On 1st January 2021, the partnership agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom entered into force. From now on, stays of more than 90 days require obtaining a visa, since the free movement between the UK and EU countries has ended, both to live, study or work.
The agreement now in force implies several changes in the relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom. Despite the restrictions, Portugal remains open-door and willing to facilitate the processes for the entry of British citizens into the country.
In addition to being one of the most attractive destinations for tourists, residence permits in Portugal have the most accessible requirements in Europe, being considered one of the best countries to invest in and for those looking to obtain European citizenship.
Amendments for British Citizens in Portugal
According to the Withdrawal Agreement signed between the United Kingdom and the European Union, legal residents in Portugal before 31st December 2020 keep their rights of residence. Despite that, it is necessary to obtain a new residence permit confirming the status as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.
The exchange of the residence document may be requested until the end of June 2021 through the SEF portal. When the request is submitted later than that date, you will need to make an appointment in SEF to exchange the documentation.
How can I keep my rights as a European Citizen after 1st January 2021?
UK citizens wishing to move to Portugal after 1st January 2021 may apply for Non-Habitual Resident Status. This regime offers exemption from taxation for most income obtained abroad for ten years, provided that they have not been considered residents in Portugal in the last five years.
If they wish to continue to live in the UK and benefit from European citizenship, British citizens will be able to apply for the Golden Visa Portuguese Programme. To do so, they only need to make an investment in the country and reside, on average, seven days a year, for five years.
Obtaining the Portuguese Golden Visa, they can continue to move freely around Europe without the need for a visa. They can also benefit from family reunification for the closest relatives and conciliate the Program with the Non-Habitual Resident Status referred to above.
It should be reinforced that from 1st January 2022, the rules on access to the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme will change, as can be read here. Thus, those who are interested should begin the process as soon as possible to enjoy lower values.
They can also explore other visa options and residence permits available in the country. Find all the options here.