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How to Move to Portugal from Canada

How to Move to Portugal from Canada

🇵🇹 Portugal is calling for you...

How can a lawyer help me move to Portugal from Canada?

Thinking about making the move to Portugal from Canada? It’s an exciting journey, but also one that involves complex steps. This is where a knowledgeable lawyer can truly make a difference.

Throughout the process of moving to Portugal from Canada, our experienced team of immigration lawyers can offer you valuable support. Here’s how we can help:

First and foremost, our lawyers are ready to provide you with essential legal insights about Portugal’s immigration laws and what’s needed. We’ll walk you through the various visa options, explain who’s eligible, and ensure you grasp the application process.

When it comes to the visa application itself, we’ve got you covered. Our lawyers will take the lead in organizing all the necessary documents and ensuring they’re submitted accurately and on time. This way, your journey to Portugal becomes smoother

Thinking about purchasing property? If you’re looking to buy a place in Portugal, we’ll be there at every step. Our team will make certain that all the legal boxes are checked, and your rights as a buyer are fully protected.

Planning to start a business in Portugal? Our lawyers are well-equipped to assist with the legal and administrative aspects of setting up your venture. We’ll give you the guidance you need to understand and follow the relevant regulations.

Dealing with a new country’s tax system might feel overwhelming. But fear not! Our lawyers are here to provide expert advice on Portugal’s tax laws and help you stay on track with your tax responsibilities.

Considering a move to Portugal from Canada? Well, if the prospect of embarking on a fresh adventure in an entirely new country fills you with excitement and curiosity, rest assured that our team of welcoming and experienced immigration lawyers is here to provide guidance throughout the entire process.

¨We will be with you each step of the journey.¨


Why should you move to Portugal from Canada?




For Canadians, moving to Portugal offers an opportunity to embrace a new and enriching chapter in life. Portugal’s warm climate, beautiful landscapes, and rich history beckon Canadians seeking a change from the colder Canadian winters.

The welcoming and friendly nature of the Portuguese people helps Canadians integrate smoothly into the local community. As a result, Portugal is among the most attractive European countries for Canadians looking to move to the European Union.

Here’s what Canadian ex-pats can enjoy when living in Portugal:

  • Strong quality of life 
  • High level of safety
  • Attractive tax advantages 
  • Many investment opportunities
  • Great food and stunning scenery

How Canadian citizens can move to Portugal

Embark on a joyous life in Portugal with this step-by-step guide!


Choose the visa or Portuguese residence permit that suits you best.


Working with a lawyer is critical to learn about visa requirements and whether your situation qualifies.


You can either apply for a visa in Portugal or file your application from your home country if you are visiting.


Be sure to gather all the necessary paperwork and send them to the appropriate Portuguese embassy or consulate.


Then, travel to Portugal once you have your visa.

If you’re considering a move to Portugal from Canada, it’s crucial to note that if you want to work there, getting an employment visa is a must, unless you hold EU citizenship. Also, keep in mind that the working environment in Portugal differs from that in Canada. Ultimately, this requires you to secure a work visa before diving into your new job.

Those aspiring to establish permanent roots in Portugal might find the Entrepreneur and Investor Visa worth exploring. Yes, it does come with a higher cost, but the potential rewards down the line could be substantial.

If you wish to relocate to Portugal from Canada and you have enough passive income to sustain yourself, applying for a non-lucrative visa might be the best route. Essentially, this could pave the way for you to create a new life in Portugal.

Dreaming of studying in Portugal? Well, as a Canadian citizen, you can through a student visa. Also, once you complete your studies, you’re allowed to stay in the country and actively search for job opportunities.

Additionally, moving to Portugal from Canada doesn’t mean bidding farewell to your Canadian identity. Portugal acknowledges dual citizenship, basically allowing you to maintain your connections to both countries.

