Residency Portugal: A guide for expats

Relocating to residency in Portugal demands careful planning and local legal support for getting the necessary permit, read from the experts!
Article Published: 08 Nov, 2020, Updated: 13 Dec, 2023 under D7 Visa

For those planning to relocate to Portugal, there are many possibilities to obtain a residence card there. Therefore, the first step is to consider what the best option for you is. For example, a residence permit to study, one to work, or to reside in Portugal as a citizen of the European Union. The best procedure will be determined according to the person's circumstances. It is such an important point in planning your move.

Most of the procedure is carried-out at the Portuguese Immigration Office – known as SEF- however, if you are an EU citizen it is done at the local Town Hall.

1. Brexit and British Citizens Moving to live in Portugal

Up until December 2020, UK nationals were considered as EU citizens. It means that those who live in Portugal and who intend to remain here after the end of the year, as well as those who, by 31st December 2020, arrive in Portugal with the intention to reside, should register with their local Town Hall (Câmara Municipal) to get their Certificate of Registration.

Registration as a resident must be carried-out by British citizens in order to demonstrate that they are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, thereby guaranteeing their rights, including the right to work, health cover, education and tax benefits, after the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020.

The residency documents of British citizens who have already registered will continue to be valid.

This residency certificate will be valid for 5 years and to apply for it, a taxpayer number in Portugal, passport and proof of income are enough.

From January, the procedure will have to be done at the Immigration Office, which will be much more bureaucratic and take longer to achieve.

It is therefore recommended that British citizens make their residency applications before this date, in order to take advantage of the simpler and more cost-effective process.

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