23 December 2020

Amendments To The Portuguese Nationality Law

Caiado Guerreiro


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This new amendment to Law 37/81 of 3 October 1981 was promulgated by the President on the 3rd of November and will enter into force on the day following its publication which is expected to occur soon.
Portugal Immigration
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In order to overcome the veto of the President of the Republic, who considered the last proposal discriminatory, a new amendment to the Nationality Law was voted on the 2nd of October and has now been promulgated by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

Among the amendments made, the following should be highlighted:

Portuguese Citizen's Grandchildren: From now on, only grandparents (2nd grade ascendant in the straight line) who have original Portuguese nationality may extend this right to their foreign grandchildren who have effective connection to the national community. However, the requirement of "effective connection" can now be verified by the applicant's sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Children of foreigners, born in Portugal: They are now immediately entitled to Portuguese nationality if one of their parents is legally resident in the Portuguese territory or, regardless of the title, has been resident here for, at least, one year.

Children of foreigners, born in Portugal, aged 16 or over: They will be able to obtain nationality by naturalization if, at the time of application, they fulfil one of the following conditions:

a) One of the parents has been resident here, regardless of title, for at least the five years immediately preceding the application; or

b) One of the parents is legally resident on national territory; or

c) The minor has attended at least one year of pre-school education or basic, secondary or vocational education.

Spouses of Portuguese citizens: The foreigner who has been married for more than three years to a Portuguese national can still acquire Portuguese nationality by means of a declaration made at the time of the marriage and demonstrating the effective connection to the national community. However, the "effective connection" becomes presumed when the marriage or civil partnership exists for at least six years, and also, when there are children of the couple with Portuguese nationality.

Portuguese who lost their nationality because they had been living in Portugal for less than five years on April 25, 1974 and their children: They can now access Portuguese nationality, by naturalization, with exemption from the requirement of majority and proof of Portuguese language, provided that, after the loss of Portuguese nationality, they have not been in the service of the respective State and have remained and still remain in Portugal, regardless of the title, as well as their children, born on national territory, to whom the original Portuguese nationality was not attributed.

This new amendment to Law 37/81 of 3 October 1981 was promulgated by the President on the 3rd of November and will enter into force on the day following its publication, which is expected to occur soon. In the meantime, it will be up to the Government to make the necessary amendments to the Regulation of the Portuguese Nationality Law, within 90 days of the publication of the amended Law.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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