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Brexit Support Services and Team
EDGE can provide full assistance to British nationals concerned about Brexit, whether in relation to British nationals living in Portugal, British nationals considering moving to Portugal pre-Brexit and British nationals moving after Brexit.
We have always had a very strong relationship with the British Embassy, having participated in a number of Embassy initiatives over the years and also have supplied the Honorary Legal Advisor for the past 7 years. Most recently at the end of February 2019, EDGE hosted a Brexit event “Portugal. A life beyond Brexit” in central London, which was opened by the Portuguese Ambassador to the UK and the Director for the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency in London.
Our objective is to provide Brexit solutions, including the establishment of residency rights prior to 31st October.
These services will include:
Full pre-Brexit Service
Driving Licence and Health Centre Registration
Principal Brexit no deal concerns
(i) The current position – no deal
Law number 27-A/2019 states that in the event of no deal, British citizens who have established their residency rights prior to January 2020 will continue to enjoy those rights. British citizens who will not have officially established those residency rights before January 2020 will have until 31st December 2020 to establish those rights, provided that they can prove residency.
(ii) How to establish residency – no deal
A British national, being an EU citizen until at least January, officially establishes these rights in the normal way i.e. through an EU Residency Certificate issued by the local city or town hall. The prerequisites for this certificate vary but the general common requirement is to be able to prove residency through a rental agreement or property title deed. This certificate is valid for 5 years and the exchange of it for a temporary residency permit will be facilitated after Brexit. The certificate can be requested after January 2020 provided that evidence of Portuguese residency at the time of Brexit can be produced e.g. a tax return, a property deed, a rental agreement or an employment contract (this will be assessed on a case basis).
(iii) Other considerations when establishing residency
Establishing official residency does not automatically confer tax residency but consideration should be given, and tax advice taken, on the requirements and effects of registering as a Portuguese tax resident. Many British nationals are registered as Non Habitual Tax residents and this is something on which we can also advise.
Electoral and Political Rights – no deal
The current mandates of UK nationals who, as citizens of a Member State of the European Union, have been elected to local authorities are maintained until their term.
Driving Licences – no deal
The Portuguese government, through Law number 27-A/2019, has indicated that UK driving licences can be exchanged for Portuguese driving licences until 31st December 2020.
Health Care – no deal
Access to healthcare will continue to be granted. However, for this British nationals who have already established residency rights, it would be prudent to register at the local Health Centre before 31st October.
Tax – no deal
We can provide advice on: the Non Habitual Tax Residency programme; the procedure for registering as a tax resident; and the consequences of registering as a Portuguese tax resident.
Property – no deal
The right to own and rent property will be unaffected by Brexit. In addition, it may be possible to use a property which has been purchased in 2012 or later as a qualifying investment for the purposes of the Golden Visa programme.
Bank accounts – no deal
Once again access to the bank accounts of British nationals will be unaffected.
Visitors rights – no deal
It is likely that these rights will be restricted to 90 days in every 180 day period. However, a Schengen visa will not be required under current discussions and an online application will have to be made, and a fee paid, similar to the ESTA system.
We understand that in Lisbon airport it will still be possible to use electronic passports.