Brits moving to Portugal & applying for Non Habitual Resident tax status – Moving to Portugal – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Brits moving to Portugal & applying for Non Habitual Resident tax status  

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Posts: 5
Community Member
(@anthill)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago

My boyfriend and I are from the UK. We wish to buy a house in Portugal soon, hopefully by the end of the year, and settle in Portugal.

We have never lived in Portugal before, and therefore believe we may be eligible for the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime. We are passive income earners with substantial savings.

From the NHR requirements it seems we must be resident in Portugal, or at least we must have a house into which we're presumed to intend to move.

1. Do we have to buy a house first and just 'chance it' that we might be turned down for NHR?
2. If we get on the NHR regime by March 2021, will we be eligible for state healthcare in Portugal?

(We're a little confused as to whether we'll be classed as 'EU residents', due to Br*xit.)

13 Replies
Posts: 2179
VIP Member
(@x-camone)
Noble Member
Joined: 10 years ago

You do not have to buy a house in order to be eligible for NHR, no. If you move to Portugal and you haven't been tax resident in any of the previous 5 years, that is sufficient, so no need to rush into a purchase - plenty of time to rent and have a proper look around if you want.

Your eligibility for enrolment in the public health system is based on residency alone and a certificate of registration of residency for EU citizens, issued by your local town hall, will be required to effect that. Some of those will not issue a certificate until you have been here for 90 days but once issued, that certificate is your proof that you were residing here before the end of the transition period and are therefore protected by the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement for as long as you continue to reside in Portugal.

NHR is purely a tax regime, open to new residents only. You won't need to provide evidence of being a beneficiary of that to anybody else that I can think of, unless you're going to employ someone to do your tax returns. It's only the town hall issued residence certificate that you'll need in order to complete a couple of formalities.

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Posts: 5
Community Member
(@anthill)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago

Thank you for the reply. Let me tell you it is not easy to figure this stuff out for oneself - there's so much conflicting info out there.

Re enrolment in the public health system:

So for clarity, if we became residents of Portugal on 30 December 2020 (and hold onto the proof - house deeds/rental contract), we could go to the town hall on 1 April 2021, show them that proof, and thereby obtain the certificate of residency?

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2 Replies
VIP Member
(@christopherdouglas)
Joined: 12 years ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 183

@anthill

HI, welcome 👍

As I see it, and as X- says, you would need a residency certificate from you local Câmera municipal before 30th of December when the transition period ends so that you would be 'protected by the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement for as long as you continue to reside in Portugal.'

This means, in most cases, living in Portugal for 90+ days before 30 December.

Applying on 1st of April would be 90 days after they end of the transition period so presumably you would then be an immigrant any have to go through all the hoops that those from outside of Europe do now. Not easy from what I've read 😣

All the best,

Chris

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Premium Member
(@andydoc)
Joined: 3 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 9

@anthillHi there. I rented a room for a year under the erasmusu.com scheme for 150 euros per month last year. My landlord came with me to the camera and I had my certificate straight away. 

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Posts: 5
Community Member
(@anthill)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago

Thank you for the reply Chris. This is precisely the detail I seek to clarify...

Are you absolutely certain that it's not enough merely to show were resident in Portugal from December 2020?

Are property deeds, or a tenancy agreement dating from December 2020, not enough to establish one was "A Resident" during the transition period?

In other words, are residency certificates NOT retroactive for the purposes of eligibility for state medical care?

And for clarity:
(a) are you saying "for state healthcare, they don't care when you physically resided in Portugal, all they care about is the date you obtained your piece of paper"?
(b) are you also saying "it will be hard to get a certificate in 2021, even if we demonstrably resided in Portugal in 2020"?)

It's absolutely crucial for us to nail this down!

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Posts: 2179
VIP Member
(@x-camone)
Noble Member
Joined: 10 years ago

I don't know about "most" Câmaras refusing to issue residence certificates to people who haven't been in the country for 90 days but according to posters on this and other sites, it does happen. Under normal circumstances, this would be no problem for most people as it would only interfere temporarily with enrolling in the public health system and dealing with their driving licence (I don't think there's anything else that can't be done without it).

 

However, with the end of the transition period looming, it obviously becomes much more significant due to the unknown of whether one of those Câmaras would allow (or be allowed) issuing the certificate after the end of the transition period. There are institutions which could be approached for assistance in the event of refusal to issue a certificate or you might get some info in advance of your move either from the British Embassy in Portugal (who I believe are usually very helpful in case of difficulties over administrative issues for UK citizens already in Portugal) or from the SEF (Portugal's border authority). The relevant passages of the Withdrawal Agreement (Article 18, paragraphs 1 & 4 and Article 19) don't make it clear to me (Portugal is operating with the paragraph 4 method).

 

With regard to enrolment in the health system, this chart describes all. Everybody who is legally resident (and - at least in theory - even those who are not) are entitled to enrol. That said, having a EU citizen resident registration certificate makes the process nice and straightforward, as opposed to having to wait on SEF or whoever for issuance of documents.

ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS

 

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