‘Living in Portugal’ events to be staged in California in early 2023

  • Lusa
  • 3 October 2022

Scheduled for February 2023, the events are being designed for about 120 people each.

Two ‘Living in Portugal’ events, organised by Algarve company Open Media, are to be staged early next year to promote the country in Los Angeles and San Francisco to residents of the US who want to come and live in Portugal at a time when interest is already growing exponentially.

“The target is those who are interested in moving to Portugal to live,” Bruce Hawker, CEO of Open Media, told Lusa. “From a person who is about to retire to the digital nomad who wants to go to work remotely, to someone who is interested in creating a startup in Portugal or families with children.”

Scheduled for February 2023, the events are being designed for about 120 people each. Open Media, which publishes titles such as Essential Algarve and Portugal Resident, will feature the involvement of a dozen companies from various sectors what are planning to advertise their services and answer questions on this roadshow across California.

According to Hawker, part of the interest is on the part of people descended from emigrants from Portugal, with California being the state with the largest population of Portuguese origin in the US.

“There are many second-generation Portuguese, who are already completely Californian, but who want to return to Portugal,” said Hawker. “As they are not very aware of the situation, for example in terms of investment, the idea is to be able to answer the questions of those who want to move to Portugal.”

The keynote speaker for the events will be Jonathan Littman, founder of RedBridge Lisbon and author of a widely shared 2021 article for LA Magazine entitled “The new California dream is in Portugal”.

According to Hawker, it is in California that there is the greatest interest in Portugal – something that can be attributed to several factors: the similarity of the climate, the lower cost of living with good quality, and also safety, with Portugal “seen as a calm, mild and safe place.”

The companies that will accompany Open Media on this tour range from estate agents to lawyers, technology and taxation experts. Confirmed are CMS Law, Castelhana, Sovereign Group, Blacktower Financial Management, Kronos Homes, Martinhal Group, Ombria Resort, Fine & Country Algarve, Casas do Barlavento, Currencies4You and Dengun.

The Los Angeles event will be on February 9 at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel and the San Francisco event on February 11 at the Palace Hotel.

If all goes well, the idea is to hold more such events in the US, where there is growing demand for information and services to help people move to Portugal.

“This project in California is the pilot edition,” said Hawker, adding that a strong investment is being made in marketing to attract participants.

Then, he said, there may be other cities: “Talking to the participating companies, there is talk of New York, Atlanta and Chicago, but that is yet to be defined.”

As he explained, the events will include clarification of the process of obtaining a residence permit, at a time when according to Hawker, interest in Portugal in the US is at a very high point.

“From the United States there has never been an interest like this,” he said. “It was a virtually non-existent market about five or six years ago. It has been growing exponentially in the last three years.”

This, he added, is something that has only been reinforced by the trends that have emerged with the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the shift to more remote working.