Moving to Portugal: grants for those who decide to move to the Portuguese countryside from abroad

The Portuguese government has said it will pay for those who come from abroad to work in the inland regions of the country.

Move to the Portuguese countryside
Move to the Portuguese countryside
1 September 2021, Redaction

People living in foreign countries, who decide to move to rural Portugal to live and work, will be able to access the country's "Emprego Interior MAIS" scheme (Inland Employment PLUS). This will effectively mean that if you want to move to Portugal, you could get paid to do so in the form of grants from the Portuguese government if you choose to set up you life in one of Portugal's inland regions. We have all the details on these grants for those who decide to move to the Portuguese countryside from abroad.

Get paid to move to Portugal

In a press release sent to the Lusa news agency in Portugal, the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security (MTSSS) states that this measure also applies to those who move from the Portuguese coast to the countryside: "Direct financial support of up to 4,827 euros is granted to those who move from the coast to the interior of Portugal to work".

Remote working helps Portugal position itself as a destination

"In the case of citizens residing in foreign countries, the change can now be made directly from abroad to these inland territories," reads the statement. Quoted in the press  note, the Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, says it is "essential to create conditions to attract young people to Portugal's inland regions".

"With this extension to the grant scheme, we have taken an important step towards the international positioning of Portugal as a destination from which you can work anywhere in the world," says the minister.

Better quality of life and work-life balance in the countryside

Also quoted in the statement, the Minister of Territorial Cohesion, Ana Abrunhosa, points out that the COVID-19 pandemic "has shown many citizens and companies that, working from the countryside, it is possible to have a better quality of life and an easier balance between your family and professional life".

This scheme first began in Portugal in August 2020 during the pandemic, initially for residents in Portugal. 560 applications have already been received, "corresponding to 980 people (including all household members) and now the scheme is open to foreigners and those who live abroad. "Extending this support to foreign citizens is another way to contribute to the attractiveness and competitiveness of these territories," states Abrunhosa.

The best places to live and work in the Portuguese countryside 

According to the most recent data disclosed, "most applications" - two thirds of the total, 66% - come from households originating in the districts of Lisbon (38%), Porto (17%) and Setúbal (11%). The most popular places to move to in the Portuguese countryside, according to the same information, are Castelo Branco (20%), Évora (9%), Guarda (9%), Bragança (8%) and Portalegre (8%).

Other data reveals that more than two thirds (68%) of the applicants "moved inland to work as employees, 26% created their own jobs and 6% set up companies". The same data states that "the destinations with the highest proportion of applicants who created their own jobs are Braga (43%), Bragança (37%), Vila Real (32%) and Viseu (32%). The target districts with the highest number of companies created are Aveiro (33%), Setúbal (19%), Faro (15%) and Viana do Castelo (13%)", says the Government.

Also according to the press note, the majority of candidates who have already been successful in their applications (52%) "are less than 34 years old" and, in total, 63% of candidates have higher education qualifications.

How much money will I get if I move to inland Portugal?

Regarding the financial support, the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security stresses that, in total, "the support will amount to a maximum of 4,827 euros. The direct financial support to be granted to those who move to the Portuguese countryside is 2,633 euros, to which an increase of 20% is added for each member of the family household (up to a limit of 1,316 euros). The cost of transporting goods is also subsidised, up to a limit of 878 euros".

Therefore, if you want to get paid to move to Portugal, now is your chance to discover what the Portuguese countryside has to offer! 

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