So, it’s finally happened. The deal has been done and the UK has officially left the European Union. This has left many of us with questions. Where can I live with a British passport after Brexit? Will my expat rights stay the same? Can I easily travel to Europe after Brexit?
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If you can prove you have been legally living in Portugal prior to 31 December 2020, you will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and will not need to apply for a visa. However, you should exchange your EU resident document for a new biometric card. You can do this using SEF’s Brexit portal.
For Britons wanting to move in the future, here’s what you need to know about living in Portugal after Brexit.
Even now Briton has left the EU, you can still travel to Portugal for up to 90 days in any six-month period. Nevertheless, if you want to spend longer than this in Portugal – perhaps you want to retire there or live there permanently – then you will need to apply for a visa.
Luckily, Portugal has said it will have a reasonably relaxed process for Brits to gain residency, due to the long-standing relationship between the two countries.
There are three types of visa that you can apply for, depending on your circumstances:
1. Golden Visa Scheme
This scheme is perfect for those looking to buy property in Portugal after Brexit. The Portuguese government allows those who buy a property worth €500,000 or more to obtain a five year residence permit. There are also some instances where they have done this for properties bought for €350,000 or more, so do consider this option.
Then, once your five years has expired, you have the option to apply for permanent residency or a Portuguese passport.
What’s more, you only have to spend seven days a year in Portugal to be eligible for this form of residency – making it an ideal and flexible solution for those wanting to spend their time in multiple countries!
One thing to note is that there will be some changes to this scheme from January 2022. The scheme will not cover properties bought in Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve and some coastal locations. So, if you are planning on buying a property in these areas this year, now is definitely the time to do so to make use of the Golden Visa Scheme! All other areas of Portugal will still be covered.
Get your free copy of the Portugal Buying Guide – your free guide to everything you need to know about buying in Portugal.
2. D7 Visa and D7 Residence Permit
If you have an income, whether that be a pension or through self-employment, another option to consider is the D7 visa.
Theoretically, you will need to have an income that is comparable to the Portuguese minimum wage (€635 per month), however, it is frequently said that you will actually need around €1,000 per month.
With the D7 visa, you will have 120 days to sort everything out in Portugal, such as finding a place to live. Then, you are able to apply for the D7 Residence Permit, which is valid for one or two year blocks.
You should apply for the D7 visa in the UK, and the residency once in Portugal. The D7 residency will need to be renewed every one to two years. After five years, you can apply for permanent residency.
The D7 will allow you to live in Portugal and travel freely within the EU, so is a great option post-Brexit.
Be aware that you have to spend at least 183 days in Portugal.
3. NHR Scheme
The Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) is an appealing way to move, or retire, to Portugal after Brexit.
The NHR scheme allows for most foreign income to be exempt from Portuguese taxation for ten years. For example, if you have a rental property in the UK – or are employed outside of Portugal – you can avoid tax completely on this income.
If you are looking to retire in Portugal, you can benefit from just 10% tax on your pension. This is highly desirable as the usual Portuguese income tax is rather high, ranging from 14.5% to 48%.
You can qualify for this scheme if you have not been a resident in the country within the last five years.