the 6-month Euribor rate. The difference between the reduced amount and the normal due amount, which represents the relief that families will benefit from under this measure, will be paid in the last two years of the credit contract if the remaining term of the contract, at the end of the measure’s application, is less than six years. Alternatively, it will be paid starting from the fourth year for contracts with a remaining term equal to or greater than six years from the expiration date of this measure.


Early Repayment Without Costs: Families will continue to have the option of early repayment without any commission or charge (the early repayment commission is suspended, at least until 31/12/2024).


Exclusions and Requirements: This measure excludes credits that, at the date of the law’s entry into force, have a remaining term of less than five years, are in arrears or default, or whose borrowers are in a situation of insolvency or are covered by specific debt restructuring programs.


Deadline for Requesting: The installment fixation must be requested from the institution by at least one borrower by March 31, 2024. However, if there is more than one borrower on the contract, all of them must agree to join the measure.


The aim is to provide predictability to families with housing credit in managing their family budgets and, thus, ensure stability in the housing market.

Several institutions will take over SEF’s police and administrative functions, such as the recently created AIMA.

The extinction of the Foreign and Borders Service (SEF) has been the talk of the town for the last two years since the end of the service was approved in Parliament. And now it’s official. SEF was abolished on October 29 and all its police and administrative functions will now be carried out by other institutions.

One of them is the recently created Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA), which will be responsible for applications for residence permits from foreign citizens arriving in Portugal (and beyond). Find out how the institutions replacing SEF will work with the help of experts.

Has SEF been abolished?

Yes, the Foreign and Borders Service (SEF) was abolished on October 29th at 00:00. The restructuring of SEF was decided by the previous government and approved by Parliament in November 2021, having been postponed twice.


Who will replace the SEF?

At the same time as SEF was abolished, the new Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA), which many think will replace SEF, came into being. But this is just one of several institutions that will have powers in the areas hitherto under SEF’s tutelage, explains Lamares, Capela & Associados* in this article prepared for Idealista/news.

Police responsibilities will be redistributed between the Public Security Police (PSP), the National Republican Guard (GNR), and the Judicial Police (PJ). The administrative functions related to foreign citizens will fall under the competence of the Institute for Registration and Notary Affairs (IRN) and the newly created Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA).

To coordinate and coordinate all these services, the Unit for the Coordination of Borders and Foreigners (UCFE) has been created, which will be allocated to the Internal Security System (SSI), experts point out.


Who is responsible for passports and renewing residence permits?

With the restructuring, 75 SEF workers will move to the Institute of Registration and Notary Affairs (IRN), to ensure face-to-face service, as well as the decision-making center. In particular, the IRN inherits two important responsibilities:

  • Electronic Portuguese Passport: namely the ordinary passport, the special passport, the temporary passport, and the passport for foreign citizens
  • Renewal of Residence Permits: the registry offices offer appointments. Here it will be possible to renew the Residence Permit for temporary and permanent foreigners, except the cases of victims of human trafficking and for investment purposes, which are handled by AIMA.

Online booking for the renewal of residence permits will be available through the SIGA booking portal and the sigaApp application. There will be more service points, namely at 34 registry offices and the “Lojas do Cidadão” mentioned here.


Where do foreigners who want to apply for new residence permits have to go?

They have to go to the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA). “This agency is responsible for administrative matters relating to foreign citizens in Portugal, namely residence permits and refugees. It inherits from the High Commission for Migration (ACM) the issues of reception and integration of immigrants in Portugal,” Lamares, Capela & Associados explain. The information will be available on AIMA’s new website, which has no content yet.

The government has formally announced that AIMA will invest heavily in digital infrastructure and hire 190 more employees. Additionally to the 34 current service desks, it will open at least 10 new desks within a year. In concrete terms, these are the main measures announced by the Socialist Executive:

  • AIMA Portal: to be launched by the end of the year. It will start with applications for family reunification, dispensing with the current telephone scheduling;
  • Mega operation to recover the 347,000 pending cases: operation involving local authorities, professional associations, and employees of the Local Support Centers for the Integration of Migrants.

When will the 347,000 backlogged migrant legalization applications be resolved?

We don’t know for sure yet. The idea is to prioritize these legalization processes in a mega-operation carried out by AIMA. “We’re going to launch a mega-operation to recover backlogs by the end of March, the aim is to clear the backlog” of migrant residence applications, said Ana Catarina Mendes, Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, who will also be responsible for AIMA, quoted by Público.

However, according to the known data, there are expected to be 600,000 pending applications for legalization or renewal of temporary permits by March 2024. This is because there are 347,000 backlogged migrant legalization applications, which should be added to the 199,000 one-year temporary visa renewals given to migrants from the CPLP and a further 53,000 temporary visas given to Ukrainian citizens, says the same newspaper.

On the other hand, Luís Góis Pinheiro, president of AIMA, said that the agency’s goal is to be able to respond to the almost 350,000 pending immigrant legalization cases inherited by SEF within a year and a half, writes TSF.


What will the new Border and Immigration Coordination Unit do?

