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In Portugal, to transmit, one must take the category 3 exam, then wait for 2 years to take the category 2 exam. While these 2 years go by, one cannot emit on his station. I find this rather annoying.

Is there any EU country where I can go and get my license and then use it to operate in Portugal?

Portuguese Law on the matter, check article 5:

Article 5 Amateur categories

  1. There are six amateur categories: 1, 2, 3, A, B and C; the first three categories - 1, 2 and 3 - correspond to the ranking of amateurs after they have taken the ability exam pursuant to this Decree-Law and procedures set out herein; the other three categories - A, B and C - correspond to existing categories, which are maintained.

  2. Category 3 is accessed to where the respective exam is passed.

  3. Without prejudice to paragraphs 8 and 9 of article 6, access to category 2 requires:

    a) Passing the respective exam, to which may apply amateurs over 16 years of age who remained in category 3 for at least two years, and amateurs of category C;

    b) An application for this purpose submitted by holders of valid qualifying documents issued by CEPT, ITU or a country with which Portugal has a reciprocity agreement.

  4. Without prejudice to paragraphs 8 and 9 of article 6, access to category 1 requires:

    a) Passing the respective exam, to which may apply amateurs who remained in category 2 for at least one year and amateurs of category  A and B;

    b) An application for this purpose submitted by holders of valid qualifying documents issued by CEPT, ITU or a country with which Portugal has a reciprocity agreement.

  5. Amateurs who were subject to any sanction for infringement of obligations provided for herein in the two preceding years may not apply to any exam.

  6. ICP - ANACOM shall define and publicise procedures to be followed as regards access to amateur categories by holders of valid qualifying documents issued by CEPT, ITU or a country with which Portugal has a reciprocity agreement.

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    $\begingroup$ You absolutely can get licenses from other countries, but check the Portuguese regulations first - most likely any foreign license will be useless to you. Often, the rules that allow operation on a foreign license don't apply to citizens or license-holders of the country in question. $\endgroup$ Sep 15 '19 at 18:14
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I don't have the full answer, but I hope I can give you some pointers on where to search.

If you get a HAREC (Harmonised Amateur Radio Examination Certificate) license in any country that complies with HAREC, i.e, the license test covers a certain set of topics, you should be able to transfer the license to another country. Most European countries are in HAREC one way or other. You have to find one where the licensing doesn't take as long, at least in Finland there are no wait times.

Another related acronym is CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) that allows you to obtain a license in one country and then temporarily use it elsewhere. However, this doesn't help in your case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_international_operation

http://www.arrl.org/reciprocal-permit-faqs

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  • $\begingroup$ yeah, the problem I find, at least in Spain, is that they won't take examinations for people residing out of the country. $\endgroup$ Sep 18 '19 at 12:58
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The same conditions are applied in Portugal as in the other CEPT countries. https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=956629 I am not sure where you received your information, check with ANACOM. This can be done by email, by post or im person. Email: info@anacom.pt https://www.google.com/maps/place/ANACOM+-+Autoridade+Nacional+de+Comunica%C3%A7%C3%B5es/@38.73728,-9.163151,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0xd1933141c4c82b7:0x2e94c673216a09ed!8m2!3d38.7373143!4d-9.1630645?hl=en

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I have the same problem for taking CS in Portugal. I will live there and would like to take a local CS. I am a ham since 1962. Looking on the banks of USA qualification questions under CEPT agreement, I considered that my extra category should be accepted for granting the CS (call sign) without questions. However, I have the clear e-mail from ANACOM: As you do not have a HAREC certificate or a Brazilian COER it is not possible to grant a national amateur certificate with a portuguese call sign as according to the law in force those are the only documents we accept for this purpose. The ARRL says: explain that you have not have HAREC. It is absolutely defenseless advice. We are not competitive in Europe, because the VEC certification does not have a simple phrase "Complaint with HAREC". Why? At the same time any organization including ARRL may joint to HAREC.

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Updating October 2, 2019 post. Everything that I have posted there on 10.02.2019 is valid. Right now I live in Portugal almost nine months on permanent visa. Here is the way how to obtain the Portugal callsign for a US amateur.

  1. Although the Portugal Anacom has syllabus (questionnaire) on their site, it is not possible to take a ham radio exam on English if you do not fluent in the Portuguese language yet.
  2. The Anacom is very polite to explain the way how to. They accept the HAREC certificate issued by another country that cannot be issued by the US VEC as I explained before in my previous post. You may obtain it in any country (all EU and some additional countries, see a list on the CEPT website) who joint to HAREC system (fluent language again). 3.You may take the temporary callsign in the Anacom in accordance with CEPT for the Extra category US ticket, but only for 90 days. That is the time when you may live in Portugal without permanent residency (assuming that you are a US citizen travelling without visa).
  3. Due to COVID-19 the RSGB allows to take the full package of the ham radio exams online for obtaining the HAREC certificate.
  4. It is not free, costs about 130 GBP total. All 3 exams: Foundation, Intermediate and Full are very perfectly organized via the WEB or Zoom systems, you need to have at least 2 computers (iPad, mobile phones). Details and instructions may be found on the RSGB website.
  5. There are so many specific questions for UK amateur radio in their syllabus, therefore I would recommend to buy 4 books (three books for the named exams and one an Exams Secrets) via eBay or directly from the RSGB. You may use also the mock exams posted on the RSGB site for preparing the exams.
  6. Despite of your qualification in amateur radio and your current license (ticket) degree it is not possible to skip any exam before the Full exam. You need to take all 3 exams for obtaining the HAREC certificate. The RSGB will send to you certificates for any successful exam by the regular mail, and after getting the FULL exam successfully you will get also the HAREC certificate, issued by the Ofcom, the UK communications regulator.
  7. With the HAREC certificate you may get the callsign in any country who participated in the CEPT agreement, including UK.
  8. Next way is very easy and fully described on the Anacom website. You need to send the full package of required documents online, pay service fee (today 15Euro) and wait for one week until you will get the license by the regular mail. It is a plastic card similar to credit card with all your data, callsign, category, and two certificates (HAREC and CEPT).
  9. The whole process: buying the RSGB books, scheduled exams and getting the Portuguese CS took about 3 months. Now I have a CT7BCL license, 1 category (similar to my US Extra license) and fully certified in Europe for amateur radio activity for 10 years. Good luck, CT7BCL, a ham since 1964.
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