Confirming what I was told by the Portugese Consulate in Toronto

I'm a Canadian citizen married to a Hungarian woman. My wife and I are interested in living in Portugal for about 9-12 months.

Yesterday, I called the Portugese Consulate in Toronto to learn about what it'd would take for me to live in Portugal for that long.

He said the following:
As an EU citizen, my wife can simply move to Portugal. Upon arriving there, she should declare an intention to establish residency there with residency defined as a stay of over 185 days. Once she declares her residency, I as her spouse would automatically be allowed to stay as well.

The consulate was supposed to send me a few documents but they haven't yet.

Does the above sound accurate in your experience? I've been looking for information online but haven't found anything confirming it.


Under EU treaties, any EU citizen can travel with his family and establish his residence in any EU country.

When arriving in the country, your will need to ask a local fiscal number. This will show that she is permanently residing in Portugal and will enable you to have a residency permit (this is automatic, Portugal cannot refuse except in case you cause troubles in the country).

You are also allowed to travel in the other EU countries. As Portugal is part of the Schengen area, residency in Portugal automatically gives you right to travel in other Schengen countries without additionnal formalities.

kind regards,


I'm a Canadian married to an EU citizen (Portuguese), who moved to Portugal from Toronto in 2013, three months after we married in the Azores.

This page from SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service) is in English and explains the procedures for an EU citizen to establish residence in Portugal, then for the spouse to establish residency following that: … Linha=4351

And the same procedure outlined, but from the website: … dex_en.htm

There are further details regarding paperwork (Canada doesn't follow the Apostille Convention, so there's a different way to authenticate documents), but that's the official word and the starting point. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks, those are informative remarks. I have Irish and Canadian citizenship but live in Canada. I understand that I would need proof of health insurance as well as proof of income.

I assume that both types of documents would need authentication, and wonder how that is done since Canada doesn't use apostille system.

If you only want to live in Portugal for that long, why bother with immigration bureaucracy like in the USA or CDN (I lived 21 years in North America). I suggest you come as tourists for the maximum time allowed and get out for a few days (in Spain or France for exemple) and come back.
Your driving license should be OK. Try to arrange a private health insurance before you come.
Of course, there should not be any problem at all for your wife.
Jean-Paul Burtin
Permanent resident in Portugal

If you have Irish citizenship and your wife has Hungarian citizenship, then it's even easier for the two of you to establish residency in Portugal since you're both EU citizens.

The process for authenticating a document in a non-Apostille country depends on what it is (birth certificate, letter, etc.) and where you are, but it usually involves notarization and then sending it to the department of foreign affairs (in Canada this would be Ottawa, if you're in another country it depends on the embassy/consulate) for them to authenticate the notary.

The Canadian government has very easy instructions on how to authenticate documents. The good news is that it's free. … x?lang=eng

Hello gailatlarge, that’s very helpful. Thanks. John

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