In order to prevent the United Kingdom from leaving the European Union without agreement, the Portuguese Parliament passed Law 27-A / 2019 of 28 March, which establishes measures to protect the rights of citizens of the United Kingdom residing in Portugal .
This law requires reciprocal treatment with Portuguese nationals in the United Kingdom. If such reciprocity does not occur, the application of this law will be suspended immediately. Reciprocity will be recognized by resolution of the Council of Ministers.
Right to a Residence Permit in Portugal
All UK nationals and their relatives (spouses, descendants under the age of 21 and ascendants) living in Portugal on the date of leaving the European Union shall retain their right of permanent residence in Portugal until 31 December 2020.
After this date, a temporary residence permit will be granted to UK nationals and family members who, as of the date of Brexit, have resided in Portugal for less than 5 years. For UK nationals and family members who have resided in Portugal for 5 years or more, a permanent residence permit or long-term resident status.
UK nationals shall, after Brexit and until 31 December 2020, submit to the Municipal Councils of the areas of residence or to the Civil Registry Offices the application for the issue of their residence permit by presenting the document which they have so far right to reside in Portugal.
If UK nationals do not have any of these documents, they must show proof of residence in the national territory in the city councils in the area of their residence.
Rights to Study in a Higher Education Institution in Portugal
Until 31 December 2020, UK nationals and family members who enroll or attend higher education in Portugal will continue to have their status as a member of the European Union and not as an international student until they have completed their the studies.
Nationals of the United Kingdom who have been elected to local authority bodies shall remain in office until the end of their term of office. As regards elections to the European Parliament, if the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union takes place up to 15 days before the election, the candidate citizens will be withdrawn of their own motion from the electoral rolls.
UK nationals and family members retain recognition of social security rights in Portugal as long as they have completed compulsory periods of insurance in the United Kingdom. This period should be certified by the UK social security authorities.
Worker’s Rights and Exercise of Professional Activity
UK nationals retain their administrative authorization for the pursuit of professional activities in Portugal for a specified period without any change. They also retain the right to recognition of professional qualifications.
UK nationals residing in Portugal on leaving the United Kingdom of the European Union continue to be beneficiaries of the National Health Service and the provision of health care by the National Health Service.
UK nationals not resident in Portugal (temporary stay) retain the right to health care in the establishments and services of the National Health Service until 31 December 2020 and must present a valid passport for this purpose.
Driving License Rights
As regards driving licenses, United Kingdom nationals and family members must exchange the licenses by 31 December 2020.
On February 12, 2019, the Portuguese Parliament approved new changes to the leasing legislation, in order to implement some measures that balance the rental market in Portugal and, on the other hand, protect the tenant from certain abusive behavior of the landlords. We will explain some of the amendments adopted.
Term of Contract
The approval of Law no. 13/2019 of 12 February establishes that lease agreements must have a minimum duration of one year, with the exception of leases for non-permanent housing or for a special transitional purpose (namely professional reasons, education or tourism). However, this minimum obligation of validity of contract must be coordinated with the minimum terms of 3 or 5 years (according to the purpose of contract) for the landlord to prevent the renewal of the contract, which we explain below.
Prior to the approval of Law no. 13/2019 of February 12, in the absence of a different contract, the lease with a certain term will automatically renew at its end for successive periods of equal duration.
With the approval of Law no. 13/2019, if the agreement does not establish different, the rental for housing is renewed for a minimum period of three years, except in the cases of leases for non-permanent housing or for special temporary purpose.
As regards leases for non-residential purposes, Law no. 13/2019 of 12 February reduces contractual freedom, in particular, prevents landlords from opposing renewal of the contract in the first five years of the contract.
That is, at the same time as Law No 13/2019 of 12 February establishes the minimum duration of one year for leases in general, with a few exceptions, the landlord can never oppose renewal of the contract before 3 years (in the case of housing leases) and 5 years (in cases of non-residential leases).
Compensation in case of delay in payment of rent
With the approval of Law no. 13/2019 of February 12, if the tenant is late in paying the rent, the compensation is reduced from 50% of the amounts owed to only 20% of that amount.
Protection of tenants over the age of 65 or handicapped by disability
Law no. 13/2019 of 12 February extended the situations of transmission by death of the lease that now includes son or stepchild (aged 65 or over) who had lived with the tenant for more than 5 years, since its income is included within the legal limits.
Law 13/2019 of 12 February limits the possibility for the landlord to oppose renewal or to denounce contracts of limited duration for housing purposes concluded after 15 November 1990 if the tenant is over 65 or has proof of incapacity for deficiency of more than 60% and has lived for 20 years in the property leased.
Creation of Injunction for the Tenant
The Rent Injunction was created, which allows the tenant to demand from the landlord the return of the amounts paid by the tenant to carry out works in the lease that, according to the law, should be executed by the landlord.
Prohibition of the landlord’s abusive behavior against the tenant
Law 12/2019 of 12 February establishes a general principle prohibiting harassment in the lease.
