My girlfriend, who is a Brazilian citizen resident in Portugal, came to visit me in London, and she managed to come in with her visitor visa (6months) so she decided to stay for more than 3 months. Then, coronavirus happened, cancelled flights and all...

Now her passport is about to expire. Can she return to Portugal with her passport that's is valid for less than a month (from the boarding date that we are looking to book the ticket), heading back to the country where she's been living for the last 10 years so she can renew it there?

Addition information:

The Brazilian consulate here in the UK is on a "emergencies only" working scheme, don't know if that would be her case, so we're not able to renew her passaport here at this moment.

She lives in Portugal (But she still has her nationality process going, she still has a Brazilian passport, so she has to renew it at a brazilian embassy/consulate.). The Brazilian consulate in Portugal can renew her passport as their working schemes are different there.

She has a visa, ("Cartao de residencia", a residence card in a literal translation), and she can offer the air company proof of address and all (bank statements etc...) The only thing is her actual passport, as her nationality process still underway she cant yet get a Portuguese passport, but she's been living there for more than 10 years now (The whole process for her nationality was delayed because of stupid family decisions).

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    What is her home country?
    – Xnero
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 21:30
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    Is it possible for her to renew the passport at an Embassy in the UK? Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 21:32
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    This is beginning to sound more complicated than the question gives. I suggest you summarise all the detail you give in comments in the question. What is her nationality, what country is she returning to, what passport does she hold, what status is she waiting on, etc. The only thing is her actual passport, as her nationality process still underway she cant yet get a Portugese passport.. So she isn't a Portugese national with a soon-to-expire Portugese passport returing to her home country of Portugal. Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 23:05
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    Please edit the question and summarise everything you know there instead of drip-feeding info through comments. In case I wasn't clear about that, please edit the question. Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 23:25
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    What's confusing many people about this situation is that it's possible for a Brazilian citizen to get a "Portuguese citizen card" under the terms of a 2001 treaty between the two countries agreement. So, just to be clear: (a) She is a Brazilian citizen. (b) She does not yet have Portuguese citizenship or a Portuguese passport. (c) She has been traveling on her Brazilian passport. (d) She has a Citizen Card from Portugal. Is that all correct? Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


Timatic, the database which airlines use to verify passenger travel documents, tells me that Brazilian citizens who are residents of Portugal can fly to Portugal at any time up to and including the expiry date of the passport.

  • Passports and other documents accepted for entry issued to residents of Portugal must be valid on arrival.

In addition to the passport, the passenger also needs to provide proof of residence in Portugal. This will be the cartão de residência, the common EU format residence card. It is red and blue and has a bull and stars above the photo. The citizen card will not be shown to the airline in this scenario.

NB: You made a major change to the question which largely invalidates the prior answer. The previous text remains below for reference.

Timatic, the database which airlines use to verify passenger travel documents, tells me that citizens of Portugal can fly to Portugal with a valid national ID card in lieu of a passport. The cartão de cidadão issued to citizens of Portugal is indeed that national ID card. To be valid for travel, it should have three lines of machine readable text that begins with: "I<PRT". When checking in to the airline, the passenger should declare their citizenship as Portugal, not Brazil, and should not show the Brazilian passport.

However, very similar cards are also issued to some foreigners, particularly Brazilian nationals. These do not have a machine readable section on the reverse side, and instead show the text: "NÃO SERVE DE DOCUMENTO DE VIAGEM / NOT VALID AS A TRAVEL DOCUMENT". If her card is marked as not valid for travel, then she will have to travel on her Brazilian passport.

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    But the OP says she is not a Portuguese citizen yet, and is a citizen of Brazil. Another vote for editing the question, rather than adding info in comments. Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 0:48
  • @DavidSupportsMonica OP could fly to Portugal to renew their Brazilian passport at the embassy there. Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 1:23
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    @DavidSupportsMonica I am not sure if the OP is confused as to the passenger's actual citizenship status, or has described it correctly, but I've addressed both possibilities in this answer already. Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 1:48
  • Could be so. I read the question and the OP's comments, and I'm still not sure either. Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 2:29
  • @MichaelSeifert It's a great edit. I would have gotten to it myself but I had to get to the hospital. Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 20:05

A Schengen residence permit (título de residência) (listed here) exempts one from the ordinary extended passport validity requirement, at least when one returns to the country of issuance of the permit.

She will have to present a valid cartão de residencia (likely a red-blue-red card) and that's the only document the airlines will accept for sure. She can return to Portugal as long as her passport is valid. If her passport expires, she should ask for consular assistance in obtaining an emergency passport.

A cartão de cidadão for Brazillian citizens will likely not be accepted, except perhaps a Portugese airline that's familiar with it.

  • It probably won't be accepted at all, because it says very plainly that it's not valid for travel, in both Portuguese and English. Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 20:13
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    @MichaelHampton While I agree it's very unlikely to be accepted, "not valid for travel" is to indicate it's not a replacement of a passport or other travel documents within EU and certain other countries (like it is for Portuguese citizens). Normal residence permits are also not valid for travel, you also need a valid passport.
    – xngtng
    Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 22:17
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    But the citizen card is still a valid residence document for Portuguese authorities (but not other Schengen countries), even though airlines will go strictly according to the official list.
    – xngtng
    Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 22:18
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    That's correct. Portuguese authorities will recognize it, but the airline will not. Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 22:33

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