General information needed

edited December 1969 in Family and Friends
Hi, I am looking initially to move to the island for about 6-9 months before considering whether I could settle there permanently. At the moment I do not speak any Porguese, but would like to attend lessons. Are there any classes in Funchal or does anyone know of any private tuition on a one-to-one basis. Any idea re the costs, or any contacts (email address would be fantastic) where I can make contact.

Are there any/many international companies in Funchal (business related, like legal companies, finacial companies? Is there a business directory available (web based) which lists the companies there? Thanks.

I myself am an artist (craft) and did wonder whether it would be possible to teach these privately. I do qulling primarily but some other crafts also. Or are you not allowed to set up your own craft classes? Again any information would be of a great help.

Is there much of an ex-pat British community? If so do you people mainly live in Funchal? Do they have social outings, meetings?

Thank you to all who can give me any helpful advice.



  • Sara,

    Have you ever been to Madeira? If you have, then you may be aware of the changes going on there. There has been a lot of interest in foreigners wanted to relocate to Madeira for a better life. Though a lot of people have recently moved there, some have found opportunities and some not.

    There are ex-pats living there and you can get to more information through this website regarding social events.

    Fortunately, English is spoken throughout Funchal and some people speak it around the Island, though the need to speak portuguese is desired.

    My recommendation is if you haven't been there before, go for a few weeks to month and explore your opportunities.

    If you are set on 6-9 monthes, make sure you have enough to survive on in savings. Don't really on finding employment quickly.

    You may have a skill in quilling but it will take time to get the word out or take your business over the internet. That would be more successful than relying on the locals and tourist.

    Anyway, proceed with some caution.

    Good Luck
  • Hi Dan

    Thanks for the information. Yes I have been to the island twice on holiday, March 2006 for 10 days, then December 2006/January 2007 for one month.

  • As the previous person said, you will need to be able to support yourself for a long time, there is no social security payment for unemployed immigrants and setting up business will be costly and difficult. Near to the English Church is an outlet for arts and crafts but you would be unlikely to earn enough to pay rent (usually around 350+ euros permonth) There have been several attempts to get craft groups up but not enough interest. I would recommend contacting Ursula Hann at Time Consult (located in Madeira Business Centre in Avenue Arriarga) she runs an advice centre for people re locating to Madeira, covering business, jobs, legalities etc, also the British Consulate will advise on procedures
  • Hi, thanks for the info. No way would I ever claim state benefits, whenever I travel I always make sure I have enough funds. However, no doubt there are others who have tried. Its a shame the same system does not exist in the UK, it seems a lot of immigrants here come over, don't work and claim off our benefit system, get free health care, etc. Thanks for the info about Ursula.
  • This is one reazon the uk is flooded with foreigners, so easy to get into benefits and housing, very little restrictions or questions asked. I am from Madeira but i am not proud of such people that give us a bad name in the UK specially. Europe as one should carry on the same policies for every citizen, very unfair for the ones that pay full taxes ou are native citizen of that country.
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