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July 30, 2020 - Comments Off on Changes to the law of nationality

Changes to the law of nationality

The Portuguese parliament has approved on 23 rd July the amendments to the Law of
Nationality - Law 37/81 of 3 rd October. These amendments simplify the process for
obtaining Portuguese nationality by children of holders of residency permits,
grandchildren and for spouses of Portuguese citizens.

One of the main changes to the law is the one that applies to children born in Portugal
from parents that hold residency permits. In this respect, it has now been established
that it is sufficient for children born in Portugal to obtain direct Portuguese citizenship if
just one of the parents holds a residency permit for one year only.

Another changes that has been approved is related to spouses of Portuguese citizens.
Previously, the law established that a spouse could apply for Portuguese citizenship
after 3 years or marriage or civil union and if there was an effective connection to the
country. With the amendments that have now been approved, the minimum period of 3
years is waived in case the couple has common children of Portuguese nationality.

In addition, the Public Prosecutor’s office can no longer oppose to the application for
nationality on the grounds of absence of the effective connection to the country in case
the marriage has lasted for more than 6 years or in case the couple has common
children of Portuguese nationality.

Finally, regarding grandchildren, ie the second-degree descendants in straight line, the need
to show an effective connection to Portugal is now simply proven through sufficient
knowledge of the Portuguese language. This means that it is no longer necessary to provide
evidence of relevant ties to Portugal and existence of regular contacts with the country.

Edge International Lawyers
July 2020