My wife and I live and work in Germany, but we both work remotely from home and we'd like to move to Portugal, while still working at the same German company. I have private health insurance and she has statutory.

As far as I understand, Portugal has a universal system with option for private extra benefits. We have Italian and Brazilian double-citizenship, so I think we could get the best of both worlds here...

I'd like to better understand what my options are and what the financial consequences would be; seems to me like it would make sense to cancel both our German insurances to just stay with the universal care (and maybe contract any specific private benefits we find to be worth it)?

  • 2
    Have you discussed this with your employer?
    – phoog
    May 8, 2023 at 23:30
  • Not yet, I feel it's still early for that; I'd like to understand a bit more of what my options are before I go and stir up my colleagues with "maybe"s...
    – LFLFM
    May 10, 2023 at 9:45

1 Answer 1


Employers almost universally frown upon that, potential liability for tax withholding, mandatory insurances, and just engaging some body of law that you don't fully understand is too great. Health insurance is just part of it, you have the same issue with income taxes, retirement pensions and it's not only your problem, the employer may very well be liable to collect some of it on the state's behalf. In practice, some employers will just feign to ignore that you are spending a few months away from home but they will not want you to live full time in Portugal.

In my experience, over the last few years many German employers in particular have created explicit rules like “you can spend at most x days per year out of the country while working remotely” (with x something like 30 or 55), precisely because nobody is able to say how things should work in the situation you envision.

Another possibility is to be (re-)hired under a Portuguese contract (with a local entity belonging to your German employer, an employer of record or umbrella company, or as freelance). That's not unheard of and I understand from colleagues who have done it that there are some tax advantages to that setup.

Either way, the consequences for the employers are significant and they have to support your move. And once you have found a solution that work for them, the problems you are asking about will probably present themselves in a very different light.

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