The landlord or his representative are prohibited from having disturbing behavior, affecting the dignity of the tenant, sub-tenant or the persons who live with them legitimately in the lease. From now on, certain behaviors are prohibited and punished that create a hostile, degrading, dangerous, intimidating, humiliating, destabilizing or offensive environment for the tenant and his / her relatives; or cause serious damage to the access and enjoyment of the property.
The information in this article does not dispense with the consultation of experienced professionals.
Lisboa, 10 de Abril de 2019
Ana Viegas Correia
The Lisbon Attorneys Corp. team are very proud to announce that Trainee Dr. Maimuna Mendes Baldé has completed her internship in the Portuguese Bar Association with a high degree of merit, distinguishing herself with the second highest evaluation of the entire admissions competition.
We are sure that it is the beginning of a long career full of successes!
The Brexit referendum of 23 June 2016 in the United Kingdom surprised European society, which became uncertain about the agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom on a huge set of issues. Two years after Brexit, this uncertainty remains.
Negotiations on the UK exit agreement are still far from over. Michel Barnier, the European Union’s representative for the Brexit affair, recently said that “October is the moment of truth”, referring to the possibility of an agreement with the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The European Council held on 18 October 2018 is unsuccessful in the Brexit negotiations.
Surveys carried out in recent months in the United Kingdom reveal that the majority of the British people support the holding of a new referendum on the regime of the final agreement on leaving the European Union. The British Labor Party, 75% of its members intend to conduct a second referendum vote where, again, the output or the UK stay in the European Union.
However, the Conservative Party Government of Theresa May refuses to hold a new referendum under any circumstances.
On 20 October 2018, 600,000 people attended a huge demonstration in London, the UK capital, demanding to be put a brake on Brexit with new referendum to vote on output or the UK stay in the European Union and, a new discussion on the conditions of Brexit, if approved.
One of the major problems for the success of the Brexit agreement is the border of Northern Ireland (belonging to the United Kingdom) with Ireland, an independent country that will remain a member of the European Union. The Irish border will be the only land border between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Since peace was achieved between these two territories, the physical boundary was abolished and about 30,000 people cross this border every day to work or do business. The re-establishment of the physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will create enormous obstacles and damage to the people and the local economy, and above all will rekindle old conflicts. The United Kingdom Government agrees on the need to avoid a physical frontier but refuses the European Union’s plan in which the island would be fully included in the customs union because it would constitute a border between the autonomous area of Northern Ireland and the rest of the territory.
While Scotland, integrated in the United Kingdom, renews the old aspirations for its independence, since the results of the referendum in this territory were largely against Brexit. The Scots want their regional Parliament to have autonomy to approve their own Brexit laws, which are closer to the European Union, which was, of course, rejected by the Government of London.
The truth is that by 23.00 on 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom leaves the European Union definitively and officially, with a transitional period starting on 31 December 2020.
Portugal was considered the fourth country in the European Union most vulnerable to the impact of Brexit, mainly due to exports to the United Kingdom, the high number of Portuguese emigrants in the UK as well as the large number of UK citizens resident in Portugal. It is time to pay attention to the risks and predictable scenarios of Brexit with impact for Portugal.
What are the expected consequences?
The Statute for Citizens of the European Union and the United Kingdom
Until 29 March 2019 citizens of the European Union and citizens of the United Kingdom retain similar rights, for example the right to remain and work without the need for authorization visas, access to pensions or other social services.
After this date, we do not know whether it will be possible for settled status to enable Union citizens to continue to work in the United Kingdom for the time allowed by official entities, benefiting from public services such as health and schools, public funds and pensions, in compliance with all legal requirements. All details must still be approved by the UK Parliament. The rights of citizens of Nor The transport of people and goods between the European Union and the United Kingdom have higher requirements of controls and greater bureaucracy, including maritime services and scheduled air between Portugal and the United Kingdom, who will lose the benefits of simplified and rapid procedures.way, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are still being negotiated.
Family Law, the big problem of the regulation of parental responsibilities
This is possibly one of the issues that may be of further concern to the families of the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Much attention will need to be paid to the regulation of parental responsibilities, often with issues of dual nationality of children, the joint exercise of responsibilities for parents living in different countries. There will also be the need to ensure the fundamental right to family life, namely to ensure that there will be no obstacles to travel for parents or children to the country in which they reside their families.
Other important issues are: the application of measures to protect the child, the carrying out of measures and expertise, as well as situations of non-compliance with the joint exercise of parental responsibility or family cohabitation, with the parents living in different countries, which must be carefully regulated.
Cross-border workers and pensioners
One of the most important issues in the Brexit negotiations is the protection of cross-border workers and pensioners resident in the United Kingdom and the European Union. This issue has been at the center of active negotiations.
The law of non-permanent residents in force in Portugal, with the objective of calling qualified professionals, people with high financial value and foreign pensioners, is now very important.
