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The local Camara’s (town halls) have recently been inundated by requests from British Citizens who are panicking and trying to get their residency through before Brexit. You see, if you are an EU citizen you can go through the rather simple process of attaining the Certificado de Registo de Cidadão da União Europeia or CRUE for short. Provided you have an address in Portugal, ID and an NIF number you can take all of this along to your town hall and register for 5 year residency. This should be done within the first 90 days of living in Portugal. Due to the Brexit transition period it is possible for Brits to do this up to 31 Dec 2020. Yet appointments have been filling up, flights have been cancelled due to Coronavirus and British citizens are worrying that moving to Portugal after Brexit is near impossible. The truth is that moving to Portugal after Brexit will not be as simple and easy as it was before Brexit, but it will still be possible.
Brits living in Portugal before 31 December 2020
For Brits living in Portugal before 31 December 2020 it has been confirmed that if you can prove your Portuguese residential address and that you were living in Portugal before Brexit transition you will be able to register as a Resident with your rights still protected by the withdrawal agreement.
Getting your Biometric Card to protect your Rights under the EU Withdrawal agreement
if you have already got a Certificado de Registo de Cidadão da União Europeia or CRUE you are encouraged to apply for a Biometric card online that will demonstrate your status for future travel. You can apply online and then from 1 Jan 2021 you will be invited to a SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) appointment to collect your card. Meanwhile you will be given a certificate and a QR code to travel until your biometric card is received.
There is also a Brexit phone line to hep you:
Brits Moving to Portugal after Brexit
From 1 Jan 2021 (after the Brexit transition period is over) UK citizens will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for tourism purposes, in conditions still to be determined at this stage and contingent on the EU/UK deal and the reciprocity principle. If you would like to live, work or study in Portugal after Brexit then you may need to apply for a Visa and Residency permit through SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras). After Brexit it won’t be as simple as when UK was part of the EU, it may just be a little more complex. You may need to….
- Prove your income or savings
- Have a CRB check (Criminal Record Check)
- Apply for a Visa and/or Residency permit
- Have proof of studies if you are a student in Portugal
As things are still being finalised keep an eye on the UK Gov and SEF websites for updates: