(Optional) 4. If you have children, you need to figure out school. We basically selected our neighborhood and apartment based on our child's school, so this was technically step 1 for us. I have a single 5 year old at the moment who speaks only English, and I can't speak to others' needs. You'll have to do your own research here and figure out whether public, private, or international is best for your situation. I could do a whole thread on just this topic.
There are plenty of sites and agencies that will help you find apartments. We wound up surfing apartments via Remax and idealista and then working with an agent connected through our attorney to arrange viewings during a trip to Lisbon. The market in Lisbon specifically is pretty insane, but you can read more about that yourself through online research.
3. Securing housing. Your application requires proof of housing, and must come in the form of a contract. Rents in Portugal require legal agreements. And in most cases, you will have to pay for 3 - 6 months of rent/deposit up front on a minimum 1 year lease. I can't stress this enough - *you will need to secure housing up front before you even know if you'll be permitted into Portugal*. Expect this process to take several weeks even after you've informally agreed upon an arrangement.
(A note on Portuguese banking) The ATM network is pretty interesting, and allows you to do things like pay bills and refill transit cards. It's called "Multibanco" and no matter which bank you use, they're connected to the MB network. There are ATMs everywhere, but cards are chip/RFID and widely accepted too. Supposedly this is less common once you leave touristy areas and major cities. But Multibanco makes cash easy to come by.
We had to go in-person to a branch in our Lisbon neighborhood, and even after that, because there was a problem with Vodafone's mobile network, I couldn't get access codes for several days during our trip. It was very frustrating! More later on why you need a Portuguese mobile phone number for everything.
2. You need a bank account in Portugal. We use Millennium BCP and we were introduced to an account manager who spoke English. She helped us gather up requirements, which included proof of address/assets, passports, NIF, etc. Opening the account remotely was easy, but figuring out how to setup online banking and use ATMs was more challenging.
1. You need a taxpayer ID (NIF) in Portugal. Anyone can apply for this, and you'll need to provide notarized copies of your passport. The trick is that the system requires a code to be snail mailed to an address in Portugal. Then that code is used to create an account on the website, through which you will obtain your NIF. This is where having someone in country is useful. You need a NIF for everything from opening a bank account to a cell phone. It's basically a US SSN.
Most of the requirements for the visa are reasonable and related to paperwork/proofs (of address, of employment, of funding, etc.), but there are a few that are tricky and somewhat frustrating. All can be done remotely, but are again easier if you have time, money, and professional support.
And everything needs to be notarized. Most things can be notarized through a US public notary, but some things like vital records (e.g. marriage licenses, birth certificates) need to be "apostilled", which is a sort of international notarization under the Hague Convention. What's that? Beats the hell out of me. But if you google for apostille notaries in your area, you'll find them.
If you have millions of dollars, you can just buy a "Golden Visa." A D7 visa relies on you having your own income, so you will have to prove that income to the Portuguese government. For us, this is my salary, our savings, and the proceeds from having sold our house. You have to prove all of that through documented paperwork, bank statements, etc.
Frankly, we would probably have been greatly deterred without having this support. It cost us about $4500 up front, and includes consultation time, checklists for documentation, assistance with family reunification, and attend in-person meetings with the Portuguese tax authorities. If you don't do this, you can still do everything yourself – it may just be more challenging.
So, if you can afford it, I strongly recommend hiring an immigration attorney/service to help handle things for you in Portugal. You pay them and grant them power of attorney, and they help you navigate the paperwork and communicate with the government.
Now's probably a good time to also state the obvious - money makes everything easier. While you can do all of this yourself, you will eventually hit requirements which either require you to be in-country or are much easier if you have a language-enabled friend there.
You can read up on the various requirements for a D7 visa. The truth is that PT - like any other country - wants to ensure that you are not a drain on their system and social services. So for a D7 visa, you have to show a lot of financials to the government. More on this later.
Your visa status will depend somewhat on your work situation. Since no PT company is sponsoring a work visa for us, we have to obtain our own. PT offers a "D7" visa which is intended for those with passive income, such as pensioners or folks living on investments. The D7 is also designated as a "digital nomad" visa. It allows you to have a residence permit for 1 year, with a renewal of 2 years thereafter.
Just a thought - since Mastdon emphasizes local moderation/admin, maybe the FCC should start a Mastodon server and commit to moderating it fairly.
It would help the agency gain practical experience about content moderation and social networks and move the social network closer to an actual "public square"
Reading, making, traveling, and being Bluey's dad!
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