Whether you’re looking for a career change, an escape from Canada’s cold winters, or are retirement bound, Portugal may be a promising option for you and your family. If you love beautiful beaches, islands and countryside you’re in luck. But picturesque landscapes aside, is this move the right one for you?

Portugal Wants You

In early 2020 Portugal made it easier to immigrate to the country. The government wants to bring in international workers and is even offering tax break incentives to entice you. However, the biggest tax cut of 50 percent income tax is for Portuguese citizens who have been out of the country for over three years. These tax breaks are currently slated to last until 2023.
In addition to tax breaks the Portuguese government has also put processes into place making it easier for international workers to obtain a work visa or purchase property.

Comparing Loonies to Euros

Cost of living is a huge factor in any move. Across the board it’s cheaper to live in Portugal than in Canada. Rent is roughly 30 to 40 percent less expensive in Portugal than Canada. Food prices, including restaurant dining, are also significantly cheaper than in Canada. Based on approximate 2020 numbers, the average salary in Portugal is about five percent less than it is in Canada. Be sure to figure travel expenses to visit Canada into your annual budget.

Tempering Weather Expectations

While Portugal is warmer than Canada year-round, it’s not devoid of cold and rainy weather. December and January temperatures have been known to hit freezing and below, there is a lot of rainfall, and even some frost and snow. For those who feel homesick around the holidays, this may be the perfect time to return to Canada for a visit, since you won’t be enjoying the weather in Portugal that time of year anyway.

Foodie Paradise

If you like seafood cuisine, fish, and quality wine, you’ll enjoy the reasonable prices on this fare in Portugal. The northern Douro region has been renowned for their port wine for hundreds of years.


Bone Up on Your Portuguese

If you speak Spanish it should be a snap to pick up on Portuguese with a little work. There is an estimated lexical (vocabulary or language) similarity of roughly 90 percent. Just the same, don’t start speaking Spanish and expect that anyone will understand what you’re saying.


Excellent Healthcare

One thing that Canada and Portugal have in common is their fantastic healthcare. If you’re a citizen and under 18 or over 65 you can enjoy free healthcare. If you are a citizen and fall between 18-65 the healthcare is highly subsidized. As a non-citizen you can enjoy affordable healthcare, however, you will want to set aside some money for medical care in your budget.

A Popular Place to Retire

The western region of Algarve is akin to the Florida of North America when it comes to retirees. People enjoy a mild temperature for most of the year, and time with many other retiree expats. This year Live and Invest Overseas voted Portugal as the best place in the world to retire. It doesn’t hurt that local government allows international resident retirees to get their pension without paying tax on it for up to a decade.

Boa sorte (good luck) on your move!

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