Portugal approves no deal legislation protecting rights of UK nationals

BritishEmbassyLogoPortuguese Government publishes legislation setting out measures protecting UK nationals in Portugal if the UK leaves the EU without an agreed deal. Details of the legislation are available below.

On 28 March 2019 the Portuguese Government published legislation that sets out measures to apply if the UK leaves the EU without an agreed deal. The new law (Law no. 27-A/2019) covers the protection and continuation of rights of British nationals and their families currently living in Portugal. It also covers access to healthcare for residents and UK visitors, access to education, exchange of UK driving licences, and the recognition of professional qualifications.

British Consul in Portugal Simona Demuro said,

"In the Embassy we recognise that this is an uncertain time for the British community living in Portugal, but the legislation passed by the Portuguese Government in March should help UK nationals feel reassured about the continuation of their residency rights if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

"The British Embassy in Lisbon and Consulate in Portimão keep UK nationals informed through the Living in Portugal guide on gov.uk, and through our Facebook page Brits in Portugal.

"The Embassy team also holds outreach meetings across Portugal to share the latest information and respond to concerns and queries from the British community."

 

Law no 27-A/2019, of 28 March

 

Approves contingency measures to be applied in the event of the United Kingdom exiting the European Union without an agreement

 

The Portuguese Parliament, according to article 191 subparagraph e) of the Portuguese Constitution, states the following:

CHAPTER I

General provisions

 

Article 1

Object

This law approves contingency measures to be applied in the event of the United Kingdom exiting the European Union without an agreement.

Article 2

Scope

1 – This Law applies to UK nationals who have established residence in national territory up to the day the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

2 – Where applicable, this Law also applies to third-country nationals who are family members of citizens referred to in the previous paragraph and who have established residence in national territory or have established family ties up to the day the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

3 – For the purposes of this law, citizens who have a family relationship provided for in subparagraph (e)) of article 2 of law No. 37/2006 of 9 August are considered family members, regardless of their nationality.

Chapter II

Right of residence

 

Article 3

Protection of rights

1 – UK nationals and their family members residing in national territory will continue, on the date of the United Kingdom’s exit of the European Union, to be regarded as residents, without any interruption.

2 – Until 31 December 2020, UK nationals and their family members can continue to reside in national territory without the need to obtain the residence permits mentioned in article 5.

3 – The registration certificates, residence cards of a family member of a citizen of a European Union Member State, third-country nationals, permanent residence certificates or permanent residence cards issued to UK nationals and family members under Law No. 37/2006, of 9 August, do not expire with the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

4 – The holders of the documents referred to in the previous paragraph retain in national territory, and until 31 December 2020, the same rights and obligations arising from the provisions of Law No. 37/2006 of 9 August.

Article 4

Right of residence

1 – UK nationals and their family members residing in national territory on the date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union are granted the right of residence under the conditions laid down in European Union law, with the adaptations foreseen in this law.

2 – The right of residence will be granted through the recognition of the period of residence in national territory, irrespective of having previously registered as foreseen in article 14 of Law No. 37/2006, of 9 August.

Article 5

Issuance of residence permits

1 – UK nationals and their family members who, on the date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, have resided in national territory, in accordance with European Union law, for less than five years, are granted temporary residence in accordance with paragraph 1 of article 75 of Law no 23/2007, of 4 July, in its current wording, and the corresponding residence permit will be issued.

2 – UK nationals and their family members who, on the date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, have resided in national territory, in accordance with European Union law, for at least five years, are granted permanent residence or long-term resident status, in accordance with articles 76 and 125, respectively, of Law no. 23/2007, of 4 July, in its current wording, and the corresponding residence permit will be issued.

Article 6

Submission of Application

1 – UK nationals and their family members wishing to continue to reside in national territory after the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union may immediately, and until 31 December 2020, submit a request for the issue of a residence permit, in accordance with the previous article.

2 –The application for the issue of a residence permit, in accordance with the previous article, is subject to the presentation of the registration certificate, residence card of family member of a European Union citizen who is a third-country national, permanent residence certificate or permanent residence card issued to family members of European Union citizens who are third-country nationals under Law no. 37/2006, of 9 August.

3 – UK nationals and their family members who do not hold the documents mentioned in the previous paragraph can submit applications for a residence permit in accordance with the previous article, provided they show proof of residence in national territory until the date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

4 – The application for the issue of a residence permit is made at service desks of Town Halls (Câmara Municipal) and in the registration offices (conservatórias) equipped with the technical resources for that purpose.

5 – The service desks referred to in the previous paragraph are created through a protocol agreed between the municipality and the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).

6 – The service of issuing a residence permit can be scheduled via an online platform.

7 – The online platform referred to in the previous paragraph will issue a supporting document with the date of submission of the scheduled application which, for the purposes of this law, is regarded as the date of application for the issue of a residence permit.

Article 7

Administrative procedure

1 – UK nationals and their family members that are residing in Portugal on the date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union are exempt from the requirements and submission of supporting documents required for residence permits provided for under Law no. 23/2007, of 4 July, in its current wording.

