Moving from US but as an EU citizen (not Portugal) – Healthcare in Portugal – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Moving from US but as an EU citizen (not Portugal)

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Posts: 25
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Topic starter
(@anahawkins)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Hi all - wanted to ask some healthcare/health insurance information for those that were citizens of any EU nation and moved to Portugal but had never lived in any EU nation and were moving to Portugal. For example - I recently obtained my Italian citizenship - I live in the US - have never lived in Italy - but want to use that to move to Portugal.
  1. It seems to get access to health care in Portugal, it assumes I would have paid into some kind of EU health care/social security prior to moving there - does anyone if I can still get access to healthcare in Portugal if I have not paid into any such EU healthcare system since I am coming from US? And if not, does anyone what the process is to get access?
  2. Does anyone here subsidize their healthcare benefit with private health insurance, and if so, on average how much could I expect that would cost?

Thank you so much!

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Posts: 182
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Premium Plus member
(@zoom)
Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Hi! We've moved to Portugal recently, and are a partial match with your situation - my wife is a German citizen and I'm American. As far as my wife is concerned, once we moved into our apartment, we were able to go to the local Freguesia (sort of a local council office) and show her passport, rental agreement, and get an official stamped document that certifies that she is a resident of the town and is entitled to "medical assistance" which apparently enables her to apply for the Portuguese health care number. But, its likely that she will also need an official resident card from the local camara (town hall) which we're going for next.

What has been very clear from the start is that there was no need for her to have paid into any EU system at all (she has been in the US most of her life) and private insurance is not required (though suggested for reasons such as avoiding long waits). You do however have to go through the resident registration process, though that is very straightforward and very cheap (15 euros). By EU law an EU citizen can live or work anywhere with no restrictions. The actual cost of private insurance is a very wide range, and we've used Winsurance, a forum partner to guide us through that process.

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Posts: 2341
VIP Member
(@old-bloke)
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Joined: 14 years ago

Access to healthcare in Portugal is residency based.

As regards health insurance the rule applicable to EU citizens when registering they are now resident in Portugal is;
Disponha de recursos suficientes para si próprio e para os seus familiares, bem como um seguro de saúde, desde que tal seja exigido no Estado membro da sua nacionalidade aos cidadãos portugueses;

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Posts: 5
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(@nekos318)
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Joined: 7 months ago

I'm so glad to see this thread. I'm sort of in the same situation. I'm applying for Dual Citizenship (under my grandfather) with Greece. All of my paperwork has been submitted and my appt. is with Greek Consulate in NYC in August 24, 2022. If all is in order they will send it to Greece and hopefully it be approved. If it's approved before the end of the year, then I'll be able to move to Portugal and register as a resident there as mentioned above. If it's not approved by December, then I'll go to Portugal and apply for a D7. I wish you luck and please keep us posted as to your journey.

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VIP Member
(@x-camone)
Joined: 12 years ago

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Posts: 2395
Posted by: @nekos318

...If it's not approved by December, then I'll go to Portugal and apply for a D7.

D7 is the visa you need to apply for in your country of residence, prior to entering Portugal with the intention of applying for a residence permit.

Whilst there are various provisions for residence permits to be issued to foreign nationals already in Portugal but who did not obtain a residence request visa prior to entry to the country, the passive income route is not one of them.

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Premium Member
(@nekos318)
Joined: 7 months ago

Member
Posts: 5

@x-camone I probably worded that incorrectly. I will apply for D7 here from the US and then await approval and move to Portugal once it's approved.

I have no time frame for when the Greek Dual Citizenship could/would be approved/not approved and don't want to stay in the US waiting after the first of the year. I just don't want to end up in the US for years waiting on Greece to make a decision. If the decision is not in my favor, then at least I'm in Portugal living my best life with on a D7. Does that make sense? Any suggestions are welcome.

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Community Member
(@anahawkins)
Joined: 2 years ago

Member
Posts: 25

@nekos318 Do I need to apply for a D7 visa in like Italy then before going to Portugal? I don't know about this yet so you bring up an interesting new topic for me!

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VIP Member
(@x-camone)
Joined: 12 years ago

Member
Posts: 2395

@anahawkins No.

As a citizen of Italy, you may enter PT and subsequently follow the procedure for registering your presence as detailed here

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VIP Member
(@x-camone)
Joined: 12 years ago

Member
Posts: 2395

@nekos318 Yes, that makes perfect sense now. It does occasionally get asked on the forums as to whether you can enter with a passport from a visa waiver country and subsequently apply for residence, so I was just highlighting the correct sequence with this type of application.

Apologies if that came across as being pedantic about a bit of loose phrasing but it would be a great deal of hassle for anybody contemplating a move to get it wrong on that front and be met with a stonewall refusal from the authorities here on the grounds that a visa must first be applied for from outside PT.

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Premium Member
(@nekos318)
Joined: 7 months ago

Member
Posts: 5

@x-camone No apology needed. I understood what you meant and appreciate your response. The bottom line is coming to Portugal - hell or high water! 😊

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