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Living in Portugal - what you need to know

The oldest alliance in the world is between Portugal and the United Kingdom, which is still in force today. After the Brexit referendum, does this old alliance have the strength to unite Portugal and the United Kingdom, so that the British continue to want to live here?


Photo by Pedro Santos – Unsplash


It was on the 1st of January 2021 that the freedom of movement between the United Kingdom and the other countries of the European Union ceased. It was three and a half years of advancements and retreats after the referendum. Until finally, on the 9th of January 2020, the agreement was approved, integrating a transitional period until 31st December 2020.


The Portuguese Government has put together a draft law to guarantee all the rights to British citizens living in Portugal. This proposal provides social security, residence and higher education for British people and their families. There is a condition that the same rights must be guaranteed to Portuguese residents in the United Kingdom by the British Government. A suspension clause has been added to the draft law if reciprocity is not complied with.


The concerns of British residents and those wishing to live in Portugal are not only about Brexit, but also about the new rules on Golden Visas. The famous Golden Visas will only be available in the country’s inland areas, leaving out the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, and Portugal coastline area. This measure will start from the 1st of July 2021.


D7 Visas are previous to Golden Visas, but are unknown to most, and can benefit anyone who wants to spend their life in Portugal, regardless of age. They are aimed at retirees as well as young people or entrepreneurs and do not require as much investment as Golden Visas. This visa allows for free movement throughout the Schengen area, as well as the application for a permanent residence after five years.


What is required to obtain the D7 Visa?


  • Proof of a reasonable and constant income, with a minimum value to meet, depending on the number of dependents who come to live with you.
  • You must have a house in Portugal, rented or owned.



Before the transient date ended, the figures were about 1.3 million Britons living in the European Union, and about 3.6 million Europeans living in the United Kingdom. What has changed since the 1st of January is the access to some EU countries where health insurance, livelihoods and local language skills are required. For the Portuguese or other EU citizens, access to a residence in the United Kingdom will be subject to a points system in which age, qualifications, knowledge of the English language and financial resources are assessed.



The plan to live in Portugal won’t be compromised, as long as you take care of the right documentation.  Continue to draw out your plans to reside in Portugal, a country by the sea with mild temperatures all year round. Casas do Barlavento are committed to finding your dream home in this country.