October 19, 2020 - Comments Off on Reorganization of work after 6 th October

Reorganization of work after 6 th October

After several months of pandemic and with the return of part of the population to presencial work, it seemed inevitable the adoption of measures to prevent, contain and mitigate the transmission of the virus at work.

As a result, DL no. 79-A/2020 of 1st October came into force on the 6th October 2020 and applies to companies in which workplaces 50 or more employees work.
The logic is that in the private sector, as is already the case in the Public Administration, the employer organizes working time at off-peak times for employees at the workplace, in order to avoid the concentration of people, not only at peak hours, but throughout
presencial work.

Thus, it has been established that the time-lag intervals should be set at a minimum of 30 minutes and maximum of one hour. In order to implement the time-lag organization, the employer can now unilaterally change working hours up to a maximum of one hour, unless the employee can claim serious damage.

However, the emphasis is on stable working hours, the employer being limited to one possible change per week, not exceeding the maximum number of working hours or changing the working type.

Certain categories of employees, due to their greater vulnerability, are exempted from this regime and do not have to invoke serious damage. This group of employees includes pregnant women, women who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, minors, employees with reduced working capacity, handicap/chronic illness and employees who are in charge of children under 12 years of age or with handicap/chronic illness.
It is also envisaged that the employer should set up stable teams so that the same employees have contact with each other in kind of "bubbles" and establishing breaks for rest and alternate meals in the workplace.
In any case and regardless of the schemes described, preference should be given to teleworking whenever the nature of the activity allows for it (as so far).

To the extent that physical distance is impossible, the employer should promote the use of appropriate health and safety equipment.
With regard to temporary work and the provision of services, it is also the responsibility of the user enterprise or the enterprise receiving the services provided to adopt the measures of time-lags and changes in schedules.
These measures shall remain in force at least until 31 March 2021, depending on the evolution of the pandemic.

Employment Department
2nd October 2020

October 19, 2020 - Comments Off on Brelcome to Portugal: Brexit and the NHR Programme

Brelcome to Portugal: Brexit and the NHR Programme

In the context of the global pandemic, lifestyle has increasingly come into the focus. For many, Portugal has a triple A+ lifestyle rating, as well as being the 7th most democratic country in the world for 2020 (in 200 countries) and 3 rd most secure country according to the Global Peace Index. As a result, people from all around the world feel safe to move to
Portugal, in pursuit of a higher quality of life, with an added benefit of securing tax efficiency through the Non Habitual Residency Programme (NHR).

Qualifying as a NHR and maintaining this status for 10 years is relatively straight forward by way of registration as a Portuguese tax resident, not having been a tax resident in the previous 5 years. However, becoming a Portuguese NHR does not necessarily grant a complete tax exemption and therefore specific tax advice should be sought before applying.

The NHR programme is not country-specific, in the sense that it relies on the extensive
network of Double Taxation Agreements which Portugal has signed with the UK and other countries. As a result, British Citizens will continue to benefit from the programme after the end of the transition period in the same way that other third country nationals currently benefit.

However, as negotiations evolve, the possibility of a no deal Brexit comes sharper into
focus, and certain practical issues, such as the provision of banking services by UK
licensed banks start to become a reality. According to The Sunday Times, Lloyds, Barclays
and Coutts have already informed their clients of the situation, saying their accounts will be
closed at 11pm on December 31 st . Lloyds bank was the first to confirm that they will be
withdrawing their service from Holland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal,
affecting more than 13,000 British Citizens living in these countries. For the time being, two
other major UK banks, NatWest and Santander, have not yet decided to close customers’
accounts, but are however considering their options.

Nonetheless and facing Brexit, a growing number of British Nationals are choosing to
become NHR as Portugal becomes more than ever a country with growing opportunities for
successful investments. Existing NHRs are securing new banking solutions.

For instance, two Portuguese cities are ranked by Forbes Magazine, for the second consecutive year, Best European cities to invest in for 2019 and 2020, with areas of growth potential and gains, especially in the Real Estate sector. Last year’s list had Lisbon as a
great city to invest in a second home, however this year’s best city is Porto, where prices are 30% lower than Lisbon, with an average sales price in August 2020 of €306,060.

