According to the report “Global Peace Index 2019”, compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Portugal is in the TOP 3 safest countries on the planet.
The population here is about 10.3 million people. About 95% of the locals are ethnic Portuguese. Besides, the state is home to many representatives of countries such as Brazil, Cape Verde, and Ukraine. We will talk further about the prices and cost of living, taxes, the specifics of employment, salaries, education, medicine, the pros and cons of living in Portugal in 2021.
Pros and cons of living in Portugal
Of course, the large economy and professional prospects, winding streets, and beautiful architecture of Lisbon attract the lion’s share of foreigners to the Portuguese capital. However, there are alternative relocation places in the country. For example, surveys of experienced immigrants show that the best cities to live in Portugal are Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Chaves, and Coimbra. Let’s highlight the positive and negative aspects of living in Portuguese territory.
The pros of living
- Portugal is a member of the European Union thanks to which local citizens and permanent residents enjoy the economic, social, and other benefits of this association, including free movement.
- The Portuguese are very hospitable, cheerful, and open-minded people.
- Portugal has an amazingly comfortable climate for living and excellent cuisine. This is a country with great history, culture, and traditions.
- Property rental and food prices in Portugal are noticeably lower than in many Western European countries, including neighboring Spain.
- Portuguese nature and manicured beaches are breathtaking.
Since 2012, the country has had a special immigration program for wealthy foreigners – “Golden Visa“, which allows you to obtain a residence permit in Portugal with the help of large investments, including when buying real estate.
Cons of living
- Youth unemployment reaches 25% and the overall situation in the Portuguese labor market is very deplorable, which makes it significantly difficult for job seekers from abroad to find work in Portugal.
- Most of the locals do not speak English, so knowledge of Portuguese is necessary for a faster adaptation.
- For many foreigners, the summer in Portugal seems too hot. In July and August, temperatures often exceed 40 ° C.
- Portugal has many narrow roads with dangerous descents and curves, which make driving a little difficult.
- Bureaucracy in government institutions.
Prices and cost of living
Portugal has a fairly high standard of living and at the same time affordable prices. For a comfortable stay, a family of two is enough to have a total income of 2,500 euros per month. But many Portuguese are content with around 700-800 euros per person. The most expensive city in the country for life is the capital Lisbon.
Living in France or Great Britain costs 2–2.5 times more than in Portugal. Renting a one-room apartment in the central part of the city costs about 590 euros and about 430 euros in remote areas. The price of one square meter of real estate in the center is 2,590 euros and in the countryside 1,420 euros.
Work and salaries
Today, many young Portuguese people find it difficult to find a job, so moving to Portugal for permanent residence in the hope of finding a high-paying job is not the best idea for foreigners from the post-Soviet space. For legal employment, you must find an employer in advance and obtain a work permit. At the same time, residents and citizens of the European Union should not apply for a workplace.
The vacancy is approved by the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training of Portugal, and only then a work permit is issued. After moving, the applicant applies for a residence permit, receives a social security number and tax code. The term for consideration of documents can take up to six months. The most demanded professions in this European country for foreigners are associated with seasonal work in the field of agriculture or tourism.
A significant disadvantage of living in Portugal in comparison with other developed countries of the European Union is the level of wages. According to official figures from local authorities, the minimum wage in 2021 (before taxes) is 740.83 euros per month. The average salary is € 1,158 before taxes and € 851.13 after all deductions.