Last Updated on April 24, 2024 by

2020 was one year of relevant events, be it the deadly pandemic worldwide, tensions across borders or countries, or one of the most popular stories earlier that year, the UK’s withdrawal procedure in the European Union. This last event obviously affected Portugal. Over 20 thousand British people were already living in Portugal, this number was likely to rise as a result of Brexit. The Portuguese government assured British residents living in Portugal after Brexit that they would enjoy the same rights.

However, those planning to move to Portugal after Brexit would have to go through some legal steps to share the same right as the British are already living in this country.

Living in Portugal after Brexit

We even had a deadline for British people to regularize their resident status in Portugal: December 31th, 2020.

Notably, those already living in Portugal would need to regulate their situation in order to comply with the new rules.

In this article, we will go through the regulatory process to live in Portugal as a British after Brexit.

Moving to Portugal after Brexit

Since the Brexit vote, there has been a lot of concern over UK citizens about what would happen to their freedom of movement to Portugal.

British people who intended to move to Portugal could still do so, at least until the end of the transition period ending on December 31, 2020.

To this date, the British can still move, live and work in Portugal. However, they will need a document to authorize their residence in Portugal to remain in this country after the end of the Brexit deadline.

British living in the Algarve after Brexit

Despite Brexit, it’s important to mention that British people can still visit Portugal without the need to apply for a visa if they stay in this country for up to 90 days, a period that can be renewed.

But why would British people care about a small country as Portugal?

High quality of life, the beautiful landscape, the exemption from paying taxes, English being the 2nd most widespread language are some of the main reasons for choosing Portugal over any other European country by the British.

In addition, one of the British citizens’ favorite places in the world is located right in this country. The famous Algarve.

So, before the transition period ends, UK nationals must consider the following rules regarding registration, immigration, taxation, healthcare, and employment.

So, before the transition period ends, UK nationals must consider the following rules regarding registration, immigration, taxation, healthcare, and employment.

Read also: Goodbye UK: 7 reasons why the British move to Portugal

Become a Portuguese resident

If you are an EU citizen and intend to live in Portugal, you will have to obtain an EU Citizen Certificate at the City Chamber related to the residence address in Portugal.

This obligation also applied to British people who registered themselves as EU citizens in Portugal before December 31st, 2020.

Many Brits are still living in Portugal after Brexit

In February 2019, almost 20 thousand registered British residents were living in Portugal and around 15 thousand were yet to be registered

But if you’re British and didn’t manage to apply for the EU Citizen Certificate before December 31st, 2020, you can still become a Portuguese resident by applying for a Portuguese Residence Visa.

Please keep in mind that if you are British and have already obtained a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF), this does not mean that you have become a resident of Portugal. You really needed to go through the EU Citizen Certificate process.

How is this EU Citizen registration procedure?

This is certainly not a complex process, but the applicant must pay attention to some details.

This procedure is focused on citizens national of European Union countries.

The European citizen must be in Portugal to apply for the European Union Citizen registration, and this procedure will take place at a City Chamber.

The citizen must provide an address in Portugal. That’s one of the most important pieces of information to keep in mind.

Also, it will be necessary to fill in some forms and submit documents that prove the nationality of the citizen and the intention to live in Portugal.

EU Citizen Registration

After this process, the applicant will receive a certificate that allows him to reside in Portugal for the next 5 years.


As the UK is no longer a European Union country member.

So, in order to live in Portugal, UK citizens will have to apply for a Portuguese Visa, like all non-EU citizens.

We could spend words and words explaining what types of Visa are available in order to live in Portugal. The good news is that we’ve already done that. To access this information, read our article All About Visas To Portugal.

Taxations after Brexit

Apart from Residence, Brexit affected other areas.

For example, if you are considering buying a property, it is important to ensure that you are paying the right taxes.

In addition, you have to make sure that the money you bring to Portugal is not being overcharged.

As Portugal and the U.K. have already signed many Commercial Agreements, some of the situations related to tax won’t be affected by Brexit.

Manage UK taxes living in Portugal

For a more detailed analysis of the tax consequences arising from Brexit, we advise the advice of a specialized lawyer.

For now, it is important to underline that, as a general rule, if you have lived in Portugal for more than 183 days, your tax domicile can be designated to Portugal and, therefore, the citizen will (also) pay the tax in this country. However, a lot of factors can affect your tax liability.

As for tax matters in Portugal, we suggest reading the article on Non-Habitual Resident.

Whether you are a resident, citizen, expat, or a foreigner, having a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF) is certainly a must. You will need this document to acquire a property, open a bank account, for employment issues. And, overall, conduct daily activities in Portuguese territory.


Once you are a permanent resident in Portugal you can enjoy the advantages related to this country in several ways.

The healthcare services are free for all residents including expats.

It is also important to highlight that the Portuguese healthcare system is one of the best in Europe.

Life in Portugal can be phenomenal! Do you know everything that Portugal has to offer? Click here and find out.

Citizens from European Union have also access to public healthcare through (EHIC) European Health Insurance Card.

Jobs and Pensions

Brexit won’t affect the UK national living in Portugal as they will continue to receive their state pensions.

According to the British government, expats still receive the annual state pension in Portugal, even after Brexit.

A social security agreement between UK and Portugal will insure the expats living in Portugal after Brexit won’t be deprived of their rights.

If British citizens want to work in Portugal they must request a NISS number. It guarantees the right to social security.

Therefore, they will have to present the following documents in order to request their NISS number:

  1. Valid passport, with legal entry stamp in Portugal
  2. NIF
  3. Residence permit (with work permit)
  4. Filled out Mod RV 1006 -DGSS form

Is it possible for Brits to be living in Portugal after Brexit?

Yes! In fact, the number of British citizens living in Portugal after Brexit is increasing.

If you need any help relocating to Portugal, please make sure you contact our team for professional guidance.

We would love to help to turn your Portugal plan into a reality.



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