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.

Political Rights

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United Kingdom from the European Union takes place up to 15 days before the election, the candidate citizens will be withdrawn of their own motion from the electoral rolls.

Social Rights

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.

Health Rights

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.