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Looking for economic opportunities and a better quality of life? Here’s our guide on how to move from Argentina to Portugal!

Last Updated on July 24, 2023 by Laila Oliveira

Deciding to relocate to a new country is a significant decision that can significantly impact your life. Portugal is an increasingly attractive destination for individuals seeking a fresh start for personal, professional, or cultural reasons. If you’re currently residing in Argentina and contemplating a move, read our guide on moving from Argentina to Portugal. By the end, you’ll be able to decide whether this is the right decision for you!


Portugal is quite popular among travel circles and is home to people from all over the world, including Argentina. More than anything, the country’s economy is emerging, and expats have found their haven. In this article, we’ll explore some compelling reasons why Portugal could be your next ideal home and also shed some light on the intricacies of moving from Argentina to Portugal.

Keep reading till the end to learn how to improve your life and whether this move sounds right for you. Let’s get right in!

How to move from Argentina to Portugal

The process of moving from Argentina to Portugal is quite simple. To begin, people choose to move to Portugal for different reasons. 

Usually, your reasons for moving will dictate how long you will stay in the country, ultimately informing the process and documents you will need. Argentine citizens and citizens of other Schengen visa-exempt countries do not need a visa to enter Portugal for short stays of up to 90 days within 180 days for tourism, business, or family visits. 

This is possible due to Portugal being a part of the Schengen Area, a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passports and other types of border control at their mutual borders. 

However, if you intend to stay longer, you will need to apply for a visa that will grant you entry and allow you to apply for a residency permit.

How can I apply for a Portugal Residence Visa from Argentina?

Applying for a Portugal Residence Visa from Argentina involves several steps and requires careful attention to the specific visa category you are eligible for. Decide which residence visa category suits your purpose of moving to Portugal. Common types include work, study, family reunification, retirement, and investment visas. 

Each visa category has specific requirements, so choose the one that matches your situation. Collect all necessary documents to support your visa application. The exact documents may vary depending on the visa type you are applying for. 

Contact the Portuguese embassy or consulate in Argentina to schedule an appointment for your visa application submission. Be prepared for potential delays in appointment availability, so plan ahead and have all the necessary documents ready. 

If it is your first time interacting with the process, you might need help from professional immigration consultants like Viv Europe to help you with the application.

What are the types of Portugal Residence Visa that Argentines may apply for?

Argentines interested in moving to Portugal have several types of residence visas they can apply for, depending on their purpose of stay. The most common types of Portugal Residence Visas that Argentines may apply for include:

  • Work Visa: This Visa is for individuals with a job offer from a Portuguese employer.
  • Business Visa: This Visa is an option for individuals intending to invest in or create a business in Portugal.
  • Study Visa: Students accepted into a recognized educational institution in Portugal can apply for this Visa to pursue their studies.
  • Family Reunification Visa: This Visa is for family members of Portuguese citizens or foreign residents who wish to join them in Portugal.
  • Passive Income Visa: Individuals with sufficient financial means, such as retirees, may apply for this Visa to live in Portugal.
  • Digital Nomad Visa: Self-employed individuals or freelancers who plan to work remotely in Portugal can apply for this Visa.
  • Golden Visa: The Golden Visa program offers residency to non-EU citizens who make qualifying investments in Portugal, such as real estate, creating jobs, or supporting cultural heritage.

Remember that applicants must meet each visa category has specific requirements and conditions. As such, it is essential to carefully review the requirements of each type of Visa and have everything available beforehand.

Documentation needed in general

As mentioned earlier, different types of visas need different documentation for processing. Look at the following general documentation requirements for the types of Visas, according to Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras.

  • Passport: Ensure your Passport is valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in Portugal.
  • Visa application form: Complete and sign the application form available on the official website of the Portuguese embassy or consulate in Argentina.
  • Passport-sized photos: Provide recent passport-sized photos that meet the specified requirements.
  • Proof of purpose: Provide documents related to your reason for moving to Portugal. For example, a job offer, acceptance letter from a university, or family relationship proof.
  • Financial proof: Show evidence of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Portugal. Such as bank statements, employment contracts, or sponsorship letters.
  • Accommodation proof: Provide a housing arrangement, such as a rental agreement or property ownership documents.
  • Travel insurance: Obtain travel medical insurance valid for the entire Schengen Area.

