Lisa and Tim USA to Olhao – New Members - Start Here – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Lisa and Tim USA to Olhao

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Topic starter
(@ttbritt22)
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Joined: 8 months ago

Good day,

Lisa and Tim have decided to move to Portugal.  We have done this a little backwards, we are currently buying a place in Olhao (Feb 2022) and now doing the research on the D7 Visa, Household Goods, Banking, Shipping Vehicles, Insurance, and Taxes etc 😀  

Key Actions Decision Points:

  • Establishing a Portugal bank account (We just received our NIF numbers)
  • Importing a North American vehicle / motorcycle - (USA does not have certificate of conformity)
  • Shipping a large amount of household goods
  • Supplemental Private Medical Insurance

We look forward to engaging with those in the community and good advice is always appreciated.

Thank you,

Lisa and Tim.

 

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(@old-bloke)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posted by: @ttbritt22

Importing a North American vehicle / motorcycle - (USA does not have certificate of conformity)

Welcome.

That one needs a lot of research. It is do-able but depending on the vehicle the cost of conversion to comply with EU requirements means it's not worth doing financially.
Keep in mind that each adult can only import one vehicle free of ISV. If both vehicles are in one name use the ISV exemption on the car, motorcycle ISV rates are less painful on the wallet. Alternatively transfer ownership of one vehicle to the other of you at least 6 months before you move so you can each claim the exemption.

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Premium Member
(@ttbritt22)
Joined: 8 months ago

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Posts: 12

@old-bloke thank you.  The motorcycle is an enduro which has been exhaust and suspension modified.  After doing some reading probably best to leave here. So potentially one vehicle and even that one we are considering selling here before we go.

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(@brent)
Joined: 11 months ago

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Posts: 15

@ttbritt22 

I would agree about leaving the motorcycle. I was going to take my 2020 BMW but I could not get a CoC and importing it was super difficult.  

-Brent

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Posts: 488
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(@hank_2021)
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Joined: 2 years ago

Hi Lisa and Tim,

Konni and I are on our journey as well. The supplemental insurance  bank account you can get at the same place. It's weird for us Americans, but you can buy health insurance from the banks here. I'm sure you can do better than the bank health insurance, but it can be done!

We worked with Ei! to get our NIF and bank account and it was easy peasy.

Good luck on your journey!

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Premium Member
(@ttbritt22)
Joined: 8 months ago

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Posts: 12

@hank_2021 Thank you.  We have a solicitor helping with the NIF, Bank, and closing on our property.  We will look at Ei for support with our visa applications.  Where from the states are you?

 

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Premium Member
(@hank_2021)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 488

@ttbritt22 Hi ya! We're from California, near San Francisco. Currently staying with our friends in Leiria for a few days, but working on a permanent move. Feel free to message me anytime!

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(@ttbritt22)
Joined: 8 months ago

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@hank_2021 thank you.  We are in the Sacramento area.

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 Zoom
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(@zoom)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 179

@ttbritt22 Small world! We left El Dorado Hills after 20 years, back in 2017.

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(@brent)
Joined: 11 months ago

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Posts: 15

@hank_2021  and @ttbritt22 Would love to talk you both about the move. I am from Sacramento area, living in the Santa Cruz area, and moving to Portugal in June this year. 

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Premium Member
(@ttbritt22)
Joined: 8 months ago

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Posts: 12

@brent we are on the same timeline. Would be happy to engage in a conversation. 

Tim.

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Premium Member
(@hank_2021)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 488

@brent Of course. Always happy to talk about Portugal. Feel free to message me anytime!

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Premium Plus member
(@susan-marie)
Joined: 10 months ago

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Posts: 75

@hank_2021 Just wanted to ask you both what you think of Leiria?  We are looking at a rental for the first year starting in March and not sure which is best area of city?  Any thoughts?  We prefer someplace close to Public transportation as we will not have a car.  Leif and I watched your GMP and really appreciated all that you had to share.

Leif & Susan King

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Community Member
(@antonio_f)
Joined: 11 months ago

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Posts: 361

@susan-marie You can check Leiria's public transport network here:

https://mobilis.pt/en/home/

To travel around, the Moovit app covers Leiria, as well as other towns in Portugal. 

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Premium Plus member
(@susan-marie)
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Posts: 75

@antonio_f  Thank you!

 

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Posts: 179
 Zoom
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(@zoom)
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Joined: 2 years ago

Welcome Lisa and Tim! We're moving from the East Coast quite soon, and have gone through at least a first round of what you're looking at. Here's where we stand:

1. We're using a local lawyer to handle everything - given our complete lack of Portuguese, we thought we'd take the easy way out

2. We're not taking a vehicle, but we also found that shipping furniture is an expensive proposition, so watch out for the tipping point on shipping vs replacement - e.g. our $900 sofa would cost about $750 to send over. But apparently sending stuff TO Europe is currently cheaper than the other direction - lots of shippers trying to get loads going east. A 20" foot container from the East coast to Portugal will set you back round $7500+ (incl packing, moving, and delivery in Portugal).

3. Private Health insurance - highly advise using a broker (we're using Winsurance with support from Serenity - great combination of services!). All private plans have waiting periods, and most will NOT cover pre-existing conditions, so step carefully. Luckily its apparently not that difficult to switch later, unlike the myriad restrictions in the US.

But, you've got the most important step started - this forum is chock full of info and knowledgeable people (like @old-bloke).

All the best, and hope its a smooth journey!

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Premium Member
(@ttbritt22)
Joined: 8 months ago

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Posts: 12

@zoom  thank you, great information! I am retired military and can use our insurance for reimbursement but will have to pay up front.  We will investigate the broker approach for sure.

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Posts: 75
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(@susan-marie)
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Joined: 10 months ago

@zoom Hi this is Leif and Susan & I are are planning to move to Portugal in May 2022.  We are using Ei and Jerry @ Expats Portugal mentioned Global International Relocation for household goods shipment.  GIR has come in a little over the $7500 (US) you mentioned, (for a 20Ft Sea container).  Just curious if you've worked with another company so I could do some comparison shopping.  Thanks!

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 Zoom
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(@zoom)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 179

@susan-marie The estimates are directly based on the volume of shipment, in cubic meters. Our total estimate with furniture was about 17 cm, and Gisela at GIR gave us an estimate that basically included a full 20' container, even though the capacity is 30 CM. If your goods are more than our 17 cm, it would raise the estimate since other charges are based on the actual volume - packing loading, unloading etc. One little gotcha we figured out is the port handling charges are fixed per container, but for smaller loads its charged per cubic meter, so a smaller load than a container may end up costing more in handling charges (this charge is out of GIR's hands), though of course all other charges will go down (if you don't take furniture, for example). The other notable difference between a partial container vs a full one is that there is more uncertainty on the actual ship date - they will try and put multiple loads together to fill the container, which may take time. Since we're renting for our first year, this may not be a big deal for us, but you should be aware of this. Also our first estimate was shipping to Lisbon - shipping to Porto is a bit cheaper.

I did get another estimate from Schumacher Cargo Logistics in New Jersey, a company that came up on other expat sites. The sales guy was quite professional, and was estimating around $7500-10k with furniture - they didn't have the detailed calculator that GIR has, so I'd have to spend more time to get an accurate estimate. At this point I'm sticking with GIR - they're a Portuguese company, and can also arrange in-country shipping more easily, if we need it when we buy a place.

I'd be happy to compare notes on a call/WhatsApp if you want - we're in Alexandria, VA.

I'll be on the Zoom call tonight.

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