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Moving from Canada to Portugal
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Feb 16, 2023·0 min read

Moving from Canada to Portugal

Portugal is a great choice for Canadians looking to move to Europe. If you are tired of six months of winter and expensive flight tickets, moving to Portugal from Canada is exactly what you need.

Before you start packing your bags to move from Canada to Portugal, it is important to understand what awaits you once you are there. Once you have decided to move your household goods to Portugal, we will gladly assist you starting with a Moving Quote for Free!

Canada vs. Portugal

When considering moving from Canada to Portugal, it is essential to learn the differences between the two countries to understand the benefits and drawbacks of the move.

Whether you are moving to Portugal from Canada to be closer to Europe, take advantage of ex-pat tax benefits or simply love the country, see the following 6 important aspects that will hopefully make the relocation decision easier.

Geography and Climate
Ethnicity, Religion and Language
Lifestyle and mentality
Education System
Cost of Living
Immigration System

Canada is the second-largest country in the world with a total territory of 9.98 million m2. The land is divided into 10 provinces and 3 large territories in the north. The only land bordering country in the United States, making it the longest border between two countries.

Canada's climate can be divided into two zones - a temperate zone in the south and a subarctic zone in the north. The average temperature in winter can be from -35 degrees in the north and up to +5 degrees in the south. The average temperature in July is +22 degrees in the south of Canada and +5 degrees in the north.

Canada's population as of July 2022 is 38.4 million. Only about 32% of that number consider themselves Canadians and 4.9% identify as indigenous people. The next minor groups of 18% are English, 14% are Scottish, 13,6% are French, 13.4% are Irish, 9,6% are German, 5.1% are Chinese and others.

Christianity is the biggest religion practised in Canada, about 63% of the population identify as Christians. The next biggest religious group is Islam (3.7%), Hinduism ( 1.7%), Shirk (1.4%), and Buddhism (1.1%). All religions are welcome in Canada as long as one does not harm another.Canada has 2 official languages: French and English.

Canadians love to dine out, travel around their enormous land, and seriously approach their work. An average Canadian does not strive for luxuries and riches, he or she is focused on raising their children and achieving personal goals.

Canadians are tolerant, polite, and community-oriented people. Although they are individualists in terms of their core culture, they nevertheless place great emphasis on individual responsibility to the community. Canadians easily accept other people, regardless of religion or culture.

Children of Canadian citizens and residents are entitled to receive free basic to high school education in public schools. Canadian higher education is considered to be one of the best in the world. The top best Canadian universities are the University of Toronto, the University of Montreal, and the University of British Columbia.

Higher education in Canada is not free, although many grants and scholarships are available for both domestic and international pupils. The average tuition cost for domestic students ranges from $3,000 - $9,000 CAD per year. Tuition fees for international students are significantly higher ranging on average from $15,000 - $35,000 CAD per year.

Moving to Canada from Portugal could be difficult financially if you do not have any job lined up, we recommend saving at least $4,000 - $5,000 CAD (€3,000 - €3,760) for the first 2-3 months to feel secure.

A single person estimated monthly expenses living in Canada without rent would be $1,100 - 1,300 CAD ( €827 - €978). A family of 4 should expect to spend an average $4,300 CAD per month without rent.

For a 1 bedroom apartment in Canada, on average you would have to pay about $1,200 - $1,600 CAD. A 3-bedroom apartment in Canada on average would cost $2,200 to $3,000 CAD. The prices in big cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary range from $1,700 - $2,300 CAD for a 1 bedroom and 2,900 - 3,500 for a 3 bedroom.

The Canadian point-based immigration system, as we know it today, was introduced in 1967 shifting the preference selection from “race and country” to skilled professionals. This decision allowed a selection of individuals who would greatly contribute to the economy.

If moving from Portugal to Canada, you would require to obtain a visa or permanent residency directly, if you meet certain criteria. Two of the most popular immigration paths for skilled workers are Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program. As per the standard upon receiving permanent residency, you must stay in Canada for 1,095 days (3 years) out of 5 to become eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Geography and Climate
Ethnicity, Religion and Language
Lifestyle and mentality
Education System
Cost of Living
Immigration System

The Portuguese Republic is the westernmost part of Europe. The area together with the islands is 92,300 km2. Portugal is divided into 18 districts. The land is washed by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west. The only bordering land in Spain to the north and east.