The Unit for the Coordination of Borders and Foreigners (UCFE) will therefore be coordinating all the services previously provided by SEF that were distributed to other entities – some people are already calling it a “Mini-SEF”. But in reality, the UCFE will have various powers and responsibilities, as the experts at Lamares, Capela & Associados point out:

  • Border control: its mission is to ensure uniform compliance with technical standards and procedures when controlling the entry, stay, and exit of people at borders;
  • Centralization of information: collecting information on the entry, stay, and exit of people on national territory, trafficking in human beings, aiding illegal immigration, and other crimes linked to irregular immigration;
  • Police information management: will record and update police and criminal information relating to foreigners, as well as disseminating information on foreigners in an irregular situation;
  • Issuing security information: it will issue security information and opinions for granting, and renewing documents, recognizing rights, granting nationality to foreigners, and granting passports. This information helps assess threats to internal security, public order, public safety, and the prevention of illegal immigration and related crimes;
  • Database management: he will be responsible for managing police databases and information systems, including the Single Point of Contact (SCO), which includes Interpol and Europol, as well as all the databases that used to belong to SEF.


This article was written by our co-founder Ana Sofia Lamares and published at Idealista News – original link here.

Portugal has always had a long tradition of weddings, primarily among Portuguese citizens. However, in recent decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of foreign couples and same-sex couples choosing Portugal as the ideal location to celebrate their marriage.

Out of the 36,952 weddings held in 2022 (the highest number in the past 12 years), more than 5,000 were celebrated between a Portuguese and a foreigner, nearly 2,000 were between foreigners only, and 801 were between same-sex couples.

Advantages of Getting Married in Portugal

These numbers reflect the increasing awareness of the various advantages of getting married in Portugal. Besides its scenic beauty, pleasant climate, good food, hospitality, and friendly culture, Portugal offers the following:

1. Digital accessibility for Portuguese and Brazilian citizens

Portuguese citizens or Brazilians with the general status of equality of rights and duties (as provided in the Treaty of Porto Seguro), aged 18 or older, can choose to start their marriage process online, authenticated through their Citizen Card or Digital Mobile Key. This digital accessibility simplifies the process, and eliminates the need for travel and waiting times, making it more convenient for national and Brazilian couples.

2. Accessibility for foreigners without legal residence

Portugal is one of the few European Union countries where a foreign citizen doesn’t need to obtain a special visa or prove legal residence to get married, which allows for wedding planning without the need for lengthy bureaucratic procedures to obtain temporary residency, simplifying the process and making Portugal a highly accessible destination for people of different nationalities.

3. Equality for same-sex couples

Portugal allows same-sex couples to marry under the same conditions and circumstances as heterosexual couples. The legalization of same-sex marriage in 2010 demonstrates Portugal’s commitment to equality and diversity, positioning it as an inclusive and welcoming destination for all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation.

4. Flexibility in choosing the ceremony venue

In Portugal, couples have the freedom to choose the venue for their ceremony, whether it’s a civil registry office, a farmhouse, a hotel, or a beach. This flexibility allows the wedding to be personalized according to the couple’s preferences.

Civil marriage in Portugal is, therefore, accessible, and advantageous for many couples, regardless of their nationality, place of residence, or sexual orientation. To make the process clearer and more straightforward, we have outlined the essential requirements and answered the most frequently asked questions from those seeking our assistance in conducting their civil wedding in Portugal.

Essential Requirements for Getting Married in Portugal

1. Who can get married in Portugal?

Any individuals, regardless of nationality, sexual orientation, or country of residence, can get married in Portugal as long as they are not prohibited from doing so.

2. What can prevent the couple from marrying?

• Being under 16 years of age.

• Being 16 or 17 years of age, but their parents or legal representatives do not consent to the marriage, and the Registrar does not provide the necessary authorization.

• Demonstrating notable dementia, even with intervals of lucidity.

• Being married to another person, even in another country.

• Being related to each other in the direct line (parents/children, grandparents/grandchildren), in the second degree of the collateral line (siblings), in the third degree of the collateral line (uncles/aunts, nephews/nieces), or being related by affinity in the direct line (stepparents/stepchildren, in-laws).

• Having a guardianship relationship, being a legal guardian, or managing the other person’s property.

• Having had a prior relationship involving parental responsibilities.

• Being subject to a supported decision-making regime, with a court having declared an impediment to marriage.

• Having been convicted or awaiting trial as perpetrators or accomplices in a crime, whether consummated or not, of intentional homicide of the spouse of one of the prospective spouses.


3. What is required to get married in Portugal?

It is necessary to initiate a process with the Portuguese Civil Registry, known as the “preliminary marriage process”. In this process, the Registrar will verify whether the couple can marry. The couple can start the process themselves or through a representative (proxy), and they can do so in person at any Civil Registry office.


