Nationality law approved in Portugal

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Nationality law approved in Portugal
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Published: 23rd November 2020, 5:32pm
Updated: 19th March 2021, 6:09pm

Any child born in Portugal whose parents are foreign and living in Portuguese territory is now legally eligible to be a Portuguese citizen.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Portugal’s President, has approved a new nationality law, which enables children of immigrants who have been living here for at least one year to have Portuguese nationality at birth, even if they have been living here with no documents, or if one of their parents is legally resident in Portuguese territory.

With regard to the approved law, the changes are connected to Articles 3, nº 4 and 5, and aim to ensure that couples without children have fair access conditions to Portuguese nationality.

Those born in Portugal to foreign nationals resident in the territory already did qualify for citizenship, as long as one of the progenitors was a resident in the country for two or more years, but the new law reduces this time-frame to one year.

Also according to Law 37/81, “A foreigner who has been married to a Portuguese citizen for more than three years can obtain Portuguese nationality by means of a marriage declaration.” This also includes marriages in Portugal under common law.

This legal amendment is the latest major feather added to the Portuguese Golden Visa’s scheme as it makes it the only programme in the EU that enables a person born in Portugal subject to jus soli.

Also according to Portuguese law, there are three routes to acquiring Portuguese citizenship with Golden Visa residence, and all of them are at the top compared to other European countries offering the Golden visa residence programme - learn more about acquiring citizenship through Golden Visa here.

It becomes important to mention that Portugal is on track to become a United States E1 and E2 treaty country, and if everything goes right, this treaty will allow new Portuguese citizens to live and work in the US. Read more about how Portugal - USA relations are strong and have a great future ahead.


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