When you finally decide to take the plunge and relocate or purchase a second home in the sun, the challenge of finding a straightforward and easy way to move your funds overseas will be far down your list of priorities. However, using a specialist can be a really straight forward way of saving money, time and hassle.
Portugal, which is understood to be called home by roughly 900,000 expats, offers a great combination of culture, amazing coast, golf courses and friendly, often bilingual locals. In recent years the Portuguese government have also offered a number of interesting tax breaks for expats, including a flat rate of 20% for NHR’s ( non-habitual residents) that are employed in Portugal.
The new tax breaks introduced in 2009 to boost the economy following the global recession and entice skilled individuals from overseas to relocate and work in Portugal.
The NHR can be extremely interesting for those who are collecting a UK pension or overseas income, in which case money can be received and remains untaxed. Naturally, the policy is vulnerable to changes or potential discontinuation after Brexit, however as it currently stands the policy is in place.
Setting up a bank account in order to send money to Portugal
Once work, your new Portuguese home or accommodation is formalised you will need to establish a Portuguese bank account either to receive your salary paid locally in Euros or to transfer money from the UK to start your new adventure.
If you find yourself relocating to Lisbon or a popular resort area such as the Algarve you will probably be welcomed by a friendly English speaking bank assistant who will able to get you set up in order to send your money to Portugal, if however you are planning to relocate to a more rural area or small village and aren’t fluent in Portuguese, you may wish to consider sourcing a local translator or bilingual friend. There are a good variety of local banks available which include;
- Millennium BCP – the largest bank in Portugal it boasts over 690 branches throughout Portugal and 4.3 million clients. The bank’s services are available to both full-time residents and expats.
- Caixa Geral de Depositos offers a great account for students and those wanting to hold foreign currency in Portugal. The bank is the second largest in Portugal and is publicly owned.
- Novobanco is privately owned and the second largest of its type. It offers a ‘Welcome account’ to those new to the country and proposes a ‘Golden Key Account’ for those who prefer to exclusively do their banking in English.
Once you have selected the appropriate bank and account for your needs you will need to arrange the appropriate documents and paperwork for approval. Whilst this can vary from bank to bank many adhere to the following:
- Valid proof of ID (passport, photo ID or driver’s license)
- proof of address (gas, electric or water bill)
- Pay slip or proof or pension/ revenue
- Portuguese NIF number
Getting set up to send money to Portugal
Once your administrative tasks have been taken care of the easiest part of your move or Portuguese property purchase will be finding a great exchange rate via an international payments company. Getting set up only takes 5-10 minutes and minimal paperwork if any is required. Specialists such as Rational FX and Currencies Direct can assist and offer excellent security and value, both offering their services with no transfer fee. Those currently located in the US should consider companies such as OFX, FairFX or MoneyCorp who can assist in every US state.
Documents typically required to open an International money transfer account are
- A full copy of valid ID (passport, drivers license or photo card ID)
- Utilities bill (gas, electric bill, local government correspondence – must be less than 3 months old)
Requirements to open an account to make business transfers may vary from sector to sector and you should consult with your selected FX specialist who can conclusively advise. Sending money to Portugal or from via a specialist will be a much more cost-effective way of transferring and many offers around the clock dealing both online and via telephone and application.
The international transfer specialist can assist with one-off property payments, regular rent transfers or pension payments. If you are planning on establishing a business in Portugal, they can also help with business payments when receiving payments from clients or purchasing products or goods from overseas.
We hope you found this guide interesting and more importantly helpful. Good luck on your move or home purchase in Portugal.