Brazilians continue to hold the majority in applications for Portuguese nationality
Israeli citizens have come second in the list of those applying for Portuguese nationality in 2018, according to a report by the Portuguese Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF). This place was formerly occupied by Cape Verde.
The Portuguese Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) points out that, on the whole, the "strong growth of requests for nationality is intrinsically associated" with the legislative changes approved in recent years, which have widened the universe of potential new Portuguese citizens.
Among these novelties, it is particularly important for grandchildren of Portuguese born abroad who can now apply for nationality and obtain it if, at the same time, they demonstrate that they have "an effective link with the national community" and that they haven’t committed crimes that are punishable by sentences of three years or more in prison.
From 30,000 applications in 2017 to 176,285 in 2018
It is incumbent upon the SEF to issue an opinion on the procedures for granting Portuguese nationality. In 2018 this issued 32,414 positives and 1425 negative opinions. The unfavourable opinions are generally based on internal security reasons or the fact that the candidates do not have a residence permit.
Following the requests for naturalization, which are the majority (70%), the reasons for marriage or a de-facto union with a Portuguese national (16%) and those based on the so-called “Original Attribution” (9%), which covers the children of Portuguese born abroad, for instance.
The SEF is one of several services where applications for Portuguese citizenship can be submitted, totalling 176,285 in 2018, up from 38,000 in the previous year.
Applications based on the golden residency permit
The acquisition of nationality based on residency is on the top applications because of the Portuguese Golden Visa program, the most popular Golden Visa scheme in Europe.
The Golden Visa programme was launched by the Government to grant resident status to all investors, and respective families, wishing to invest in Portugal, either by capital investments, job creation or Real Estate. Once golden residency permit is granted, you will have the right to live, work and study anywhere within the European Union. And once citizenship has been granted, the applicant will become a European citizen with the same rights of anyone in Portugal.
Those who gain access to Portuguese citizenship by investment thanks to the Golden visa only need to visit 7 days out of the entire year. Despite this, investors who have acquired residency through the golden visa Portugal must prove that they have ties to the country - such as property.
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