4. How is the marriage process initiated?

It starts with a declaration of intent, meaning the couple declares their intention to marry each other. Along with this declaration, they specify the desired form of marriage, the location of the wedding, the marital property regime, whether they will or will not conclude a prenuptial agreement, and a preferred date for the wedding ceremony. Additionally, they submit the necessary documents and pay a fee to the government, with a minimum amount of €120 (additional costs may apply, for example, if the couple wishes to marry on a non-working day or enter into a prenuptial agreement regarding their assets).


5. What are the essential documents needed to start the marriage process?

• Identification documents

• Birth certificates


6. What additional documents may be required for the process?

• Certificate of marriage eligibility

• Certificate of prenuptial agreement

• Power of attorney

*Most documents need to be legalized or apostilled to be valid in Portugal and often require translation into Portuguese.


7. When should the marriage process be initiated?

The process should be initiated between 1 to 3 months before the intended wedding date, and not more than 6 months in advance, as the marriage authorization decision is valid for only 6 months.

The time it takes the Civil Registry to review the process and decide whether to authorize the marriage varies according to various factors (such as the number of weddings, the available human resources at the chosen Civil Registry, the timely submission of all necessary documents by the couple, etc.). Properly submitting the marriage process with all required information and documents significantly increases the chances of obtaining a favorable decision authorizing the marriage in approximately 1 month.


8. What happens after the Civil Registrar reviews the process?

After reviewing the application and submitted documentation, the Registrar decides whether to authorize or reject the marriage, and the couple is always notified of this decision. If the marriage is authorized, the couple has up to six months to marry, with the date scheduled jointly between the couple and the Civil Registry. Typically, the couple should provide two Portuguese-speaking witnesses and an interpreter for the wedding ceremony. If the marriage is refused, the couple has the right to appeal the decision.


9. What is required for the actual wedding ceremony?

The couple (or one of them and the other’s proxy) must appear at the Civil Registry at the scheduled time for the wedding ceremony. They should bring the original valid identification documents and any witnesses previously indicated if their presence has been requested by the Registrar. As the wedding ceremony is conducted in Portuguese, if one or both of the couple do not understand Portuguese, they must be accompanied by an interpreter who also speaks a language understood by the couple.

While these are the most common requirements and answers to frequently asked questions from those seeking our assistance, the specific situation of each couple may require knowledge of specific and up-to-date requirements and procedures by current legislation and guidance from the Civil Registries.


How Can an Attorney Assist?

Our assistance in the civil marriage process in Portugal includes:

– Preliminary consultation to clarify any doubts about the process.

– Analysis of the couple’s specific situation

– Information about the requirements applicable in each case

– Examination of the viability of the members’ documents

– Preparation and submission of the application on behalf of the couple

– Obtaining document translations through partners in Portugal

– Presence of an interpreter, witnesses, and a representative at the wedding ceremony.


Benefits of Involving an Attorney

Having an attorney involved in the process typically brings several significant benefits to the couples:

1. Stress Reduction and Uncertainty

Civil marriage in a foreign country can be a complicated and challenging process. Hiring an attorney allows couples to focus on the emotional aspect of their wedding without worrying about complex legal matters.

2. Specialized Knowledge

Attorneys have a deep understanding of Portuguese laws, enabling them to assess the couple’s specific situation, identify any potential issues, and provide effective solutions.

3. Efficiency and Speed

With an attorney, you can save time by minimizing delays and ensuring that all documents and requirements are handled properly.

4. Translation and Interpretation

Not only for document translation but also to act as an interpreter during the ceremony, which is mandatory in Portugal when one of the spouses does not speak Portuguese.

5. Representation or Witnesses at the Wedding Ceremony

In almost all foreign marriages, the couples need to present witnesses who are fluent in the Portuguese language, and these can be attorneys or legal assistants. Additionally, if one of the spouses cannot be present at the wedding, they can have an attorney represent them.

6. Protection of Rights and Interests

An attorney is there to protect the rights and interests of the couples, ensuring that the process complies with laws and regulations.

In summary, by hiring an experienced attorney to assist with the civil marriage process in Portugal, couples can enjoy a smoother, more efficient, and stress-free experience, ensuring peace of mind and a memorable wedding day without legal complications.

If you would like to find out more about civil marriage in Portugal or request the assistance of a lawyer in this area, don’t hesitate to contact us.

The decision has already been made: the regime for non-habitual residents (NHR) will end in Portugal in 2024, and a tax incentive for scientific research and innovation has been created along the same lines, but “more restricted”.

The government has therefore decided not to extend “a measure of fiscal injustice, which is no longer justified, and which is a biased way of inflating the housing market, which has reached unsustainable prices”, as António Costa argued.

But who are these NHRs and how do they live in Portugal? How does their presence affect the housing market? In the absence of any published studies on the relationship between NHRs and the rise in house prices, Idealista/news asked several experts to find out whether there is a link. They admit that there is a “residual” impact of NHRs on house purchases and that the end of this tax regime will not solve the problem of access to housing in Portugal.


Non-Habitual Residents in Portugal: who are they and where do they come from?

