Portugal: Country-Specific Brexit Information

December 16, 2020 Lucy Halse

UK nationals who have been legally living in Portugal before December 31, 2020 when the UK withdraws from the EU may continue to live, study, and work in Portugal through rights established through the Withdrawal Agreement. UK nationals who are residents of Portugal by the end of the Brexit transition will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and their rights will be protected if they remain a resident. UK nationals should make sure they are registered as residents.

Entry and Residency Requirements

UK nationals will be able to stay in Portugal if they were residents before December 31, 2020.

UK nationals who want to stay in Portugal for more than three months must register as a resident by getting a Registration Certificate. A Registration Certificate can be requested at the local Town Hall (Camara Municipal).

To register, UK nationals need:

  • Proof of address
  • A valid passport
  • Proof of earnings or evidence of sufficient means to support themselves and their family members
  • Proof of enrollment in a Portuguese school or university (for students)

The certificate is valid for five years. The application cost is €15 per adult and €7.50 per child.

UK nationals can apply for a Permanent Residency Certificate (Autorização de Residência Permanente) if they have been residents of Portugal for five years or more. They must apply before their Registration Certificate expires. UK nationals can apply directly with the Borders and Immigration Agency (SEF) at a local office by calling to schedule an appointment.

To apply for permanent residency, UK nationals need the following documents:

  • Registration Certificate (Certificado de Registo)
  • Valid passport
  • Two passport photographs
  • Proof of address (if address has changed during the applicant’s residency)

The Permanent Residency Certificate may be used as proof of ID in Portugal, but it cannot be used as a travel document. The Permanent Residency Certificate has a 10-year validity. It must be renewed every 10 years at the local SEF office.

The Portuguese government will provide more information as available for UK nationals who want to move to the country in 2021.

Starting on January 1, 2021, travel is permitted in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa to visit family or friends; attend business meetings, sports events, or cultural events; for tourism, and for short-term study or training. Travelers should note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days also count towards the 90-day maximum stay. Any days spent in Portugal before January 1, 2021 will not count towards the 90-day limit.

Working in Portugal

UK nationals who are residents of Portugal will retain their right to work in the country if they remain residents.

The following information may be required to apply for a job in Portugal:

  • UK police certificate
  • (Copy) UK police record (excluding Scotland)
  • (Copy)Police Scotland record
  • Portuguese criminal record certificate

Individuals who live in Portugal and commute to work in another EU/EFTA country may need a permit proving that they are a frontier worker starting in January 2021. The Home Office will provide further details when guidance is available.

Passports

Travel rules will remain the same between Portugal and the UK after the end of the Brexit transition. Rules on travel within the EU will stay the same through December 31, 2020. During that time, UK nationals may travel to countries in the EU and Schengen area with their UK passport. UK nationals should ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their trip.

Starting on January 1, 2021, travel is permitted in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa to visit family or friends; attend business meetings, sports events, or cultural events; for tourism, and for short-term study or training. Travelers should note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days also count towards the 90-day maximum stay. Any days spent in Portugal before January 1, 2021 will not count towards the 90-day limit.

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