If you’ve ever thought about moving abroad, I’m sure the thought of how much the international moving costs would be has crossed your mind. It’s something to definitely take into account and budget for before making the move.

brunette woman wearing a leather jacket and blue jeans standing next to a blue large suitcase with a neck pillow and light pink carry on suitcase
Moving Abroad Costs US to Portugal
Everything I moved to Portugal with in June 2023

Another must do before even starting the visa process would be to talk with a tax attorney in the country you’ll be moving to so you’re fully aware of your situation. I did not do this myself because I hadn’t even thought about it but now I wish I had.

My most recent move abroad has been to Portugal. I was intentional to keep track of all expenses related to the move, even ones that are sometimes overlooked.

Visa costs

This section can vary greatly if you decide to do the process with a lawyer or if you do it yourself. For the D7 visa I have, I opted to do it myself and thankfully did not run into many issues.

I did use a lawyer based in Portugal to help me obtain the NIF number that is necessary to apply. This cost can be avoided if you travel to Portugal to get the NIF in person.

A fixed cost will be the application fee that you will pay when you turn in all of your documents. The D7 visa has a cost of €90, but each application fee varies by type and country.

Based on where you may live, you might have a consulate nearby or you may have to travel to one. It’s good to take into account any travel costs you may have to just apply. If your travel costs are looking high, make sure to have all the necessary documents plus copies and extras just in case so you don’t have to go back.

I was only an hour drive away from my closest Portugal consulate. My travel costs included gas, tolls, and parking.

Once in Portugal at the visa appointment there is also another fee to get the residency card.

A breakdown of the visa process costs:

  • Assistance obtaining NIF – €369 
  • Visa application fee – €90 
  • Travel costs – $35 per trip so $105 total as I had to return twice and a third to pick it up
  • Residency card – €170 
  • Total – €629 + $105

Apartment viewing

There are lots of scams out there preying on people looking for apartments. Portugal is no exception. For the visa, I needed a year-long contract. Although I wasn’t able to go visit any in person, I did have a friend who could go visit on my behalf. Seeing as it wasn’t a trip they were planning to take, I covered the costs for them to go see it. 


  • Round trip flight from Budapest to Lisbon – $200
  • Round trip bus ticket from Lisbon to Evora – $6
  • Hostel for the night – $12
  • Food – $20
  • Total – $238

Rental costs 

Now that the apartment was found, I signed a year-long contract. Every visa will have different requirements, so be aware of what you need. I wasn’t fully sure if I would need to rent a whole apartment or if a room would suffice. Thankfully a room was enough as there will be months you pay rent even though you’re not living in it.

  • Security – €300
  • First month – €300
  • Rent until I moved in – €600
  • Total – €1200
International Moving Costs to Portugal
Flying to Lisbon, June 2023

Moving costs

After getting all the necessary documents and turning it into the Portugal Consulate. Once I heard news that it was accepted, it was time to move to Portugal! Here are the costs I had to get from New Jersey to Portugal:

  • One way flight – $561
  • Metro from airport to Lisbon bus station – €1,65
  • Bus from Lisbon to Evora – €6
  • Taxi from Evora bus station to new home – €5
  • Total – $561 + €12,65

Total Costs

As you can see, lots of different costs go into making an international move abroad. Make sure you keep these into account as you plan your move overseas. As previously mentioned, these costs can widely vary based on many factors, but this could give you a slight idea of what to expect. I did it very much on the DIY side, but others prefer more help. That will change your own number drastically. 

  • €1,841.65 + $904 = €2,674.65 or $2,903

Moving abroad can be challenging, but if it’s the right decision for you then an international move may be exactly what you need. Think it through before making the decision as it is time and money consuming. You want to make sure you’re choosing the right place for you being going through the whole process.

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Viaja more y live más,

Latina Traveler

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