First, it’s important to know who the non-habitual residents are who live in Portugal, benefiting from the IRS reduction for 10 years. Even with the end of the regime in 2024, they will continue to enjoy this tax benefit, because it is not expected to have retroactive effects. We know that there were 74,258 residents in Portugal in 2022 under this regime, according to the most recent data from the Court of Auditors. In addition, the number of NHRs tripled compared to 2018.

Looking at this data and considering their professional experience, the experts do not doubt that the NHR has had a consistent and significant uptake since 2009, the year it was created. “The NHR regime in Portugal has been the subject of considerable interest in recent years and is undoubtedly one of the best tools for attracting foreign investment,” summarizes Rafaela Beire Cardoso, associate lawyer, and head of the tax department at Belzuz Advogados. She adds that “in recent years, adherence to the NHR regime has increased significantly”, due in part to “the growing awareness of its benefits, but also to the political and economic climate in the countries of origin”.

“The NHR statute is the most successful tax regime ever”, Diogo Capela, lawyer, and partner at Lamares, Capela & Associados.


What is the profile of these Non-Habitual Residents?

So far, there is no official data available on the profile of demand under the scheme. Idealista/news requested the same data from the Ministry of Finance, but it had not been sent by the time this article was published. Based on their professional experiences, the experts consulted say that the profile of NHRs is diverse, from retirees to investors, and that they generally have greater purchasing power.

“We’re talking about retired people or foreigners in early retirement, as well as digital nomads, entire families who choose to live in our country, displaced senior executives. Typically, these are people with a higher level of income than the average Portuguese citizen, and therefore with greater purchasing power,” comments Gonçalo Nascimento Rodrigues, coordinator of the postgraduate course in Real Estate Investments at ISCTE Executive Education.


Foreign pensioners in Portugal

“The profile of the people who obtain the RNH is that they want to live in Portugal, either because they plan to retire here, or because they have companies in Portugal or work here in a subordinate or independent capacity,” says Diogo Capela, lawyer, and partner at Lamares, Capela & Associados.

These are, therefore, “emigrant Portuguese and European citizens who have chosen to come and practice their professions or enjoy their retirement in Portugal, not forgetting that it is a fundamental point of attraction for national and international talent,” says Patrícia Barão, Head of Residential at JLL.

Therefore, “retirees, businesspeople, liberal professionals and investors looking for tax advantages and at the same time a peaceful country with a good climate, a high quality of life and a low crime rate,” said Rafaela Beire Cardoso, from Belzuz Advogados.

Roman Carel, founding partner of Athena Advisers, highlights the fact that the NHR regime has attracted “many highly qualified and valued professionals. This means that there has been a lot of investment from entrepreneurial people, businesspeople, and active people who have moved to Portugal and started new businesses, opened offices, employed people, and consumed goods and services. And this has had a very significant impact on our economy,” he points out.

At PwC, they also noted the demand for the NHR regime from “workers in activities considered to have high added value” and from digital nomads, especially during and after the pandemic. Luís Filipe Sousa, tax director at PwC Portugal, also highlights the demand from “people with high assets and income, who typically earn different types of income, namely passive (dividends, interest, capital gains, property income or pensions)”.

In the experience of Francisco Castro Guedes, coordinator of the SRS Tax Department, the NHR regime is “especially sought after” by two types of workers:

  • ‘High-net-worth individuals’: who come to Portugal to live because they find a better quality of life here (including safety and a great climate).
  • Professionals who carry out high value-added activities, such as senior company executives and tech professionals. “The influx of a younger generation into the technology sector has been particularly noticeable in recent years, given the implementation and standardization of remote working,” he adds.


For all these reasons, Micaela Monteiro Lopes, a guest assistant at the Lisbon Institute of Accounting and Administration (ISCAL) and a doctoral student in law, admits that “this regime reinforces Portugal’s image as a country open to international investment and the integration of foreigners”.


What countries do NHRs living in Portugal come from?

NHRs come mainly from countries such as the UK, Spain, France, Italy, the USA, Brazil, and China, they say from Belzuz Advogados. And Athena Advisers share that they have received people from Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, France, and Sweden, among other countries, “who have come here and created restaurants, hotels, technology companies, and so many other businesses”, says Roman Carel.

“The majority of people with NHR status come from France and some Nordic countries, particularly Sweden. This coincided with the increase in taxes on higher incomes in these countries, which motivated the search for Portugal as a destination for residence, albeit an unusual one,” explains Miguel Lacerda, Lisbon Residential Director at Savills.

From De Brito Properties – a real estate agent that has been monitoring foreign investment in the Portuguese real estate market for ten years – they say that “of all the Europeans, the French were the most attracted to the RNH status”.

And it was precisely between 2016 and 2020 that they felt the boom of French retirees and couples with children coming to Portugal to benefit from this regime. In 2020, the change in taxation on pensions from 0% to 10% slowed down the demand from retirees. But even so, “between 2020 and 2022 we had many more requests from other Europeans to come to Portugal to take advantage of the NHR, many of whom were young digital nomads,” César de Brito, the company’s manager, told Idealista/news.


