Portugal Amend Nationality Law

  • 6 January, 24

Following the announcement on 5 January, the Portuguese Parliament approved some changes to the nationality law,  that law will allow residents to start counting five years toward citizenship from the date they apply for residency.  

According to the previous law, under Article 6, paragraph 4 of nationality law, individuals looking to secure Portuguese nationality through naturalization were required to hold residency in Portugal for a minimum of 5 years, among other requirements. The initiation of the 5 years period for nationality applications was contingent upon issuing the initial residency permit. However, due to delays from immigration authorities, the actual time for naturalization takes from 7 to 8 years from the date they first applied. This causes residency applicants to see their path to European citizenship delayed by several years compared to the original time the law was enacted.

The modification to nationality law

To address these injustices, Article 15 (adding now paragraph 4) of the amended law now has new regulations on the rules for calculating the time to obtain citizenship as follows:

“For the purposes of counting the legal residence periods provided for in this law, the time elapsed since the moment the temporary residence title was requested is also considered if it is approved”.

This now means that someone who was or has been waiting for their residency to be approved or for their card to be issued will not see this long waiting period “wasted”, as the date when the residency application approve is consider counts .

The proposed law that was voted on generated broad consensus. The next step will be to send to the President of the Republic, who can approve them, veto them, or submit them to the Constitutional Court for analysis.

This is good news for foreign residency that has applied for or obtained residency in Portugal. For Mercan Asia side, we are the Global Support Center for International Investors. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email at hello@mercan.com. Follow up with Mercan Asia to update the new information.