Frequently Asked Questions
The Withdrawal Agreement protects nationals from the United Kingdom living in a different State from his/her nationality, as long as the requirements the EU legislation dealing with the free movement of persons connects to the right of residence are met. Essentially, nationals from the United Kingdom meet those requirements if:
- they hold a paid or non-paid job; or
- have enough resources; or
- are members of someone else’s family meeting those requirements;
It is possible to move between these categories (for example, leave their job to start studying). In order to keep your rights, the meeting of, at least, the conditions concerning one of the abovementioned categories, is suffice.
Yes. Because you are working in Portugal for more than five years, you already benefit from the right of permanent residence no longer subject to any conditions (as in to continue working).
The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of persons exercising the right of free movement and living in a country which is not of their own nationality.
The prevailing law of the United Kingdom will determine if the members of their family may live with him/her in that country.
The right of residence provided by the Withdrawal Agreement is not affected by temporary absences which do not exceed six months in a year, nor longer absences for the compliance of military obligations, or an absence of twelve consecutive months maximum for important reasons such as pregnancy or childbirth, serious illness, studying or professional training, or deployment to another Member State or third-country for professional reasons. Once obtained, the right of permanent residence shall be lost by the absence for a period exceeding five consecutive years only.
Yes. The Withdrawal Agreement protects every family member who legally lives in Portugal with a United Kingdom citizen before the transitional period ends.
The Withdrawal Agreement resumes the provisions of the legislation on free movement in the EU, which already protects third-countries’ national spouses who get divorced from a EU citizen. If you have lived in Portugal being married and file for divorce, you may continue living in Portugal after the transitional period. After five consecutive years of legal residence, you may obtain the right of permanent residence in Portugal.
Yes. The Withdrawal Agreement protects partners which, at the end of the transitional period, keep a long lasting relationship with a national of the United Kingdom, even if they no longer live together at the Host Member State. Therefore, you may join your partner in Portugal, with the condition that, when you do, you still keep a long lasting relationship and the other keeps the residence in Portugal.
Nationals of the United Kingdom protected by the Withdrawal Agreement in a Member State cannot call upon it to obtain the right of free movement to another Member State, nor to get established or provide services or cross-border services to people established in another Member States. This fact does not affect any rights in as much as nationals of the United Kingdom may benefit under other legal instruments of the EU or the national law.
Following the end of the transition period, nationals from the United Kingdom living in Portugal before the end of the transition period may exit and return to Portugal, showing their passport, as long as they have supporting evidence in which they are residents. They may submit their certificate of registration at the City Hall and the supporting evidence of the application for the new residence document held at Portal do SEF for Brexit. The digital form of the supporting evidence of exchange of residence, read by QR Code, may be printed and used whenever travelling, as supporting evidence of your residence in Portugal. Family members which are not citizens of the European Union have the same rights by submitting a valid passport and their residence card.
No. With the condition that you hold a valid document issued by Portugal supporting your residence status under the Withdrawal Agreement.
If you have lived in Portugal for less than 5 years, and you have an EU certificate of residency from the town hall (CRUE), the expiry date on your new Withdrawal Agreement residence card may not be the date on which you will have been resident in Portugal for 5 years in total and therefore on which you are eligible for permanent resident status. For example, if you first registered as a resident in November 2019, you will be eligible to apply for your permanent residency card in November 2024, but your current Withdrawal Agreement residence card might have a later expiry date. This is because all new temporary Withdrawal Agreement residency cards are issued for 5 years, regardless of the number of years you have already resided in Portugal. This does not affect your rights in Portugal, including applying for a permanent residency card when you complete 5 years of continuous residency.
If you are in this situation, SEF advises that you can:
- Keep your current Withdrawal Agreement residence card and contact SEF once you have been resident for 5 years in total and are eligible to apply for a permanent card, even though your current card has not expired; or
- Keep your current Withdrawal Agreement residence card and apply for a permanent one once it expires.
This only applies for those who do not already have a permanent residency card. You should be issued with a new Withdrawal Agreement permanent residency card valid for 10 years.
If you have need further information, or if you want to ask for a replacement card issued for the remainder of your first 5 years of residency, please contact SEF’s Regional Directorate that issues the residency card. For other questions regarding the residency process, please email email@example.com.
The Withdrawal Agreement protects those EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom, and UK nationals residing in one of the 27 EU Member States at the end of the transition period, where such residence is in accordance with EU law on free movement. The Withdrawal Agreement also protects the family members that are granted rights under EU law (current spouses and registered partners, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and a person in an existing durable relationship), who do not yet live in the same host state as the Union citizen or the UK national, to join them in the future.
Children will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, wherever they are born before or after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal, or whether they are born inside or outside the host state where the EU citizen or the UK national resides. The only exception foreseen concerns children born after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal and for which a parent not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement has sole custody under the applicable family law.
Considering that the transition period ended December 31st, it is no longer possible to apply for the certificate of registration at the City Hall. You should now request the issuance of a new document. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching your identity documents and proof of your stay in the country before December 31st 2020.
If you live in Portugal for more than five years, but haven’t got the permanent residence certificate, you may apply for the replacement of your certificate of registration with a permanent residence document. For such, you might have to submit supporting documents in which you are living in Portugal for more than five consecutive years as provided in Law 37/2006, and during that period you have been employed or self-employed or have had means of subsistence.
As a national from the United Kingdom living in Portugal, after the end of the transition period on December 31st 2020, it is now necessary to exchange your current residence document as a citizen of the European Union by the new residence permit which confirms your resident status under the Withdrawal Agreement. You should register again at Portal do SEF for Brexit, to apply for your new residence permit.
In case you did not apply for the certificate of registration at the City Hall before the end of the transition period, you should now request the issuance of a new document. Please send an email to email@example.com, attaching your identity documents and proof of your stay in the country before December 31st 2020.
You should request the issuance of a new document. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching your identity documents and proof of your stay in the country before December 31st 2020.
As in the EU Law, the right of residence under the withdrawal agreement is not dependent on the knowledge of the Portuguese language.
If you arrived in Portugal before 31st December 2020, and you are not resident or don’t intent to become resident, and you are still in Portugal due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, you do not need a visa or further authorisation to stay in Portugal longer than 90 days, once you were exercising your right to free movement under European Union law when you arrived here before the end of the transition period. It should be considered as a regular stay under the Withdrawal Agreement. You should consider flying back as soon as the restrictive measures are lifted.
British citizens living in Portugal who are also family members of EU citizens benefit both from the statuses. You may apply for the new residence document as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement, or for the residence document of a family member of a EU citizen. The Withdrawal Agreement ensures you the right of residence in Portugal only, however as a familiy member of a EU citizen you have the right of free movement and residence in all EU.