Non-Habitual Residents living in Portugal: impact on house purchases is “residual”

One of the justifications António Costa gave for ending the NHR status – and creating a new tax incentive for scientific research and innovation professionals that is “more restricted”, according to the experts interviewed by Idealista/news – was precise that the arrival of these foreigners was inflating the housing market in Portugal. But is that the case?

These families from abroad indeed need a home to live in, whether they rent or buy. But most experts believe that the number of homes purchased by these families will be “residual” and even, in some cases, at prices much higher than the Portuguese can afford.

Although the NHR status is not directly associated with the purchase of housing – as is, for example, the Golden Visa that came to an end with Mais Habitação – economist Vera Gouveia Barros admits that “this regime implies that these people become residents here, and it’s natural that they will be an increase in demand for housing (whether by purchase or rental). And since it’s a scheme designed to attract people with high incomes, it’s also natural that these people have a greater ability to pay and compete with those who are habitual residents,” she adds.

Gonçalo Nascimento Rodrigues also assumes that “these residents buy or rent houses in Portugal”. But although he admits that “there may be a relationship between NHR and the housing market”, he stresses that there is no concrete data or studies to prove it. Making a quick estimate, the real estate finance specialist says that between 2018 and 2022, non-habitual residents bought at most 8% of the 625,960 homes sold during that period, considering that 50,000 new NHRs arrived in the country during those four years.

“As in reality this impact was much smaller – given that all of these residents did not buy a house – it is not possible to say that the regime fueled a rise in house prices and a growing shortage of supply, nor that its end will help solve the problem of access to housing,” concludes the ISCTE professor.

César Brito’s view is similar: as “not all NHRs have bought homes in Portugal”, their market share is “residual” in terms of national sales volume. In addition, he points out that “these clients have bought a certain type of property, often luxury – from this perspective, we have to admit that this market share would be more important”.

A study by the NHR Global Association in 2022 found that each NHR spent, on average, around one million euros on buying property in Portugal, quotes Roman Carel. Thus, “with the end of the NHR, Portuguese luxury developers will find it more difficult to sell their properties” warns the head of De Brito Properties.

“If it [the RNH] had any contribution to make to the increase in house prices, it was residual and very localized in city centers, and in some neighborhoods, in larger residential units to accommodate the families that chose Portugal to settle in,” says the founding partner of Athena Advisers. In the same vein, Francisco Castro Guedes, from SRS, says that what is at stake is “a small number of houses” and “the circumscription of this issue to urban centers”, which “clearly demonstrates that the measure will not solve the issue of access to housing“.

Some admit a link between the RNH and the rise in house prices. “The regime played a major role in increasing demand for real estate, resulting in the appreciation of property prices. The correlation between the NHR and the difficulty of access to housing for nationals can be interpreted as a conflict between policies to attract investment and the well-being of residents,” says Micaela Monteiro Lopes.

She also believes that “a possible discontinuation of this regime could cause oscillations in the real estate market, possibly resulting, in the long term, in a stabilization – or even a reduction – in property prices” for renting or buying, although this reflection “will never be immediate, nor with the speed that is intended”.

On the other hand, some experts deny that NHRs influence the rise in house prices, due to pressure on foreign demand. Miguel Lacerda, from Savills, says that “investment by NHRs is not at all related to inflation in the housing market”, because “this type of private investor can only rent space, they don’t need to make a purchase”. Patrícia Barão, from JLL, also assumes that “the claim that the NHR inflates the housing market doesn’t make sense”, not least because “the program mainly attracted foreigners who bought high-value properties, often in areas where the Portuguese had little interest“.

What is certain is that there are no studies that conclude that the presence of NHRs hurts house prices, as the Prime Minister claims. For this reason, Luís Filipe Sousa, from PwC, believes that “it would be desirable for the studies that allow this conclusion to be drawn to be made public”.


The end of Non-Habitual Residents (NHRs) will not improve access to housing in Portugal

Although they assume that non-habitual residents buy or rent houses to live in our country, several experts interviewed by Idealista/news warn that ending this regime will not help solve the problem of access to housing in Portugal. This is because the central issue is the short supply of houses and not the demand from foreigners for homes to live in, they argue.

“The government wants to convince the Portuguese that the housing problem in Portugal is on the demand side and not on the supply side (…) and that foreigners are the cause of the housing problem” because they have more purchasing power to buy a house in the country, interprets lawyer Diogo Capela.

But the housing market in Portugal is not inflated because of the NHR, as António Costa claims say several experts in chorus, not least because the impact on house purchases is “residual”. “The Prime Minister can do away with the NHR and other attractiveness measures, but he has to be respectful of those who helped the country when it needed it. He must be fair and honest and admit that the problem of house price inflation is a global problem since house prices are rising in several European countries and around the world,” argues César Brito, from De Brito Properties.

“The end of the RNH will not bring more houses to the Portuguese middle and lower classes,” says César de Brito, manager of De Brito Properties.

