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News Flash - Amendment to the Nationality Law

On 23rd July, 2020, the Portuguese Parliament approved an amendment to the Nationality Law. The approved diploma was based on two projects presented by the PAN and the PCP parties.

The main changes introduced were as follows:

  • The approved Law now considers as the sole requirements for the attribution of nationality to the grandchildren of Portuguese citizens residing abroad or in Portugal, knowledge of the Portuguese language and the absence of a criminal record with a sentence of more than three years or suspected of links to terrorist acts, thus approving objective criteria;
  • For the spouse to obtain Portuguese nationality, it is enough that they have been married for at least six years to a person of Portuguese nationality, or, if the couple already has children of Portuguese nationality, no minimum time is require, and in both these cases, it is not necessary to prove the effective connection to the Portuguese Community, thus establishing objective criteria for the attribution of nationality.
  • The issue of granting nationality to Sephardic Jews did not change in the diploma, and the Government must regulate the rules regarding the granting of nationality to guarantee, at the time of the request, the effective fulfillment of proven objective requirements for connection to Portugal.
  • The granting of nationality was extended to those who did not retain Portuguese nationality because they resided in Portugal for less than 5 years on April 25, 1974, provided that they have not been in the service of their respective State and have remained in Portugal, regardless of title, as well as their children born in Portugal. This extension of access to naturalization aims to correct a historical problem to resolve the situation of people who, on April 25, 1974, were deprived of Portuguese nationality, by decree 308/75, for not living in Portugal for five years.
  • The approved diploma also provides for the granting of nationality to children of foreign parents born in Portugal, provided that, at the time of the request, one of the parents has residency (regardless of title) for at least 5 years immediately prior to the request, or one of the parents has legal residence in Portugal, or the minor has attended one year of schooling in Portugal.

The text of the Draft Law can be consulted in the PDF document.



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