Expats may vote in local municipal and European elections as long as they are registered in the Portuguese national electoral census. In addition to all Portuguese citizens, Brazilian nationals with a citizen card or other viable ID card and those from the following countries may also vote in Portuguese elections:
- Citizens of member states of the European Union;
- United Kingdom when Portuguese resident prior to Brexit;
- Brazil and Cape Verde;
- Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
1. I am a foreign resident in Portugal. Am I allowed to vote?
Yes, as long as you first enrol in the Portuguese Voter Registration and are a citizen of one of the above mentioned countries.
2. Is voter registration mandatory?
Voter registration is optional.
3. In which elections may foreign nationals exercise their right to vote?
Registered foreign residents over 18 years of age have the right to exercise their right to vote in Municipal (every 4 years) and European (every 5 years) elections.
4. How do I register to vote in Portugal?
You must go to the local parish (“Junta de Freguesia”) that corresponds to the address indicated in your Residency Permit (“Residência”).
5. I moved recently. What should I do to transfer my voter registration?
You must update your address on your Residency Permit. Your voter registration will be transferred automatically. Note that if you register during a period when voter registration is suspended, you should vote in the parish corresponding to your previous address.
6. I have moved address but have not yet updated my “Residência”. Where should I vote?
You should vote in the town where you are still registered that corresponds to the previous address. Only with the update of the “Residência” does the transfer of voter registration happen automatically.
7. When is voter registration suspended?
During the 60 days prior to election day. No new registrations or transfers may be made during this period. Only changes are permitted resulting from a complaint or an appeal can be made between the 34th and 39th day before the election. If you update your residency at a time when the registration is suspended, you should vote in the parish where you were registered prior to moving.
8. How can I find out where I am registered?
You can get this information at any time, even on election day, as follows:
- On the Internet at www.recenseamento.mai.gov.pt;
- Via SMS (free) to 3838, with the message “RE (space) CC / Residency number (space) date of birth = yyyymmdd. Ex: “RE 7424071 19820803”;
- At the parish council office of your place of residency.
Dennis Swing Greene is Chairman and International Fiscal Consultant for euroFINESCO s.a. www.eurofinesco.com