Obtaining a Residence Permit to live in Portugal from Argentina

After successfully receiving your Visa and making your way to Portugal, the next order of business is to apply for a residence permit. This particular document will allow you not only to live legally in the country but also to work in the country. Schedule a visit to the Immigration and Borders Service and apply for a Portugal residency permit. 


This particular document is only valid for one year and can be renewed twice for two years extension at a time. Fortunately, after living in Portugal for 5 years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship and a permanent residency permit.

Before applying for a permanent Residence Permit, you must show proof of sufficient funds and accommodation. Here are some of the documents that you will need to produce during the application:

  • Social security number
  • ID card
  • Tax number
  • Proof of address
  • Passport

What do Argentines need to do to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa?

As aforementioned, the Golden Visa is one way to enter Portugal. Unlike other types of Visas, this particular option comes with several advantages. With the Golden Visa, you can travel and work in any country within the Schengen zone.

The advantages of this type of Visa also extend to the immediate members of your family. However, since the Golden Visa rules keep updating, we highly recommend that you get in touch with an expert before starting your application. 

So, what do you need when applying for this Visa? First, you need to identify a good investment option since this Visa is exclusive to expats interested in investing in a field of their choice in Portugal. 

Some popular investments to consider include real estate, capital transfer, and research activities, just to mention a few. Once that is complete, here are the documents you must provide.

  • Clean Criminal Record: You must provide a clean criminal record from your country of origin and any country where you have resided for more than one year.
  • Valid Passport: You must have a valid Passport.
  • Proof of Funds: You must demonstrate sufficient funds to support yourself and your family while in Portugal.
  • Health Insurance: You must have valid health insurance coverage in Portugal.
  • Application Process: Submit all the required documents and the Golden Visa application to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).

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What is the cost of living in Portugal compared to Argentina?

The cost of living in Portugal is generally higher than in Argentina. Data from Numbeo shows that Consumer Prices in Portugal are 57.2% higher than in Argentina, exclusive of rent. 

While this is true, it is also important to point out that Portugal’s average cost of living is well-priced compared to other European countries. Also, Portugal promises a relatively higher quality of life compared to Argentina. 

After moving to Portugal, you will need some time to get used to the system; it is common for foreign nationals to compare their expenditure to what they would otherwise be spending in their home country. 

Stay focused in the process; always remember your reasons for moving to Portugal in the first place. Also, the cost of living is relative from one individual to the next; it depends on where you choose to live and your spending habits.

How much is the rent in Portugal?

Similar to the cost of living, rent in Portugal is slightly more expensive than in Argentina. To put this into perspective, a one-bedroom apartment in Portugal in the city center is about €781; in Argentina, it is €241.

 However, it is worth noting that the cost of rent is relative depending on where you choose to live, the current condition of the house, and also the size of the apartment. If you want to save money on rent, consider living in the less popular destinations, preferably among the locals. 

Destinations with a huge foreign presence tend to be more expensive thanks to their superior purchasing power compared to the local folks.

What are the best places to live in Portugal?

Portugal has no shortage of spectacular destinations for you to call home. No destination is considered the best; it all depends on your interests and preferences. Nonetheless, here are some options that you can choose to explore.

Lisbon, a city with approximately 500,000 residents, stands out as one of the larger urban centers. Renowned for its job opportunities, affordable cost of living, and exceptional quality of life, it presents an ideal option for those seeking a fulfilling work-life balance on a budget. 

Additionally, the city boasts an exhilarating nightlife, making it particularly appealing to night owls and those who enjoy vibrant entertainment.

If you yearn for a more laid-back and comfortable lifestyle, Porto emerges as an excellent city choice. With a population of slightly over 200,000 individuals, Porto attracts both tourists and expatriates alike. Its rich historical background, world-famous wines, and mild climate create an alluring environment for culture enthusiasts who crave a relaxed way of life.

Another good option for expats to live in Portugal is Funchal on the Madeira Islands. Funchal is home to a large number of internationals, particularly retirees. It enjoys some of the best weather on the island due to its south position.

