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Americans Head to Europe for the Good Life on the Low-cost

Other visa programs for foreigners with funds remain unaffected.

Amelia Guertin has been within the country on and off for the past 12 months, living on a tourist visa while she applies for a long-stay visa. She got here to Portugal after living in Hawaii, San Francisco and New York, cities that seemed “insanely unreachable”, she said. She knew immediately that she desired to settle in a spot that felt cosmopolitan but in addition laid back.

Earlier this 12 months, she was bent over a laptop along with her architect, Hannah Reusser, w Err, a Lisbon bar with plush velvet sofas, exposed channels and mood lighting. Ms Guertin, 31, has already began demolishing a small house she bought last October for €320,000 in Aroeira, a coastal town south of Lisbon where she will be able to surf.

Ms. Reusser talked about making the three-bedroom, two-bathroom space more functional, suggesting a redesign of the kitchen and front room. Ms Guertin, chief operating officer of the UK tech start-up, was pushing Ms Reusser for a deadline. Was June realistic? Ms Reusser feared it was too ambitious given the pandemic delays and material shortages.

An hour later, Mrs. Guertin was speeding through the cobbled streets, heading for her Portuguese class a couple of blocks away, worrying about her schedule. “In Portugal you’ve got to have loads of patience,” said Ms Guertin. “I feel disorganized, but I believe that it would be done.”

On Da Noi, a tiny restaurant in the middle of Lisbon, diners crammed into tables and people who had come for a drink poured out into the road, talking English, German and French. Behind the bar, 22-year-old Simāo Martins, an economics student on the University of Lisbon, was mixing an Aperol spritz. He works full-time but lives at home together with his mother like his friends.

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