  1. Step 1 – Understand Your Situation.
    1. There are various residence permits in Portugal, each with its own procedure. For example, you must follow a different system to get a non-lucrative visa than one to get a work permit. So, first, you need to determine which visa is best for you.
    2. Even though Canadian citizens are not EU citizens, we can still help you and ensure the process is simple. 
    3. Our lawyers can assist you in deciding whether a Portuguese resident visa is exactly what you require. In addition, we can assist you with Immigration officials, because we speak Portuguese.
  2. Step 2 – the immigration procedure
    1. You typically begin the process in your home country unless you are applying for an entrepreneur visa or a highly skilled professional visa.
    2. You must apply to the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in your home country or the location where you are a legal resident before travelling to Portugal to obtain a Portuguese visa.
    3. After your application has been processed, the Embassy or Consulate will give you a visa so that you may enter Portugal and stay there.
    4. Make sure to travel within 90 days after the visa was issued.
    5. Once you have received your NIF number, you must apply for a residence permit. A residency card is essentially what you receive. 
    6. You may live in the country for two years with this residence permit, which can be renewed for a period of three years, as long you still meet the exact requirements.
    7. You may apply for permanent residency after living in Portugal for at least 5 years.
  3. Step 3 – Working in Portugal
  4. If you are an ex-pat, you must have a work visa to work in Portugal.
    1. Those seeking to reside in Portugal who are unable to meet the stringent requirements for other types of visas may find the work visa a suitable replacement.
      1. Most applications must be made from outside of Portugal.
      2. You must have a Portuguese job offer and a work contract to get a work permit.
      3. You can only work in positions where the government has identified a need.
    2. We’ve helped hundreds of clients secure their EU blue card, so don’t delay and speak with Lexidy today. 
  5. Step 4 – Moving to Portugal but not working.
    1. You can live in Portugal as a Canadian citizen without working on a non-lucrative visa. Having enough money to sustain yourself there, however, would be ideal. 
    2. With this visa, you can use your private or public pension to support yourself while living in Portugal.
  6. Step 5 – Getting a NIF
    1. Anyone who lives in Portugal has to obtain a tax identification number NIF especially if they run official/legal fiscal activities 
    2. In Portugal, a NIF number is required to open a bank account, purchase a property, pay taxes and do most other fiscal activities.
  7. Step 6 – The paperwork
    1. You must have the following documents for each residence permit in Portugal.
      1. A clean criminal record in Portugal and your home country
      2. Proof that you can financially support yourself if you are applying for a student visa or non-lucrative visa
      3. Full public healthcare coverage
      4. A passport and two photo IDs
    2. More complex visa applications require more paperwork. For instance, the Golden Visa in Portugal requires proof that the applicant has purchased a Portuguese asset. In addition, the entrepreneurship visa requires the applicant to develop a business plan.
  8. Step 7 – Translate the documents
    1. All documents must be translated into Portuguese and certified with a Hague Apostille. These documents are rejected if presented in the client’s native language, so everything must be translated into Portuguese.
  9. Step 8 – Move with your family.
    1. An extended family may apply for a residence and work permit if the principal applicant has resided in the country for more than one year.
    2. Portugal counts the below as family:
      1. Your parents
      2. Spouse or unmarried partner
      3. Your spouse’s parents
      4. Your children
    3. Your family reunification residence permit application cannot be processed until your relative is out of the country.

Thinking about moving to Portugal from Canada? Well, if you’re considering a long-stay visa for employment, self-employment, studies, or retirement, you’ll need to submit a specific visa application tailored to your purpose. Here are the main visa options available to you as a Canadian citizen:

Retirement Visa (D7 Visa): Known as the D7 visa, the Retirement Visa enables Canadian citizens to reside in Portugal as long as their financial resources can sustain their lifestyle. Moreover, you can even work in Portugal while relying on passive income like dividends, pensions, interest, or rental earnings. Demonstrating that you possess sufficient economic means to support yourself and your family is crucial, and having a pension is the recommended way to do so.

Once you arrive in Portugal, you can apply for a Residence Permit, valid for two years and renewable for three-year periods. Also, after five years of living in Portugal, you’re eligible for permanent residency, which is the initial step toward obtaining Portuguese citizenship, applicable to your family as well.

Digital Nomad Visa: This visa is for Canadian citizens whose remote work income can sustain their lifestyle in Portugal. Unlike the D7 Visa which relies on passive income, this one hinges on your salary from freelance or remote employment.

Furthermore, when you arrive in Portugal, you can apply for a Residence Permit, with a two-year validity that’s extendable for three years at a time. After residing in Portugal for five years, applying for permanent residency follows. This paves the way for obtaining Portuguese citizenship, which also includes your family.

Unique to this visa application, you aren’t obligated to purchase property or make investments.

Investor Visa (Portuguese Golden Visa): If you want to move to Portugal from Canada, you can take part in the Golden Visa Program to gain permanent residency in Portugal. Offering the most benefits and flexibility, this visa also boasts the simplest application process. Essentially, both you and your loved ones can begin working immediately in Portugal.

However, this visa entails a significant investment in Portuguese real estate. Generally, this amounts to a €500,000 investment, but it can certainly decrease if you purchase property in a low-density region or a designated rehabilitation zone.


We are a department formed by qualified legal experts who have been trained in the field of immigration law. We work on these residency permit requests every day. It’s our passion. Our work goes beyond having a general interest.


