Navigating the path to residency in Portugal as an EU citizen may seem like a daunting task at first glance, with its myriad of requirements and procedures. However, beneath the surface lies a surprisingly straightforward process, offering EU citizens a streamlined route to calling Portugal home. 

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of obtaining residency in Portugal, demystifying the steps and shedding light on the simplicity of the journey.

Residency in Portugal for EU Citizens

As an EU/EEA citizen seeking residency in Portugal, you should first know that you don’t need a visa. You will need to obtaining your EU Residency certificate (CRUE). However, before you can acquire this certificate, you must ensure you have the following documentation in order:

a) A valid passport;

b) Tax Identification Number (NIF);

c) Proof of Accommodation: You’ll need to provide evidence of permanent accommodation for at least one year. This could include property ownership in Portugal, demonstrated by a purchase contract, or long-term rental agreements. If presenting a lease agreement, it must be registered by the landlord with the tax authorities. You’ll also need to present your contract and an electronic rent receipt.

d) Proof of Sufficient Means: For employed individuals, a work contract is sufficient documentation. Alternatively, you may provide a bank statement as proof. It’s acceptable if the bank statement is from a different country; what’s crucial is that your name and the amount are clearly visible.

e) Portuguese Bank Account: Depending on your residential area, having a Portuguese bank account may be necessary.

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EU Registration Certificate for EU Citizens

After gathering all the above documents, you can proceed to request your EU residency certificate (CRUE) or Certificado de Registo de Cidadão da União Europeia. The certificate needs to be requested in person at the city hall of your residential area (Camara Municipal).

While it’s possible to visit without an appointment, it’s advisable to book your appointment in advance to avoid queues or any potential inconvenience. Booking in advance ensures that you make the most efficient use of your time.

Different town halls may have varying documentation requirements for residency applications. Some may only require an ID, such as a passport or European ID, along with proof of address. However, others may request additional documentation, such as a NIF (Tax Identification Number) and evidence of a funded Portuguese bank account. 

The specific requirements often depend on the local câmara, and it can be challenging to ascertain them without visiting in person or consulting someone who has recently applied for residency there.

The EU registration certificate is valid for five years and comes with a cost of €15 and will be provided to you during your appointment, handed to you directly.

Family Members of EU Citizens moving to Portugal

Under Article 15.o of Law no. 37/2006, of 09 August, family members of Union citizens who are nationals of non-EU countries and plan to stay in Portugal for more than three months are required to obtain a residence card. This process is approved by the ministerial order from the government official in charge of internal affairs.

The application for the residence card must be submitted to either the central or regional branches of the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA) relevant to their living area. This should be done within 30 days following the completion of three months since their arrival in Portugal.

Residency Rights in Portugal for EU Citizens

For the main resident and their family members in Portugal, access to many of the same rights and privileges as the primary visa holder is typically ensured. This inclusivity extends to several crucial aspects of life in Portugal, promoting their integration and well-being in the country.

Healthcare Access

Both the main resident and their family members are generally entitled to access healthcare services in Portugal, provided they obtain a “numero utente” or a user number.

Right to Work and Study

Acknowledging the importance of family unity and integration, Portugal typically grants the right to work and study within the country to both the main resident and their family members.

Schengen Area Travel

As Portugal is a member of the Schengen Area, both the main resident and their family members can leverage this status for convenient travel within the Schengen Zone.

Permanent Residency & Citizenship

After five years, you become eligible to apply for permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship. Obtaining permanent residency is relatively quick, assuming you secure an appointment, while the citizenship application typically takes more than 24 months.

Permanent residency differs slightly from temporary residency. One advantage is that it’s currently renewed every ten years, whereas temporary residency for EU citizens is renewed every three.

How we can assist you?

Local Expertise

We know Portugal. Due to our extensive local knowledge, we believe that concentrating our services in a single country destination is the best way to give you the most thorough and useful information. 

Holistic Approach

One single channel of communication for the entire process. We provide you with a comprehensive service that covers all aspects of your move, from identifying the ideal residency visa to finding your new home or helping you to settle. 

Transparent Service

We recommend what’s best for you base on an extensive process experience that saves time and money to clients. Our pricing is clear and competitive, and we don’t sell services that make us more money.

Simple Process

Technology plays a very important role in our company. We minimize our clients’ involvement in paperwork. We are customers ourselves and we know how to serve you.

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Frequently asked questions about How to get residency in Portugal for EU citizens

I'm an EU citizen moving to Portugal. How do I obtain residency?

As an EU citizen, you have the right to reside in Portugal. To obtain residency, you need to register with your local town hall and obtain an EU Registration Certificate.

What is the EU Registration Certificate for Portugal?

The EU Registration Certificate is a document that confirms your right to reside in Portugal as an EU citizen. It serves as proof of your legal residency status.

Do I need a residence permit as an EU citizen in Portugal?

No, EU citizens do not need a residence permit to live in Portugal. However, they are required to obtain the EU Registration Certificate.

What documents do I need to provide to obtain the EU Registration Certificate?

Typically, you will need to provide a valid passport or national ID card, proof of address, and possibly a Tax Identification Number (NIF) in Portugal.

Can I work and study in Portugal as an EU citizen?

Yes, as an EU citizen, you have the right to work and study in Portugal without needing a visa or work permit.

How long does it take to get the EU Registration Certificate?

The EU Registration Certificate is deliver to you in hand during your appointment.

What if I'm from an EEA country or Switzerland? Do I follow the same process?

Yes, citizens of EEA countries and Switzerland follow the same process as EU citizens to obtain residency in Portugal.

Are there any restrictions or conditions for EU citizens moving to Portugal?

EU citizens have the right to freedom of movement within the EU, so there are generally no specific restrictions for moving to Portugal. However, you must register your residency within a certain timeframe after arriving in the country.

Can I bring my family members with me to Portugal as an EU citizen?

Yes, EU citizens have the right to bring their family members with them to Portugal. The same registration process applies to family members seeking residency.

Are there any benefits to moving to Portugal as an EU citizen for residency purposes?

Yes, Portugal offers a high quality of life, affordable living costs, beautiful landscapes, and a welcoming atmosphere, making it an attractive destination for EU citizens seeking residency. Additionally, as an EU citizen, you have access to healthcare and social security benefits in Portugal.