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Act No. 37/2006

Publication: Republic Diary No. 153/2006, Series I of 2006-08-09
  • Issuer:
  • Diploma Type: Act
  • Number: 37/2006
  • Pages: 5717 - 5724

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This law sets out the conditions for the free movement and residence in Portugal of citizens of the European Union and their family members.

What will change?

EU citizens and their family members can move and reside freely within the national territory.

Who does this law apply?

It applies to all EU citizens who move or reside in Portugal, as well as their family members.

How long can a foreign national, or a family member, reside in Portugal?

You may reside for up to three months without any special formality (merely having a valid identity card or a valid passport).

If you wish, you may reside for more than three months provided that:

    • Pursues a professional activity in Portugal;
    • He or she has a financial condition for the maintenance and his/her family;
    • Health insurance (in the case of health insurance also being required in the Member State of your nationality to Portuguese citizens).
Right of permanent residence

Citizens and their family members of the European Union who have resided legally on the national territory for a continuous period of five years shall be entitled to permanent residence.

The document certifying permanent residence is issued by the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF). The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service.

If the citizen resides for more than three months, he/she may register to formalise his/her right of residence.

When should the register be made?

The registration shall be made within 30 days after three months of entry into national territory.

Where should the register be made?

The register must be done at the municipal council of the place of residence, which issues a registration certificate, which is valid for five years.

What are the charges for issuing the registration certificate?

A fee will have to be paid by ordinance of the member of the Government responsible for the Internal Administration area.

The product of the fee for the issuing of the registration certificate, made by the City Council, shall be divided into:

    • 50 % for the Municipality;
    • 50 % for the SEF.

The proceeds of the remaining fees shall accrue to the SEF.

What advantages does it bring?

On the basis of the free movement of persons as one of the fundamental freedoms of the internal market, which entails a single area without borders, this law ensures the reception and full integration of emigrants, who have come to find better living conditions in Portugal.

When does it enter into force?

This law entered into force on 14 August 2006.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.