Portugal launches Citizen Card for expats

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The Portuguese Government will launch a new Citizen Card for expats living in Portugal as part of the Simplex+2018 programme.

The new Citizen Card (“Cartão de Cidadão”) will include tax identification, social security and national health numbers.

Up until now, a foreigner had to obtain documents from different government offices – Social Security office (Segurança Social), the tax office (Finanças), and SNS (National Health Service) in order to register. The foreigner also had to register at the immigration office Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras as the different agencies did not communicate with each other.

Expatriates will now be able to apply for a Citizen Card specifically for foreigners living in Portugal.

The new card, launched as part of Simplex+2020, will hold the bearers tax, social security and national health numbers.

“Today, when someone wants to apply for residency authorisation, after having completed their application with SEF, they have to go their local tax office, social security office and national health service,” said the Adjutant Secretary of State for Administrative Modernisation, Graça Fonseca.

According to the minister, applicants can apply for all three at a one-stop-shop at the same time and place as the residency authorisation is issued, significantly cutting the time and paperwork involved.

“It will a process of intercommunication between the various departments, Inland Revenue (Finanças) and Social Security (Segurança Social).

In December last year the Government made it possible to renew the Citizen Card using a mobile phone and Internet.

However, the issuance of the card will not impact the process of granting residency status. The Simplex programme is one designed to simplify, speed up and modernise administrative processes. It was introduced in 2006 by the PS government under José Sócrates.