Living in Portugal with European Citizenship: Step-by-step

13 de February, 2019

Living in Portugal with European Citizenship: Step-by-step

Reading: 5 min

We know that many Brazilians have dual European citizenship, and this facilitates a change of life for another country. In particular, an European citizenship enables its holder to move freely through the European area, reside and work in any of the countries of the European Union. It is therefore possible and simple to live in Portugal with European citizenship!

This is because there is a European legislation (EU Directive) that ensures the right of EU citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States. That is, applicable to all who have Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, French citizenship…

Therefore, even if you do not have Portuguese nationality, with your European citizenship you can live in Portugal if you wish! Although it is simpler, there is a procedure to be adopted in order to be regularized in Portugal, as well as their direct relatives (yes, it is possible to bring them too!). Learn about the main procedures below.

Do you want to live in Europe?

Realizing your goal of living in Europe or obtaining European citizenship can be simpler than you think. We offer personalized support to make the immigration process more accessible and uncomplicated.

Living in Portugal with European citizenship: do you need a visa?

No, the holder of a European citizenship will not need to obtain a prior visa or residence permit to live in Portugal.

Therefore, in addition to not picking up queues at the airport immigration, you will also be free of the bureaucracy, time and stress of a visa application at the Portuguese Consulate.

In practice you will normally enter as a European citizen in Portugal, as a tourist, however you will have to carry out a registration procedure to live in Portugal with European citizenship.

Portuguese nationality or residence visa? See how to legally reside in Portugal.

So, what should I do when I get to Portugal?

Registration with the City Council

You do not need a visa to enter Portugal, however if you want to live in Portugal with European citizenship you should go to the City Hall and apply for a “Certificate of Registration of European Union Citizen” (yes, in Portugal it is registered!). Technically, it is not a request for “authorization”, but a formal communication and control of your residence.

As a rule, you must apply for a Certificate of Registration after 3 months of being in the country in order to qualify. However, most Municipalities have accepted the application before this deadline.

Attention: this does not apply to citizens who have Portuguese citizenship! That’s because you don’t even have to register to live in Portugal.

How much is it?

The value of the Registration Certificate is 15€.

What documents are required?

In general, the documents you will need to bring are:

  • Identification document (Passport);
  • Proof of address in Portugal;
  • Proof that you have the means to provide your own livelihood in the country;
  • Document certifying full medical coverage, depending on the country of your nationality (may be waived in some cases).

Documentation is relatively straightforward, with proof of means of subsistence being the most important aspect. This is because the duration of your Registration Certificate may vary depending on the financial proof you make.

For example, if you are not yet employed in Portugal and cannot demonstrate that you have the resources to support yourself for many months, it is possible that you will only get a Certificate of Registration for 6 months (although renewable). But if, on the contrary, you have a job and still prove to be in good financial standing, this Certificate can be granted for 5 years from now.

Investing in season rental in Portugal can be a good business opportunity in the country, know everything here.

How long does it take to get ready?

Most Municipalities issue the Registration Certificate on the same day and, as a rule, prior scheduling is not required.

What is the validity of the Registration Certificate?

As mentioned above, the certificate can be valid for up to 5 years. The decision as to the time is discretionary for the Government of Portugal and, therefore, this time will vary depending on the proof of the means of subsistence that you present. However, the Registration Certificate can be renewed to live in Portugal with European citizenship.

After that, is it necessary to go to the SEF?

No, you won’t need to go to the SEF in the aftermath. With the document issued by the City Council you will be regular in Portugal for its period of validity.

What about my relatives?

If your family members have European citizenship, the procedure will be the same as yours. However, if you have Brazilian relatives (spouse and children, for example), who do not have European citizenship, they will need to contact the SEF following obtaining their Registration Certificate to apply for a “Residence Permit for European Family Member of a Third State National” for them.

Obtaining this Residence Permit is essential for your family member to be able to legally reside in Portugal with you. Therefore, be aware: you must apply for this residence permit before the family member’s tourist period in Portugal expires.

Attention: The “Residence Permit for a Family Member of a European National of a Third State” should also be requested by family members of Portuguese citizens who do not have European nationality.

Find out if it is possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship for great-grandchildren or not.

In summary…

If you want to live in Portugal with European citizenship other than Portuguese, no doubt your path will be much simpler and faster than the process of those who do not have citizenship. In this sense, it will not be necessary to obtain a prior visa or residence permit, but only a registration already in Portugal.

You can also bring your family to live with you, as long as you follow the appropriate procedures. Everyone may reside, work, undertake or study in Portugal legally, under the same conditions as a Portuguese citizen.

We hope this article has been enlightening and enriching, if you still have any questions, please contact us.

Do you need to apply for Portuguese citizenship and don’t know how to do it? You can hire an advisor for Portuguese nationality to help you, know here if it is worth it.

Article published on the Euro Tips website: https://www.eurodicas.com.br/morar-em-portugal-com-cidadania-europeia/

Dr. Roberta Fraser
Citizenship and Immigration



Atlantic Bridge

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