If you want to move from Israel to Portugal there's a lot of bureaucracy to face. Find out all about the relocation process with our guide.

Portugal as a nation has become emerald for those seeking to move from Israel to Portugal. With its beautiful climate, wide warm beaches, and jaw-dropping beauty of its cities and hinterland, Portugal is the undisputed fair lady of Europe.

For this and many more reasons, a handful of Israelis have left the land of their fathers and, like Abraham, their father sorted out a new abode in this land of beauty. The Portuguese life is one to flavor as it has an irresistible atmosphere, coupled with having one of the best weathers in Europe all year round, expats are happy for the life decision of making a home in Portugal.

How to move from Israel to Portugal

Then there is the warmth associated with the citizenry that has made them the toast of the world; their friendly spirit and hospitable nature are second to none in Europe. Land in Portugal is also a significant factor in the decision making of expats as the lands are flat cheap it is almost unbelievable, adding to its proximity to Israel, it gives the home away from home feel as it is close enough to make visiting Israel ease and far enough to make it a journey.

Obtaining a Portuguese visa and work permit is—for an Israeli—one of the easiest in Europe as it is stress-free and an easy enterprise. All these combine to give an unforgettable experience in the dwelling within the boundaries of Portugal! 

We hope that this information will help you navigate your way from Israel to one of the most beautiful nations on the planet!

How to move from Israel to Portugal

As a foreign citizen, you will require a Portuguese visa and work permit once you choose to relocate from Israel to Portugal. You can apply for a Portuguese visa at the Portuguese embassy, diplomatic mission, or consular post in Israel. Suppose you have any questions regarding a needed document. In that case, you may conduct research online and contact the embassy or consulate office by phone or email well ahead of time.

You can start your moving process by following the simple steps below:

Step 1: Choose the region you want to relocate in Portugal

To sort out a new place to live, you must raise and answer some questions. Questions include the cost of living, whether the region’s climate is good enough for your family, the available job opportunities, and many others that prioritize the decision-making process.

Let’s look at which cities in Portugal are best for expats to settle in and get their lives in order.


Lisbon is by far the most popular destination for expats. Lisbon offers everything you might desire or need, aside from being the Portuguese capital. The sun, the sea, the views, the history, the food, the architecture, and the atmosphere are all appealing. What a fantastic city!


Porto, the country’s second-largest city, attracts many expats owing to its picturesque neighborhoods and relatively inexpensive cost of living (especially when compared with Lisbon). 


Expats from all over the world prefer the towns of the Algarve area to reside. The reasons include the abundance of beautiful local beaches, golf resorts, and, for some, the most fantastic weather in Portugal. Albufeira may feel like a small town sometimes. Still, it is a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer. 


Coimbra has a lot to offer foreigners who want to live here. Coimbra is unquestionably one of the greatest choices for foreigners in Portugal. If you’re on a limited budget, this is where to go because you can purchase practically anything at a meager price, including food and entertainment.


Setubal is a city in Portugal located south of Lisbon on the Tagus River. Despite its reputation as the heartland of the working class, Setubal has much to offer foreigners considering a move here. As a result, an expat may opt to reside here and get all of the benefits of the Portuguese capital by just crossing a bridge.

We strongly advise you to visit Portugal before relocating here. A scouting trip to Portugal might assist you in determining which city in the nation is best for you. After all, you are the only one who truly understands you. Explore Portugal, speak with the people, and choose a city to call home.

Step 2: Select a Portuguese residence visa to apply from Israel

Citizens from all over the world are becoming more interested in living in Portugal and experiencing its culture. To receive one of them, you may need to secure one of the several visas available for Portugal. However, if you want to stay in this nation for an extended time, you’ll require residency permission. In Portugal, there are several visa options, including:

  • The Schengen Visa (for short stays of up to 90 days in Portugal and can be granted for tourism, family visit, business, seasonal work, transit, etc.);
  • The Temporary Stay Visa (intended for those planning to stay in Portugal for a period of up to one year); and
  • The Residence Visa (intended for those planning to stay in Portugal for over one year).

Step 3: Buy or rent a property to live in Portugal

A primary need for all of humanity is a roof over their heads when they need to sleep at night. Therefore, accommodation is a serious consideration for anyone planning on moving to Portugal.

The real estate investment and residency opportunities offered by Portugal are of excellent variety. However, there begs the question, how do you, a stranger, purchase a house in Portugal while still outside the country’s shores? It would be best if you planned to buy or rent a property before moving to Portugal to solve this need unless you have a friend or relative to stay with upon arrival.

Portugal has vast opportunities in the real estate sector. Still, like all things investment and money, you have to do excellent research about these opportunities in the Portuguese market. It is also essential to have a translator or an interpreter alongside you if—you are like me—one who doesn’t speak Portuguese or is not fluent in it.

