There’s an undeniable allure to working from anywhere, especially in a country that offers many options.
The rise of digital nomadism and remote working in Portugal has been nothing short of meteoric. And it’s not just because of its beautiful beaches and breathtaking castles, but more about its low cost of living, excellent weather year-round, and high quality of life.
From its historic cities like Lisbon and Porto to its quaint coastal towns of the Algarve, Portugal offers a unique and exciting experience for digital nomads looking to escape the corporate rat race and live on their terms.
Being a Digital Nomad in Portugal
The traditional 9-to-5 office lifestyle is no longer the only option in the age of technology and connectivity. Digital nomadism and remote working have created a new way of life where individuals can work and travel simultaneously.
In recent years, Portugal has become the most sought-after destination for digital nomads and remote workers. Its booming tech and startup scene has made it one of the top destinations for remote workers. Many foreign businesses seek to expand successfully and take advantage of what the country offers. This is a big plus for digital nomads looking to work where there are numerous networking opportunities.
Portugal’s capital city Lisbon is a particularly attractive option for remote workers. According to Savill’s study for the Executive Nomad Index, Lisbon came out on top as the best city to live for digital nomads, according to the following favourable factors: internet speed, air connectivity, climate, quality of life, and prime residential rents.
Many coworking spaces and startup accelerators have also popped up in cities like Lisbon, providing resources and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Additionally, Portugal is home to Europe’s first digital nomad Village on the island of Madeira. Since its opening in Ponta Do Sol on February 1, 2021, in partnership with the Regional Government of Madeira and Startup Madeira, more than 3000 people have registered, and the number is rising! Registering to work remotely is free, as well as additional special perks such as free wi-fi.
Reasons Why Portugal is Ideal for Digital Nomads and Remote Workers
Portugal has many things going for it that make it an ideal location for digital nomads and remote workers.
1.Cost of Living
Portugal has a relatively low cost of living compared to other European countries, which makes it an attractive destination for those looking to stretch their budget further. This includes affordable accommodation, food, and transportation.
2.High Quality of Life
Portugal offers a high quality of life, with beautiful beaches, historic cities, and friendly people. The Mediterranean climate provides mild winters and warm summers, making it ideal for outdoor activities.
3.Good Internet Infrastructure
Portugal has a good internet infrastructure, which is essential for digital nomads and remote workers. This means you can expect fast and reliable internet connections in most areas of the country.
4.Non-Habitual Resident Program
Portugal has a “non-habitual resident” program, which allows certain individuals to pay a reduced or zero tax rate on their income. This program has attracted many digital nomads and remote workers to the country, allowing them to save on taxes while still enjoying all that Portugal offers.
5.Cultural and Historical Richness
Portugal has a rich history and culture, which makes it an ideal place for digital nomads and remote workers who enjoy exploring ancient cities and learning about the past. The country also has many beaches, mountains, forests and other natural areas perfect for hiking or camping.
6.Friendly and Welcoming People
Portugal is a welcoming country with friendly and open people. The locals are very open to foreigners, and you will always feel welcome in any place you visit.
Portugal is generally considered a safe country with a low crime rate. This allows digital nomads and remote workers to feel secure and comfortable in their new homes.
Visa Options for Digital Nomads in Portugal
As an EU member state, Portugal offers visa-free travel to all citizens of other member states. If you are a citizen of another European Union country and have a valid passport, you are allowed to visit Portugal for up to 90 days without a visa. But if you’re planning on staying in for longer or are not an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, it is required that you apply for a visa. Portugal has several visa options for digital nomads and remote workers.
Temporary Stay Visa
The Temporary Stay Visa is intended for those who do not wish to become permanent residents but plan on living in Portugal for an extended period.
The Temporary Visa provides up to one year of residency in Portugal. For this Visa, you must show a minimum monthly income – which proves your ability to afford living expenses and accommodation costs. You may also renew the Visa for two more years.
A temporary stay visa will grant you multiple entries into the country. You can also travel outside Portugal and experience other European countries if you like with this type of Visa.
If you want to prolong your stay in Portugal for more than a year or obtain Portuguese citizenship, the Residency Visa is your best option.
There are two separate stages to obtaining this Visa. First, you will submit your application at the nearest consulate in your country of citizenship or permanent residence. If successful, you will receive a Visa valid for four months, with an allowance for two entries.
Afterwards, you must apply to SEF Immigration and Border Services to get a residency permit. This will be valid for two years.
The Portugal Golden Visa Program is a viable option for individuals looking to establish businesses and startups and want both a pathway to citizenship and the freedom to travel.
The golden Visa allows you to obtain temporary residency upon purchasing real estate worth €500,000 and benefit from visa-free travel within Europe’s Schengen area. The program also allows family members of qualified candidates to obtain permanent residency (with certain conditions).
It is important to note that the requirements and application process for each Visa can vary, and it is recommended to consult with a Portuguese immigration lawyer for specific guidance..
Cost of Living for Digital Nomads in Portugal
Cost of Living for Digital Nomads
Where you live, and your lifestyle will affect how much money you spend in Portugal. However, the cost of living in any city in Portugal is low and significantly cheaper than in many other European countries. While renting an apartment can be pricey in Lisbon and Porto—especially if you want something centrally located—it’s still much less expensive than in most cities around the world.
Taxing for Digital Nomads
For digital nomads, the tax benefits are one of the biggest attractions.
The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime is a tax benefit program for individuals who become tax residents in Portugal but do not have a “habitual residence” in the country. It exempts individuals from paying income taxes on their foreign income and living in Portugal for ten years. The tax rate is 20%.
How to Work as a Digital Nomad
Working as a digital nomad in Portugal can be a great way to experience the country’s rich culture and history while continuing to work remotely. However, it’s important to consider factors such as visa requirements, accommodation, healthcare, taxes, banking, internet connection, and network building to have a successful experience.
With the right planning and preparation, working as a digital nomad in Portugal can be an enriching and enjoyable experience.
Portugal is a safe and friendly expat destination, making it a popular choice among digital nomads. It offers everything a person seeks while working abroad—good internet access, proximity to nature and tasty cuisine, lovely weather and exciting culture. Plus, affordable rent!
The low cost of living and high quality of life in Portugal make it an ideal destination for remote workers and freelancers, who can take advantage of Internet connectivity and pursue a wide range of activities. In 2022, Portugal ranked as the top country in the world for digital nomads – an accolade that only underscores this fact.
Lisbon and Porto are two of Portugal’s most popular cities for digital nomads. Both cities have excellent Internet connectivity, cafes, coworking spaces, and vibrant nightlife. Other places for digital nomads in Portugal include Madeira, Lagos, Ericeira, Portimao, Armacao de Pera, Cascais and Braga.
Portugal offers a perfect blend of culture, infrastructure, and affordability for digital nomads and remote workers. With supportive government policies and a growing community of like-minded individuals, Portugal is quickly becoming a prime destination for digital nomads looking for a change of pace and scenery. So pack your bags, grab your laptop and head to Portugal for an unforgettable digital nomad experience.