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Application for permanent residence during Covid

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Posts: 8
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(@flix49)
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Joined: 13 years ago

My wife & I have temporary residence certificates wich expire this month after 5 years. Normally we would be in Portugal at this time if year and make applications to SEF for permanent residence but we are stuck in UK and unable to travel to Portugal due to Covid travel restrictions. I emailed SEF to ask if our applications could be made online or by post and was advised to phone, but the local rate contact numbers don't work from abroad and I can't get any response on the other number given. We are concerned that once our temporary residence expires we'll be unable to apply for permanent residence and have to start another 5 years temporary status when we're able to come to Portugal again. Any thoughts or advice welcome!

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VIP Member
(@christopherdouglas)
Joined: 13 years ago

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Posts: 195
Posted by: @flix49

My wife & I have temporary residence certificates wich expire this month after 5 years. Normally we would be in Portugal at this time if year and make applications to SEF for permanent residence but we are stuck in UK and unable to travel to Portugal due to Covid travel restrictions. I emailed SEF to ask if our applications could be made online or by post and was advised to phone, but the local rate contact numbers don't work from abroad and I can't get any response on the other number given. We are concerned that once our temporary residence expires we'll be unable to apply for permanent residence and have to start another 5 years temporary status when we're able to come to Portugal again. Any thoughts or advice welcome!

Hi Flix,

You CAN travel to Portugal, just come via another country.

Boris' father got into Greece via Belgium 😳😳😳

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Posts: 2369
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(@x-camone)
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Joined: 12 years ago

The following assumes you are normally fully resident in Portugal, as opposed to resident in the UK with extended visits to PT as and when.

 

It has never been a legal requirement that you obtain the permanent residence certificate (eg it's not a document that you can be fined or otherwise sanctioned for not holding, unlike the initial residence registration certificate), so there shouldn't be any notion of there being a set period for applying for it around the time of expiry of the first certificate.

 

There's also clear mention in Brexit-related material released by the PT authorities that currently unregistered UK citizens living in Portugal merely need register before the end of the transition period to formalise their status, and acknowledgement that some will be entitled to apply for the permanent residence document straight away. This means there can't be any Go Back to Start if you've a lapsed 5 year initial registration certificate, although presumably you'll need to substantiate in some way that you have actually been continuously resident in Portugal, as defined in the relevant legislation, during the previous 5 years.

 

I'll give you an example of the above from an authoritative source :

I HAVE THE RIGHT OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN PORTUGAL, BUT HAD NEVER APPLIED FOR THE RESIDENCE CERTIFICATE ATTESTING THAT RIGHT. SHALL I APPLY FOR IT BEFORE THE END OF THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD?

The right of permanent residence for UK nationals residing in Portugal under the Withdrawal Agreement is not dependent on the residence document (although, in Portugal, registration is mandatory). However, it is advisable that, before the transition period ends, register your residence within the City Council of your area of residence (for residences under five years old) r within the Immigration and Borders Service (for residences with more than five years).

BREXIT - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

I imagine you'll be anxious to get over to Portugal at some stage before the end of the transition period to get this sorted if you can but hope that helps to set your mind at rest in the meantime.

 

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VIP Member
(@flix49)
Joined: 13 years ago

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Thanks x-camone for that comprehensive reply, very helpful and quite reassuring. I'm puzzled by your mention of assuming we're normally fully resident in Portugal; actually we usually spend half the year each in UK and PT and I've read somewhere that there's no requirement for full-time residence, only that you mustn't be absent for more than 2 years. Anyway, not knowing how soon we can travel to PT, I think we'll cover ourselves by posting downloaded application forms to SEF before our temporary certificates expire - they may get lost in the depths of SEF but at least we'll have something to show when we do eventually get an appointment.

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Posts: 2369
VIP Member
(@x-camone)
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Joined: 12 years ago

I'm puzzled by your mention of assuming we're normally fully resident in Portugal; actually we usually spend half the year each in UK and PT and I've read somewhere that there's no requirement for full-time residence, only that you mustn't be absent for more than 2 years.

I wasn't assuming - it's just a phrase meaning not knowing the circumstances, I'm laying out a scenario which applies if the condition is met.

 

From that, I can't tell if the condition is met. This is from the SEF :

Article 10
Right of permanent residence of Union citizens and their family members

1 - Union citizens who have resided legally for a continuous period of five
consecutive years in the national territory shall have the right of permanent
residence. 

 

...

 

4 - Continuity of residence shall not be affected by temporary absences not
exceeding a total of six consecutive 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 for
professional matters in another Member State or a third country.

 

Act 37/2006

I don't feel qualified to give authoritative statements on scenarios of the both here and there / neither here nor there variety - I can really only be confident if the circumstances are clear cut. I have opinions on various aspects (which I can give if you're interested) but I can't be certain they are absolutely as the authorities would regard things in a very evenly balanced half and half situation.

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Posts: 228
VIP Member
(@hartmill)
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Joined: 14 years ago

I believe you will find that after Brexit, you will not be allowed more than 90 days out of 180 in Portugal, unless you are a permanent resident. That is you will not be able to spend 6 months here and then 6 months in the U.K.!

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Posts: 8
VIP Member
Topic starter
(@flix49)
Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago

Thanks both x-camone & hartmill. I think that a lot of people are in our kind of situation, having a holiday home in Portugal and splitting time in various ways between UK & PT. The regulations don't really account for this and it's always been a grey area, for example regarding vehicle registration, so a lot of Brits & others already live in contravention of the official regulations. The point about post-Brexit visits being limited to 90 out of 180 days is exactly why we'd like our permanent residence. As for the rules about temporary absences, in reality it's all down to monitoring and enforcement. We usually drive to & from PT and, of course, cross the border to & from Spain unmonitored. I can't see how our movements can be tracked all the time or why the PT authorities would be interested in doing so, unless we're on their radar for some more serious reason!

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VIP Member
(@x-camone)
Joined: 12 years ago

Noble Member
Posts: 2369
Posted by: @flix49

I think that a lot of people are in our kind of situation, having a holiday home in Portugal and splitting time in various ways between UK & PT. 

So it's a holiday home, as far as you're concerned? And your primary residence is in the UK?

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