For us, Lexidy is a way of life and what excites us the most is to be able to deliver the happiness and satisfaction of a successful immigration process. We want to help you achieve your goals and dreams, whether it’s residence in Portugal or simply an investment.

Vasco Dias

Vasco Dias

Thabata Mota

Thabata Mota

Legal Trainee
Diana Andrade

Diana Andrade

Lawyer, Head of Immigration Portugal
Marina Tomini

Marina Tormin

Bruna Duarte

Bruna Duarte

Trainee Lawyer
Ricardo Lopes

Ricardo Lopes

Pedro Silva

Pedro Silva

Immigration Administrative

Pedro Silva



Trainee Lawyer

See what our customers have to say about our services

We get to know about Spanish Golden Visa by property investment through web searches but as a foreigners we have limited knowledge about Golden Visa application compliance and property sales and purchase governing rules and regulations.There are many websites out there listing out how Golden Visa legal system or property ownership in Spain works but we know it is even beyond language bearer that we need an experience, responsive and dedicated specialist to do the job.We come across Lexidy Law, which specialized in assisting foreigners in Golden Visa application and in our case through the property purchases (there are few types of ways for qualifying on Spanish Golden Visa application).Because of the straightforward services price structure of Lexidy and easy to understand explanations of the home-purchasing process, we felt confident after meeting with Mr.Alejandro who is the first person we met of the application process.During our property purchase, the sale of the house has come to a halt and become a complex and problematic deal as a result of sellers’ family dispute on the sales proceed distribution. The argument lasted for two months, pushing back the completion deadline.The Lexidy real estate team has done an excellent job, in particular with the lead by Señor Juan Diego.Juan is highly knowledgeable, competent and down to earth practical lawyer in this field; his previously work experience in real property gives us good spectrum of views and advices with alternative or solutions and he shows his capability in ranking them logically so we do the decision to choose the best fit for ourselves.He promptly provides updates on every development and highlights complication or consequences from both the seller and buyer perspective (nearly every day). His effective and fluent communication skills in written and spoken English saved thousand words for non Spanish language speakers like us; He maintain his client's best interests in mind yet remain independent in giving his advices.Lexidy's real estate team has spent a considerable amount of time and resources helping us have a successful closure to this property purchase.Yes, we are now proud house owners, and Lexidy didn't charge us extra for the additional work and efforts on the process hiccup. We are impressed and thankful with the professionalism.Thankful Lexidy, it would be impossible for us to have a flawless closure and a successful property transaction which now lead us to the final path of Spanish Golden Visa process which handle by Ms.Laura and her team.It is truly a blessing and we sincerely hope that our review might also benefit you in finding a correct choice of Spanish Golden Visa application service provider.
Yaw Kevin
Yaw Kevin
02:00 27 Sep 23
A great law firm that covers anything an expat might need. I needed help with real estate initially, and they also helped me with immigration, taxes, and corporate legal matters. Fantastic people to work with. Alejandro from their real estate and immigration department is my main contact and he is an absolute pleasure to work with. Highly recommended!
Jonathan Elron
Jonathan Elron
07:37 13 Aug 23
Alejandro was helping me navigate the process of nueva obra construction to gain Spanish golden visa. He proved to be very knowledgeable and we had a great phone call where I learned more in 20 minutes than I would have from months of internet research. Unfortunately the property I was looking at ended up not being suitable, which was discovered thanks to his due-diligence, so I was not able to go through the entire process, so I can't provide a review of the full legal process. But I'll be engaging with Lexidy again if I find a suitable property for me in the future!
10:47 24 Mar 23
Comment from Radostin and Kaloyan Bulgaria:We could recommend working with Lexidy and especially with Juan Diego Muñoz to everyone. Our assessment is defenitely 10 out of 10!Strict professional who cover full end-to-end journey in buying real estate and successful relocation to Spain in our case. We highly appreciate efficient and effective approach and providing us and supporting us in each step of the journey in buying property in Spain. Without support of Juan Diego we would be lost, he provides us with daily support in most critical days before finalization of the deal and also there was not even a single question to which he could not provide us details in most structured way.Thank you Juan Diego Muñoz, thank you Lexidy we will be happy working together in the future.We wish you lots of success in your innovative and trustful approach in supporting your customers in a holistic way.Radostin and Kaloyan
Radostin Denev
Radostin Denev
09:47 27 Oct 22
I worked with Juan Diego de Muñoz for my real estate lawyer. His help was invaluable to me! He worked with the sellers and real estate agents who were reluctant to engage in the due diligence process for the property I bought. He smoothed that over and helped me obtain a thorough check of my flat and the building it’s in, which yielded important information. Juan Diego made sure my every question and concern were addressed the same day that I raised them. Metaphorically, he held my hand through the whole process, but also made sure I was the one making informed decisions. I highly recommend him and Lexidy Law Boutique!
