Spain & Portugal Property South Africa is The Collaboration Partner for South Africa for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Portugal Property*  - the Leading Property Agency in Portugal that offers South Africans and other International Citizens, amongst others, a first-class service for Portugal Property Acquisition, for Portugal Residency Services, for related Financial and Tax Advisory Guidance, and other services. This is based on:

  • The Largest Portfolio of Properties in Portugal – which gives the Client excellent choice of property across Portugal (including Lisbon, Cascais, Estoril, Porto, The Algarve, The Silver Coast, Country/Rural areas, Madeira, and The Azores) in order to best meet the Client’s needs and to ‘buy well’.
  • A highly professional and personal service – provided by a very well trained, skilled and experienced team that is integrated around supporting the Client’s needs. Importantly, Berkshire Hathaway Portugal Property is a national company covering ALL regions in Portugal and able to provide a truely national service to its Clients. 
  • Well experiences in the Portugal Residency programs – to help with guidance on the associated processes for acquiring Portugal Residential Visas and associated access to the EU and Schengen countries.
  • Expert Legal and Tax Guidance – if/when required, to best plan, manage and take advantage of Portugal legislation and incentives for Residents or Non-Residents.


Below, you will find the following 3 information topics:

1. 10 Reasons on Why Portugal ?

2. Portugal Residency Programs and Residence Visas application processes.

3. Maps of Portugal, Lisbon area, and The Algarve


10 Reasons on Why Portugal? 

Whether you are looking purely for a Property Investment or a Holiday or Second Home, -- or maybe you are also looking for Residency and potential future Citizenship in an EU Country that will cater for both you and your family’s needs in this regard, then Portugal offers a very compelling case for why it should be considered as the preferred country:

  1. Portugal – an EU Country. Being part of the European Union gives Residents access to Europe’s largest trading block (of about 28 countries), with free movement of people, goods etc across these countries. Residents do not need passports to move between the Schengen countries (which are the bulk of the EU countries). Currency is the Euro, one of the world’s top 4 major currencies.

  2. Leading Peaceful and Stable Democracy – Portugal ranks 6th (out of 163 countries) on the Global Peace Index (2022) – one of the highest ranked EU Countries. It has a multi-party democracy political system, with an independent Judiciary.

  3. Relatively Strong Economy – 2021 GDP growth was 5.5 % (a strong rebound after the weak 2020 pandemic year). During the period 2015 to 2019, the average pa growth was approx 2.5%.

  4. A Culturally Vibrant Country -- With a deep history influenced by many regions (eg Moors, Romans, Germans etc), today Portugal is described as ‘rich’ in Culture – be it around “Family, Food and Football” – or more broadly around community spirit, architecture, music, dance, etc and 'joie de vivre'. A gregarious and welcoming community!

  5. CHOICE: Full Range of Locations and Lifestyles that caters for all preferences – From the capital Lisbon, one of Europe oldest cities, but also a leading banking, commerce, and increasingly a tech hub centre, TO its sought-after chic suburbs of Cascais and Estoril that offer a mix of seaside and close to the city lifestyle, TO Porto, Portugal's 2nd largest city, located on the Douro river estuary in north Portugal, with its uniquely attractive architecture and surrounding wine and port industry, TO The Algarve in the south of the country, with a truly beautiful and world class coastline of classic golden sandy beaches and rugged coves, along its 150 km stretch of a variety of small villages and larger sought after vibrant Coastal towns, surrounded by some of the best Golf courses and water sport facilities in the world.

  6. Attractive Climate – Overall a Mediterranean like climate: warm to hot summers with minimal rainfall, and mild winters. Cooler in the north, and a very sought after climate in the south on The Algarve

  7. Relatively Low cost of Living compared to many European Countries – Portugal has the lowest cost of living in Western Europe. However, Portugal in comparison to South Africa, is approximately 35% higher, with property rental costs (+ 73%) being a contributing factor to the higher prices (especially in the capital Lisbon.) Grocery prices are typically +32%. Source:  Note - numbers are approximate and easily subject to change, especially with exchange rate fluctuations.

  8. Attractive Portugal Residency Programs -- Whilst (with effect from October 1, 2023), there are no longer any Property Investmemt options associated with the remaining Golden Visa Program, there are a variety of Residential Visa options that can be applied for, and in turn these can potentially also lead to Permanent Residence and future Citizenship.