EDGE continues to provide substantially more legal assistance than simply making the
NHR application on the client’s behalf. Our experienced team assists the client each step of
the way, also providing Brexit solutions, including the establishment of residency rights prior to the end of the transition period. EDGE can provide full assistance to British nationals
concerned about Brexit, whether in relation to British nationals living in Portugal, British
nationals considering moving to Portugal pre-Brexit and British nationals moving after

Edge International Lawyers
October 2020

July 31, 2020 - Comments Off on EDGE WEBINAR | Applying for the Non-Habitual Residency programme in Portugal’s Clean&Safe environment

EDGE WEBINAR | Applying for the Non-Habitual Residency programme in Portugal’s Clean&Safe environment

Tuesday 4 th August 2020, 11am

After a series of successful Webinars, we are very pleased to announce the next in our Webinar series: “Applying for the Non-Habitual Residency programme in Portugal’s Clean&Safe environment”, in partnership with the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in UK, which will take place on Tuesday 4th August 2020, at 11am (UK Time), via Zoom.

Are you wondering how to plan your move to Portugal and what you need to plan for? This webinar will contain all the answers you need on the Non-Habitual Residency Programme (NHR), one of the most efficient tax programmes available, and how Portugal’s lifestyle has attracted a diversity of individuals to Portugal. Forbes puts Portugal at the top of the list of countries to live and retire overseas post COVID-19, especially due to important factors like the country’s healthcare system, healthy living, language, long-lasting sunshine and safety, being ranked by Global Peace Index as one of the top 3 safest countries in the world for 2020.

If you wish to find out more about why Portugal continues trending as a Clean&Safe country to live and invest, especially through NHR and Golden Visa Programmes, and what might or might not change after Brexit, don’t miss this opportunity. Join us and hear all about real-life experiences regarding NHR Programmes and application process, and how Portugal continues to be a highly attractive country with government services that adapt as quickly and innovatively as possible to this #PostCovidWorld, with measures like the Clean&Safe campaign, and the Portuguese Health Passport.

Register here, and take the chance to hear from one of our Senior Partners, Geoffrey Graham, introduced by Christina Hippisley, General Manager at the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

We also encourage participants to send their questions prior to the webinar to

Further information will be available on and

SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 11am (UK Time)

July 30, 2020 - Comments Off on Changes to the law of nationality

Changes to the law of nationality

The Portuguese parliament has approved on 23 rd July the amendments to the Law of
Nationality - Law 37/81 of 3 rd October. These amendments simplify the process for
obtaining Portuguese nationality by children of holders of residency permits,
grandchildren and for spouses of Portuguese citizens.

One of the main changes to the law is the one that applies to children born in Portugal
from parents that hold residency permits. In this respect, it has now been established
that it is sufficient for children born in Portugal to obtain direct Portuguese citizenship if
just one of the parents holds a residency permit for one year only.

Another changes that has been approved is related to spouses of Portuguese citizens.
Previously, the law established that a spouse could apply for Portuguese citizenship
after 3 years or marriage or civil union and if there was an effective connection to the
country. With the amendments that have now been approved, the minimum period of 3
years is waived in case the couple has common children of Portuguese nationality.

In addition, the Public Prosecutor’s office can no longer oppose to the application for
nationality on the grounds of absence of the effective connection to the country in case
the marriage has lasted for more than 6 years or in case the couple has common
children of Portuguese nationality.

Finally, regarding grandchildren, ie the second-degree descendants in straight line, the need
to show an effective connection to Portugal is now simply proven through sufficient
knowledge of the Portuguese language. This means that it is no longer necessary to provide
evidence of relevant ties to Portugal and existence of regular contacts with the country.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020

July 29, 2020 - Comments Off on Flights to Portugal – New Measures

Flights to Portugal – New Measures

The Portuguese government has just released an update to the regulations and restrictions applicable for flights to and from Portugal. This update follows the recommendations for the EU on flights and travel.