2 – The provisions in the previous paragraph appliy to UK nationals and their family members who have obtained temporary residence permits in accordance with paragraph 1 of article 5 and wish to renew or, within five years from the date on which they established residence in Portugal, who wish to obtain a permanent residence permit or long-term resident status.

3 – In the procedure, SEF shall confirm there is no ground to restrict the right of residence granted to nationals of a European Union Member State, in accordance with chapter VIII of Law no. 37 /2006, of 9 August.

4 – SEF is responsible for the procedure.

Article 8

Fees

There will be a fee for residence permits referred to in article 5, to be set by ministerial order, approved by the members of the Government responsible for the areas of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Internal Administration, making provision for cases of exemption or reduction.

Chapter III

Electoral and political rights

 

Article 9

Those elected to organs of local bodies

The current mandates of UK nationals who, as nationals of a European Union Member-State, have been elected to local government bodies, are safeguarded until the end of their term.

Article 10

European Parliament Elections

If the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union takes place, or is confirmed, until the fifteenth day preceding the European Parliament Elections, the electoral administration of the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, through the System of Information and Management of the Electoral Registration, will instruct electoral registration to unofficially remove UK nationals from the electoral rolls.

Chapter IV

Higher education

 

Article 11

Attending higher education

1 – UK nationals and their family members enrolled in a Portuguese higher education institution who, on the date of their admission, were exempt from the application of the International Student Status, approved by Decree-Law no. 36/2014, of 10 March, in its current wording, as a result of being nationals of a European Union Member State at that time, are still not subject to that Status until the end of the cycle of studies to which they initially enrolled in or to which they transfer to.

2 – UK nationals and their family members who are admitted in a Portuguese higher education institution by 31 December 2020 are not subject to the International Student Status until the end of the cycle of studies to which they initially enrolled in or to which they transfer.

CHAPTER V

Social Security

Article 12

 

Recognition of social security rights of people who have completed periods of insurance in the United Kingdom

1 – For the purposes of the recognition of the right to benefits provided for in paragraph 1 of article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 29 April 2004, requested by a person who has completed periods of insurance in the United Kingdom, the periods of insurance completed by that person under a mandatory social security scheme of that country until its exit from the European Union, will be taken into account.

2 – The rules for the aggregation of periods referred to in the previous paragraph, as well as for the calculation of benefits, are laid down in regulations (EC) No 883/2004, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 29 April 2004, and No 987/2009, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 16 September 2009.

3 – The periods of insurance to be considered are those communicated by the competent institutions in the United Kingdom.

4 – The exchange of information required for the recognition of the right to benefits between the competent institutions of both countries is done on the basis of the European forms in force on the date of publication of this law.

5 – The required norms for the implementation of this article will be approved by dispatch from the Member of Government responsible for the area of social security, specifying the information to be submitted by the applicant for purposes of the aggregation of periods, as well as the documents that can be used for the same purpose, in the absence of an exchange of information between the relevant institutions of both countries.

 

 

CHAPTER VI

Professional Activities

 Article 13

Administrative authorisations for the pursuit of professional activities

UK nationals who have an administrative authorisation allowing them to pursue a professional activity for a certain period, retain the right to exercise it after the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

 Article 14

Recognition of professional qualifications

1 – UK nationals legally pursuing a professional activity in Portugal on the date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, retain the right to recognition of their professional qualifications for that activity, in the same terms as provided for in Directive No 2005/36/EC, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 7 September 2005, in its current wording.

2 –Citizens of a European Union Member State or of a State Party to the European Economic Area and, when applicable, third-country nationals to whom national or European legislation gives equivalent treatment to nationals, who are legally pursuing a professional activity in Portugal, on the date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, retain the right to recognition of their professional qualifications to pursue that activity, acquired in the United Kingdom before its exit from the European Union in the same terms as provided for in Directive 2005/36/EC, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 7 September 2005, in its current wording.

Article 15

Pending applications

The provisions in articles 13 and 14 will also apply to applications for authorisation to pursue a professional activity or for recognition of a professional qualification, which have been submitted to the relevant national authority before the date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

 

Chapter VII

Health

Article 16

Access to healthcare by residents

 UK nationals residing in Portugal on the date of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union continue to have access to the national health service (SNS), in accordance with the national health sector law.

Article 17

Access to healthcare by non-residents

1 – Until 31 December 2020, UK nationals who are temporarily staying in Portugal maintain the right to access healthcare in the National Health Service (SNS) medical facilities and services.

2 – Access to healthcare for UK nationals who are temporarily staying in Portugal is available upon presentation of a valid passport.

3 – The costs related to the provision of healthcare to UK nationals referred to in paragraph 1, with the exception of user moderation fees (taxas moderadoras), are supported by the SNS, provided there are no third parties responsible, legally or contractually for this payment, namely insurers.

4 – The costs referred to in the previous paragraph are subject to re-invoicing to the United Kingdom, in accordance with the procedure decided in future negotiations after the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

5 – The provisions of this article will not apply in cases where UK nationals move to Portugal with the intention of getting medical treatment.

CHAPTER VIII

Driving licences

 

Article 18

Replacement of driving licences

UK nationals and their family members must exchange their driving licences until 31 December 2020, notwithstanding the deadline provided for in paragraph 4 of article 125 of the Highway Code, approved by Decree-Law no. 114/94, of 3 May, in its current wording.

CHAPTER IX

Final Provisions

 

Article 19

Equivalent Treatment

1 – The application of this law, with the exception of article 17, presupposes equivalent treatment by British authorities to Portuguese nationals residing in the United Kingdom.

2 – If Portuguese nationals residing in the United Kingdom are not subject to equivalent treatment to the provisions of this Law, the application of this law is totally or partially suspended.

3 – For the purposes of the preceding paragraph, it is for the Council of Ministers, by means of a resolution, to identify the absence, total or partial, of equivalent treatment.

Article 20

Entry into force

This law will come into force on the day following its publication.

The Prime Minister

The Minister of Internal Affairs

The State Secretary Assistant to the PM for Parliamentary Affairs

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Comments  

+2 #12 Two.Sugars.in.my.Tea 2019-04-11 19:10
Quoting nobulls hit:
Quoting Two.Sugars.in.my.tea:
Something's still not clear....
If you have Temporary (5.Yr) Residence Status, rather than full residence, do you have to change your UK Driving Licence ???
Anyone.... :sigh:

From the very day you get your residence permit (being it "temporary" or not) you have two years time to swop your UK driving license for a portuguese one, if you fail to do so expect a heavy fine.

Thanks nobulls hit ... Yep, seems the straight-forward approach to everything these days .... :o
+5 #11 nobulls hit 2019-04-09 11:56
Quoting Two.Sugars.in.my.tea:
Something's still not clear....
If you have Temporary (5.Yr) Residence Status, rather than full residence, do you have to change your UK Driving Licence ???
Anyone.... :sigh:

From the very day you get your residence permit (being it "temporary" or not) you have two years time to swop your UK driving license for a portuguese one, if you fail to do so expect a heavy fine.
-7 #10 Arkwright 2019-04-07 23:05
Just carry a copy of the Treaty of Windsor with all your documents even the President quotes it. And relax the next round of elections and it’s a new Chapter.
0 #9 Two.Sugars.in.my.tea 2019-04-07 20:51
Something's still not clear....
If you have Temporary (5.Yr) Residence Status, rather than full residence, do you have to change your UK Driving Licence ???
Anyone.... :sigh:
-6 #8 charly 2019-04-07 19:39
Dear Darcy and Nobulls, when you read on a daily base ADN but also CDM and other Portugese newspapers, what do you see ? Criminal facts, stupîd accidents, weard GNR behavior, the most stupid new laws, incapacity for making coherent or consistant laws, super white collar criminality, white colar inpunity, corruption, corruption, corruption, etc. etc.
That's what I read and see. Luckily I am pensioned and have the privilege to enjoy the good weather, the splendid fish, the succulent wines, the low cost of living and the low taks rates. Conclusion: I am a happy man living in this country because I am not (directely) affected by all the shit things that are on the daily ementa in the country. Capiche ?
For me …. this is Paradise ! Apparentely not for you when I read all the stupid and insulting comments.
-9 #7 nogin the nog 2019-04-07 17:36
Quoting John Sturridge:
As always these are only theoretical rights for the British in Portugal that still do not guarantee Effective Occupation. The hundreds and thousands of Portuguese in the UK have only ever had actual EU mandated rights! Consider just the absurdity that a UK professional - if say a freelance engineer or teacher so migrating around Portugal to do jobs - needs their new sponsor / employer to re-register them in every concelho he / she practises in !
Which can then be endlessly but very conveniently delayed whilst the qualifications are checked !! (I know this as I am a freelance hydraulics engineering team manager who needs to bid for sub-contracting work. References from satisfied previous employers are meaningless out of their area. To say nothing about the bungs I am 'encouraged' to pay!)

HMM.
John you have no chance of convincing these lot. Put yourself in there shoes, they have commited to living here, but want the best of both worlds. Why wouldn't they..
Bottom line is we are leaving later rather than sooner down to the fact we inter feared in Irelands right to self determination. The EU are right to be worried about goods coming through the back door. but when the UK becomes another off shore tax haven, then things will become really interesting... :-*
+18 #6 Cliff 2019-04-07 11:01
Well done Portugal for taking these early steps and ensuring UK residents here have some clarity.
+11 #5 nobulls hit 2019-04-07 10:30
Quoting charly:
John, why are you loosing your time in Portugal anyway ? You know this is a pure banana republic.

It seems to me you are loosing your time here too: if you don't appreciate enough what this wonderful country is offering to you just go, nobody is holding you back!
+8 #4 Darcy 2019-04-07 09:11
Charly .... banana republic...... definition.... you are aware by now, that Portugal does not remotely meet the criteria for the above term, but you like to continue using it.
So, we can only conclude that you fixated on this term.
-15 #3 charly 2019-04-07 08:34
John, why are you loosing your time in Portugal anyway ? You know this is a pure banana republic.

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