Where do Argentines usually live in Portugal?

It’s essential to remember that the preferences of expatriates, including Argentines, may vary widely, and some may choose to live in smaller towns or rural areas for a quieter lifestyle. Additionally, the popularity of specific destinations can change over time as different regions gain popularity among expatriates. 

However, most Argentines in Portugal prefer to live in urban centers like Lisbon, Porto, or Cascais. This is particularly true because such destinations are known to offer more employment and better salaries than the smaller towns.


How is the Portuguese Economy?

According to the 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, Portugal is ranked 31st with a score of 70.9. The Portuguese economy has been improving progressively over the past 10 years. 

Portugal’s economy has been gradually recovering from the global financial crisis of 2008. It has been benefiting from its membership in the European Union, which provides access to a larger market and trade opportunities. 

Argentina has a higher nominal GDP than Portugal, primarily due to its larger population and significant natural resources, such as agricultural products and minerals. However, it’s worth noting that Argentina has faced economic challenges, including periods of high inflation and debt issues, which have impacted its economic growth.

 In essence, the Portuguese economy is on the rise, and the future only looks brighter. There is no better time to consider moving to Portugal than right now.

Is Portugal Safe?

Portugal is among the safest countries in the world; according to the World Peace Index, Portugal ranks fourth. The crime rate is low, so you don’t have to worry about getting mugged in the streets. 

Also, since gun ownership in Portugal is controlled, the number of violent crimes is reduced significantly compared to other nations. The local population is very friendly and welcoming to people from different ethnicities and backgrounds. 

However, you need to remember that safety begins with you. Beware of pickpockets in places frequented by tourists, for instance, beaches. Always be aware of your surroundings and avoid routes you are not familiar with.

What is public healthcare like in Portugal for Immigrants?

Portugal’s healthcare system has consistently ranked amongst the top 27 healthcare systems globally, with the Portuguese health system being the highest-rated. Numerous healthcare insurance plans in Portugal are designed to provide low-cost assistance to people with their health concerns.

To receive public healthcare services in Portugal, you must first register with SNS. The National Health Service declared that public healthcare is free for all legal residents in Portugal, including legal immigrants. 

The Portuguese public healthcare system is known for its efficiency and quality, holding up to European standards. In case you don’t wish to use public healthcare due to long waiting lines, private healthcare is an outstanding alternative. 

Not only is it fast and well-equipped, but the prices are affordable and high-quality treatment awaits you.

 What is the weather like in Portugal?

Although the relatively lower cost of living and high quality of life are often the main draws to this country, the warm weather is also something most tourists and expats would love to experience. 

Generally, Portugal is known for having warm weather all year round; however, it is important to point out that weather changes from region to region. The northern region has the coldest weather in the country, with cold and wet winters. 

As expected, summer is hot in Portugal, with temperatures soaring to 28 °C. Spring, on the other hand, is arguably the best time to visit. Portugal is significantly warmer than other countries in Europe and North America.

What are the benefits of moving from Argentina to Portugal?

Of course, Argentina has its own fair share of advantages; however, if you choose to immigrate to Portugal, here are some advantages you can expect from this move.

  • Stable Economy: Portugal’s economy has been gradually recovering and has shown resilience in recent years, offering potential job opportunities and a stable economic environment.
  • Quality of Life: Portugal is known for its high quality of life, with a pleasant climate, beautiful coastlines, historic cities, and a rich cultural heritage. It offers a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle.
  • Healthcare System: Portugal’s healthcare system is highly regarded and consistently ranks among the top healthcare systems globally. Legal residents, including immigrants, have access to free public healthcare.

When are you moving to Portugal from Argentina?

There you have it, a detailed breakdown of how to move from Argentina to Portugal. If you have gotten this far, you must be pretty serious about relocating to Portugal. Whenever you are ready, be sure to reach out to our experts at Viv Europe. Ask questions and get clarity on what you should expect from the process!

Also, if you have any further questions or concerns, join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats, to connect with like-minded enthusiasts who will be glad to help you. Expats usually have many stories to share, and you might even find Argentinians who have made the same decision as you. 

A life full of security and tranquility awaits you – let’s get started!



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