edited December 1969 in General
How do you apply for residency (and can you apply if you are not working here). thanks


  • You need to be living here permanently and take proof of your address along with your passport to the Loja do Cididao opposite Marina Shopping. It only takes 5 or 10 mins to do now but you may have to queue for a while.
  • try this for info

    If you find any difference, could you let me know please ... as the process seems to change pretty regularly

  • Hi Der and Quilling Lady,

    Just went and got mine last week. 2 hour wait, which gets longer as the day wears on.

    Once "at the desk" it took maybe 15 minutes and the only "document" I needed was my EU passport, "permanent" address and 7 euros. The large folder of income, health coverage etc documents which I brought were not needed.

    In applying, one should be aware that there may be taxation consequences down the line.

    For my husband, who does not have an EU passport, we needed our marriage certificate and 2 photos of him. When we came back with our marriage certificate, after a 3 hour wait, we were told it had to be translated into Portuguese at the Language Institute. The cost was 111 euros for "translating" a few dates and names (!!!?!!!)

    Tomorrow we will try the wait again and hopefully complete the process for my husband.

    Quilling Lady, if you are thinking of this for health coverage I think there is some kind of UK card that applies here. I'll leave the Brits to comment on that.

    Does anyone know what is required to change residency to citizenship? I am aware that if we do so and give birth to a son, he will then be required to do military service :-) :-) Or maybe that is true of residency as well?? Not likely to happen in any case :-)

  • Hi Ellen, thanks for the info. I went there today and they told me just to bring my passport and could have had it done straighaway (this afternoon there were no Queues, maybe I caught it at the right time). I will return later in the week to apply.

    Re medical, unless you have residency/health care you have to pay for drs/medication which is horrendously expensive. Today I had to pay E50 for the dr and another 46 for the UK it would have been free!

  • The Health service is similar to UK, private or free as residents. You should be able to reclaim on your health insurance part or all of the medical costs.
    You have said in previous posts that you are returning to UK in April until November so you can't really class youself as a permanant resident and as such residency will not apply for you
  • Hi

    I did mention it, but in case it got lost in my verbiage - residency does imply filing taxes,and although some people don't right now - with increased computerization this may not be possible in the future.

    At the risk of starting a hot debate or sounding moralistic, it may be worth asking: - is it right to claim health coverage in a country where you do not contribute to the tax base?

    Coming from a country where many from the US raise Canada's medical costs by hoping across the border and using the bureaucracy to get free health care, one is sensitized to this is issue. Just a thought to throw into the mix.

  • Ellen is right, it seems unfair to apply for residency just to use the Health Service. When I applied for mine I also had to show that I had funds to live here, although I believe the system has changed now. Also as you say, you have to file for taxes even if you income is in the UK or is below the level requiring tax payment, so it is not just a straightforward procedure,there are other implications involved,partly to avoid double taxation as tax is payable annually I understand that the authorities are now closing down on residents from other countries to make sure they are making the necessary declarations.The tax system here is very complicated and many things can be set against the calculation, so a great deal of consideration is needed, especially as only living here part of the year is not considered as a being a permanent resident
  • I believe that as far as tax goes ,the law is that whichever country you are in for 183 days is where yiu are liable for tax
  • from now on (this year) all residents must fill up tax report in Portugal.
    regardless of number days spent in

    permanent residency is (as in any other country) from 183 days up in calendar year

    sure Portugal is a free country and one is free to travel
  • tax and residency are two separate things. Your liability to pay tax is determined by being here or having assets here, and has nothing to do with residency. Residency has an element of choice, taxation doesn't. Tax info here :

  • This is an interesting post, Quillinglady asks about residency if you are not working here, but her previous messages give a differant message, she has been selling cards around Funchal, actively looking via the forum for work, advertising private tuition, yet claiming to be back in UK April - November and appearing to take up residency (although not a permanent resident) to avoid paying for Health care. The comment ' it would have been free in the UK' is revealling, this is not the UK and so you have to run with the rules here.It is not right to pick put the bits of the laws which you like when living in another Country, which is what seems to be happening here, This is one of the reasons why the authorities are clamping down on residents from abroad to reduce avoid tax commitment.
  • Hi Der,

    Yes, one may need to pay taxes without having residency, but in applying for residency one shows their intention of being in the country long enough to pay taxes.

    So, although the two are separate issues in law, they are linked in practice and one day the computer system is going to be able to sort out who has residency and is not paying taxes.

    And then the numbers which you quoted in your blog about unremitted taxes will likely be even higher???

    BTW, having assets in the country is not a prerequisite for paying taxes. One can have a holiday house worth millions and not pay tax if one is not generating income here or here long enough. (income tax that is - the amount of tax to purchase the property is something else.)

    When my residency was so easy to get the cynic in me couldn't help but wonder if this change was because of EU pressure or because someone realized the more people they signed up now, the better the numbers for budget grants and the more potential taxes to be collected down the line?

    But then, perhaps I over estimate political expediency in Madeira? :-)

  • Hi Flowergirl,

    While it is interesting and perhaps helpful to debate issues, maybe we could not make it personal to any one's situation? A few messages on a forum do not describe the reality of one's life, and each of us must make our own decisions on how we live.

    Without Quillinglady's emails this forum would have had very little traffic in the last few months, and I for one have learned more about Madeira because of her questions and feedback.

    And I appreciate your input as well.

  • I agree with what you say but my comments were basically in response to a posting which you made re residency application linked to Health care. I do not believe that it is right to apply for residency in any country for the wrong reasons and there are too many people here in Madeira already who do not pay tax on their income, whether it be here or in UK. I do not think that many people do understand the tax laws here (including myself) but I do realise that all income whether here or in the UK must be declared annually, even if it is low enough not to attract a tax payment, taking into account a lower rate of tax, plus the many things which can be set off against tax, it makes more sense to me to get it right from the start.
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