Brits to receive post-Brexit residency cards by end of year
Photo by Reinaldo Sture/ Unsplash

Brits to receive post-Brexit residency cards by end of year

Minister predicts 36,000 Brits will have residency card by 2023

Portugal’s Minister of Internal Administration said today that he expects the 36,000 British citizens living in Portugal to have the new post-Brexit residence card by the end of the year.

“By December 31, we really hope to have responded to these 36,000 British citizens,” José Luís Carneiro said during a visit to the British citizens’ service desk at the Lisbon regional office of the immigration and borders service (SEF).

With two counters exclusively for Brits, the new post in Lisbon is the fifth to open in the country for the collection of biometric data for the issue of the new residence permit, under the agreement of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

This phase of the process started in February in the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira and from July in the municipalities of Cascais and Loulé, with two other posts scheduled to open in October in Porto and Quarteira.

“We are fulfilling the commitments we have made, with a view to guaranteeing the rights, freedoms and guarantees of British citizens who seek our country as a country of residence, investment, and living,” the minister told journalists.

Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, British citizens already living in Portugal when the transition period ended at the end of 2020 were able to apply for a new residence permit. By September, there were around 36,000 registered applications.

Meanwhile, and until the definitive card is issued, British citizens have a provisional document issued when they register on the SEF’s Brexit Portal, in digital format with a QR code that serves as an official residence document.

However, according to José Luís Carneiro, this document does not ensure the right to access Portugal’s national health service, the services of the tax authority and the ministry of labour, solidarity and social security, nor the right of movement within the Schengen area.

“This service point aims to respond to that need,” he added.

The minister also announced the opening of 13 more service points for British citizens from next month, in coordination with the Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA) and the Institute of Registration and Notary Affairs (IRN).

The new posts will open in Lisbon, Faro, Marinha Grande, Pombal, Coimbra, Castelo Branco, Porto, Seixal, Santarém, Beja and Lagos.

Questioned as to whether they will be permanent posts, the interior minister began by stating that at the moment “a very specific response” is being created.

He also said this experience of extending the SEF response to the IRN, to the municipalities, as well as to the AMA Citizen Spaces, will “allow us to extend the posts to the entire country, from the municipalities, where immigrant citizens can go to deal with their essential documents”.

Also present at the visit, the British consul in Portugal, Simona Demuro, said that the opening of the post in Lisbon is a “very important” step that will allow many British citizens living in the country to obtain the new residence card.

Source: Lusa