Residence in Portugal for British post Brexit

Residence in Portugal for British post Brexit

In January 2020, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union – one of the most important economic blocs in the world. This movement has been nicknamed “Brexit” (a combination of the words British and exit) and is thus known throughout the world.

With this departure, many legal and bureaucratic processes have changed. Countries have had to adapt and create new legislation to regularize British people who live elsewhere and now no longer have the same rights and duties.

Among these countries is Portugal, which has a good number of British people in its country and needs to legalize their stay. With this in mind, we have gathered information and procedures that should have been done – and those that can still be done – to maintain or acquire citizenship.

Stays made until 2021

Since Brexit occurred a few months ago, many of the key deadlines for regularizing the housing of Britons in European countries have already been exceeded.

Among the regularizations, the processes were divided into two groups: those of people who had been living in Portugal for a longer period of time, and those who had recently arrived in the country.

British citizens who have lived in Portugal for less than 5 years

To British citizens who wished to continue living in Portugal after Brexit and also after the first initial deadline of December 31, 2020, a submission to a new application for residency status had to be made to legalize their stay.

British citizens who have lived in Portugal for at least 5 years

Citizens who have lived legally in the Portuguese country for at least five years are already considered permanent residents. These, and their family members, in theory, are considered legal residents even after December 31, 2020.

However, even though they were considered permanent residents in the European country, it was necessary to submit an application for a new residency status for the UK, called the EU Settlement Scheme.

After this request, the UK government issued a document in digital form that was valid and the regularization was accomplished.

How to get permanence today?

As for the current scenario, even with the deadlines exceeded, there is still a lot of British people migrating to Portugal. For this movement, some processes can be carried out to legalize your stay and that of your family, among them obtaining visas, such as the D7 and Golden Visa.

Seen D7

For those who have their own guaranteed income, a good option to live in the Portuguese country is the D7 visa . Some examples of such income can be retirement, rental income, or financial investments.

To apply for this specific visa it is necessary to prove these required incomes. It is worth remembering that there is a cost to apply for and process the visa, as well as fees for documentation, which can vary widely.

In addition, the D7 visa can also be granted to foreigners going to Portugal to exercise religious activities, which also need to be proven.

Finally, with the D7 visa it is possible to work in the Portuguese country and expand the right to family, partners, spouses, underage children, and adult children who are single and studying in a Portuguese institution.

Golden Visa

The Autorização de Residência para Atividade de Investimento (ARI), also informally called Golden Visa is another option for British people who wish to live in Portugal.

This visa has been in effect since 2012 and is intended for foreigners who can prove certain investments in Portugal. With this proof, it is possible to apply for Portuguese nationality.

The value of the investments starts at around 250,000 euros – and they can be made through real estate, capital transfers, job creation, investment in scientific initiative, investment in artistic production and cultural heritage, among others.

The Golden Visa can be extended to the family via family reunification, where children, parents, spouses – who meet the visa requirements – can benefit. Among other benefits are getting around the Schengen Area.

This visa modality also has its fees and costs that, in totality, need to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.


These processes are bureaucratic and can become complicated, which is a warning to follow each step exactly and avoid any legal problem of staying in Portugal.

To make sure that the steps are being followed correctly with all the documentation, count on the advice and assistance of a lawyer who specializes in issues such as migration and staying in EU countries after Brexit.

Book an appointment

Personalized service in which the client will present the specific case to lawyers who, based on their professional knowledge and vast experience, will provide the necessary clarifications.

It is important to mention that all information is protected by Attorney–client privilege and data protection laws.


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