The new measures are divided between three main groups of travelers:
The first group includes all countries of the EU and some non-EU countries, including
Australia, Canada, China and a few others. For this first group access to Portugal is totally free and passengers can enter Portugal without any restrictions.

The second group includes travelers from all other countries. For these, it is mandatory to
have a negative Covid-19 test result done within a maximum of 72 hours before the date of
departure. In addition, travelling is limited to essential reasons (professional, study, family
reunion, health or humanitarian reasons) and for the return of citizens or residents of Portugal.

The last group applies to flights for the return of Portuguese citizens or flights from Portuguese peaking African countries where it is hard to secure tests before departure. In these cases, passengers will have to carry out a test on arrival, either at the airport or in a facility indicated by the authorities.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020

July 7, 2020 - Comments Off on Travel Restrictions Updated in Portugal and Europe

Travel Restrictions Updated in Portugal and Europe

In the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the consequent travel restrictions measures implemented worldwide, the European Commission has issued on 30th June 2020 recommendations to the member states of the European States with regards to air travelling within the European Union/Schengen Area and with third country states, in the direction of lifting the existing restrictions of travelling within member states as well as easing the existing restrictions to selected non-EU countries.

Consequently, the Portuguese Government has issued Decree 3427-A/2020, in which the recommendations of the European Commission for air travel within the European Union/Schengen Area and the United Kingdom have been fully adopted. Additionally, the Decree has also removed the existing air travel restrictions to the following countries: Argelia, Canada, South Korea, Morocco, Tunisia and China, subject, however, to the reciprocity of these countries with flights from Portugal.

The Portuguese Government has also created exceptions for flights coming from Portuguese speaking countries as well as from the United States of America.  Passengers from these countries will be allowed in case of essential trips, which include, travellers that are European Union nationals or holders of Residency Permits in Portugal, or the ones for professional, studies, family reunion, health and humanitarian related reasons.

In this respect, such travellers will have to show a negative Covid-19 test carried out in the last 72 hours before departure. Those travelling who are Portuguese Citizens or holders of Residency Permits in Portugal and that did not5 present such test on departure shall be submitted to a Covid-19 test upon arrival and at their own expense.

The policies set forth in the Decree 3427-A/2020 will be in force from 1st to 15th July and will be monitored closely and adapted in accordance to the evaluation of the epidemiologic situation.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020

July 7, 2020 - Comments Off on Chinese National security law sparks even more demand in Hong Kong for Golden Visa

Chinese National security law sparks even more demand in Hong Kong for Golden Visa

The national security law for Hong Kong was passed last Tuesday by the Chinese Authorities amid international criticism and global concern. Such law prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces and establishes severe penalties for those found guilty of breaking the law.

The passing of such law comes at a time when the interest from Hong Kong residents in the Portuguese Golden Visa programme has been increasing significantly.  Recently, the General Consulate of Portugal in Macau registered a very relevant increase in the number of requests from HK residents that are looking to invest and even move to Portugal.

The Portuguese Consul Paulo Cunha-Alves mentioned that the growth has already taken place "for a long time, basically since June last year", as Hong Kong recorded major pro-democracy demonstrations, which were violent and with great social, financial and economic impact.

The significant rise of interest in Portugal by HK residents has also been noticed and mentioned by multiple people from different sectors in Portugal, from developers and real estate agents, to lawyers, people in banking and many others.

In fact, despite the pandemic, according to the official statistics of the Portuguese Immigration Office, in May the investment through the Golden Visa almost tripled (192%) in comparison to the same month of the previous year, to € 146 million. In addition, May has recorded the highest monthly amount of investment raised since March 2017.

The Portuguese Golden Visa has always been looked at by HK residents as an extremely attractive residency by investment option and the instability in HK has made the interest increase even more.  In addition, Portugal is globally been considered as one of the best positioned countries for the “post-Covid-19 world”.

