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Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal

08 June 2022

The Portugal NHR tax regime is a hugely successful scheme that offers lucrative tax breaks for foreign residents.

This preferential tax treatment for new residents of Portugal allows entrepreneurs, high-net-worth individuals, and pensioners to enjoy Portugal’s white-sand beaches and genial sunshine while benefitting from the lowering costs on many points.

Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis

According to the Portuguese Ministry of Finance, the main nationality who benefited from the NHR are French people. However, in fact, plenty of other individuals derive advantage of one of the most competitive taxation climates in the world as well.

One of the ways to join this privileged circle is to get the Portugal Golden Visa Program, which gives you a Portuguese residency and makes you one step closer to becoming a Portuguese tax resident and getting an HHR regime far less.

The guide will tell you what sort of tax benefits you can expect, how to make sure you’re eligible, and what is a step-by-step walk-through on how to apply. So let’s take a closer look at Portugal’s non-habitual resident’s tax regime.

How to start your path to getting a residence permit in Portugal?

Begin with an individual free consultation with Migronis experts!

Do foreigners need to pay tax in Portugal?

The Portuguese tax system is one of the most generous in Europe. As a result, this country has quickly become one of the popular destinations for ex-pats wishing to lower their tax burden, expand their business, and change a lifestyle for the better.

The main difference in the Portuguese tax regime is whether you are already a tax resident in Portugal or not. But what if you don’t know your legal status? Don’t worry, everything comes down to the number of days you will spend in Portugal.

At a basic level, the rules for becoming a Portuguese tax resident are quite straightforward. The simplest approach is that if you live in Portugal for more than 183 days in a single calendar year, you are a tax resident of this country. A tax residence certificate can prove this.

For example, if you managed to get the Portugal Golden Visa, you can reside there for only 7 days per year, as this program has a low stay requirement. In this case, you need to pay only for Portuguese-sourced income. Services managers, such as Migronis, can help you know more about what you can get with Portugal Golden Visa, Portuguese taxes, and other relevant issues.

Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis

Want to know more about the Portugal Golden Visa?

Reach out to this guide and get the most out of an NHR regime in Portugal!

What is a Non-Habitual Residents Regime (NHR Portugal), and how does it work?

First introduced in 2009 by the Portuguese government, the non-habitual resident’s tax regime aims to attract investors of high cultural and economic worth. Such exchange is just a win-win for both parties.

First, let’s say that the name is completely confusing. When first encountering this tax incentive, it may seem that it is referred only to non-residents of Portugal. That’s not true. In fact, quite to the contrary. Applying for NHR, you first need to know that you have to be a tax resident of the country.

Wealthy and highly literate people may help boost Portuguese competitiveness in the global market by attracting foreign investment, bringing new ideas, and developing the Portuguese economy. And UHNWIs may also benefit — With NHR tax status, they finally got a chance to breathe freely by lowering their tax burden.

Portuguese income tax works on the same basis as in the UK. The tax rate starts at 14.5% and goes up to 48%, which is not a tax-saving solution at all. However, with the NHR regime in Portugal, your income is limited to a flat rate of 20%. Furthermore, nearly all of your foreign income can also be tax-exempt. This means that the total savings could be huge. And this is the reason why Portugal is so popular among Brits (and other nationalities as well). Statistics say that in 2022 over 34,000 British nationals live in Portugal. Many of them have relocated due to the Golden Visa Program.

Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis

It is important to note that the non-habitual tax regime is granted for 10 years from the year of first tax residence in Portugal.
The upside of this status is that it does not have a stay requirement. And you can also stop being a Portuguese tax resident for a year or two without losing all benefits of NHR for future years. So this tax system is flexible.

A non-habitual tax regime is not given automatically. It is granted upon successful completion to the Portuguese government. However, the procedure is quite simple. You just need to file a request stating that you were not a Portuguese tax resident during the last 5 years.

In fact, NHR is quite a broad tax incentive. And not only because it covers large numbers of people but also in view of the fact that it has different implications for different population categories. Let’s delve more deeply into this topic.


Generally, tax benefits depend on where you are going to do business. If an income you derive from your business activity will not be associated with Portugal, then you will get a tax exemption and be able to make a good thing from a double taxation agreement. However, with Portugal-sourced income, entrepreneurs end up paying a 20% rate.


High-value activity professionals can accrue many benefits from the NHR regime. Specifically, this can be a 20% flat rate of tax, which may be better than the standard Portuguese tax rates.

Freelancers and Retirees may also benefit from the NHR regime.


Let’s see our best examples of Portuguese real estate and learn about conditions of funding to get the Portuguese Golden Visa! 

Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis

Portuguese Tax System. What does a tax resident in Portugal need to pay?

Understanding the tax system is always a big job. The tax system of another country is an even greater challenge. However, the better you can understand taxes and how to benefit from them, the better you are equipped to make decisions.

Foreign-source income under the NHR tax regime

Depending on the nature of your income, Portugal can offer a number of benefits if you apply for this favorable tax regime. First, one should note that most foreign source income is not taxable. Another nice bonus is that wealth tax and capital duty are not taxed at all, as well as inheritance tax and gift tax.

The following types of taxes can potentially benefit you as long as they apply to foreign source income:

  1. Foreign source employment income
    Foreign source employment income is tax-exempt in Portugal due to the non-habitual tax regime. This happens if an income originated in a DTA country, which is not a blacklisted tax haven. If this does not occur, a Portuguese tax resident should pay a flat rate of 20%.
  2. Foreign-source self-employment income
    Tax-exempt if it comes from a country with DTA and if it is referred to an eligible profession (see the list below). Also tax-exempt in the absence of a treaty under the OECD model tax convention. Otherwise, it is optionally taxed at a flat rate of 20%. However, the taxpayer can choose progressive rates if this would be a more advantageous option.
  3. Real estate income, investment income, and capital gains on property 
    Tax-exempt unless derived from the blacklisted tax-havens.
  4. Royalties and income from financial assets
    This income is tax-exempt if it comes from a DTA country. It is also tax-exempt even if what it involves is not a DTA country unless it is not a blacklisted tax haven. If the source country is a blacklisted tax haven, it is taxed at a 28-35% rate.
  5. Income from cryptocurrency
    Gains on crypto portfolios and salaries paid in digital coins are tax-exempt.

For now, cryptocurrency is not recognized as a legal tender in Portugal. This means that you won’t be taxed on any crypto gains.

Portuguese-source income under the NHR tax regime

  1. Employment income
    If your employment does not fall under one of the eligible professions, progressive rates apply. But if you are lucky, and your profession is considered of high worth to Portugal, an optional tax rate of 20% is applicable (or progressive states if the amount would be less in this case). This Portuguese taxation system also refers to self-employed individuals (freelancers or auto entrepreneurs).
  2. Self-employment income
    If employment does not fall under one of the eligible professions, progressive rates apply. But if you are lucky, and your profession is considered to be of high worth to Portugal, an optional tax rate of 20% is applicable (or progressive states if the amount would be less in this case.
  3. Real estate income and capital gains
    Rental income is taxed either at normal progressive rates or at an optional rate of 28%. At the same time, net capital gains are taxed at 50%. Normal progressive rates may also apply.

We understand all the difficulties of facing the new tax system

Where to begin? What are the pitfalls? It seems that the head would explode this minute

We answered all your questions for you. So just dive into this article where we break down the nuances

What is a double taxation agreement, and why is it important for NHR?

A key feature of the Portuguese NHR Regime is Double-Taxation Agreements (DTA). In fact, Portugal signed about 90 such treaties. See all of them in the table below.

Annual income NHR rate (%) General rate (%)
Up to €7,112 20 15
€7,113 - €10,732 20 23
€10,733 - €20,322 20 29
€20,323 - €25,075 20 35
€25,076 - €39,967 20 37
€39,968 - €80,882 20 45
€80,883 + 20 48

In theory, many double taxation treaties grant the source country the possibility of taxing income paid to other country residents. However, countries avoid doing so in practice and don’t use this possibility. This means that most of your activities will be zero-taxed.

Blacklisted tax havens

The Portuguese government blacklists some jurisdictions for the purpose of NHR. This means that income derived from any of these countries would not qualify for NHR (only in the case of double tax agreement rules).

One small example: You draw your income from Jersey (a blacklisted tax haven that does not tax individuals). In this case, you would end up paying standard tax rates. Another example is Antigua and Barbuda, which is also a blacklisted tax haven.

Who Qualifies for Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Status and who can become a Portuguese tax resident in Portugal

According to the Internal Revenue Service, if you want to possess the beneficial NHR status, you have to fit under the following conditions:

  1. You were not taxed in Portugal during the last 5 years (counting from the date of application)
  2. You are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
    Or you have used a long-running visa. Such are: the Portugal Golden Visa, the Portugal D7 Visa, the Portugal D2 Visa
  3. You have requested a tax residency in Portugal. This means that you are going to live in this country for more than 183 days per year (it doesn’t need to be consecutive). But here are a few exceptions to the rule

You can also live less than 183 days annually, but only if you have bought a property here during the last 12 months. This should be a habitual place of residence. Therefore, buying real estate is beneficial for new tax residents. However, a rental contract for 12 months is also sufficient proof of residence.

