Changes are coming to Portuguese nationality law (at least that's what we hope).
On January 5th, the Portuguese Parliament approved new changes to the Nationality Law, which, if approved by the President, could bring many benefits and a significant change.
The first change was to Article 14, which states that only children registered as minors would have the right to obtain Portuguese citizenship by descent, the so-called "proof of parentage as a minor".
The new text approved by parliament stipulates that people who may have been registered after the age of majority will also be entitled to Portuguese citizenship by descent, as long as this filiation has been recognized by the courts.
Remember that: Legal proceedings carried out in other countries, outside Portugal, must go through the process of recognition of a foreign judgment.
The text also states that the application for nationality must be made within 3 years of the judicial recognition of that filiation.
This is the inclusion of article 15, 3, b, which says: "For the purposes of counting the legal residence periods provided for in this law, the time elapsed since the temporary residence permit was applied for shall also be considered, provided that it is granted."
It is believed that the interpretation of this new article means that the period from the time of the expression of interest or the Golden Visa application, for example, can be counted as a period of residence, provided that these permits are actually granted4 and the remainder of the legal period is counted - which, in total, for the purposes of nationality by period of residence, is 5 years.
In other words, instead of counting the five-year period from the moment the residence permit is granted, it could start from the moment the application is made.
This would be a great step forward for many foreigners, especially Brazilians, who take more than two years to receive their residence permit because of the long waiting list that exists today.
It is estimated that there are around 150.000 residence permit applications on the waiting list.
I'd like to stress that this is the primary information from the text approved by parliament. We're now waiting for it to be promulgated by the president and for any changes to be made to the regulations of the Nationality Law.
Only after it is enacted and regulated will we be able to know how all this change will work in practice, but if it is approved, it will be a major step forward for the immigrant community who want to gain their Portuguese citizenship.
by Rafaela Barbosa Advocacia Internacional
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