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The Consulate in the Community - Jan 23 and 25

British Embassy in LisbonLater in January, staff from the British Vice Consulate in Portimão will be holding surgeries in Silves and Monchique to provide information and guidance on registering as a resident with local Portuguese authorities. If you live in Portugal for more than 6 months of the year, you should obtain a residency certificate from your local Town Hall. After living here for 5 years, you should apply to SEF, the Immigration and Borders Service, for permanent residency.

With the UK leaving the EU in 2019, if you intend to live permanently in Portugal, and want to benefit from the advantages of living here, it is very important to obtain your residência in order to be properly integrated and registered.

British Vice Consul Clive Jewell and Consular Officer Ana Sofia Bono, will be at the Biblioteca Municipal de Silves (Silves library), on Rua Latino Coelho on Tuesday 23 January, and at the Câmara Municipal de Monchique (Monchique Town Hall) on Thursday 25th January, from 9.30am to 12.30pm on both days.

They will be pleased to answer questions relating to registering for residency, access to health services and other State support systems in Portugal. There is no need to book or register to attend, simply go along on the day.

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For those conncerned that the chosen locations both are in the western Algarve, the Bristish Embassy's Press Office commented,

"We always endeavour to be geographically balanced in choosing locations for our outreach events, not just in the Algarve, but throughout Portugal. Since the Brexit Referendum in June 2016, British Ambassador Kirsty Hayes has held 6 successful public events in the Algarve (São Bras and Lagos in July 2016, Albufeira and Portimão in March 2017 and Silves and Tavira on 30 November 2017). We believe these events have covered a good geographical balance, which we fully intend to maintain.

"The surgeries we are holding next week, in co-operation with the respective Town Halls (one in the west and one central) are different in nature and intended as an opportunity for our residents to speak to consular officers on a one to one basis without travelling to the consulate in Portimão.

"Depending on the success of the surgeries next week, our intention is to hold more across the Algarve as the year progresses, mindful of where our British nationals live in the region.

"We will be obtaining feedback on their effectiveness from people who come along, and we will take their comments into account when planning future events. It is likely that the next surgery-type events will be in the eastern and eastern-central parts of the Algarve, and we will publicise dates and locations as soon as arrangements are in place.

I would add that the consular team in Portimão and Lisbon is available if people have questions or concerns, and information is regularly posted on our Facebook pages Brits in Portugal and British Embassy Lisbon, as well as on GOV.UK."

Visit http://www.gov.uk/fco for British foreign policy news and travel advice and http://blogs.fco.gov.uk to read our blogs.