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Moving from Canada to Portugal: A Comprehensive Guide

Home | Immigration | Moving from Canada to Portugal: A Comprehensive Guide

Moving from Canada to Portugal: A Comprehensive Guide

by | Wednesday, 17 January 2024 | Immigration

moving from canada to portugal

Are you considering a move from Canada to Portugal? Embarking on an international relocation can be an exciting and life-changing experience. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and welcoming culture, Portugal offers a unique opportunity for Canadians seeking a new adventure. However, moving to a new country involves careful planning and consideration of various factors. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information and tips on smoothly transitioning from Canada to Portugal.

Understanding the Basics of Moving from Canada to Portugal

Before delving into the details, let’s start by understanding the basics of moving to Portugal from Canada. As a member of the European Union, Portugal offers numerous advantages, such as unique tax benefits and a high quality of life. The country is known for its affordable cost of living, beautiful landscapes, and friendly communities. Whether you are considering retirement, investment opportunities, or starting a new business, Portugal has something to offer for everyone.

Residency and Visas in Portugal

One of the first steps in the moving process is to obtain a residency visa. Portugal offers various visa options depending on your specific circumstances. Researching and choosing the proper visa that suits your needs is essential. Some popular visa options include the Golden Visa, D7 Visa, and Digital Nomad Visa.

The Golden Visa program is designed for individuals who wish to invest in Portugal. You can obtain a residency permit by creating jobs or contributing to scientific research, among other investment routes. The D7 Visa is ideal for retirees or individuals with passive income. It allows you to reside in Portugal if you can provide sufficient financial means to support yourself. The Digital Nomad Visa, introduced in 2021, is perfect for remote workers who want to live and work in Portugal. It offers a one-year visa with the possibility of renewal.

Tax Considerations when Moving from Canada to Portugal

Understanding the tax implications of moving to Portugal is crucial. Depending on your visa type, you may be subject to Portuguese taxation on your worldwide income. However, there are tax benefits available for Canadians moving to Portugal.

Portugal offers the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) scheme, which provides significant tax benefits for new residents over a period of ten years. This scheme aims to attract high-value professionals, retirees, and individuals with income from foreign sources. Under the NHR program, individuals can enjoy reduced or even zero tax rates on foreign income, including dividends, rental, and employment income. Taking advantage of the NHR scheme can result in substantial tax savings for Canadians looking to relocate to Portugal.

Finding a Place to Live in Portugal

Securing a place to live is a crucial step in the moving process. Whether you rent or buy a property, starting your search before moving is advisable. Portugal offers a variety of real estate options, from modern apartments in bustling cities to charming villas in coastal towns.

When considering where to live in Portugal, Madeira Island is one destination that stands out. Madeira, known as the “Pearl of the Atlantic,” is an autonomous region of Portugal that offers expats an exceptional quality of life. The island is famous for its stunning landscapes, subtropical climate, and friendly communities. Living on Madeira Island means enjoying a high standard of living, safety, and access to excellent health and education services. The island’s lush green mountain ranges, spectacular Atlantic coastline, and colourful flowers have earned it the nickname “The Island of the Eternal Spring.”

Madeira Island provides a mix of familiar comforts and new experiences for Canadians looking to relocate. English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas and among younger generations, making adapting to the local community easier. The island offers international-standard amenities, including shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The cost of living is generally lower compared to many places in Canada. Madeira also has a robust infrastructure in terms of telecommunications, making it an attractive location for digital nomads and individuals working in tech-oriented jobs. It is worth noting that Madeira falls under the same tax laws as mainland Portugal, allowing Canadians to benefit from programs such as the Non-Habitual Resident scheme.

Cultural and Language Considerations

Moving to a new country involves adapting to a new culture and language. While English is widely spoken in Portugal, learning some basic Portuguese phrases can enhance your daily life and help you connect with the local community. Embracing the Portuguese culture and customs can also enrich your overall experience in the country. Portugal has a rich history and vibrant traditions, which can be explored through its festivals, cuisine, and historical landmarks.

Education, Diversity, and Family Considerations

If you are moving from Canada to Portugal l with your family, it is important to consider education options for your children. Fortunately, Portugal offers international kindergartens and schools that follow the International Baccalaureate program. Researching and choosing the right educational institution for your children is essential for their academic and social development.

Regarding diversity and inclusivity, Portugal is regarded as one of the most progressive countries in Europe. The country has comprehensive laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2010, and adoption rights are equal for all couples. Portugal also has strong legislation regarding transgender rights, allowing individuals to change their gender without surgery legally. With regular Pride events and a generally accepted social atmosphere, Portugal provides a welcoming environment for LGBTQIA+ individuals and families.

Seeking Professional Assistance

Moving from Canada to Portugal involves numerous legal, financial, and logistical considerations. To ensure a smooth transition and make the most of your move, it is highly recommended to seek professional assistance. Companies like Madeira Corporate Services (MCS) can provide comprehensive support and guidance in tax, immigration, and corporate matters. Their expertise and knowledge of Portuguese regulations and processes can help you navigate the complexities of moving to Portugal. By partnering with professionals, you can focus on settling into your new life and enjoy a hassle-free relocation experience.


Moving from Canada to Portugal can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. The country’s unique tax benefits, high quality of life, and welcoming culture make it an attractive destination for Canadians seeking a new adventure. By understanding the basics of moving to Portugal, obtaining the proper visas, considering tax implications, and seeking professional assistance, you can ensure a smooth transition and make the most of your new life in Portugal. Embrace the Portuguese culture, explore the stunning landscapes, and create lasting memories in this beautiful country. Good luck with your relocation!

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