The rise in prices in Portugal has been generalized,” agrees Roman Carel, from Athena Advisers, noting that this is “a macroeconomic issue and not strictly and directly related to the RNH”. This is because the rise in prices was driven by low-interest rates and an abundance of liquidity in the market. “If we look at the trends, this movement became widespread across Europe, particularly after Brexit, when capital at the European level began to inflate,” he explains.

The governor of the Bank of Portugal himself, Mário Centeno, admitted that he is not “completely” convinced that programs like the NHR are the problem with the housing market, pointing out that ending them is a “political issue”.

Micaela Monteiro Lopes, a guest assistant at ISCAL, admits that the NHRs played a “prominent role” in the demand for housing, which influenced the rise in prices and aggravated the difficulties the Portuguese have in accessing housing. In this sense, Micaela Monteiro Lopes sees, at a political level, the end of the NHR regime as “a gesture in favor of Portuguese citizens, particularly those who don’t own their own home or those on more modest incomes, who face serious difficulties in accessing the housing market, as a result of the real estate inflation we are currently facing.”

The truth is that the difficulty in accessing housing in the country is due to the imbalance between the short supply and the high demand. “For every new house built, we have demand for nine,” says JLL’s Patrícia Barão. “The big problem with housing in Portugal is related to the lack of supply of product and slow and expensive construction,” says Miguel Lacerda, from Savills.

In addition, there is another issue that has long been discussed: the delays in licensing. “No new buildings are coming onto the market and new projects drag on for years and years in the town halls to get their licenses. And here we hit another major problem that is inflating real estate in Portugal: the slowness of the administration. And this isn’t being solved and no one is interested in solving it because it doesn’t bring in votes,” says the founding partner of Athena Advisers.

Therefore, the solution to improving housing affordability in Portugal would be to increase the supply of homes. “To do this, we need to encourage investment in private rentals with tax advantages such as exist in France, but so far the government hasn’t had this vision,” points out the head of De Brito Properties.

“The RNH program is not the cause of the housing crisis. The real solution to the housing problem would be measures to stimulate the supply of housing, such as the rehabilitation of abandoned properties and the creation of tax incentives for real estate developers,” says Patrícia Barão, from JLL.

In recent years, Portugal has become one of the most attractive countries for immigration due to its safety, mild climate, culture, gastronomy, and the ability of the Portuguese to welcome people. Given that the reasons for migration are now much more diverse, migratory patterns are also becoming different. In this article, we will explore one of these patterns – the immigration of families who bring their nanny with them to look after the children.

We often see entire families, from all walks of life, moving to Portugal. In many cases, the family core is not restricted to the couple, the children, and the grandparents, but includes other elements which are a fundamental part of the family circle and routine.

An example of this is the nanny, who, although a less common figure in Portugal, is recurrent in many cultures and is an indispensable part of the family. The nanny is the person who lives in the family home and is responsible for all the children’s care, being in charge of everything related to their routines and education.

For this reason, nannies are often the center of family organization and an indispensable element. But is she family under immigration terms?  

When analyzing article 99 of Law 23/2007, July 4, one can understand that the nanny is not part of the family according to the Foreign Law. When doing the same analysis of Article 2(e) of Law 37/2006, August 9, known as the European Union Citizens Law, one can also understand that the concept of family is even more restricted and that, here too, the nanny is not considered as part of the family.

That said, this crucial family member cannot be granted a residence visa under the terms of Article 58(5) of the Foreign Law, which is intended to accompany a family member applying for a residence visa.

The family will also not be able to apply for a residence visa under the terms of Article 98 of the same law, which gives them the right to family reunification, and, when applicable, they will also not be able to accompany a family member who is a citizen of the European Union who comes to live in Portugal, under the terms of article 15 of the European Union Citizens Law.


How can the family come to Portugal with the nanny?

Therefore, the way for the family to bring the nanny to Portugal will be through a residence visa for work. This new employment relationship will be signed when the family is already in Portugal and will give the nanny the rights granted under Portuguese Labor Law.  Although domestic work has been regulated since the 1990s in special legislation, the amendment to the Labor Code resulting from Law 13/2023, of April 3, brought with it some new features for these workers. 

For the family to be able to bring the nanny to Portugal and for her to comply with employment legislation, they must:

  • Formalize an employment contract, registering with Social Security, make contributions, and have compulsory occupational accident insurance.
  • Have a working schedule limited to a maximum of 40 hours a week, unless there is an agreement between the family and the child.

The employee has the right to a night’s rest of at least eleven consecutive hours, which must not be interrupted, except for reasons of force majeure, unforeseen circumstances, or when she has sick children or children up to the age of three in her care. She must also have meal breaks and at least one rest day a week.

In addition to the rights more specific to this job, the nanny should also enjoy, like most workers with an employment contract in Portugal, 22 working days of paid leave, vacation pay, Christmas bonuses, and protection in the event of illness, parenthood, or disability.

Thus, under immigration law and employment law in Portugal, the nanny will have all the rights and duties inherent in a real subordinate employment relationship.

If you would like to know more about this or any other immigration-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact our team of lawyers.

