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Housing and Admin Issues in Lisbon

Lisbon is not only the heart of Portugal’s economy, but also one of the nation’s most notable cities in terms of culture. Find out about what to expect after moving to Lisbon in our InterNations Expat Guide! We discuss Lisbon’s neighborhoods, housing, and more.
Lisbon boasts a wealth of different neighborhoods to choose from.

House Hunting Can Be Expensive

Although expensive, there is no shortage of housing available in Lisbon, largely due to continued suburbanization. The most affordable accommodation prices are generally within the metropolitan area of the city. Housing in Lisbon is both beautiful and unique. The market is diverse, and apartments come in any size and shape. Nevertheless, this diversity and the expansion of the city has resulted in a super competitive housing. Apartments sell fast, so it is advisable to be as efficient as you can when searching for your new home. 

First Visit to Lisbon: Your Entry Visa

Citizens from a country within the EU or Schengen area do not have to worry about any kind of visa or permit before heading to Lisbon — as Portugal is party to the Schengen Agreement, you are granted freedom of movement. If you wish to stay for more than three months, you will need to register your presence with the local authorities.

Apart from this intra-European agreement, Portugal has also signed a number of visa exemption agreements regarding short stays with other countries from all over the globe. To see whether your home nation has such an agreement with Portugal, you can check the list courtesy of the Portal das Comunidades Portuguesas. In the case that there is no agreement with your country of citizenship, you will need to apply for an entry visa with the Portuguese mission in your country. Fortunately, this should not be too much of a hassle — we have info on the process in our guide on moving to Portugal.

If you are going to be moving to Lisbon on a more permanent basis, please see our guide on working in Lisbon for information on the type of long-term visa you have to apply for — please inquire with the nearest Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) for additional info on this matter.

Registering as a Foreigner

If you are a third-country national who has moved to Lisbon by virtue of your residence visa and successfully applied for a residency permit, you will be familiar with the registration process for foreigners. Thus, there is no need to register on a separate occasion.

However, if you are a national of an EU/EEA/Schengen country and wish to extend your stay beyond the three months the visa exemption agreement permits, you have to complete two different forms: one application for the extension of your stay and the foreigner registration form. In order to complete both, you will need to go to the Camara Municipal.


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