Can I live in any EU country as soon as I get my first 2 year GV residency card?

I am a US citizen early in the process of getting my GV and I worry now that with the possible termination of the NHR tax regime before I am able to become a resident of Portugal. I really need to be in the NHR tax regime plan if I am going to live in Portugal (which has been my plan all along).

My question is: Once I received my first 2 year residency card from Portugal SEF can I live anywhere in the EU, and just make 2 weeks trips to Portugal each year to fulfill my residency requirements?

I cannot answer the question you are asking :slight_smile: but on the point of NHR: - why do you not want simply to register yourself for NHR now?

Thanks for your reply in the other thread. I will get under the NHR asap!

I know you can’t work in any other European country. I’m not sure about living without working, however.

I do not believe a visa in one country means you can live anywhere in the EU. That is for citizens of the EU.

I understand that in summary, the PT resident does not receive ANY additional rights in any other European country except:

  • ability to enter Schengen zone without the 90/180 days limit, this is purely due to PT-borders = Schengen-borders.

You also MAY receive European healthcare (with CESD card) under condition that you have your NISS first in PT (for which I suppose you need to start working in PT).

That’s just my unqualified opinion :slight_smile:


So if I can enter Schengen zone without a time limit, does that mean I can legally stay in the Schengen zone as long as my residence card is valid? I just can’t work?

Again, my understanding is yes, you can stay in Schengen as long as your PT card is valid.
Because nobody is there to track your whereabouts across the entire Schengen territory - part of the reason why SEF requires a bunch of evidence on top of just passport stamps, such as NIF receipts, boarding passes, hotel invoices etc.
I mean the evidence to prove your annual 7-day stay in PT.

Going to another EU country during my long-term stay – more than 90 days

When you stay in an EU country for a long stay, usually for more than 90 days, you will generally be issued with a long-stay visa and/or a residence permit.

If your long-stay visa or residence permit has been issued by a Schengen area country, you can travel to another Schengen area country for 90 days per 180 day period. You must:

  • justify the purpose of your stay;
  • have sufficient financial resources for your stay and travel back;
  • not be considered a threat to public policy, public security or public health.

You can also pass through other Schengen area countries on the way to your host country.

To move from one EU country to another for more than 90 days, you will need a long-stay visa or a residence permit for that country. If you wish to work, study or join your family in the second country, you may have to fulfil more conditions.

- Already in the EU?

Also see Holder still subject to 90/180 rule for other EU countries? - #4 by dancebert for prior discussions.

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Thanks for sharing the official rules.
There is a practical aspect of enforcing such rules for a holder of a permit from one Schengen country, which I commented on above.

You are not required to spend more than 7 days in PT per years.

But you are also not entitled to spend any more time in other EU countries than without the GV. As a US citizen, you already have the same visa free travel to other EU countries as any GV holder. Which is for tourism only, not other purposes like working.

Thanks, that’s pretty clear.

So, for example: If I wanted to live in Portugal 182 days a year I could avoid being a tax resident, but I’d need to spend the remainder somewhere else, and no more than 90 days in an EU country (other than Portugal)?

The 90 day limit is specific to Schengen countries and is per 180 day rolling window. So if you spend 90 days in say, France/Germany combined, and then 90 days in Portugal, you can spend another 90 days in France/Germany no problem.

Non-Schengen countries have their own rules. E.g. you can go spend 180 days visa free in the UK just on your US passport. Or 90 days in Ireland. This is in addition to the Schengen allowed time.

OK got it. The big problem with this plan is my wife has a Chinese passport.

Check the Portugal tax residency definition.
It’s not as simple as “more than 182 days a year”.

Governments are generally going to leave themselves some leeway to determine if they can collect taxes from you. In general, if you’re walking and quacking like a duck, they’re going to consider you a duck.

At times, the Portuguese tax authorities will backdate the tax residency dates and apply what it believes to be the legal definition. This is known to happen primarily in the following situations:

  • When people buy a home in Portugal and pay primary residency tax rates. We assume that this is because paying such taxes is seen as an admission of an intention to occupy as a primary home.
  • To the date of the SEF appointment. We assume that this is because obtaining legal residency normally requires staying in the country for 183 days so people are assumed to do so.
  • To a date reported by a Portuguese employer as a day that a person took a job in Portugal. This happens even when people have not been legal residents when they took a job, so it is very important that employers use non-resident codes, but employers often do not.

- Tax residency in Portugal: when does it start and how does it work? - Fresh Portugal - Tax experts

Note also that Schengen countries have been working on their Entry-Exit System (EES), which when complete will allow Portugal to easily see that you’ve been in Schengen for 272 days (182 in Portugal plus 90 elsewhere in Schengen), so then it may become your burden to prove that less than 183 of those were spent in Portugal.

That might work, but it’s a lot of moving!

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Re: EES how will it allow PT to know how long you’ve stayed in PT, as oppose to elsewhere in Schengen?
( My understanding is it will not change the freedom of movement within Schengen, which will remain borderless)


What’s more fun, it’s harder to get registered as a tax resident… It takes a lot of effort in fact hehe.

I think it becomes more questionable when a target country requires a document to rent an apartment long-term, I’ve heard some countries do.
Also, tourist registration might be an issue sometimes, no?