The Portuguese Foreign Affairs minister, Augusto Santos Silva, said that the approximately 40,000 British citizens residing in Portugal who want to remain in the country after “Brexit” have guaranteed a simple administrative process to recognize their status as a permanent resident. Santos Silva assured that the contingency plan designed by the Government provides the necessary resources to handle the requests that come to be presented - and that should not burden the services of the State, because more than 23 thousand Britons already have their complete registration together of the Aliens and Borders Service.
As for the thousands of British tourists who land at Faro and Funchal airports each month, Santos Silva said that even in the event of a Brexit without an agreement, they will not be subject to the same procedures as third-country nationals entering Portugal. “They will have a dedicated channel waiting for them”, he said.
The 300,000 Portuguese in Britain
Only 46,000 of the approximately 300,000 Portuguese currently living and working in the United Kingdom have already completed the administrative formalities required by the British authorities to have their legal status recognized as a resident. But according to Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva, Portuguese emigrants in the United Kingdom do not need to panic, since the deadline for legalization ends only in December 2020.
In the eventuality of a no-deal scenario, “They (the Portuguese in the UK) must secure their rights by 29 March and those that have done so before that date will have their rights respected,” he said. That means a further 18 months to complete all the steps that citizens already registered as resident in the United Kingdom up to 29 March have completed (i.e obtained a residency card or have a document of pre-registration).
In addition to the right of residency, their professional qualifications, social rights, circulation, healthcare among others will also be respected. “The recognition of the qualifications of Portuguese citizens obtained prior to 29 March 2019 are valid and will be respected after that date and those who have not yet validated those qualifications should consult the British authorities,” he said.
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