Having known all of the above, we can now proceed to how you can buy your house in Portugal from Israel.

  1. Choose what and where to invest;
  2. Prepare your documents to buy a house in Portugal from abroad;
  3. Travel to Portugal or have someone visit the properties for you;
  4. Prepare the property’s documents for purchase;
  5. Set the purchase amount for the transfer;
  6. Sign the deed.

Step 4: Prepare the documents and bureaucracy to apply

This is one of the ways you need to house your money within the shores of Portugal; here it is all about how you open a bank account with any of the numerous banks within Portugal and get your Portuguese Tax Number NIF. 

Open a Bank Account in Portugal

The second step is to locate a branch in your area once you’ve decided on a certain bank to create an account. This is especially important because many banks demand that you be physically present when opening an account.

If Portuguese is still a challenge for you, see if there is an English-speaking staff person who can assist you. Read our article The best banks in Portugal for expats to open accounts for more information.

Obtain a NIF Number 

The NIF (Number of Identification Fiscal) is a required tax identification number when making payments in Portugal.

You need a NIF for completing official registration, such as opening a bank account. There are various ways to obtain the NIF number, but the most frequent and least expensive approach is to get it at the local financial office.

Deliver the required documentation

You will need to carry certain paperwork to create a bank account, just as you would everywhere else around the globe.

Obtain a Portuguese visa in Israel

The required documents are listed below.

  • Valid identification, such as a passport, is required;
  • Evidence of your present address;
  • Proof of your earnings;
  • The NIF Number.

Step 5: Apply for your Portuguese Visa

For starters, Israelis can visit Portugal without a Visa. Upon arrival, all you have to do is visit the Portugal Immigration counter in person or through the internet, present your documents, and meet the Visa program requirements you are choosing.

Upon approval, you can stay as long as the duration given on approval. This now brings about the question, what are the types of residency visa programs available to Israelis and the cost of a residency visa?

  • The Schengen Visa 
  • The Temporary Stay Visa and;
  • The Residence Visa 

Do Israelis need a visa to travel to Portugal?

Visas are not required for short-term travel, such as the Schengen visa, but they are necessary if you want to remain in Portugal for more than 90 days. To live in Portugal, you must first get a Residence Permit, which can only be obtained with a residence visa or a golden visa.

When in Portugal, get your Residence Permit

Moving to Portugal also entails learning how to navigate the immigration system. A Portugal resident permit is required for foreign citizens to live in Portugal. But where do you look for one? Isn’t my Portugal visa sufficient? No!

Is a Portugal residency permit required for me to live in Portugal?

Yes, as long as you aren’t an EU citizen and want to live in Portugal for more than 90 days. To establish yourself as a permanent resident in Portugal, you must have a resident permit.

I am an EU citizen in Portugal; do I need a residence permit?

No, all you need is a Registration Certificate to stay in Portugal for longer than 90 days. The visa procedure and getting a Portugal residency permit are waived for European Union member nations nationals and the European Economic Area, the Principality of Andorra, and Switzerland.

Portugal residences permit vs. visa

The residency permit and the visa are two separate papers. While residence visas allow foreigners to lawfully enter Portugal to live, they are insufficient to enable you to stay for an extended period.

Portugal visas have a brief validity period, allowing you to register at SEF and apply for a Portugal Residence Permit, your new ID card, once you are in Portugal.

Your residence permit will serve as your national identification card when you live in Portugal. Foreigners often hold a Titulo de Residência (Residence Title) for short visits or a Cartão de Residência (Residence Card) for long periods.

These papers also have a validity period of one to five years and are renewable. It all depends on what you’re doing in Portugal and how long you’ve been there.

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

Due to the permissive residency criteria, modest investment options (by Golden Visa standards, of course), and the attraction of an EU passport, the Golden Visa for Portugal is one of the most sought-after citizenship investment schemes globally.

If you get a Portuguese Golden Visa, you and your family will be allowed to live and work in Portugal, use its health and education systems, travel to Schengen without a visa, and apply for a Portuguese passport five years later.

Of course, you’ll have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars, but many people believe the payoff is well worth it.

You must make one of the following investments to obtain a Golden Visa for Portugal:

  • Purchase a property valued at least €500,000. If the home is in a low-density region, the sum is reduced to €400,000.
    • You will not be allowed to buy property in metropolitan regions of Portugal, such as Lisbon, Porto, or the coastal Algarve, from January 2022.
  • Invest €350,000 on a property in an urban renewal area in Portugal. If the home is in a low-density region, the cost is reduced to €280,000. The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service must approve the project you invest in (SEF).
  • Make a minimum investment of €350,000 in a qualified Investment Fund.
  • At least €1 million must be sent to a Portuguese bank account.
  • Purchase at least €1 million in shares or make a €1 million investment in a Portuguese firm.
  • You must create at least 10 new employments for Portuguese people.
  • Invest at least €350,000 in scientific research organizations for science or technology research.
  • Invest at least €250,000 towards the restoration of Portuguese art or heritage.

