New amendments to Portuguese nationality law — November 2020

On November 10th, the Portuguese Parliament introduced new amendments to Portuguese nationality law

Children born in Portugal to foreign parents residing in the Portuguese territory for more than one year are now able to apply for citizenship. The child must be born in Portugal and the parents need to prove they have been legal or illegal residents in the country for at least one year prior to his/her birth.

This regime is applicable to all types of residency in Portugal, including the Golden Visa. The minimum stay requirements of the Golden Visa are seven days per year, further increasing the attractiveness of this program as a backup-plan.

Other amendments have an impact for those of Portuguese ancestry. Descendants of Portuguese citizenship up to the second degree can apply for Portuguese citizenship, regardless of existing connections to the Portuguese community. Nevertheless, the applicant must prove basic Portuguese language skills. For this reason, citizens of Portuguese-speaking countries will benefit the most from this regime.

Foreigners married to Portuguese citizens now benefit from less requirements when applying for citizenship.

In relation to the Sephardic Jewish Ancestry Citizenship Program, the Government will soon make the necessary changes to the law to introduce an additional requirement: proof of connections to the Portuguese Community upon application. Soon, applicants must provide recent and regular connections to the Portuguese communities in line with other naturalization regimes.

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