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News from afpop - Friday 12th March 2021 update

Michael Reeve - 25-03-2021

News from afpop - Friday 12th March 2021 update

Included in this briefing: 1. Ground clearance deadline 2. Portuguese driving licence extension 3. Other document extensions 4. Vehicle inspections 5. Senior living survey 6. Travel between municipalities 7. Non-residents remaining in Portugal 8. Exchange of non- Portuguese driving licence 9. UK citizens licence exchange 10. New Residency Card (UK citizens)


I hope you are all well and keeping safe. As always if English or German are not your first language and you need clarification on any of the information included in this mailing, please contact the afpop office to ask for assistance. 
 
As there is no news regarding Covid restrictions due until next week, I thought I would take the opportunity to update you about some other matters. Yes, there are indeed other matters. So, in no particular order;
 
Ground clearance:
The deadline for clearance of land for fire prevention has been extended to May 15th. By that date, the land around properties must be cleared in accordance with the government guidance and all rubbish disposed of.
 
Portuguese driving license extension:
The European parliament has issued a directive regarding extensions of driving licences and other documents, which the Portuguese government has adopted in most cases. Therefore
Portuguese driving licenses that expire between 1/9/2020 and 30/06/2021 have an automatic extension of validity for 10 months from the date of expiry.
 
Portuguese driving licences that expired before 31/08/2020 and under the former Reg. (EU), 2020/698 were extended and with that extension will expire between 01/09/2020 and 30/06/2021 are extended for six months from the date of expiry OR until 01/07/2021, whichever date is the latest.
 
Please note – this is for Portuguese licences that have expired and not licences from other countries that need to be exchanged. There is more on that below.
 
Other document extensions:
According to Decreto lei nº 22-A/2021, Cartão Cidadão, certificates, licences, Visas and Residências are also extended. Cartão Cidadão, certificates issued by the registry, licenses and permits, and visas and documents related to the stay of foreign citizens in Portugal that expired after February 24, 2020, will be accepted, for all intents and purposes, until December 31, 2021.
 
Vehicle inspections:
You may have been told that vehicle inspections have also been extended, but whilst this was a recommendation by the EU, Portugal decided not to adopt it. If your vehicle inspection is due, you should schedule an appointment with your local IPO (Centro de Inspeção), by searching Centro de Inspeção on-line and then adding your town, so for example Centro de Inspeção Albufiera.
 
Senior Living survey:
We have been invited by the survey company ProMatura, to inform Members about a new on-line survey which they are undertaking, in conjunction with the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA), to identify the potential needs for foreign residents wishing to reside in retirement communities in Portugal. The survey is anonymous and will take between 20 and 30 minutes. It can be accessed by this LINK
 
Travel between municipalities:
The travel restrictions for the Easter period begin THIS FRIDAY March 26th at 00h01 until April 5th, except for authorised travel. The instruction is to keep off the public roads except for exercise near the home and trips to the supermarket etc.
 
UK citizens remaining in Portugal for more than 90 days due to COVID:
If you are not a Resident in Portugal but you have been in Portugal before 1st of January
2021, the 90 days that you are allowed to stay in Portugal without a visa will soon be up.
Members in this situation may not be able to travel back to the UK due to COVID
restrictions, no flights, health reasons etc. within that time. SEF has announced that if you are a UK national arrived in Portugal before 31 December 2020, and you are not
resident or don’t intent to become resident, and you are still in Portugal due to Covid-19
travel restrictions, you do not need a visa or further authorisation to stay in Portugal
longer than 90 days. It is therefore not obligatory to request, from SEF service points, an extension of permanence. However, you must return to the UK as soon as the restrictive measures are lifted.
 
Exchanging foreign driving licences: (This is in two parts)
 
GENERAL - all nationalities who have applied for an exchange of a foreign driving licence to Portuguese:
There are in general delays in IMT, so the procedure to exchange a foreign driving licence is taking longer than usual. If you have presented the application through the online submission form and received an automated reply, you should simply wait to get further instructions from the IMT. If you presented the exchange some time ago, maybe in person, and got the temporary driving permit, you should also simply wait for the new Portuguese driving licence to be sent to you by post.  If you are about to present the request for exchange of a foreign licence, please see the afpop Information Bulletin “P04 Driving Licence”.
 
UK Citizens:
Members who are UK citizens should keep an eye on the afpop fact sheet “Brexit Summary” which we are updating on a regular basis. This fact sheet has recent updates on the procedure of exchange of a UK driving licence to Portuguese and the Certificate of Authenticity issued by DVLA. It also has updates on the new Residency Card for UK citizens and non-Residents staying in Portugal for more than 90 days due to COVID.
 
I’m pleased to tell you that I have been in contact with the management at DVLA in the UK, regarding the use of the code issued by DVLA, which IMT refused to acknowledge after the 1st January. DVLA has informed me that IMT will now accept the code, which is valid for 21 days but can be renewed at any time and is automatically issued from the DVLA website. The details are included in the Brexit Summary Fact Sheet.
 
New Residency Card for UK citizens:
We have asked SEF if there is any news in the process for getting the new Residency Card for UK citizens (for those who already applied). SEF are not able to say at present when people will be called for the appointment to give biometric details for this new card. This is partly because they have to work with several town halls (Câmara Municipal) in order to set up special “stations” where people will go for their appointments, as these will not be done at the SEF offices. We will however keep Members informed as soon as we have any further information. Meanwhile if you have already submitted the application for the new card online and the certificate (proof of application) was issued, you should have that printed and carry that with you along with your original Residency Card/Certificate and you will be contacted by SEF to book an appointment once they are ready for that process.

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