Portugal, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, has a temperate Mediterranean climate. The northwest has mild winters and short summers and the south has long, hot, dry summers and mild winters. Lisbon has low humidity and average temperatures range from 10° C in January to 23° C in August.

The country's population of 10.1 million is mono-ethnic, 92% are Portuguese. Over the centuries, the image of the Portuguese has been shaped by many nations coming to the land. The next minor groups are natives of Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde (1.6%), Brazilians (1.4%), Europeans (1.2%), Chinese (0.9%), and others (3%).

Portugal is a Roman Catholic country by history and tradition with almost 94% of its population being Roman Catholics. Less than 1% of residents are Protestants. There are Jewish communities in Lisbon and Porto (200,000 people). About 5% of the country's inhabitants recognize themselves as atheists.The official language is Portuguese.

The people of Portugal are characterized by an unhurried approach to business. For this reason, the schedule of many events in the country is very flexible. During the 'siesta' from 12 pm to 15 pm most institutions are closed, and even the office phones are silent.

The Portuguese are quite conservative, they have a serious attitude to social hierarchy, and respect for authority in religious, family and business spheres. But they are quite cheerful, they love and know how to celebrate, and riotous festivities, processions and folk festivities are common here.

Studying in Portugal is becoming more and more popular with foreign citizens every year. The prices for education and accommodation are among the lowest in Europe. The most popular Portuguese universities are the University of Lisbon, the University of Porto, and the University of Coimbra.

From the age of 6 to 18 all Portuguese citizens are entitled to receive basic and secondary education, this is a mandatory norm approved by the government at the legislative level. Domestic students must pay a minimum annual administrative fee if do not receive a grant that covers the tuition. International students in Portuguese public universities pay from €3,500 - €8,000 per year.

A pleasant surprise awaits those moving from Canada to Portugal as the overall living costs reduce by about 38%. Portugal is one of the most affordable countries to live in western Europe. A single person moving to Portugal should expect to pay about €544 ($723 CAD) per month without rent. A family of 4 moving to Portugal will spend about €1,909 ( $1,539 CAD).

The real estate price in Portugal largely depends on the city you move to and has been rising in price in the past few years. Renting price for a 1 bedroom is about €450 - €800 per month and €930 - €2,000 for a 3 bedroom apartment per month. To buy a property in Portugal, expect to pay at least €250,000.

Moving to Portugal from Canada would be easy considering the straightforward immigration process that the country offers. First, you must obtain a Portuguese visa that corresponds to the reason for moving to Portugal and get a temporary residency once there. A golden visa is the best for Canadians willing to invest, for example, in buying a house in Portugal.

Portuguese PR status allows you to have close to the same rights as citizens. To obtain Portuguese permanent residence you must pass a language test and live in Portugal on a temporary residence permit for at least 5 years with no more than 6 months total abroad. Portuguese citizenship can be gained after 6 years of residency (3 years if via marriage) becoming an EU citizen.

Immigration to Portugal as a Canadian Citizen

Canadians wanting to move from Portugal to Canada have many reasons to do so. Portugal is a picturesque country with a well-developed infrastructure of cities and resorts, and a rich cultural and historical heritage.

For foreigners - temporary residents in Portugal have a special tax system, which is called Non-habitual Resident and allows you to get a preferential tax regime for 10 years. Within 5 - 6 years of living in Portugal, Canadian citizens can obtain Portuguese PR and citizenship allowing them to freely work and live in the EU.

Before moving from Canada to Portugal consider the following:

  1. Canadians have visa-free entry to Portugal for a period of 90 days in a 180-day period.
  2. You can use your Canadian driving license for up to 6 months after the move.
  3. Consider applying for a Youth Mobility visa.
  4. Get health insurance in Portugal until you are eligible for SNS.
  5. Visit Moving to Portugal to learn about custom regulations in Portugal.
  6. Read All You Need to Know Before Moving to Portugal to learn about custom regulations in Portugal.

Moving from Portugal to Canada

If you are considering moving to Canada from Portugal, you will not feel alone. The Census of 2016 states that about 480,00 Canadians claim Portuguese ancestry.

Canada, over the last few decades, has become one of the top choice relocation destinations due to its high standards of living, excellent higher education, quality public health care and its proximity to the economical giant - the United States.

Canada has low competition in multiple industries and anyone with a lot of passion and some luck will be able to successfully build a flourishing business. Moving from Portugal to Canada, you will have a clean start and hard work will eventually pay off. The only thing you will need to get used to is long winters and distance, getting around won’t be as easy.

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