The British Embassy in Lisbon and the Border and Immigration Service (SEF) are setting up an informative campaign targeting British nationals in Portugal. The matter regarding replacing the current residence document for a new paper which will confirm their resident status. The procedure came up with the Withdrawal Agreement with which the United Kingdom and the European Union regulated their separation.
These clauses and regulations of the Withdrawal Agreement are, of course, not affected by the late UK-EU discussions regarding matters still undecided. As of December 15th, there was still no final settlement of the subject, and both leaders (Mr Boris Johnson and Ms Ursula Von Der Leyen) affirmed that they would “go the extra mile” to get a deal. None of these will, anyway, affect the future status of British residents in Portugal.
SEF Brexit Portal
SEF has launched a new Brexit Portal (http://brexit.sef.pt/), allowing residents to start this process online. It will be possible to download a digital certificate with a QR code, which will work as a temporary certificate. Registered people will later be contacted by SEF to provide biometric data to be included in the new document. The registering process provides for fields to make it easy to include UK minors without previous Portuguese residency documents. Anyway, current EU documents will be accepted at the borders until the issuing of the new card. The SEF Brexit Portal includes all relevant information.
UK and Portugal working together
According to Portugal Resident, both the British Ambassador in Lisbon and the National Director of SEF, Chris Sainty and José Barão, underscored the importance of the collaboration between the countries regarding this matter. Sainty thanked SEF for having the online portal ready even before January 1st 2021, while Barão underscored that “the tranquillity of the British community and their families” is a central goal to the service.