by Namrata Majithia 30th January 2020

The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on the 31st of January with a deal. In preparation, the European Union has appointed Portuguese diplomat Joao Vale de Almeida as the “first head of the future EU delegation”. Joao Vale de Almeida, set to step in on February 1, will be the first post-Brexit envoy in London.

According to the terms of the withdrawal agreement, the UK will remain part of EU laws and legislations as part of a ‘transition period’, foreseen to be until the 31st of December 2020. This would mean that all existing rights of UK and EU citizens will remain in place, including free movement. Therefore, all travel plans and holiday arrangements between 31st January and this period, will remain unaffected.

British tourists and travellers visiting Portugal and UK nationals living in Portugal will continue to have access to the Portugal Health Service throughout the transition period. Even under a no-deal scenario, the Portuguese Government initiated contingency measures in March 2019 to protect British nationals and their families living in the country, and for UK visitors to access healthcare.

Turismo de Portugal has also announced the launch of #Brelcome Health, a campaign specially developed for British tourists visiting the country for heath treatments. As part of the initiative, Portugal will offer high quality health care services to Britons at three of the country’s largest private healthcare providers – Lusíadas, CUF and Hospital da Luz, for a fixed price. The services are available immediately and will be offered to British tourists irrespective of the Brexit outcome, a sign of the special relationship held between Portugal and the UK.

A specialised ‘Portugal Health Passport’, launched as part of the campaign, offers tourists premium health care services, performed by highly qualified and internationally recognised professionals and English-speaking staff, covering both emergency care and preventive medicine.
For more information on Brelcome Health, please visit click here

Driving Licences

UK driving licences will continue to be valid during the transition period, foreseen until the end of December 2020. An International Driving Permit will not be required, and you do not need a GB sticker or a Green Card for car insurance during this period.
If after the transition period no agreement is reached, the Portuguese Government will seek a mutual arrangement in this domain, with the United Kingdom.

For more details on Driving Licences post Brexit, please click here


Speaking about the initiatives launched specially for British citizens, Rita Marques, the Secretary of State for Tourism Portugal, said: “The Government and the people of Portugal hold a special status for UK citizens, and value Britain as a staunch ally and friend. With a deep rooted historic legacy stemming from the 1300s, Portugal and the UK together have changed the course of the world. Now, despite Brexit, Portugal is committed to facilitate easy access for British tourists and visitors to the country; and provide support to all British residents in Portugal. We like to affirm that no border can ever separate us.”

Along the same spirit, Portugal also recently launched the “Brelcome” campaign to reaffirm the country’s ongoing commitment to British citizens, with the slogan “Brelcome, Portugal will never leave you”.

For more information on the Brelcome campaign, please click here

Along the guidelines of the European Commission, Portugal will also continue to consider UK citizens and their family members (even the non-European citizens) as legal residents if they hold a fixed residence in Portugal, without further diligences or requirements of visas, at least until December 31st of 2020. UK citizens with residency under 5 years will be granted a Temporary Residence Card, and with the completion of 5 years will be issued a Permanent Residency card or the status of Long-Term Resident.

Meanwhile, UK students currently studying in Portugal or applying to study in Portugal until 31st December 2020 will qualify as EU students until the end of their courses.


Font: Portuguese National Tourist Office in London,