Brexit was formally settled on 31 January, 2020, after more than three years of a long political process involving two general elections and three failed withdrawal plans. The UK is now in an 11-month transition period with the EU in order to ease the impact of Britain’s departure.

The UK government has three separate agreements with the 31 European countries that accept freedom of movement. During this transition period – which will end on 31 December – British citizens will have mainly the same rights has they have now. This means that freedom of movement will continue to be applied allowing all British citizens to travel, work and live in the EU.

In essence, British citizens who have not yet acquired the residence permit (certificate of registration) to live in Portugal must apply for it until 31 December, 2020, and meet the following conditions:

  1. be worker or self-employed;
  2. have sufficient resources and health insurance; or
  3. study in Portugal and prove that they have sufficient financial resources for themselves, as well as having a health insurance.

In all cases, British citizens must apply for the certificate of registration before the end of the transition period, otherwise they will have to apply for another type of visa or residence permit, not benefiting from the rules relating to European citizens.

Note that this rule is also applicable to a family member who accompanies a British citizen, even if they are nationals of a country that does not belong to the European Union or to the United Kingdom.

British citizens and their family who are registered as residents in Portugal will maintain their rights to work and study.

Please also note that these measures do not require physical presence in Portugal at the end of the transition period. Since temporary absences that do not affect the right of residence and longer absences that do not affect the right of permanent residence are accepted.

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