The Brexit may also increase more interest in the Portuguese regime of Golden Visa, allowing a residence permit in Portugal through investment activities, particularly in the property, and capital transfers or establishment of companies with jobs.
Tax aspects in general
With Brexit, the European tax elimination directives and VAT will no longer apply and the United Kingdom.
After Brexit, the United Kingdom will no longer benefit from the advantages of the Customs Union. If there is no agreement for Brexit, the rules and regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) will be in force. They are thus classified as transactions between a third country (UK) and a European country, greatly increasing bureaucracy and customs fees.
Companies with international investments will be forced to review their current strategy and assess the risks to eliminate or mitigate international double taxation. Portugal remains an attractive country for foreign investment.
Courts and Judicial Decisions, with more delay and complexity
With the agreement in Brexit, the European Union regulations do not apply to disputes related companies, British citizens or events in the UK, and vice – versa. There will be longer and more difficult notifications in general and the enforcement of European judicial decisions in the United Kingdom and vice versa.
The Court of Justice of the European Union
The European Commission wants the European Union Court of Justice hold full jurisdiction over pending cases, but also, in certain circumstances, on future cases during the transition period. After the transition period, the European Union Court of Justice of absolutely no longer have any jurisdiction in disputes relating to the UK.
Uncertainty and risks are enormous.
A few months after the divorce between the United Kingdom and the European Union – March 29, 2019 – there is still much to define and solve for the future.
The impact of the UK’s exit from financial activity, employment, the economy and the lives of citizens will be enormous both for the UK and for the European Union. The success of the negotiations for signing the final Brexit agreement is therefore very important.
June 23, 2016
The UK held a referendum for out of the European Union, winning supporters of Brexit.
March 29, 2017
The British Government has activated Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, starting the two-year period until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
The United Kingdom and the European Union agreed on the terms of the exit from UK, particularly on the final cost to pay for the exit.
The United Kingdom and the European Union agreed on a transition period that will last until December 2020.
May to October 2018
Time for negotiations Brexit between the UK and the European Union.
October 18/19 2018
Meeting of the Council of Europe, which ended without final agreement of the Brexit.
March 29, 2019
The United Kingdom will definitely leave the European Union.
It happens all too often, citizens are unprotected and injustice before the action or decision of a State of the European Union or its administrative public institutions. What many of these people do not know is that there are several European and international instruments for citizens to be heard and defended before such injustices or illegalities.
There are several instruments that citizens can use and should always respect legal deadlines for exercising their rights.
What are petitions to the European Parliament?
Any national or resident of the European Union, either personally or in association with other citizens, as well as companies, organizations or associations, may petition the European Parliament.
These Petitions can have very varied subjects. In particular, the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital; non-discrimination on grounds of nationality; equal treatment of men and women; tax harmonization; the right to education, training and health; and environmental protection.
If the petition is accepted, the European Parliament will seek to work with the entities of the national Member State to resolve the issue raised in the Petition. The European Parliament can not, however, amend the decisions taken by the competent authorities of the Member States, since the European Parliament is not a judicial body. Therefore, the European Parliament can not deliver judgments or revoke decisions of the national courts of the Member States.
The European Parliament can send the citizen’s petition to other European entities, such as the European Court of Human Rights; or even refer the matter to national authorities (for example, national ombudsmen or committees responsible for considering petitions the parliaments of the Member States).
What are the duties of the European Ombudsman?
Any citizen or resident of a Member State of the European Union, as well as companies, associations or other entities having their seat in the European Union, may submit a complaint to the Ombudsman.
The European Public Prosecutor investigates complaints concerning cases of wrong decisions in the conduct of the institutions or of Community entities, injustice, administrative irregularities, discrimination, abuse of power, lack or refusal of information and undue delay.
The Ombudsman is impartial and does not receive instructions from any government or entity. Surveys may be opened either by the European Ombudsman’s own initiative or following a complaint by a citizen or company.
The citizen must present his complaint within a maximum period of two years from the date of the events.
When possible appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union?
The Court of Justice of the European Union interprets European law to ensure that it is applied in the same way in all countries of the European Union.
In certain circumstances, citizens, companies or organizations who consider that their rights have been violated by a European institution may also apply to this Court. For example, it may request the annulment of Community decisions affecting it directly, claim compensation in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the Member States for the reparation of damage caused by an institution or its servants in the performance of their duties ( action for damages or non-contractual liability of the Community).
What is the European Court of Human Rights?
The European Court of Human Rights has its seat in Strasbourg and implements the European Convention on Human Rights. Its mission is to ensure that the rights and guarantees set out in the Convention are respected by States.
Any citizen can file a complaint before the Court when it considered a direct victim of one or more violations of the rights and guarantees provided by the Convention and its Protocols by a public entity or Member State Court.
Here again, it is important to pay attention to the six – month deadline for filing the complaint from the date of the decision of the national authority of the Member State.
Experienced legal support is advisable in clarifying and following up on these matters.