The last exception to the rule is given to people who perform public functions for the last 12 months in Portugal or to the part of the crew of a ship or aircraft.

Important! UK citizens can also apply for tax residency in Portugal. However, first, they need to apply for a residence visa, such as a D2, D3, or Portugal Golden Visa Program. There is also the same requirement, as with the EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, which implies that the NHR tax regime in Portugal is given only in case a person has not been registered as a tax resident in Portugal for the last 5 years. The same goes for USA citizens.

Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal — Migronis

High value-added activities

One of the main requirements of Portuguese tax authorities regarding the NHR tax regime is the necessity to fit into a list of activities that are considered of high value.

Here is a list of high added value activities in the NHR according to the no. 6 of the article 72. and the no. 5 of the article 81.º do CIRS:

  1. Professional activities (codes of the Portuguese Classification of Professions – CPP):
  2. General Director and executive manager, of companies;
  3. Directors of administrative and commercial services;
  4. Directors of production and specialized services;
  5. Directors of hotels, restaurants, commerce, and other services;
  6. Specialists in physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, and related techniques;
  7. Doctors;
  8. Dentists and stomatologists;
  9. University and higher education teachers;
  10. Specialists in information and communication technologies (ICT);
  11. Authors, journalists, and linguists;
  12. Creative and performing arts artists;
  13. Technicians and science and engineering professions, intermediate level;
  14. Information and communication technologies technicians;
  15. Market-oriented skilled agricultural and animal production workers;
  16. Market-oriented skilled forestry, fishery, and hunting workers;
  17. Skilled industrial, construction, and crafts workers, including particularly skilled metalworkers, metalworkers, food processing, woodworkers, garment workers, handicraft workers, printing workers, precision instrument makers, jewelers, craftsmen, electrical and electronics workers;
  18. Plant and machine operators and assembly workers, in particular, fixed plant and machine operators;

Other professional activities:

  1. Directors and managers of companies promoting productive investment provided that they are assigned to eligible projects and have contracts for granting tax benefits concluded under the Investment Tax Code, approved by Decree-Law No. 162/2014, on October 31;

Activities excluded from the NHR:

Activities such as auditors, tax consultants, psychologists, and archaeologists are no longer on the list.

However, professionals who applied for the status until March 30, 2021, will not be excluded from the tax benefit regime and will be able to take advantage of the benefits until the end of their 10-year period.

Wanna lower your tax burden? 

Then Portugal is just your place

8 questions about NHR

What income does not fall under the NHR regime?
(1) The income from local (Portuguese) sources, with the exception that there is a special 20% tax rate for certain income from qualified professions, (2) The foreign income which is not taxed at source under the relevant double tax treaty (and is not designed to be taxed under the OECD model tax treaty), for example, the capital gains from the sale of shares not deriving value from immovable property 

How long does it take to get NHR status?
This is a simple filing procedure 

How much money do I need to qualify for NHR status?
No requirements apply.Are there any processing fees or additional expenses?
Immaterial expenses 

What are possible reasons for NHR status rejection when basic requirements are met?
None, this is a very simple procedural exercise 

Can both spouses apply for NHR status?

When is NHR status not applicable? In which cases will I not benefit from zero tax on foreign income?
There are no major restrictions or limitations 

How does the 183-rule work? Do I need to bring any evidence that I was in Portugal all the time?
183 days is not the only criterion of the tax residence: it should be enough to have family-based in Portugal, or immovable property owned or rented in Portugal, provided the individual does not become a tax resident elsewhere

Advantages of obtaining NHR status:

  1. Generous tax exemptions for 10 years
  2. No wealth tax
  3. Tax exemption on gifts (for family members)
  4. Tax exemption on inheritance (for family members)
  5. Tax exemption on all foreign income
  6. 20% flat rate on some types of Portuguese income
  7. No need to reside in the country
  8. Opportunity to be a non-habitual tax resident in a white-listed country in the EU
  9. Free cash remittance to Portugal

Here we covered the main benefits of paying taxes with the NHR tax regime. But, of course, there are other advantages as well!

Other taxes

  1. Wealth tax
    Portugal does not have wealth tax except for the Additional Municipal Property Tax. If it is referred to physical entities, the tax is levied at a rate of 0.7% annually (under certain circumstances). At the same time, a marginal rate of 1% applies each time when the tax value is between EUR 1M and EUR 2M (under certain circumstances as well).
  2. Obligation to disclose assets
    Portugal does not have an obligation to disclose your assets except the obligation to disclose IBAN of foreign bank accounts.
  3. Inheritance and gift tax
    Portugal does not levy tax on assets that are not physically or legally located in Portugal.
  4. Income from a foreign pension
    This preferential tax treatment also applied to the foreign pension income tax until recently. But in 2020, the government has introduced a flat rate of 10%. Nevertheless, despite these circumstances, a 10% tax rate is still a desirable tax regime. Generally, it is lower than many other tax rates of this kind, and Portugal’s standard tax rate, which is 14.5-48%.

