Moving to a new country can be a daunting experience, but with the correct information, it can be an exciting adventure. Madeira, a Portuguese island off the coast of Africa, has become a popular destination for UK citizens looking to relocate. In this article, I will share everything you need to know before moving to Madeira from the UK, including the cost of living, healthcare, education, employment opportunities, and more.
Why Move to Madeira from the UK?
Madeira is a beautiful island with a mild climate all year round. It offers stunning natural scenery, from the rugged coastline to the lush green mountains. The island has a relaxed pace of life, making it an ideal place to retire or escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The cost of living is also lower than in the UK, with affordable housing and cheaper food and drink prices. Madeira is a safe place to live, with low crime rates and friendly locals.
Cost of Living in Funchal
The cost of living in Funchal (Madeira’s capital) is lower than in the UK, but it can vary depending on your lifestyle. Housing is affordable, with rental prices starting from around €500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Utility bills are also lower, with electricity, water, and gas costing around €100 per month. Food and drink prices are lower than in the UK, with a meal in a local restaurant costing around €10-€15. However, imported goods can be more expensive, so it is worth shopping around for the best deals.
Your Personal Income Tax in Madeira
If you are moving to Madeira from the UK, you must pay tax on your income. The tax system in Madeira is similar to that in the UK, with a progressive income tax rate starting at 14,5%. However, there are some tax benefits for non-habitual residents (NHR), which can reduce your tax liability. The NHR regime provides tax exemptions for foreign-sourced income and a flat tax rate of 20% for certain professions. To qualify for NHR status, you must meet specific criteria, such as not being a tax resident in Portugal in the previous five years.
Finding a Place to Live in Madeira
Finding a place to live in Madeira can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the local property market. The best way to find a property is to work with a local estate agent who can guide you through the process. A variety of properties are available, from traditional houses to modern apartments. The most popular areas to live in Madeira are Funchal, the capital city, and the surrounding coastal towns. It is important to note that rental properties can be in high demand, so it is advisable to start your search early.
Healthcare and Insurance in Madeira
The healthcare system in Madeira is of a high standard, with both public and private healthcare available. If you are a resident, you are entitled to use the public healthcare system, which is free or low-cost. Private healthcare is also available, with a range of private hospitals and clinics on the island. It is advisable to take out private health insurance to cover any medical expenses not covered by the public healthcare system. The cost of private health insurance in Madeira is lower than in the UK, with prices starting from around €50 per month.
Education in Madeira
If you are moving to Madeira with children, you must consider their education. The education system in Madeira is similar to that in the UK, with both public and private schools available. The language of instruction is Portuguese, but there are also international schools that offer English-language education. The cost of education in Madeira is lower than in the UK, with tuition fees for private schools starting from around €4,000 per year.
Visa and Residency Requirements for UK Citizens
As a UK citizen, you are entitled to live and work in Madeira without a visa for up to 90 days. If you plan to stay longer than 90 days, you must apply for a residency permit. To obtain a residency permit, you must provide proof of income, health insurance, and a criminal record check. Getting a residency permit can be complex, so it is advisable to work with an immigration lawyer who can guide you through the process.
Getting Around in Madeira
Madeira has an excellent public transport system, with buses and taxis available throughout the island. The bus network is extensive, with regular services connecting all the main towns and villages. Taxis are also readily available, with reasonable prices. If you plan to drive in Madeira, it is essential to note that the roads can be narrow and winding, so it is advisable to take extra care.
Culture and Lifestyle in Madeira
Madeira has a rich culture and history, with a mix of Portuguese and African influences. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and the island has a strong sense of community. The lifestyle in Madeira is relaxed, with a strong focus on family and socialising. There are plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, surfing, and golfing. The island also has a vibrant nightlife, with various bars and restaurants.
Language in Madeira
The official language of Madeira is Portuguese, but English is widely spoken, especially in the tourism industry. If you plan to live and work in Madeira, it is advisable to learn some basic Portuguese to help you communicate with the locals.
Moving to Madeira from the UK can be a great adventure, but doing your research and planning is essential. The cost of living is lower than in the UK, and the island offers a relaxed lifestyle and stunning natural scenery. Healthcare and education are of a high standard, and there are employment opportunities in various industries. If you are planning to move to Madeira, it is advisable to work with local experts who can guide you through finding a place to live, obtaining a residency permit, and settling into your new life on the island.
If you’re interested in moving to Madeira from the UK, contact us today to learn more about our relocation services. We can help you find the perfect place to live, navigate the residency process, and make a smooth transition to your new life on the island.