Município do Porto
Photo:  Município do PortoCC BY-NC-SA - Some Rights Reserved

​To provide you with support for a quick and direct access to the information you need, we have selected a set of Frequently Asked Questions that you can see here under.

Living in Porto

Is it necessary to have a visa/residence permit to live in Porto?

Citizens of the EU, Andorra, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Norway, Romania and Switzerland only require an ID card to enter Portugal. If the are under 18, besides an ID card, they must also show permission from their parents allowing them to travel.

For stays that are no longer than 90 days, a passport which is still valid for more than three months after the end of their stay is necessary for visitors from Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritian Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Uruguay, the Vatican, Venezuela and the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China.

Visitors from countries not mentioned above require a visa to enter Portugal, which can be requested from the Portuguese consulate or embassy in the respective country, for stays up to a maximum of 90 days.

Long-stay visas, regulated under the national legislation in force, may be for temporary stays or residence, depending on the length of the stay, and permit their holder to remain in Portugal for the purpose intended: study, internship, work, medical treatment, etc.

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What’s the average cost of living in Porto?

​It has been estimated that monthly expenditure varies from €550 to €850 (not including the cost of phone calls, medical fees and meals such as breakfast and snacks). This total is the sum of the average cost of regularly consumed goods and services, covering chiefly food, transport and accommodation.

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What citizen information and services are there?

​There is a network of Citizens' Advice Bureaux (Lojas do Cidadão) in Portugal which congregate a large number of useful public and private services for national and foreign citizens and provide customer services aimed at the needs of citizens and companies.

The Local Citizens' Office (Gabinete do Munícipe) facilitates a citizen's dealings with the Council via an Integrated Multi-channel Customer Service (Serviço de Atendimento Multicanal Integrado), acting s as the representative of the interests of citizens in relation to the council. Besides providing customer service, through this Office Porto Council provides citizens with various support and information services which may be useful in managing a citizen's everyday affairs.

Further information on available citizen information and services at:

Are there any language services available for non-Portuguese speakers?

The official language in Portugal is Portuguese, spoken by over 200 million people around the world and the third most commonly spoken European language. Since it is compulsory to learn foreign languages in school from the 5th year, English is spoken by a large majority of Portuguese citizens.
Any citizen who doesn't speak Portuguese and any Portuguese person who needs to communicate with non-Portuguese speakers can use the Telephone Translation Service (STT) that puts technical staff, translators and immigrants into simultaneous contact in around 60 languages.

The service is available free of charge (the customer only pays for the call) from any point in the country via:

  • Line SOS Immigrant
    Daily - 09:00 - 19:00
    Tel. 808 257 257 (valid in Portugal)
    Tel. +351 218 106 191 (mobile network and from abroad)

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What kind of accommodation can I choose?

The choice of accommodation for temporary residence in Porto, namely for periods of less than 1 year, depends on assessing myriad factors related to each person and each case.

Most common options for those who want to live in the city temporarily are students residences, room or apartment/house rental, and also the Youth Hostel or one of the various hostels that can be found in Porto.

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Check the resources lists available in this Tourism Portal at:

How does access to public transportation in Porto work?

​The city of Porto, covering an area of 42 Km2, is the second largest in the country and is equipped with an expanding transport network. It is possible to reach the city easily by plane, bus, car, boat, train and metro and to travel within it by using public transport or private or rented vehicle.

Generally, to use public transport you need to buy occasional tickets (títulos de transporte ocasionais) (for the specific journey in question) or monthly tickets (títulos mensais), which let you travel on pre-selected lines and forms of transport on a monthly basis via the payment of a fixed amount.

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How does access to telecommunications services work?

​National coverage by mobile voice network services (GSM) is nearly 100 per cent in cities and main roads and without significant differences between the three national operators (Optimus, TMN and Vodafone), each one including the so-called low-cost operators.

It is possible to purchase a pre-paid SIM card for networks/operators and handsets (mobile phones) in various places (dedicated shops, shopping centres, post offices (CTT), gas stations and hypermarkets/supermarkets)
The aforementioned operators also sell fixed telephone, TV and Internet services, information about which can also be consulted at their websites.

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How does the health assistance system work?

​In Portugal, every citizen, even foreigners, are entitled to overall health care, namely assistance at a public health centre or hospital (in the event of an emergency), in direct proportion to the needs of each person and regardless of their financial, social and cultural status.

Any beneficiary of a social security system in one of the Member States of the EU, European Economic Area or Switzerland may use his European health insurance card (formerly form E111), to benefit from healthcare. The card must be requested in the person’s country of origin.

For every consultation or instance of care provided, foreign citizens who pay social security contributions must pay what is called a “taxa moderadora”, based on the rate currently in force. For foreign citizens who do not pay social security contributions, the fee charged may cover the costs of the care in line with the price list in force.

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How does access to banking services work?

​Generally speaking, specific banking services for immigrants and foreign citizens resident in Portugal offer a minimum level of service – the opening of current accounts and bank transfers – and vary from bank to bank. Several banks already offer solutions especially designed for foreign citizens resident in Portugal, but some banks make no distinction between national and foreign citizens and as a result do not cater their products specifically to them.

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What contributions and taxation are required?

​The Portuguese tax system applies various taxes, in particular income tax and corporate tax, property taxes, consumption taxes – value added tax (IVA), and other taxes on specific situations and/or assets, i.e., stamp duty, car tax, fuel tax, etc.

For individuals who come to work in Portugal, the first contact with the Portuguese tax system occurs when applying for a tax identification number (NIF).

Whether you have to pay income tax or not will depend on your employment relationship with the host organisation (see information on the Portuguese employment system), as well as on whether you are a resident or not. Residents are taxed on their overall earnings, while non-residents are only taxed on income earned in Portugal.

A Social Security contribution also applies.

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Is there any legal information and protection service available?

The right to legal aid – access to the law and the courts – ensures that no one is hindered or prevented from knowing, exercising or defending their rights, whether for social or cultural reasons or due to insufficient financial means.

By law, all national and EU citizens are entitled to legal aid, as are non-profit organisations, foreigners or stateless persons with residence permits valid in a Member State of the EU who can demonstrate that they have insufficient financial means (lacking the objective conditions to bear the occasional costs of a lawsuit) and foreigners without residence permits valid in a Member State of the EU in the same situation.

The National Immigrant Support Centre (CNAI) is also equipped with an Immigrant Legal Aid Office which can provide free legal aid to any immigrant who asks for advice.

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Is Porto an accessible city?

​The city of Porto has been making a continuous effort to raise everyone's awareness of the human rights of those with disabilities, particularly regarding those with accessibility and mobility issue. Changes have been implemented in the public realm, by widening and levelling pavements, facilities and public buildings, thereby making them accessible, with particular emphasis on schools, local council services and transport (the Metro, STCP buses and introduction of adapted taxis).

Many buildings also try to provide total or partial access to their installations and facilities and services for people with physical, visual or hearing difficulties.

When browsing the Tourism Portal, you can conduct a selective research by the tag “Accessibilities” obtaining a list of accessible points of interest to organize the visit your way.

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