The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) through the UK Nationals Support Fund (UKNSF) project provided support to at-risk UK nationals and their family members to complete their residency applications and/or to apply for the new residence card in Portugal now that the UK has left the European Union (EU).
Working alongside the British Embassy and in partnership with the High Commission for Migration (ACM), IOM supported UK nationals by:
• Raising awareness on residency requirements and application processes:
• Providing information on residency requirements;
• Providing linguistic, legal, consular and referral support;
• Provide direct casework to complete applications for those who struggle with accessing application processes and information themselves.
This project closed at the end of December 2021.
The following information was accurate for UK nationals living in Portugal as of end of November 2021.
REGISTERING FOR RESIDENCE
1) UK nationals already registered as residents
In accordance with the residence status in force for the post-transition period (1st January 2021 onward), 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: click here.
In this portal, you are able to access your own profile and change/update your personal details. You can also register minors who are your dependants (if they are UK nationals), who are not registered for residence.
When registering at SEF Portal, please make sure that:
• You are registering with one email per person;
• The password contains at least: one uppercase letter; one lowercase letter; special character; and one number.
You can find general guidance on the Portal and a step-by-step video to help you navigate the process.
At the end of this registration, you should download the Certificate with both a QR code and an authentication code issued, enabling you, along with your passport, to prove you are resident in Portugal when travelling (at the border, the Portuguese Immigration and Borders (SEF) agent will ask you for your proof of residence).
After the online registration, you will receive an email from SEF requesting you to book an appointment to collect biometric data for the new card. This will take place at selected Town Halls. The list of Town Halls providing this service should be announced soon.
We strongly encourage you to exchange your current EU documents for the new card now. Brexit online portal will close at the end of December so, if you have not yet done this registration or you know someone who was a resident in Portugal before the end of the transition period and has not yet registered, please, take action.
Brexit Portal dedicated contacts:
Brexit Line: (+351) 21 711 50 45
Email address: email@example.com
Office hours: 08:00AM – 08:00PM (working days)
Please note that current EU residence documents continue to be accepted until the end of their validity or the issuance of the new card.
DECLARATORY SYSTEM WITHIN THE WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT
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 Portal, as soon as possible to avoid facing lengthier administrative procedures in the future.
2) UK nationals not registered as residents
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.
Please keep documents for future reference and proof that you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.
UK nationals covered by the Withdrawal Agreement who did not registered before the end of the transition period should send an email requesting the issuance of the new residence document to firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching their identification documents, phone number and proof of their stay in Portugal before the end of the transition period (31st of December 2020).