Note! The non-habitual resident status has undergone a minor change in 2020. Pension income was not taxable earlier. But now it has a 10% rate.

How to Apply for Non-Habitual Residency in Portugal

Only in 2016, more than 10,000 people applied for NHR, as an attractive tax regime. Since then, the number of applicants enjoying the tax advantages of this status has continued to rise.

So what is a step-by-step procedure to get NHR?

  1. Register as a Portuguese tax resident and get a Tax Identification Number
    If you are an EU or Swiss citizen, you can do this just by visiting a local town hall with your passport. If you are a non-EU citizen, you have to arrange an appointment with SEF.
  2. Apply for a NIF at your local Finanças office
    Use proof of address overseas. This can be a bank statement. If you are already applying with your Portuguese address, do not forget to bring your rental contract or property deeds.
  3. Fill out this online form and get a password to the site of the tax authority
  4. The password will be delivered to your mail address. After that, you can register as a non-habitual resident using this website
  5. Wait until your application is accepted
  6. Keep the confirmation in PDF format safely stored
  7. If your job falls under the list of value-added list, then you need to submit a certified copy of proof of your profession

When to apply for NHR status in Portugal

  • You can get a non-habitual resident status either when you register as a Portuguese resident (on the website or at any Tax Office or Citizen Shop.

    Important! The submission must be made by March 31st if you want to become a non-habitual resident exactly this year. People who make their requests too late are often denied NHR status. Be aware of this. We are sure that you don’t want to miss your NHR deadline!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can register as a non-habitual resident?

You can be registered as a non-habitual resident if the following requirements are met:

you have not been a Portuguese resident in any of the five years before the year you applied for a non-habitual resident condition

If you meet the criteria established in no. 1 of the art. 16 of the Personal Income Tax Code (CIRS). This means you are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, and you have the right to become a Portuguese resident. Otherwise, you applied for a Portugal Golden Visa.

How long does NHR status last?

NHR Portugal is given for 10 years (calculated from the year of first tax residence in Portugal).

What should I do to register as a non-habitual resident via the Finances website?

Firstly, you should register as a tax resident in Portugal. Then you need to request a password through Finally, fill in the application form.

After receiving an access password and filling out an application, you need to declare that you meet the necessary conditions and were not a tax resident in Portugal during the last 5 years.

What right do I acquire if I am considered a non-habitual resident?

NHR tax residents acquire tax exemptions on most of the tax dividends received from overseas. An NHR status must be non-renewable, being valid for a period of 10 years.

Can I check the status of my request for registration as a non-habitual resident?

You can check the status of your application within 2 days after submission.

Who qualifies for non-habitual residency in Portugal?

To qualify for this highly beneficial regime in Portugal, one needs to live overseas, have a desire to become a resident in Portugal, and not have been a Portuguese resident within the last 5 years.

How long does it take to get NHR in Portugal?

Processing an application commonly takes about 2 weeks. After that period, you will be either accepted or declined.

How long can a non-habitual resident stay in Portugal?

Non-habitual residents should stay in Portugal for at least 183 days per year.

What happens after 10 years of NHR in Portugal?

NHR regime is granted only for 10 consecutive years.

Why Migronis is your best partner in obtaining Portugal Golden Visa

  1. Expertise. Migronis is an international company based in Europe with Ukrainian roots. The company’s owner, Anatoly Letaev, is a well-known entrepreneur, a human rights lawyer, and an expert in the field of Citizenship-by-Investment. He lives in Portugal and strongly promotes the idea of personal freedom.
  2. Local presence. Our headquarter office is located in Portugal to meet our customer’s needs at the highest possible level. This might definitely save you time, effort, and money. And we have offices in Ukraine, the USA, United Arab Emirates, and Cyprus. Furthermore, due to the local presence in many countries, we are able to ensure the correct completion of the client’s application form, help prepare all required documentation, and handle everything on behalf of the applicant
  3. Multicultural team & multiple languages. For an international company dealing with the CBI market, having team members who have a wide variety of cultural knowledge is a key. This is the only way to understand customers and their needs and do our best to serve them.
  4. Access to unique products/developments. We work with the most trusted developers and, thanks to our local presence, we can personally check everything regarding real estate and many other issues.

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