British residents in Portugal can now apply online to exchange their current residence document as they are no longer covered by EU rules on January 1.
British residents in Portugal can, as of Monday, apply online to exchange their current residence document as they are no longer covered by EU rules on January 1.
The need to exchange their current document for a resident status under the Exit Agreement is part of a campaign launched by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) and the UK Embassy in Lisbon, the second phase of which starts today, to protect rights after the end of the transitional period.
According to the explanation released today by the British Embassy, the exchange of the current residence document (certificate of registration of EU citizen issued by the municipality of residence or certificate of permanent residence of EU citizen issued by the SEF) will take place through the new Brexit Portal (brexit.sef.pt).
British citizens applying for the new card on the portal “will be able to download a proof of this application in digital format”, which can be used for travel, although the current certificates will be accepted after 31 December, until the new residence permit is issued.
The British will also have, as of today, a telephone line and e-mail address for questions relating to Brexit, including the document exchange process.
“We are very grateful to the Portuguese authorities who have worked to have the Portal ready before the end of the transition period. I am sure it will be very well received by the British community in Portugal”, said the UK Ambassador to Portugal, Chris Sainty, adding that it is “a very important step that will reassure British residents [in Portugal] about their rights under the Exit Agreement.”
“We were one of the first countries in the EU to provide a portal that allows the exchange of permits under the Exit Agreement,” said SEF’s acting national director, José Barão.
“The fulfilment of the commitments of the Portuguese State is fundamental for SEF, as well as the tranquillity of the citizens of the British community and their families living in national territory,” he concluded.
According to the Immigration, Borders and Asylum Report (RIFA), released by SEF last June, 34,358 Britons lived in Portugal at the end of 2019, the third foreign community after citizens from Brazil and Cabo Verde.