Brexit – where are we a year later?

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Brexit – where are we a year later?

The long process regarding the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, and the successively renewed transitional period, came to an end on December 31st.

In Portugal, we have witnessed the rush of many British citizens to fix their residence in national territory in time to benefit from the established in the Exit Agreement.

British citizens already residing in Portugal in 2020 have been called to proceed with their registration, confirming their permanence in the country and their intention to obtain a new document valid for residence purposes.

However, the details and the beginning of the implementation of this procedure have left thousands of British people in suspense.

 Notwithstanding the fact that the document proving this request for conversion is considered valid until effective conversion, there have been practical constraints regarding, for example, requests for family reunification of non-European family members who have moved or wish to move to Portugal after 2020. As a dedicated Brexit helpline has been set up, the lack of clear instructions has not allowed a timely response to the practical issues raised.

 SEF has informed that British citizens residing in Madeira and Azores will be called by email to appointments taking place in the respective SEF delegations, starting on the 21st of February. For Portugal mainland there is no official information.

 It should be noted that after Brexit, it became possible for British citizens to apply for residence permits provided by Portuguese law for non-European citizens, namely the residence permit based on self-income (“D7 Visa”), as well as the residence permit for investment activities (Golden Visa).

In this way, despite the barrier raised to the freedom of establishment, new opportunities have arisen. As an example, the well-known D7 visa is a possibility suited to British citizens who intend to reside permanently in Portugal, and the Golden Visa may be a solution for British citizens who wish to remain in Portugal for longer periods of time, without leaving the United Kingdom as their main place of residence.

Whatever your case or the information you are looking for in this regard, contact us.

By Raquel de Matos Esteves.