  9. Reasonable Property purchase costs and taxes – Whilst Portugal is similar to most leading European Countries in having various taxes in place that relate to Property, some of these are lower than in other countries. EG Overall additional property purchase costs (transfer taxes, stamp duty, notary fees, legal fees, etc) are typically lower at around 6%-8% of property price for 300k to 500k Euro properties, and closer to 10% for 1m Euro properties.

  10. Become a Portugal Tax Resident with low tax on some incomes – Under Portugal’s Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) Regime, a new Resident with Portugal as their Tax Residency and living a minimum of 6 months per annum in Portugal, can apply for the NHR and be granted 10 year concessions of low tax on some external incomes (eg external pernsions is currently categorised at 10% tax rate, and a low tax rate (of 20%) on some Portugal incomes. This scheme, which was introduced in 2010/2011 in Portugal, is generally seen as a positive and attractive tax benefit for new Portugal Residents with approved NHR. Note: The Portugal Prime Minister has publically indicated in September 2023, that he plans to stop the NHR program (due to (amongst othger things), perceived inequity particularly against traditional Portuguese Citzines. So this program may fall away in 2024 (?) -- yet to be agreed, legislated etc. In the same way that approved Golden Visa applications will remain supported (post October 2023), then it is expectred that approved NHR applicants will also be recognised for the proggram , after the date of the program stopping accepting new applicants.


Applying for Portuguese Residency using the standard Residence Visa and Residence Permit Application Process:  (This assumes you are a non-EU citizen)


If you are seeking Portuguese Residency, but you do not qualify to use, or don’t wish to use, the Golden Visa process – eg: maybe you are not planning to spend 500k+ on a Portuguese Property – then you can apply for Residency through the normal Residency Visa / Residency Permit process.


In high level terms, you first apply for a Residency Visa in South Africa (your home country) by submitting your application to the Portuguese Consulate near you. You can submit the application using the normal Schengen Visa Application form – but that (a) this is submitted to the Consulates where Residency Visas are handled and (b) the necessary accompanying documentation as defined by SEF (Portugal’s Immigration Authorities) / local Consulates is submitted at the same time.  If your application is accepted, then once processed you will be issued with a Residency Visa that allows for up to 120 days stay in Portugal, during which time you can apply for a Residency Permit

The documentation required for the Residency Visa includes:

Photographs, Passport, Travel documentation, Bank Statement, Evidence of sufficient means of subsistence, evidence of adequate accommodation, evidence of no criminal record / Police Clearance Certificate, Motivation on why you want to reside in Portugal, doctors letter, medical insurance.

SEF has guidelines for what is defined as ‘sufficient means of subsistence’ (for the Residence Visa or the Residence Permit), and this is updated annually based on cost of living considerations. It is important to note that the authorities are looking for evidence of assured income during the period (note—salary income is not necessarily an assured income) and/or committed funds, preferably deposited in a Portuguese Bank Account under your name. Always check with the Consulate in advance that you have latest list of required documentation and information on this.


Once in Portugal, you need to apply in person (after having made a booking) at the SEF offices for a Residence Permit. This is a Residence Permit that allows you to reside in Portugal for 2 years, and which can be renewed for a further 3 years, and then renewed again for another 3 years, etc, if/as required.

Note that there are various Permits that can be applied for, including Residence Only, Residence and Work for Others, Residence and Self Employed etc. So be ready to select the correct Permit application, and ensure you also have ready the required documentation

After 5 years of approved and uninterrupted Residency, you can apply for Permanent Residence.

After a minimum of 1 year of Permanent Residence, (ie a minimum of 6 years continuous residency) it is also possible to apply for Citizenship.


Links for SEF’s Portal and application details.

SEF Immigration Portal:

An example of a (non-EU) couple who followed this process :

Where to apply for Portugal Residence Visas in South Africa:

* The Consular Section of the Embassy of Portugal in Pretoria 
Groenkloof Forum Office Park, Suite 03 (Ground floor), 57 George Storrar Drive, Groenkloof, Pretoria 
* Consulate General of Portugal in Johannesburg
Portuguese House, 1st Floor, 11 Ernest Oppenheimer Avenue, Bruma, Johannesburg 
* Consulate General of Portugal in Cape Town
Standard Bank Centre, 10th Floor, Main Tower, Hertoch Boulevard, Cape Town
* Consulate of Portugal in Durban
389 Lilian Ngoyi Road, Morning Side, Durban

To discuss any of the above points and topics, please call Richard Vernon on 082 570 4274