Get informed about the Portuguese nationality program for Sephardic Jews

Since 2015, the Portuguese Nationality Law has allowed descendants of Sephardic Jews to obtain Portuguese citizenship. This is a mechanism for granting nationality to persons who can establish they are members of Portugal’s Sephardic Jewish community.

You can use many sorts of evidence to demonstrate community membership, including:

  • Surname ties;
  • family language knowledge; 
  • direct or collateral descent

Article 6, n. 7 of the Nationality Law governs the procedure. It’s also worth mentioning that the candidate doesn’t have to have lived in Portugal or possess a working knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Furthermore, suppose ancestry is used to prove links to the Sephardic community. In that case, there is no limit to lineage for application reasons.

You might thus trace your Portuguese ancestry back to your great-grandfather or even great-great-grandfather.

Also, a Portuguese Jewish Community must provide a certificate showing Sephardic community membership (or the existence of ties). The application for Portuguese nationality must include this document.

As a result, if you can verify the links mentioned above to the Sephardic community, it is one of the simplest methods to get Portuguese nationality.

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

The difference in Indices Israel’s consumer prices are 81.10 percent more than Portugal’s (without rent) Israel’s consumer prices, including rent, are 73.69 percent more than Portugal’s. Israel’s rent prices are 57.37 percent higher than those in Portugal. Still, the cost of living in Portugal is considered very low when compared to the rest of Europe.

Where do Israelis usually live in Portugal?

Besides Lisbon and Porto, Israelis have gathered in two areas of Portugal: the rural Alentejo region, and the Coimbra region, in central Portugal near the Silver Coast.

Is Portugal a safe country?

Portugal has a global peace index of 1.2675, making it the world’s fourth most peaceful country, according to a survey by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

The most thorough data-driven examination of peace trends, economic value, and how to promote peaceful communities is presented in this paper.

What is public healthcare like in Portugal for immigrants?

Portugal has an organizational structure that divides duties for several healthcare and public services sectors.

The Portuguese health system is known as the Sistema Nacional de Sade (SNS), or National Health System. It has universal access, which means that everyone in the country may use the services, whether Portuguese or not.

Large Public Hospitals are located in the country’s major cities to accommodate all demands, especially those more complex. In addition, there are Health and Extension Centers for less populated areas.

Adaptation tips for Israel expats

Despite all of your studies on the culture before migrating to a new country, there will still be certain things that surprise you. Here is a list of things you should know about Portugal before moving to aid your adaptation.

The language barrier

Even though Portugal, mainly Lisbon, is a popular expat and digital nomad destination and a key center for startups and multinational businesses, most services are provided in Portuguese. 

Don’t be startled if you phone the tax department or your internet provider and the directions to reach a live person are only in Portuguese.

The bureaucratic headaches

You may have heard some nasty and even humorous anecdotes regarding Portugal’s bureaucracy. Everything is correct.

Israeli community in Portugal

Bureaucracy in this country rarely makes logic, and you’ll almost always find five unexpected loopholes to exploit. Furthermore, various persons with the same job duties will provide you with different information, necessitating several sources. These headaches affect even Portuguese folks.

So the tip is to take a deep breath and let that Israeli culture of being on time and correct rest when in Portugal. Here things go by in slow motion.

The lack of Israeli cuisine is real

Portuguese cuisine is fresh and flavorful, which is fortunate given the difficulty in locating other cuisines or goods from our country. Of course, Lisbon is more diversified than the rest of the country, making it simpler to sample other cuisines. If you love and think you will miss your native cooking from Israel, this is an excellent time to learn how to prepare it. Call your grandma and ask for all those special recipes now!

The driving style

Driving in Portugal is often nerve-wracking. In reality, in Lisbon, accidents happen every day. Of course, that’s not a general rule for the entire country, but it’s a real problem in central Lisbon. So just be aware that it may get a bit wild. You can’t be too careful.

The advice provided above should assist you in adjusting to life in Portugal. Don’t be put off by the difficulties listed; they’re all part of the fun.

Consider getting assistance to move to Portugal from Israel

We always love to hear from our readers as it enlightens us more about how to serve you better. Please head down to our Facebook group All About Portugal For Expats, and see what we are all about.

Also, when you need help with your relocation to Portugal or obtaining a visa, do not hesitate to contact the Viv Europe team. We’ve helped hundreds of families to relocate safely to Portugal, and you can be the next to make this dream a reality.

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Viv Europe can assist you to put into action your plans to relocate to Portugal. Our team of experts knows what it takes to handle all the paperwork to make your move as smooth as it can be.

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