What does the Equal Rights and Duties Statute mean?
The Statute of Equal Rights and Duties, signed in 2000, is one of the valid agreements between Brazil and Portugal. In short, this treaty is responsible for benefiting Brazilians living in Portuguese territory and vice versa.
When requested, the documentation can only be sent to citizens of Brazilian nationality who are of legal age, have a valid residence permit and are actually resident in Portugal.
The certificate can be requested at any time, by prior appointment, either at the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) office or at the Delegations or Regional Directorates. The completed application can also be sent by post to SEF’s Central Services – as long as it is accompanied by the necessary documents.
Among the declarations required are the presentation of the application itself, a copy of the residence permit and a certificate of nationality issued by the Brazilian consulate to prove that they are not prevented from exercising their civil rights.
What are the rights and duties conferred by the Equality Statute?
The Equality Statute allows a Brazilian citizen to have the same rights and duties as a Portuguese citizen through an agreement between the two countries. In short, it allows the exercise of economic activities, the right to perform work without quantitative limitations, releases for functions in corporate bodies that are not only of a technical nature (like other foreigners), the right to vote in elections and passive electoral capacity as a candidate in local authority elections (as long as you have had a residence permit for more than four years). In addition, the document can be requested in three different directives:
Equal Political Rights Statute
In this scenario, those considered civilly capable receive recognition and the same political rights as Portuguese citizens, such as voting. Your application is valid after three years of legal residence in Portugal.
Equal Rights and Duties Statute
Also open to civilians with a residence permit. On this occasion, Brazilians will have the same rights and duties as nationals. Even criminal law.
Equal Rights and Duties and Political Rights Statute
Finally, nothing more than the combination of both the above statutes. Also based on the same requirements as above.
It is also worth noting that the Equality Statute is automatically extinguished with the cancellation of residence or loss of Brazilian nationality. Or when the beneficiary is deprived of their political rights in Brazil for some legal reason.
In addition, if the Brazilian chooses to exercise his political rights in Portugal, they will be suspended in Brazil.
Step by step to apply for the Equal Rights and Duties Statute
- Go to the Brazilian consulate to present the documentation and apply for the certificate of nationality;
- Presence at SEF to hand in documents and start the process of issuing the Equal Rights Statute;
- Wait for SEF to return with the letter from the Registry Office, valid as an Equal Rights and Duties Statute;
- Finally, apply for a citizen’s card.
How long does it take to issue the Equality Status?
Generally, the Statute of Equal Rights and Duties can be delivered within 30 days of the request and delivery of the correct documentation.
How much does the application cost?
The whole process of issuing the Equal Rights and Duties Statute is free of charge.
How do I obtain a certificate of Brazilian nationality?
This document is necessary to obtain the Equal Rights and Duties Statute and must be obtained from the Brazilian Consulate in Portugal. To apply for it, you need to submit the following documents:
- Service request form sent by post (completed and signed);
- Copy of passport and/or ID;
- Up-to-date birth or marriage certificate;
- Copy of proof of electoral status.
Disadvantages of Equal Rights and Duties Status
In a simple sense, there are no disadvantages. Compared to Portuguese citizenship, yes, because it has more advantages, such as the ability to move around and live in all the countries in the European Union. However, the Equality Statute is only valid between two territories.
Advantages of the Equality Statute
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, with valid political rights in the country, you can not only vote, but also get a scholarship at Portuguese universities, for example. Just as it is possible to run for public office and have your taxes reduced.
What is the Portuguese Citizen Card?
Once the Equal Rights and Duties Statute has been issued, Brazilians can apply for a Portuguese citizen’s card – an identification document that gathers together several important pieces of information about those who live in the country: NIF, Tax Identification Number; NISS, Social Security Indication Number; Voter’s Card and registration with the National Health System.
How do I apply for the card if I live in Portugal?
Brazilians with valid residency must first apply for the Statute, either by making an appointment in advance or by sending an application with the necessary documents to headquarters.
Once the application has been approved, the next step is to obtain a citizen’s card from any branch of the Institute of Registries and Notaries, the Citizen’s Shops or the Ria Shops (if you live in the Azores).
What documents are needed?
- Copy of your residence permit;
- Application for Equal Rights and Duties Status;
- Certificate of nationality issued by the Brazilian Consulate in Portugal.
How much does it cost to issue a card in Portugal?
The cost of applying for a citizen’s card can vary depending on the urgency of the application and its validity. The standard model, for example, which is valid for five years, can cost around €15. The average for more than five years is €18. If the request is made urgently, it can be as much as 33€. And if it’s an extreme emergency, it could mean an investment of 50€ to pick it up on the same day.
Advantages of the Portuguese citizen card
- Digital signature;
- All the data and information in a single document;
- Possibility of applying for scholarships at universities;
- Release to take part in a public examination.
The advantages of the Statute of Equal Rights and Duties are numerous and, as well as being a simple and free process, Brazilians will be able to obtain a citizen’s card through it.
It is also worth remembering that once you have been legally resident in Portugal for 5 years, you can apply for Portuguese nationality and, with this, you also have the right to a citizen’s card, but now as a Portuguese national.