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Apply for the Non-Habitual Residency in Portugal

How to apply for the Non-Habitual Residency in Portugal Golden Port Visa

In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of the NHR program, the requirements for obtaining NHR status, and how to apply for non-habitual residence in Portugal.

Whether you are looking to retire, start a business, or simply want to experience all that Portugal has to offer, the NHR program may be the perfect opportunity for you.

In a nutshell, the NHR scheme grants eligible applicants a flat 20% tax rate on Portugal-sourced income (instead of the usual Portuguese taxes with a top rate of 48%).

This includes retirees with pension income but can also apply to those with other sources of income, such as dividends from a foreign company, investments, or even a salary from abroad.

The key objective of the Non-Habitual Resident Portugal Scheme is to give you, as a high earner or high net worth individual, the opportunity to reduce your tax rate and gain business opportunities overseas.

Our guide to the non-habitual resident Portugal tax scheme will explain everything you need to know, including how to make sure you’re eligible for what sort of tax benefits you can expect and a step-by-step walk-through on how to apply.

Apply for Non-habitual Residence in Portugal:

Eligibility for Portugal NHR Status

Being eligible for the NHR hinges on several key factors.

First, you need to become a legal resident in Portugal. For example, you could achieve this under EU freedom of movement rights (if you’re an EU citizen) or with the Golden Visa if you’re from outside the EU.

Next, you’ll need to become a tax resident of Portugal. You’re considered a tax resident when you spend more than six months a year living in Portugal.

You also need to have a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF), and make sure it’s linked to a Portuguese address. This last step is essential for successfully submitting your NHR application.

NHR benefits are available for a period of 10 years (non-renewable), starting from the date when you’re considered a tax resident of Portugal.

This is typically calculated from the date when you register your Portuguese address with the tax authorities. You can check this date on the Portuguese Finance Portal.

Taxes for Non-Habitual Resident Portugal

There’s a lot of confusion about how income is taxed under the NHR scheme.

One of the key criteria for evaluating income under NHR is whether the income originates from within Portugal or from a foreign source.

Portuguese-source income

In terms of professional activities, the Portuguese tax authorities define two categories of income from Portuguese sources as eligible for the non-habitual resident’s scheme.

  • Category A: Employment
  • Category B: Freelancers and self-employed

If your income falls into either of these categories and comes from sources within Portugal, you may be eligible for a flat rate of 20% tax.

‍Foreign source income

Portugal is often thought of as a zero-tax jurisdiction – which isn’t the case at all.

Depending on the nature of your foreign source of income, Portugal can still offer several benefits if you become a non-habitual resident.

The following types of incomes can be tax exempt in Portugal, as long as they are from outside the country: rental income, real estate gains, dividends, interest on savings, and royalties.

Foreign sourced pensions used to be taxed at 0% under NHR, but that recently changed to a rate of 10%.

Income from foreign-source dividends


Tax-exempt in Portugal if originating from a DTA country where the dividends are taxable at the source.


Income from real estate rentals and capital gains on property


Both are tax-exempt in Portugal under HNR, as long as they don’t originate from a blacklisted tax haven.


You can learn more about capital gains in Portugal here.


Income from cryptocurrency


Gains on crypto portfolios and salaries paid in cryptocurrency are tax exempt. Income from day-trading of crypto: Taxed under ordinary Portuguese progressive tax rates from 14.5% to 48%.

How to apply for Non-habitual residency in Portugal

How to apply for Non-Habitual Portugal Residence

The first step for NHR is to ensure you’re registered as a tax resident in Portugal. That means having a NIF (tax number) registered to your Portuguese address.

The deadline to make your NHR application is March 31, the year following which you become a tax resident.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Register yourself as a Portugal resident. If you’re an EU citizen, you can do this by visiting your local town hall with your passport. If you’re a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to make an appointment with SEF to apply for your residency card.

  • Apply for a NIF. You can do this with proof of address from outside Portugal, for example, a bank statement from your home in the UK. But you’ll need to change it to a Portuguese address before applying for NHR status. If you want to apply for the NIF with your address in Portugal, bring your property deeds to the Finanças office as proof of address. A utility bill should also suffice. 

  • Next, you’ll need to register with the online Finanças portal. They will send a password in the post to whichever address is registered on your NIF. If you used an overseas address to get your NIF, make sure somebody is there to receive the letter for you and inform you of the password.

  • Once you have access to the Finanças portal, you can apply for NHR by yourself.

The Non-Habitual Resident Portugal Tax Scheme is an interesting benefit for those considering a move to Portugal.

NHR status can exempt Portuguese taxes on many foreign sources of income. However, it’s important to remember that the Portugal HNR is not a zero-tax situation if you consider tax as your main reason to get a second residency.

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