Linda Sparling
Linda Sparling
15:32 04 Oct 22
We are working with Lexidy for our immigration and real estate needs. Our real estate lawyer, Juan Diego Muñoz, has been amazing to work with throughout the entire process. His diligent communication during the real estate purchase has not only kept us informed every step of the way, but helped us to understand the differences and intricacies of purchasing property in Spain. We can't say enough great things about Juan Diego and the team at Lexidy.
Rick Estrada-Stone
Rick Estrada-Stone
15:05 16 Jul 22
I am looking to to buy my first property in Spain and had my intro call with Alejandro today- very pleased with the valuable insights gained and your guidance on the legal aspects of the Spanish property market, sales cycle, mortgage application process and risk mitigation. Alejandro, thank you so much for your advice and invested time, I'm genuinely looking forward to working together on this exciting project:)
12:34 04 Jul 22
Yet another amazing experience with Lexidy. My boyfriend and I are going to start the pareja de hecho process together in Madrid. Cristina has been so knowledgable and helpful in answering my questions about the process, and has even taken the time to investigate more complex questions that I had about different approaches to this process. She has also been extremely responsive via email, which has been much appreciated. Feeling very reassured that I am in great hands with her, and with Lexidy.
Casey Maher
Casey Maher
17:44 18 Aug 21
Lexidy have been a godsend. As a British freelancer in Spain, I felt uncertain about the wealth of complicated paperwork, especially as my Spanish still needs improvement. Lexidy have been helpful with setting up my status as a freelance, organising my tax information, as well as guiding me on immigration issues due to Brexit. The team has been brilliant, if I ever have an issue or need know something, they will be patient and responsive (very quick) with accurate and useful information. For the services and professionalism they offer, it is very well valued. I plan on using Lexidy for all my legal needs. Highly recommended.
Sam Dale
Sam Dale
11:16 29 Jan 21
I couldn’t be happier with my experience with Lexidy and their excellent attorneys. After months of trying unsuccessfully to navigate the maze of Spanish bureaucracy, I finally got the help I needed. Max Agazzi Paulet and his team were extremely professional and knowledgeable and were able to quickly give me the information I needed to successfully move forward with my application. Without hesitation, I would recommend Lexidy to anyone dealing with Spanish immigration law and/or real estate issues.
Daniel Zuckerman
Daniel Zuckerman
15:04 10 Nov 20
I have had the pleasure to work with a lot of Lexidy's departments. Working with Max Aggazi Paulet to achieve everything needed for my residency was incredible. he help endlessly until everything was accomplished. Soon after i began working with their Real estate department. It has been a journey and they have stuck with me every step of the way. They have gone beyond the scope of their duties to help my dreams of purchasing a property in Spain come to fruition. I would like to thank Alejandro Cano and Jordi Aranda for for everything. Last but not least through the entire Process I have had the absolute pleasure to work with Camila Broderson. She is a Gem. She has guided me in every step to work on opening my LLC in Spain and has also gone beyond the scope of her duties to assist and be available at any time. I plan to continue to work with team at Lexidy and would highly recommend them to everyone. Thank you Lexidy team for everything that you have done so far! I look forward to continuing our partnerships and friendships!
Michael Sandoval
Michael Sandoval
16:44 19 Oct 20

Frequently Asked Questions

When contemplating a move to Portugal from Canada, it’s important to consider your ideal destination. Bigger cities like Porto and Lisbon, for example, tend to attract many Canadians due to their vibrant urban environments. However, if you’re drawn to a more relaxed lifestyle, you might find the Algarve region to be appealing. On the other hand, smaller cities like Coimbra and Braga have also gained popularity among American ex-pats. So, as you plan your move, think about which type of setting aligns with your preferences.

Should the idea of retiring in Portugal from Canada pique your interest, there’s good news: you can make that dream come true with the right visa. Among the available options, the Portugal retirement visa, commonly referred to as the D7 Visa, stands out as a viable choice. So, if a peaceful retirement in Portugal is your goal, this visa is something you could consider applying for.

Considering a move to Portugal from Canada? One important aspect to weigh is the cost of living. In Portugal, expenses for housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and other essentials generally tend to be more affordable than in many parts of Canada.

Moreover, if you’re looking to reside outside major cities, you’ll find that the cost of living is even lower. However, it’s worth noting that public transportation options might be limited in such areas.

Adding to the appeal, utilities like energy bills are notably more budget-friendly in Portugal. So, as you plan your move, keep these aspects in mind to ensure a smooth financial transition.

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