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Hello,
I'm thinking of moving across the pond, as they say. I would like to live somewhere with a great food culture, and I love the style of cooking in Portugal and Spain. I've heard that Spain would not be a good choice due to low wages and high living costs. So, naturally, I'm interested in Portugal.

The major thing that I'm concerned about, is being able to earn enough monthly to pay the loans I have in the US and still afford living in Portugal.

I have approximately $500 worth of loans per month. So I would need to make that, plus have enough money for rent and food.

I currently work in restaurants, and would like to continue wherever I end up.

Does anyone know if this would be plausible?

Thanks in advance,
Ben
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

First thing you need to do is to contact the Portuguese consulate to find out what their requirements are for a long-stay visa. Chances are, in order to get a visa with working privileges, you'll need to have a job lined up before you can apply for the visa so that your Portuguese employer can sponsor your visa application.

Lining up a job will probably take at least a couple of scouting trips to Portugal, where you can get a better idea what is available and what the pay scales are. It's also very likely you'll need to have more than a passing knowledge of the language to have any chance of finding a job there. (A few preliminary trips over there can really help you decide if your Portuguese is up to a long-term stay.)

The other thing you should probably look at is your loan contracts. Not sure how common it is in the US, but over here in Europe, some loans are written so that you MUST pay them off in full if you leave the country. I ran into this with a car loan I had in Germany. I'm told some loans in the US may require that you pay off the loan if you relocate to another state - so check that carefully before you get too far along in your plans.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi benjaben
Welcome to the forum. Regarding your thread, the facts are wrong, Portugal is the country with the low wages and high living costs, compared with Spain. Bars and restaurant work in Portugal aren´t particular well paid and most definitely, fallow Bevdeforges opinion
 

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Hi benjaben
Welcome to the forum. Regarding your thread, the facts are wrong, Portugal is the country with the low wages and high living costs, compared with Spain. Bars and restaurant work in Portugal aren´t particular well paid and most definitely, fallow Bevdeforges opinion
Unless you are able to work in a 5* restaurante you might get by ! the rest they will pay minimum wage ...i believe around 475€ per month,even then not easy finding one due the large immigration from brazil and east europeans
 

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Also restaurant work, waiting etc may be classed as low-skills jobs and no visa is available to non-EU applicants, as there is a plentiful supply of recruits within Portugal and wider EU. It would be different if you were a head chef of a 5-star restaurant - thus highly skilled with international reputation.
 

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Not necessary, all depends what kind of restaurants you will be able to apply. A decent head waiter, working in a decent restaurant makes easily around 2.000 Euros month. Do you have qualifications for it? Obviously in Portugal you have a dozen top restaurants like that and probably a waiting list which will go for miles. Spain, any coffee girl makes 1.000 Euros monthly serving coffees
 

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If you have first class certificates and able to speak proper Portuguese, English, German, French, Spanish and half decent Italian, you will find a decent job anywhere in Portugal or Spain, in your profession. That is the kind of waiters you will find in any touristic place across the Iberia peninsula
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I cook, I don't wait tables. And I don't speak any portuguese, just a small amount of spanish. Is there still the chance of getting a decent job cooking?

Ben

If you have first class certificates and able to speak proper Portuguese, English, German, French, Spanish and half decent Italian, you will find a decent job anywhere in Portugal or Spain, in your profession. That is the kind of waiters you will find in any touristic place across the Iberia peninsula
 

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That will be a no for a job in Portugal. Spanish cuisine is mainly paella and tapas
Not sure if will be a good idea a move over
 

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That will be a no for a job in Portugal. Spanish cuisine is mainly paella and tapas
Not sure if will be a good idea a move over
As I've said, you are most unlikely to get a work permit, thus a work visa, as there are plenty of people with your skills looking for a job in a kitchen who don't need a permit or visa because of their EU citizenship or they are otherwise allowed to work.
 

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Restaurant work is classified as low skills, mainly in the UK, where the culture is fish and chips and takes away. In the occidental Europe, to be a proper chef you need high skills and a lot of knowledge
 

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Restaurant work is classified as low skills, mainly in the UK, where the culture is fish and chips and takes away. In the occidental Europe, to be a proper chef you need high skills and a lot of knowledge
Depends on what kind of restaurant work you are talking about. With the cult of celebrity chefs and the huge strides made in British catering scene, it is a career aspired to by many young people. True, low-skills, low-quality catering still exists, but any British town of any size can count among its eateries Michelin-starred and other Good Food Guide-nominated places, patronised by a broad section of population.
 

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I do agree that there is a lot of new “chefs”, turning up in the UK, since Jamie Oliver television show, the number of British chefs more than doubled, for me he is just that, a show man, don´t particularly like his food, and tried his restaurant, not impressed. But countries like Italy, France, Greece, Portugal and Spain, a man chef has been part of their culture for centuries, so does new celebrity chefs don’t really impress. I do agree that it will be nearly impossible for BenjaBen to be successful in Portugal or Spain as a chef, but you never know, fortune always blesses the ones who take the chance. It is also true that there is a lot of restaurant staff under skilled, but not the chefs. It is the chef who makes the “place”, so low skills chefs don’t exist. I don’t mean some kid coming out some TV show or college with a diploma, I mean proper chefs. The same way that a British chef to find work in Europe or opens his own restaurant, or is best chances are working for a British restaurant owner, an American chef might find work in Europe, working for an American boss
 

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I do agree that there is a lot of new “chefs”, turning up in the UK, since Jamie Oliver television show, the number of British chefs more than doubled, for me he is just that, a show man, don´t particularly like his food, and tried his restaurant, not impressed. But countries like Italy, France, Greece, Portugal and Spain, a man chef has been part of their culture for centuries, so does new celebrity chefs don’t really impress. I do agree that it will be nearly impossible for BenjaBen to be successful in Portugal or Spain as a chef, but you never know, fortune always blesses the ones who take the chance. It is also true that there is a lot of restaurant staff under skilled, but not the chefs. It is the chef who makes the “place”, so low skills chefs don’t exist. I don’t mean some kid coming out some TV show or college with a diploma, I mean proper chefs. The same way that a British chef to find work in Europe or opens his own restaurant, or is best chances are working for a British restaurant owner, an American chef might find work in Europe, working for an American boss
But there is still the question of getting a work visa. Can a restaurant really take on a US chef if there are EU applicants and others not requiring visa/permit?
 

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But there is still the question of getting a work visa. Can a restaurant really take on a US chef if there are EU applicants and others not requiring visa/permit?
Good point that, I really don’t know if it is possible. Like they say when there is a will there is a way, so… if he can find a job offer in Europe, with a legal work contract, why not? Probably will be very hard to do it but not impossible. All depends how much he really wants it.
:)
 

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Good point that, I really don’t know if it is possible. Like they say when there is a will there is a way, so… if he can find a job offer in Europe, with a legal work contract, why not? Probably will be very hard to do it but not impossible. All depends how much he really wants it.
:)
Like marrying a nice Portuguese girl?
 
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