Moving from Canada to Portugal

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Embracing a new chapter by moving from Canada to Portugal is an exhilarating journey brimming with transformative experiences. Portugal enchants with its blend of profound history, breathtaking landscapes, and welcoming, vibrant culture. Whether you are seeking a serene retirement, a compelling academic environment, exciting career opportunities, or just a fresh, exhilarating escapade, this comprehensive guide is poised to equip you with all the vital information for a seamless, stress-free transition. A pivotal part of this process is arranging a professional international move with expert movers and packers Toronto has to offer. After all, the logistics of an international move are far more manageable with a team of professionals at your side. Herein, you’ll find an in-depth exploration of all aspects of your overseas relocation.

Laying the groundwork: Pre-move research and planning

Before embarking on your journey from Canada to Portugal, thorough research and meticulous planning are key. Get acquainted with Portugal’s culture, language, and lifestyle to make informed decisions. Understanding these facets can guide your choice of location and aid your adaptation to Portuguese life. Additionally, engage with trusted international movers Canada has to offer for a smoother moving experience. A well-planned move paves the way for a fulfilling Portuguese living experience.

yellow tramways in Portugal
You should learn as much as you can about Portugal before you move there.

Visa and residency

Securing the required visa and residency permits is crucial when moving from Canada to Portugal. There are various visa options, including the D7 Passive Income Visa, Golden Visa, and Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime, available for Canadian citizens.

  • Gather required documents: Once you have determined the appropriate visa type, you will need to gather the necessary documents. These typically include a valid passport, proof of financial means, medical insurance coverage, criminal record check, and a completed visa application form.
  • Submit application: The next step is to submit your visa application to the Portuguese consulate or embassy in Canada.
  • Attend an interview: Depending on the visa type and the consulate’s requirements, you may be required to attend an interview.
  • Wait for processing: After submitting your application, it will undergo processing by the Portuguese authorities.
  • Receive decision and passport: Once your application has been processed, you will receive a decision regarding your visa.
  • Register and obtain residency: Upon arrival in Portugal, you will need to register your presence with the local authorities within a specified period.

Navigating housing and living costs in Portugal

The housing market in Portugal brims with variety, offering a broad spectrum of choices in its most sought-after cities and neighborhoods. Whether you’re considering renting or purchasing property, you have a myriad of channels at your disposal. Online platforms and real estate agents are invaluable tools in your search. Even long distance movers Canada offers, with their extensive networks and wealth of experience in international relocations, can provide valuable insight and resources to aid in your house-hunting mission.

The cost of living in Portugal is generally more affordable when compared to other European countries. Healthcare services are reasonably priced, with both public and private options readily available. Daily essentials are conveniently accessible from a diverse range of grocery stores and markets.

a coastal city
Portugal is generally more affordable than some other European countries

To give you an idea of rental costs, a studio or 1-bedroom apartment in the heart of a Portuguese city is typically priced between €500 and €800 per month. Opting for a location outside the city center could reduce your rent to approximately €400 to €600 per month. If you require more space, a 3-bedroom apartment within the city center will likely cost between €1,000 and €1,500 per month, while the same size accommodation outside the city center generally ranges from €800 to €1,200 per month.

Exploring employment opportunities

The vibrant job market in Portugal extends a multitude of opportunities for both local residents and expats. Riding the wave of steady economic growth in recent years, Portugal has seen a surge in job prospects across diverse sectors. Major industries spanning tourism, services, information technology, finance, and renewable energy have all experienced growth.

While Lisbon and Porto stand as the key employment epicenters, other regions like the Algarve, known for its tourism and hospitality sector, and Coimbra, a rising hub for IT and academia, also offer a broad range of job opportunities.

Mastering Portuguese can open more doors as many roles necessitate language proficiency, although international corporations and emerging tech startups often operate in English. Consider companies like EDP in renewable energy or Farfetch in the tech space, both of which are headquartered in Portugal. Job seekers can turn to online portals such as LinkedIn or Indeed, engage recruitment agencies, or tap into professional networks to discover open positions. Additionally, the Portuguese government extends substantial support to entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals, exemplified by startup incubators like Startup Lisboa.

