The new Portuguese nationality law comes into force

The 10th amendment to the Portuguese Nationality Law comes into effect today, April 1st, 2024. This change is a significant milestone, making the process of obtaining Portuguese citizenship more accessible and straightforward for many people.

But what exactly changes with the new legislation that is being implemented?

The most relevant changes are:

  • The relaxation of the requirements for counting residency time: moving forward, for foreigners interested in applying for Portuguese citizenship based on residency, the required 5 years will be counted from the moment the temporary residence permit is requested (provided it is granted), rather than from the issuance of the residence permit, which was the previous standard procedure. This means that the long wait for residence permits, resulting from delays by the competent authorities, will no longer be an obstacle for those wishing to become Portuguese citizens.
  • Changes for descendants of Sephardic Jews: moving forward, to grant citizenship through this route, it will be required not only to demonstrate belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin based on proven objective requirements linking to Portugal, such as surnames, familiar language, direct or collateral descent; but also, to have legal residency in Portuguese territory for a period of at least 3 years, whether consecutive or not.
  • Granting of citizenship to foreign children recognized by Portuguese parents, even if they are over 18 years old, provided there is a favorable court decision.

To understand how these changes can benefit you or influence your process of obtaining Portuguese nationality, it is advisable to seek guidance from a specialized professional. This way, you can ensure that you are following the most appropriate path to achieve Portuguese citizenship efficiently.