The European Union member countries’ Citizens benefit from a privileged regime to work or live in any member state of the EU, and this regime is extended to their family members if certain conditions are met.

However, there are several regulations governing the granting of a permanent residence permit in Portugal to citizens of EU member states, and such citizens must obtain this permit issued by the SEF.

In effect, and despite the principle of freedom of movement for EU citizens, the legality of a European citizen’s stay and residence in national territory without any other condition than the possession of an identification card or passport, is only three months.

After this period, the European citizen must fulfill several legal requirements demanded in law 37/2006 from August 9, under penalty of not obtaining the right to reside for more than three months in Portugal.

The right to reside for more than three months is granted by a registration certificate issued by the municipal council of the area of residence, is valid for five years, and must be requested within 40 days after three months of entry into the national territory.

After these five years, European citizens who intend to reside permanently in Portugal must comply with several requirements and apply to Immigration and Border Service for a permanent residence permit.

The non-fulfillment of compliance with the procedures described above may be punished by a fine of € 400 to € 1,500 or € 500 to € 2,500, depending on the non-compliance in question.

For more information please contact the nationalities department coordinator Ana Santos