Will I need to exchange my residence documents?


​​​​​Yes. All UK nationals who are officially residents in Portugal, and are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, are asked to exchange their current EU residence documents for new ones that explicitly state that they are under the Withdrawal Agreement.

You can register online in the Brexit portal: https://brexit.sef.pt/en/

More information on this at: UK Nationals already Registered as Residentsunder the Registering for Residence for those under the Withdrawal Agreementsection




Will there be any limitations for travelling within the EU after the transition period?


Yes.

From 1st January 2021 onwards, UK nationals will no longer be entitled to the right of free movement within the Schengen Area – even if they are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

However, UK nationals will be able to travel to other Schengen Area countries without a visa for up to ninety (90) days in a period of one-hundred and eighty (180) days.

In order to stay for more than ninety (90) days in one-hundred and eighty (180) days, to work, to study or do business in a Schengen Area country, UK nationals must comply with the requirements established by each country. In some cases, it might be necessary to apply for a visa or a residence permit.

Please note that from 1st January 2021 onwards:

  • UK nationals who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement must travel with their residence card along with their valid passport;

  • UK nationals, residents and non-residents, can no longer use EU passport lanes or e-gates at the airport. UK nationals can use the corridors reserved for non-EU citizens/All passports.

For more information on passports and entry requirements, please visit:

Living in Portugal Guidance – Passports and travel

Living in Portugal Guidance – Visas and residency

Please check the “Travel Advice for UK Nationals” section.

More information on this at: “Travel rights, visas and absence periods” section.




I am a UK national and I am not a resident in Portugal, how much time can I stay?


UK nationals will be able to stay in Portugal for up to ninety (90) days in a period of one-hundred and eighty (180) days, without a visa.

In order to stay for more than ninety (90) days in one-hundred and eighty (180) days, to work, to study or do business in a Schengen Area country, UK nationals must comply with the requirements established by each country. In some cases, it might be necessary to apply for a visa or residence permit.

  • For UK nationals who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and who wish to extent their stay in Portugal for more than 90 days, please visit SEF's website and check the information according to your situation.

  • For UK nationals who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and intend to apply for residence in Portugal, should apply for a residency visa with the Portuguese Consulate in their country of residence (with territorial jurisdiction over their area of residence) prior to coming to Portugal. For more information on this visit SEF’s website.

Please note that UK nationals who stay beyond the ninety (90) days period in Portugal will not be able to visit any other Schengen country until they have been out of Schengen for ninety (90) days.

Here you can find a calculator that allows UK nationals to count how many days they can stay in the Schengen area.




I am officially resident in Portugal. How long will I be able to be absent without compromising my residency?


Absences are accepted and do not compromise the right of residence provided by the Withdrawal Agreement.

  • UK nationals who are officially residents in Portugal for less than five (5) years may be temporarily absent for less than six (6) months in a year. This period may be extended if it represents an absence from EU territory of less than twelve (12) consecutive months for important reasons, such as pregnancy and childbirth; serious illness; study or vocational training or posting abroad.
  • UK nationals who are officially residents in Portugal for more than five (5) years, or who have acquired the right of permanent residence, may be absent from Portugal for up to five (5) consecutive years, without losing the right to permanent residence in Portugal. If they exceed this period, they will no longer be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.




What should I do if I did not register before the 31st of December 2020?


All UK nationals who were living in Portugal before the end of the transition period (the 31st of December 2020) are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) - even those who were unable to register. Residence rights under the Withdrawal Agreement should be guaranteed as long as you provide proof that you were living in Portugal before the aforementioned date.

More information on this at: UK Nationals not Registered as Residents under the section Registering for Residence for those under the Withdrawal Agreement




Is there a grace period for UK nationals covered by the Withdrawal Agreement to register their residency in Portugal?


No.

The Withdrawal Agreement establishes two different schemes that have been defined by each Member State: constitutive and declaratory schemes. Both schemes have specific deadlines and administrative procedures.

Portugal opted for a declaratory scheme. This means that UK nationals living in Portugal before the end of the transition period cannot lose their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement even if they fail to register with national authorities or to apply for a new residence document.

Unlike countries with constitutive schemes (such as the UK), in Portugal there is no grace period for UK nationals covered under the WA to apply for residence status.

Nevertheless, it is possible that the procedure that is currently being used for the exchange of residency documents - Brexit SEF Portal – or the dedicated helpline and email to start the procedure of obtaining residency is altered after the 31st of December 2021.

As such, we strongly advise UK nationals to start the exchanging of documents process and/or requesting new residence documents with Brexit SEF.





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