Exchanging Camara Residence Certificate for protected-rights card with fiscal number in UK – Miscellaneous – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Exchanging Camara Residence Certificate for protected-rights card with fiscal number in UK

Posts: 2
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I'm about to proceed to exchange my existing residence certificate, which I obtained prior to UK's withdrawal from EU.  My fiscal number is not yet changed to my address in Portugal, so is there a requirement to do that first, or are these two things unconnected and of no relevance anyway?

Also how long does it typically take between making the online application to exchange the certificate for the protected-rights card and actually receiving it?  Thank you.

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Posts: 106
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Joined: 4 years ago

The two processes are effectively unrelated.

Finanças - you are required to update this as soon as reasonably possible when your address changes; but the impact of it on your change of residency documentation in your case is almost certainly nil.

Post-Brexit replacement documentation - as you probably know, this is done via brexit.sef.pt not in person.  At present, this consists of registering for the transfer (you need to register on the SEF main site first, then go to brexit.sef.pt to apply to exchange your document.  When successfully done, it will generate a code you can print and will need to use when travelling, to return to Portugal as a resident (otherwise it doesn't really do much).

Whilst the intention had been for people to be contacted for an appointment to take fingerprints and do other formalities, to issue the cards, this is delayed due to COVID, with no clear indication as to when it will start.

Meanwhile, keep your old document, and the printout of the code from the brexit.sef.pt site, together, to use whenever you need to evidence your residency status.




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Posts: 2
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Thank you Thomas @thomasandmatthew I appreciate your thorough answer on this.  The plans I made last year, for one reason or another, are looking increasingly uncertain and I'm not sure that I shall be able to reside permanently in Portugal as hoped.  Or perhaps more accurately, I should say that I'll probably not be residing in Portugal for another year or two, and hopefully then return.

Both my partner and I have just recently (and separately) had a poor health diagnosis, which changes our plans.  As things stand, I have my paper residence certificate and perhaps therefore not enough time to exchange it now anyway, hence the other question about the time it takes.  Possibly I should not proceed to apply for it anyway, given that my plans are vague.

The residence certificate indicates it is valid for five years.  Whether or not leaving Portugal in the next few weeks, then returning in a year or two would invalidate it, I'm not sure.  Perhaps the paper certificate would not be sufficient to allow me to return to Portugal visa-free in the future.  I'm not sure on this point.


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You have to inform Financas of your address where you habitually reside within 60 days of an change to that address.

To maintain residency rights you will need to be aware of the below.

From the Withdrawal Agreement
Continuity of residence for the purposes of acquisition of the right of permanent residence shall be determined in accordance with Article 16(3) and Article 21 of Directive 2004/38/EC.

16(3) of 2004/38
Continuity of residence shall not be affected by temporary absences not exceeding a total of six months a year, or by absences of a longer duration for compulsory military service, or by one absence of a maximum of twelve consecutive months for important reasons such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training, or a posting in another Member State or a third country.


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