Recently, the Brazilian Constitution underwent an important change that aims to protect those who wish to have multiple nationalities voluntarily, either through the naturalization process – after living for a certain period in a given country – or through other derivative forms, such as marriage. This makes it easier for Brazilian citizens to obtain Portuguese nationality. Let’s see how.

According to the news covering this change in the law, “the loss of Brazilian nationality is now restricted to two situations: when the citizen expressly requests renunciation – as long as this does not make him / her stateless, i.e. without citizenship recognized by any other country – or in cases of a court decision related to fraud in the naturalization process or an attack on the Constitutional order and the Democratic State.”

Although it rarely happened, many Brazilian citizens were afraid to start the process of acquiring Portuguese nationality through marriage, for fear of losing their nationality of origin.

This increased especially after the case of Cláudia Hoerig, one of those rare exceptions, accused of murder in the United States, who fled to Brazil. This case raised concerns because she was denied her Brazilian nationality to be extradited to the United States.


Portuguese nationality for Brazilian citizens

Although Brazilian citizens are one of the groups that most often obtain Portuguese nationality – either because they are of Portuguese descent or because of naturalization due to their length of residence in Portugal, few have applied for Portuguese nationality by marriage in recent years.

This statement is based on a proportional perspective. In fact, according to SEF’s 2022 report, Brazilian nationality leads applications for nationality by marriage in Portugal, however, we believe that these numbers could have been higher in previous years given the number of conjuges who have obtained Portuguese nationality.

We believe that the numbers will certainly increase in the future. This is due to the recent guarantee that the loss of Brazilian nationality will only occur in specific circumstances, eliminating the generic risk previously perceived.

Due to the fear of losing their nationality of origin, which previously influenced many spouses to opt only for the application for residence by family reunification, the truth is that they are of different statuses. Portuguese citizenship makes the life of the citizen, especially the one who wishes to live or invest in Portugal, much more favorable and simplified than a Residence Permit.

If you would like further clarification on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you every step of the way.

In an interview with CNN Portugal on Monday evening, Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the Government planned to put an end to the country’s non-habitual resident (NHR) tax regime next year, as it has served its purpose and is now prejudicing the housing market.

It is unclear whether this will be fully or partially canceled or when the change will come into effect, but there is a chance that the measure will be approved within the State Budget 2024, soon to be brought for debate in Parliament.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa also stated that people who already have NHR status will keep it.

NHR offers tax benefits for 10 years for people relocating to Portugal, with income earned in Portugal for high-added-value activities being taxed at a flat rate of 20% and income sourced abroad being generally exempt, except for pensions, which are taxed at a flat rate of 10%.

So applicants who wish to still take advantage of this tax benefit should, if possible, register as tax residents in Portugal until December 31st and then apply for NHR status.

Naturally, tax residence is easily registered in Portugal once a foreign holds a residence card or certificate (in the case of EU/EEA nationals). However, in cases where a residence card has not yet been issued, and the person is already a resident in Portugal (depending on the specifics of the situation) there may be other ways to accomplish this, considering the law and what our practice has confirmed.

Want to apply to NHR status or know more about this topic? Our team at Lamares, Capela & Associados is ready to assist you. Contact us here.

Hongkongers are still attracted to a new life in Portugal, even with tighter Golden Visa rules. And yes, Portuguese citizenship for Macau residents is still possible.


We wrote about this back in 2019 and it is still true that Hongkongers remain interested in Portugal even though there are tighter Golden Visa rules today.

Being a gateway to post-Brexit Europe, Portugal is seen by many countries as the best alternative to Westernization – mainly for those that share a past with the Portuguese being ex-colonies.

This is also true concerning Macau, a territory that was Portuguese until 1976 – or 1999 when considering the period in which it was still under the Portuguese administration.

As we also explained here, those who were born in Macau until 1981 are Portuguese, regardless of their affiliation. And those born after November 1981 are only Portuguese when proving to have a Portuguese parent. Once granted, Portuguese citizenship is passed on to the children, grandchildren, and so on.

As such, it is now possible to find Portuguese citizens not only in Macau but a bit all over Hong Kong. But, with the transition, many who went from Macau to Hong Kong lost their Portuguese citizenship, some illegally, and, worse than that, many became stateless.

Until now, Macau and Hong Kong citizens were able to enter Europe through Golden Visa and its real estate investment program which is now ending in Portugal. However, that doesn’t mean that there are no more opportunities for these citizens in Portugal. On the contrary, we continue to welcome Macau citizens who, through their descendants, may want to apply for Portuguese nationality and, with that, access Europe more easily.


Portuguese citizenship for Macau residents

Portugal may not be that interesting for those considering benefits from programs such as the Golden Visa, but it is still one of the best entrance doors in Europe, especially for those of Portuguese descent, such as Macau citizens. And many are aware of it.

Research shows that the number of applications has increased in recent years due to various factors, such as the political situation in Hong Kong, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the benefits of holding a European passport.

