Number of Britons Living in Portugal Continues to Surge for the Sixth Time in a Row


42,071 Britons became Portuguese residents in 2021, securing the second largest nationality group position for another year, Portugal’s Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) has revealed.

According to SEF, the total number of UK nationals living in Portugal has reached 714,123 – 7.8 per cent more than last year and further marking a continuous increase for the sixth constructive time, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The news was applauded by the General Manager of the Portuguese Chamber in the UK, Christina Hippisley, who pointed out that the size of the British expat community is a sign of an established network ready to welcome new residents.

“The Algarve and Lisbon are particularly popular, though cities such as Porto are also attracting interest from those considering relocating to Portugal from the UK,” Hippisley added.

Her office also reports that the demand from Britons to become Portuguese residents also remains high in 2022, with a particular interest in the country’s D7 visa, also known as the passive income visa.

This visa is available to nationals from third countries looking for long-term residency status in Portugal, and the main requirement is for applicants to show proof of their ability to support themselves. The visa is especially attractive to retired Britons while also those that want to study or work in Portugal can do so. They are also eligible to apply for Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime status.

“There is a tidal wave of people wanting to move from the UK to Portugal right now. As such, we are packing the upcoming Moving to Portugal show with property, financial, legal, and other experts, providing a one-stop-shop for information, advice, and guidance,” the Chamber pointed out.

Last year, 46,238 Brits started living in Portugal, which was a 34.6 per cent increase compared to the previous year and also marked the highest-known record.

The Chamber of Commerce also explains that after Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016, the number of Brits living in Portugal increased by 13 per cent, followed by an extra three per cent surge in 2017, and reached 18 per cent in 2018. While in 2016, Brits were the sixth-largest group living in Portugal, currently, they are listed right after Brazilians, which according to the Moving to Portugal portal, count 105,423 nationals.

Increasing numbers of British residents were reported by the Spanish government – which is a coastal country and Portugal’s neighbouring country. According to Statista’s data, the number of British nationals living in Spain reached 313,975 in 2021, representing a 4.4 per cent increase compared to the previous year.



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