“Today, the General Directorate of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreigners and Borders Service, opened a service post [in Porto] for British citizens, who, by virtue of Brexit, do not have residence permits to fully enjoy their rights in our country”, declared the Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, on a visit to the service centre for British citizens in Porto.
The new service point for British citizens for the district of Porto, an area where there are estimated to be around a thousand residents, joins the new service points created recently in the Azores, Madeira, Lisbon, Cascais and Loulé, listed the minister, advancing that there are plans to create a post in Quarteira, another in Coimbra and another in Faro this October.
“We have estimated around 1,000 British citizens living in our region, with family reunification we will be able to reach 1,500 British citizens who will be able to benefit from this support and service”.
The Minister of Internal Administration explained that British citizens who were in Portugal already benefited from an electronic solution (QR Code), which gave them these rights, but admits that there were “difficulties” with the paper.
“There were difficulties, as in certain parts of the country, perhaps due to lack of information, not all services accepted this QR Code as a mechanism for accessing services. That's why we intend to reinforce the response and here in Porto this platform has been in testing since September 27th and today it is fully operational ”, he explained.
Deadline of the end of the year
The minister reiterated today that he estimates that the approximately 36,000 British citizens living in Portugal will have the new post-Brexit residence card by December 31.
“By the end of the year, and that is our goal, we can ensure that all 36,000 British citizens who signed up on the Brexit platform, at the time of Brexit, can have all the documents that enable them to have fundamental rights.”
The minister declared that Portugal has a duty to guarantee a service of “greater proximity” so that “all British citizens can feel fully integrated and welcomed in our national community”.
José Luís Carneiro recalled that Portugal has about “300,000 Portuguese” in the United Kingdom and is counting on the British authorities to also “recognise their rights”, namely health and social protection.