One source estimates that about 10,000 Macau residents applied for Portuguese citizenship in 2020, compared to about 3,000 in 2019. Another source reports that the Portuguese consulate in Macau received more than 7,000 applications in the first half of 2020, which was more than the total number of applications in 2019.

To apply for Portuguese citizenship, foreign citizens need to meet certain requirements, for example, being born in Macau before or during the Portuguese administration (until 1981) or having a parent or grandparent who was born in Macau or Portugal.

Portuguese citizenship grants these citizens the right to live, work, study, and travel freely in the European Union and other countries that have visa-free agreements with Portugal.

It also allows them to participate in the political and social life of Portugal and the EU. However, they may also face some challenges, such as renouncing their Chinese nationality (as China does not recognize dual citizenship).

If you want to know more about obtaining Portuguese citizenship or any other Immigration matter, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experienced lawyers.

With the definitive end to the Golden Visa approved yesterday by the President of the Republic, it’s time to move towards a more stable investment framework and diversify the forms of investment in Portugal.

There is no doubt that Portugal continues to be a very attractive destination for investors who now find their investment options more limited, but still have plenty to choose from.

If the initial objective is indeed the Golden Visa, they can continue to apply according to the conditions we have already detailed in this article – namely the creation of 10 new jobs (or maintenance of 5) and investment in scientific research or Portuguese cultural heritage.

As direct, or indirect real estate investment is out of the equation, there are other benefitable investment options that are increasingly interesting for international investors – investment funds.


Investment Funds – what are they?

What are investment funds anyway? For those new to the area, this expression may “scare” you, but the idea (and the explanation) is simpler than it seems – it’s about investing together.

Due to the amounts of investment required and the greater complexity of some areas of investment, it presupposes that there is a professional manager, i.e. a specialist – a fund manager – looking after your money. You can also invest on your own, but this is not advisable, especially if you have no experience.

Participation in the fund is proportional, i.e. each person who invests in the fund receives a proportional share of the profits or losses, based on how much they have invested. If you have a manager, you will also have to pay them a fee for their services.

Usually, funds are flexible, meaning you can buy or sell your stake in the fund at any time and thus guarantee liquidity. It’s a convenient and affordable option for individual investors.


Investment Funds in Portugal

There are several investment options in Portugal that offer profitability and opportunities for foreign investors:


Renewable Energy Investment Funds

Portugal has invested significantly in renewable energies, such as solar and wind. Investing in funds related to clean energy can be an interesting option as the country seeks to increase its renewable energy production.


Tourism Investment Funds

Tourism is a vital industry in Portugal, and investment funds focused on this sector can be attractive to investors.

Some of these units are strongly related to the maintenance of Portugal’s cultural heritage, which could still be a route to the Golden Visa. It’s also an area that usually creates a lot of jobs.


Capital Market Investment Funds

Capital markets are essential components of a country’s financial system and play a key role in allocating financial resources. They are where companies and governments can raise money by selling shares, bonds, and other financial instruments to investors. In Portugal, there are several capital markets, including Euronext Lisbon – and the Stock Market for companies within Euronext -, the Alternext market, and the Debt Market.


Agricultural Investment Funds

Investment funds in the agricultural sector are investment vehicles that focus on activities related to agriculture, agro-industry, and agrobusiness. These funds invest in projects, companies, or assets linked to the agricultural sector, with the aim of generating a financial return for investors. They can include various areas such as food cultivation, production of agricultural commodities, food processing, agricultural logistics, and much more.

In Portugal, some investment funds are related to the agricultural sector:

  • Agricultural Venture Capital Funds: investment in start-ups and innovative companies in the agricultural sector, such as those involved in agricultural technology (AgTech) or sustainable solutions for agriculture.
  • Agricultural cooperatives: Although they are not traditional investment funds, agricultural cooperatives in Portugal can be a way of participating in collective agricultural activities and investing in the sector.
  • Financial Institutions: Banks and financial institutions in Portugal can offer investment products – such as Caixa Invest Agro – aimed at the agricultural sector, such as term deposits or thematic investment funds that include agricultural companies.


Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds

Investors can tap into venture capital and private equity funds in Portugal. These funds invest in early-stage Portuguese companies or companies looking for growth and expansion. Investors can participate in the success of these companies and receive solid returns based on their performance.

With the start-up ecosystem booming, investing in start-ups is a way of supporting and benefiting from the growth potential of new businesses. These funds can offer significant return opportunities, although they also involve a higher level of risk.


Return on Investment Funds

As for profitability, returns vary depending on the type of fund and the underlying assets. It is important to realize that all investments carry a certain level of risk, and returns are not guaranteed. Investors should carry out careful research and consider their risk profile before investing in any fund.

In addition, it is advisable to consult a financial advisor or investment specialist for personalized guidance based on your financial goals and individual situation. Portugal can continue to be an excellent choice for investors if they are willing to explore the various investment opportunities available in the country.

We’re here to help you with this mission and to answer any questions you may have about this or any other topic that falls under the remit of our team of lawyers. Discover all our services here and don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more.

Get in touch with us for further information.

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