Residency visa and family reunification

Residency visa and family reunification

If one partner becomes a civil resident in Portugal, the other partner, as a third-country national, is also eligible for Portuguese civil residency under the statute of “family reunification”, even if they are not married but have been cohabiting at the same address for more than two years.

Cohabiting couples enjoy many of the same rights as formally married spouses when, regardless of their sex, they live together in conditions similar to those of the married mates for more than two years (according to Law nº23/2010, of August 30, which amended Law nº7/2001, of May 11).

The following documents can be used to substantiate this cohabitation status:

■ An affidavit of residency sworn in the competent parish council (Junta de Freguesia) before two locally resident witnesses.
■ Cohabitation: A declaration of honour signed by both partners, stating that they have been living together at the same abode for more than two years.
■ Recent copies of both birth certificates (within the previous six months) attesting to the civil status of both partners (i.e. that neither has been a spouse in a prior undissolved marriage).

To move forward with the residência process, the following additional documents must be presented to SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras):

■ Certified copy of passport;
■ Residência (partner);
■ Marriage certificate (original) or proof of cohabitation (see above);
■ Criminal registry (Portugal + former countries of residence);
■ Portuguese fiscal number (NIF);
■ Proof of subsistence (copy of a recent Portuguese bank statement);
■ Proof of address (utility bill, property deed or rental contract).

By Dennis Swing Greene
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Dennis Swing Greene is Chairman and International Tax Consultant for euroFINESCO s.a.