Statute of Equality for Brazilians in Portugal: see how to apply

Thanks to an agreement celebrated more than 20 years ago, Brazilian citizens living in Portugal and Portuguese citizens living in Brazil have an equivalent set of rights in areas such as work and economics. The so-called Statute of Equal Rights and Duties gives the right to obtain the Citizen Card, the Portuguese identity document, and offers advantages that immigrants of other nationalities do not have access to.

Brazilians with the statute have the same rights as the Portuguese in carrying out economic and work activities, to take some public tenders exclusively for nationals and to compete for certain scholarships. In addition, they can enjoy discounts on tuition at some public universities in the country. In Portugal, foreign students pay more than Portuguese students to attend college. With the document, however, the cost can become the same charged to national citizens.

In addition, those who have a Residence Permit (AR) for more than three years can also apply for the Statute of Equal Political Rights, which gives them the right to vote. With the document, it is possible to vote in Portuguese elections in municipal elections, for the European Parliament and for the Assembly of the Republic, as well as for the position of president of the country. Brazilian citizens are the only foreigners in Portugal who can exercise their right to vote in all elections.

According to data from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) obtained by Agora Europa, 9,269 documents were granted to Brazilians in 2022. The number represents a 10% decrease compared to 2021, when the agency recorded the issuance of 10,351 statutes, the record so far.

Requests, however, have grown significantly since 2017, when 1,736 documents were granted. In 2018, the issue of statutes rose to 3,354 and jumped to 7,320 in 2019. In 2020, the number remained stable, with a total of 7,532 cards issued.


How to request the document

All Brazilians over the age of 18, with a valid Residence Permit, can apply for the status. The first step is to obtain, from the nearest Brazilian consulate, the document attesting that the citizen is not prevented from exercising civil rights and, for those who have had AR for three years or more, political rights.

To request the certificate, it is necessary to schedule an appointment online at the consulate for face-to-face assistance. The document is issued upon presentation of a valid passport, birth or marriage certificate and residence permit. It is also necessary to bring a proof of address, such as a water or electricity bill, a certificate issued by the subprefectures (Parish Councils) or Social Security documents.

With the certificate in hand, it is necessary to gather a copy of the AR and the status application made available by the SEF, completed and signed. If the immigrant already has the Statute of Equal Rights and Duties, he can only request the Statute of Equal Political Rights after completing the three-year period of AR, or the two documents at the same time if he is already eligible. The documentation gathered can be delivered in person at the SEF service points, by prior appointment, or sent by mail.

According to the Portuguese government, the average period for the arrival of the Statute of Equal Rights and Duties is 30 days. The statute has no validity period, being canceled only in case of loss of Residence Permit or Brazilian nationality.

After obtaining the status, the Brazilian is also able to apply for the Citizen’s Card. As only citizens of Brazil are able to vote in all elections in the country, the possibility of obtaining the document is exclusive to Brazilians. Whenever the card is used, however, it needs to be presented along with the status. The cost of the Citizen Card varies between €18 and €30.

Source: Agora Europa



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