The number of foreigners living in Portugal increased by 13.9% in 2018 to 480,300.

According to the Immigration, Borders and Asylum Report, prepared by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), the number of foreigners living in Portugal increased by 13.9% in 2018, totaling 480,300, with 81% of foreign residents resident. in Portugal they are part of the active population, with a preponderance of the 25-44 age group.

The same report also states that more than two thirds (68.9%) of the foreign population reside in the districts of Lisbon (213,065), Faro (77,489) and Setúbal (40,209).

A research made by InterNations to 64 countries says that Portugal is the 3rd best country to receive Expats, ahead of Spain and the Czech Republic, which are also in the top 10 places. The United Kingdom, Greece and Italy are the European Union countries at the bottom of the table. Brexit, and the economic crises in Greece and Italy, are the reasons for these countries to have this classification.

Some reasons that justify the growing interest of foreigners to live in Portugal

Quality of life

According to InterNations, Portugal is the 2nd country with the best quality of life (Read more here).

Many are already foreigners who choose Portugal to reside. Overall, foreigners living in Portugal are impressed with the quality of the environment (96%) and the climate (94%).


The Global Peace Index considered Portugal as the 3rd safest country in the world (read more here). The Portuguese are peaceful people and seek to avoid conflict.

Low cost of living

Portugal has one of the lowest living costs in Europe.

Although Lisbon is one of the most expensive cities in the country, compared to other capitals, it is quite affordable.

The climate and the culture

With almost 300 days of sunshine a year, Portugal offers the best climate in Europe, with mild winters and hot summers.

The Portuguese and their culture enchanted many foreigners. The gastronomy, festivities, traditions and friendliness of the Portuguese people make many foreigners feel at home.

Government supports for those who wish to live in Portugal

The Portuguese Government has provided various support programmes not only to Portuguese citizens wishing to reside or return to Portugal, such as the Programa Regressar, but also to foreigners who want to invest and want to settle in Portugal.

NHR is a tax statuts that is intended for those who have not been resident in Portugal in the last five years, that guarantees, for a period of ten years the exemption of income obtained abroad and the taxation of income obtained in Portugal to reduced rates if they engage in activities of high added value.

A residence permit for those who make a variable amount of investment in real estate, corporate or capital transfer, allowing access to the Schengen area without the need for a visa.

Several recent changes to the Nationality Law have facilitated procedures for obtaining it by those who are not of Portuguese descent, for example, the time of legal residence for access to nationality has been reduced to 5 years.