Now Brexit is a reality, how can British second home owners stay longer than 90 days in the EU (or Portugal), without moving their tax residence out of the UK?
I am a British resident and I am thinking of moving to Portugal in 2021. Now that the UK is out of Europe, does applying for Portugal’s Golden Visa make sense for me? What other options are there?
It will depend on your individual circumstances. The Portuguese government’s Immigration Service (SEF) explains on its website the benefits of the Golden Visa and also what you need to do to qualify for it.
This is a special programme designed to attract foreign investment into Portugal. The scheme speeds up the process for foreign investors from non-EU countries to get residence in Portugal, if they buy Portuguese real estate or invest up to a certain value. Provided they meet the conditions, under this scheme non-EU citizens will receive a Portuguese residence permit and can later apply for full Portuguese citizenship.
You will have to invest a minimum of 350,000 euros in Portugal under one of the qualifying routes, but in return your Golden Visa will allow you to live and work in Portugal and move freely within the Schengen countries. You will need to be in Portugal 7 days a year. So it may suit you if you are in a hurry to secure your residency in Portugal, have significant business and family interests in Europe and need the freedom to travel around.
If you are planning to move to Portugal to retire, or live permanently there, there are several other visa options available, which do not involve the same investment costs as the Golden Visa.
Non-EU/EFTA nationals moving to Portugal for more than three months will first need a long-term Portuguese residence visa to allow them to later apply for a Portuguese residence permit from the SEF in your area, Usually, a permit (Autorização de Residência) is granted to allow Portuguese residency for one year. This can be renewed every two years for a total of five years. After this, you can also apply for a permanent residence permit.
All non-EU citizens applying for a Portuguese residence permit will need to demonstrate evidence of sufficient funds and accommodation. There are additional documents and requirements, depending on the reason given for requesting a Portuguese residence permit; find details here, as well as details of fees payable. Information on renewing your Portuguese residence permit is available here.
The Portuguese Immigration Service (SEF) deals with all issues relating to residence permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals.
Residents who are from non-EU/EFTA countries can apply for Portuguese permanent residence after having lived in Portugal for five years if they have a valid temporary residence permit and can prove that they have had a legal and uninterrupted residence in Portugal for the five year period.
Foreign residents can apply for full Portuguese citizenship after six years of residence, although exceptions apply; for example, it’s only three years for spouses of Portuguese citizens and considerably easier for children born to at least one Portuguese citizen or a foreign permanent resident holder.
Information supplied on 7 Jan 2021
I purchased a house on the Algarve in 2015 and since then I have travelled freely backwards and forwards from the UK to Portugal without worrying about the amount of time spent in each country. I have spent approximately half my time in the UK and half my time in Europe. I can’t see an option that allows me to have this flexibility in Portugal following Brexit.
Do I have to make a decision where I spend the majority of my time and can this change on a yearly basis?
There are options and you can decide to remain dual resident in the UK and Portugal, even though this comes with a lot of extra planning.
You can change your mind on your day count to suit your situation but both tax regimes would need to be planned for.
The real flexibility you are looking for is only offered by Portugal’s Golden Visa solution, but this does come at a price.
Answer supplied by Sovereign Group on 4 April 2021
I am a British resident and I have a second home in Portugal. I want to ship a lot of furniture from my British house to my house in Portugal but now, in 2021 under the new rules, I am not sure how to do it. Can you help?
From 1 January 2021 shippers will need a Baggage Certificate or a Certificate on Importation of Household Effects which allows citizens moving/returning to Portugal to have their personal household goods imported duty free, when coming from a non-EU country.
This certificate is issued by the Portuguese Consulate in the UK: http://www.portugalemlondres.org/certificado-de-bagagem.html
The Portuguese Consulate in the UK is still updating their information. In the meantime, you can gain some more guidance from the website of the Portuguese Consulate in the USA on the subject
Information updated in April 2021
I am British but I already live in Portugal. However, I didn’t yet update my permit – what do I need to do?
The Portuguese government has updated all its advice on its main portal to reflect the recent completion of Brexit. For more information click here General guidance on the new residence permits for UK nationals under the Withdrawal Agreement – BREXIT (sef.pt) and see the general guidance on the new residence permits for UK nationals under the Withdrawal Agreement
The new residence permit will be issued to UK nationals residents in Portugal before 31 December 2020 and confirms their status as beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
This new residence permit replaces the EU residence documents previously issued (Registration Certificates issued by the town halls and Certificates of Permanent Residence issued by SEF – Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service).
The current residence EU documents will be accepted after 31 December 2020 and until the new residence permit is issued.
After registering on this Portal and submitting the form, the UK nationals can download digital proof of their registration – a document, with a QR code – which can be printed and used when travelling to prove residence in Portugal.
Information supplied 7 January 2021