It must also be pointed out that not only the Hong Kong residents are interested in investing in Portugal but also many British expatriates living in Hong Kong are concerned about the instability in HK and also the consequences of Brexit and see Portugal as a safe and peaceful option.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020

July 7, 2020 - Comments Off on GOLDEN VISA | New Validity periods for Residency Permits

GOLDEN VISA | New Validity periods for Residency Permits

In accordance with the changes to the Immigration Law approved within the State Budget for 2020, the validity of the initial residency permits has now changed from 1 to 2 years.  As such, the residency permits that have been issued since 1st April 2020 already have this initial validity period of 2 years.

The changes that have been approved apply for all types of residency, including the Golden Visa programme.  Up to now, all residency permits were initially valid for an initial period of 1 year and were then renewed for periods of 2.  With this change, the duration of the initial residency permits is now 2 years consecutive.

It should be noted that the changes to the duration of the validity of the temporary residency permits does not affect the possibility of applying for permanent residency or citizenship.  In these cases, the minimum time required to apply remains 5 years.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020





Following the pandemic declared situation, with serious risk to public health, the government adopted, among several other, measures to protect employees and self- employed workers in the general social security system.

In this context, the Government has decided to equate sickness with preventative isolation for the period of 14 days decreed by the health authorities and, this time, to ensure recognition of the right to sick benefit for these employees, corresponding to their entire pay.

In this case the grant is not subject to any waiting period.

These measures also protect employees who have to be absent in order to accompany, within 14 days, the prophylactic isolation of their children or dependents, such absences being considered justified. In the case of children under 12 years old or with a disability or chronic illness, employees are entitled to childcare allowance and grandchild care allowance, paid in an amount equivalent to 100% of their remuneration, with no required guarantee period, i.e. no minimum social security contributions.

Employees’ absence shall also be considered justified on the grounds of care for a dependent child or dependent under the age of 12, or with a chronic illness or disability, and shall not entail any loss of rights, where duly established by the competent health authorities or government. The employee is entitled to care allowance in the event of illness of a child or grandchild, paid by the social security authorities.

In situations where employees have to care for a child under 12 years of age or with a chronic illness or disability due to the forced school break, they can benefit from a monthly support corresponding to 2/3 of their remuneration, paid in equal parts by the employer and Social security, with a minimum national minimum wage of EUR 635 and a maximum of three national minimum wages of EUR 1905. This support depends on the application to social security and only in case other ways of being able to provide the activity are not justified.

It should be clarified that in the same family (household) only 1 parent can benefit from this support, since the same is not valid for both parents simultaneously.

Extraordinary protection measures were also adopted for the families of self- employed workers. These workers, also in the situations mentioned above, where they cannot normally continue their activity due to the care of children under 12 years old or with chronic illness or disability, or grandchildren, are entitled to financial support provided they have fulfilled their contribution obligation for at least 3 consecutive months. The support will be equivalent to 1/3 of the monthly reference pay considered for contribution purposes in the first quarter of 2020. In this case the limits are based on IAS (EUR 438,81), the minimum being 1 IAS and the maximum 2 1⁄2 IAS.

All these supports depend on application, again as long as the self-employed worker is unable to continue the activity in other ways.
Here too, only one parent can benefit from this support, as it cannot apply to both simultaneously.

Cláudia Vaz Póvoa
Employment Department
17th March 2020 


April 13, 2020 - Comments Off on TIME TO FILE YOUR TAX RETURN FOR 2019


Since 1st April 2020 individuals can file their personal tax return in Portugal for 2019. All Portuguese tax residents, including those with non-habitual tax residency status, are required to file a return based on their worldwide income for the previous tax year i.e. over the period 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2019. The deadline for filing is 30th June 2020.

If you have not filed tax returns for previous years you should file immediately in order to avoid accumulating interest, fines and possible seizure of bank accounts or assets.

We strongly recommend that the services of a Portuguese accountant are used in order to file the tax return correctly. We can as required provide the details of such an accountant on request.

We can assist with the preparation of the documents which will be required by your accountant and please contact us further on should you require this, or any other, assistance.

If you are a non-tax resident but have received Portuguese sourced income, such as rental income, for example, you are also required to file a tax return, as non-resident, for such income.