Brazilians in Portugal will benefit from a new deadline for citizenship

Brazilians in Portugal will benefit from a new deadline for citizenship


This Monday (1st) an amendment to the Nationality Law comes into force in Portugal, which could benefit thousands of Brazilians residing in that country. The change concerns the method of counting the time of legal residence for acquiring citizenship.

According to the wording of article 6, no. 1, subparagraph b), of the Nationality Law, it is necessary for the foreigner to reside legally in Portugal for at least five years for citizenship to be granted, however, this period is usually longer due to account of the bureaucracy involved in the process.

Brazilians and other foreigners who enter the country as tourists can express their interest in citizenship, which is considered a provisional authorization.

It turns out that this manifestation usually takes two to three years to arrive and, until Sunday (31), this waiting time did not count towards the five years of mandatory residence to apply for citizenship in the country.

Now, this waiting time has been included in the calculation and thousands of Brazilians and other foreigners who filed an expression of interest in 2019 have become closer to receiving Portuguese citizenship.

According to official data released by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), in August 2023, around 360 thousand Brazilians live in Portugal.

The new rule was promulgated by the Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in February 2024 and published in March. As a rule, the change comes into force on the first day of the month following publication, that is, this Monday (1st).

In addition to the reduction in the deadline for foreigners, the rules were changed for nationality applications made by descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews, who previously only needed to demonstrate the tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin. Now, it is also necessary to demonstrate legal residence for at least three years, consecutive or interpolated.

Another change concerns the method of granting citizenship by affiliation. Previously, citizenship was only established when membership was recognized during minority status. Now, original citizenship can be granted when membership is recognized at the age of majority, as long as recognition occurs in a judicial process.

Furthermore, in the case of recognition at the age of majority, the request will only be accepted if made within three years following the final court decision.


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