Education in Portugal

Portugal’s education system is divided into three stages:

  • basic education
  • secondary education
  • and higher education

Basic education, free and mandatory until the age of 18, provides a solid foundation for all students. For higher education, the country is home to several internationally recognized universities. The University of Lisbon and the University of Porto, for instance, offer a multitude of programs in English accommodating international students. Thorough research into the education options that best fit your family’s needs will ensure a seamless transition.


Portugal offers an efficient public transportation network, spanning buses, trams, and trains. For instance, the Metro systems in Lisbon and Porto are extensive, reliable, and easy to navigate. For inter-city travel, the Comboios de Portugal (CP) trains are a popular choice. However, many people also opt for personal vehicles, particularly in rural areas.

Banking and finances

Like Canada, Portugal offers an easy banking setup with institutions like Banco Santander Totta and Millennium BCP. However, unlike the extended hours of Canadian banks, Portuguese banks usually stick to weekday hours. While Canadians often use Interac e-transfers, Portugal relies on Multibanco ATMs for similar services.

Although credit cards are commonplace in both countries, Portugal still favors cash, especially in smaller towns. For international money transfers, consider services like Wise or Revolut to avoid high fees and enjoy better exchange rates.

Taxes and legal obligations

Both Canada and Portugal tax residents on their worldwide income. However, Portugal offers schemes like the Non-Habitual Resident regime for certain expatriates, providing significant tax advantages. In Canada, similar benefits might exist depending on the province. It’s wise to consult a tax advisor in both countries to comprehend your obligations and possible benefits fully before you relocate with movers North York has to offer.

Utilities and communication

Establishing utilities is key when setting up your new home in Portugal. Companies like EDP for electricity and Galp for gas are common providers, ensuring a smooth setup process. When it comes to communications, providers such as Vodafone and MEO offer extensive services, facilitating seamless connectivity. This contrasts with Canada, where utilities and communications providers vary by province. By understanding the straightforward processes in Portugal, you can easily arrange these essential services, ensuring a comfortable transition to your new surroundings. The quality and coverage of these services in Portugal are generally high, so rest assured, you’ll feel connected and at home swiftly after your move from Canada.

Learning Portuguese and adapting to local customs

Acquiring proficiency in Portuguese enhances communication, facilitates social interactions, and opens up opportunities for work and daily life. Various language schools and resources are available to assist in learning Portuguese. This includes online courses, language exchange programs, and immersive experiences. Embracing local customs, traditions, and etiquette demonstrates respect for the culture and fosters meaningful connections with the Portuguese people. This includes understanding social norms, greetings, mealtime etiquette, and local customs associated with festivals and celebrations. Engaging in community activities, attending cultural events, and making an effort to communicate in Portuguese will contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable transition into Portuguese society.

woman at the beach after moving from Canada to Portugal
Moving from Canada to Portugal is an exciting adventure.

Essential preparations for smooth moving from Canada to Portugal

Undeniably, your journey moving from Canada to Portugal is shaping up to be an incredible adventure full of enriching experiences. Portugal, a country drenched in rich history, adorned with diverse landscapes, and steeped in warm, welcoming culture, beckons you. The relaxed lifestyle and reasonable cost of living will surely amplify the charm of your new home. Whether it’s wandering through the quaint, cobblestone streets, lounging on sunny beaches, or indulging in delectable local cuisine, embracing the Portuguese way of life will indeed be a unique journey. As you prepare for this significant change, make sure to utilize valuable resources, including online platforms, professional networks, and experienced long-distance movers from Canada. Seize the diverse job prospects or entrepreneurial opportunities that Portugal has to offer. As you begin this exciting new chapter, we wish you an effortless transition and a joyful, fulfilling life in your new home.

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