This was a very easy procedure. Firstly you need to obtain proof of address known as Atestado de residência. You need to visit your local Junta de Freguesia (Parish Hall) – ours is in Vila Cova de Alva. Beware that these offices have different opening hours and ours is only open Wednesdays and Saturdays for a limited time. Take your passport, Fiscal number and Deeds for house. The document is free. I understand that other Parish Halls require additional documents e.g. Two local residents to confirm your identity (vouch for you) – we didn’t need this which was good as at the time we only knew one person in our village.

Once you have this document you can visit your local Câmara (Council/Town hall) – ours is in Arganil. Take with you the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Fiscal number doc
  • House deeds or lease from rented accommodation
  • Proof of address – Atestado de residência
  • Fee of 15 euros

Again, depending on region to region your local Câmara may ask for additional documents e.g. a passport photo, evidence of private health care, employment contract (translated into Portuguese) and proof of income – 3 months bank statements but we did not need any of these additional documents.

There is a lot of information online about having to wait 90 days before applying for the 5 year temp residency permit and then having to complete it within a further 30 days of being here. You are supposed to register your presence if you remain for longer than 90 days (you have 30 days beyond that in which to do so) but if it is your intention to reside in Portugal from the outset, there’s nothing to stop you waiting the 90 days before you apply. We obtained ours after a few weeks of being here. You don’t have to wait for the 90 days to elapse.


Once you’ve lived in Portugal for an uninterrupted (and properly documented) five year period, you can apply for permanent residency. This applies whether you were originally from the EU or from elsewhere. The SEF deals with permanent residency applications.

October 2020 update important info re: biometric cards

In the near future U.K nationals will be requested to exchange their existing residency documentation for a biometric card. This will involve U.K nationals registering online so that they can be identified as coming under the withdraw agreement. After 31st Dec 2020, this will then enable SEF to contact each U.K national so they can be invited in for an appointment. Only those U.K nationals already registered as a Portuguese resident before 31 Dec 2020 will be issued a biometric card.