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Residência cards/registration for UK citizens

Residência cards/registration for UK citizens - 23-09-2021

Residência cards/registration for UK citizens

We are happy to announce that SEF has finally offered further information about the new biometric residency cards for UK citizens and also further info for those who have applied for residency in 2021 under the Withdrawal Agreement.

UK Nationals who were residents before 31st of December 2020 and already applied for the Residência exchange:
The new Residência cards for UK citizens, which were announced last year, and which were supposed to be in force before June are still not ready to be issued. However, it appears that the pilot system will begin in October with one Câmara issuing the new style cards to its UK citizens and providing that goes well will continue across the rest of the country.
The British Embassy team has been lobbying hard for the situation to be rectified and it seems that there is now some movement from SEF, who have cited various reasons that the roll out has been delayed.
The good news is that UK citizens residency status is not affected by the delays and the Portuguese government reiterates that current residency cards are still valid, even if they are expired. However, UK citizens are advised to keep the document that was provided from the SEF portal when they applied for their Residência exchange as proof that they are in the process of exchanging their card.
There is no other action to take at this time, simply wait to be notified by SEF to schedule an appointment to provide biometric data for the new card.

UK Nationals who were living in Portugal before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), but were unable to register as residents:
For those UK Nationals who were living in Portugal before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), but were unable to register as residents due to Covid19 measures in place, we received the following news from the British Embassy which has been in contact with SEF:

Many have sent their residency requests to SEF since March and are waiting for a reply so they can get a residency document. SEF have told us that they will imminently start contacting those who have sent a request for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement through the dedicated Brexit email. The process is as follows:

For those living in Portugal on or before 31 December 2020, who have already submitted a request for residency and this is approved by SEF:
  • They will receive an email from SEF with a personalised digital token that will give them access to the Brexit portal.
  • They should register on the portal by following the instructions in this video  (same process as for those who were already registered as Residents and registered for exchange)
  • At the end, they can download the certificate with the QR code. This is an official proof of residency in Portugal and is valid until the new card is issued.
  • They will be notified in the near future to schedule an appointment at a Town Hall to provide biometric data for the new card.
SEF has also been notifying some UK nationals in this situation who did not send enough documentation. The email asks for additional documentation to be sent to SEF. Although the deadline to reply to this type of requests is 10 days, SEF is accepting all replies. Thus, if the deadline has passed, UK nationals should still send additional documentation proving they are under the Withdrawal Agreement.

We continue to urge UK nationals living in Portugal (since before 31 December 2020) who are still not registered for residency to please do so, by sending an email to  with a copy of their passport, proof of address and proof they were living in Portugal before the end of last year.

SEF’s Brexit line +351 21 711 50 45 (open on working days from 8am to 8pm) and dedicated email  continue to be available for any residency issues related to UK nationals under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Alliance Partners
  • Medal Insurance
  • Algarve Resident
  • Blevins & Franks
  • Turismo de Portugal - Algarve
Associate Partners
  • Toldolanda
  • Golf for Greys
  • NCA Portugal
  • Mestre Raposa