The Minister of Internal Administration has said that he hopes that the approximately 36,000 British citizens living in Portugal will have the new post-Brexit residence card by the end of the year.
“By the end of the year, that is, until the 31st of December, we really hope to have responded to these 36,000 British citizens”, said José Luís Carneiro during a visit to the service centre for British citizens at the Lisbon Regional Directorate of the Service of Foreigners and Borders (SEF).
With two exclusive counters for British citizens, the new Lisbon post is the fifth to open in the country for the collection of biometric data for the issuance of the new residence permit, under the agreement regarding the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.
Two new posts opening in October
This phase of the process started in February in the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira and from July onwards in the municipalities of Cascais and Loulé, with the opening of two other posts in October in Porto and Quarteira.
“We are fulfilling the commitments we have assumed, with a view to guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of British citizens who seek our country as a country of residence”, said the minister in statements to journalists.
Following the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union, British citizens who were already living in Portugal when the transition period ended, at the end of 2020, were able to request the issuance of a new residence permit. Until September, there were about 36,000 applications registered.
Meanwhile, and until the issuance of the definitive card, citizens have a provisional document issued when they register on the Brexit Portal, proof in digital format with a QR code that serves as an official residence document.
However, according to José Luís Carneiro, this document does not guarantee the right of access to the National Health Service, the services of the Tax Authority and the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, nor the right to circulate within the Schengen Area.
“This service station aims to respond to that need,” he added.
The minister also advanced the opening of 13 more service points for British citizens from next month, in conjunction with the Agency for Administrative Modernization (AMA) and the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN)
The new stations will open in Lisbon, Faro, Marinha Grande, Pombal, Coimbra, Castelo Branco, Porto, Seixal, Santarém, Beja and Lagos.