Streamlining the Path to Portuguese Citizenship: Recent Amendments Bring Clarity and Efficiency


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On January 5th, 2024, amendments to Portugal’s Citizenship Law were approved by the Portuguese Parliament, marking a significant change in the pathway to obtaining Portuguese citizenship.

Previously, the timeline for Golden Visa investors to acquire Portuguese citizenship commenced from the approval date of their residency permit. However, bureaucratic delays in the immigration system often resulted in a substantial gap between application submission and permit approval. This elongated the journey to citizenship, unintentionally extending the citizenship attainment process.

To streamline the path to Portuguese citizenship, a pivotal provision introduced in Article 15 of the revised law allows investors to calculate their legal residence time from the moment the residence title is requested, provided the application is eventually approved. While these changes represent a positive development, there is some ambiguity regarding the specific starting point of the countdown, as there are currently various qualifying steps within the existing process. Nevertheless, the updated regulations are set to take effect 90 days after the law is published, which is expected to bring clarity to this aspect.

This legislative adjustment demonstrates a proactive approach to aligning administrative procedures with the intended legal framework, offering optimism for smoother and more expedited naturalization processes. By factoring in the time elapsed since the residency request in the citizenship eligibility calculation, the amendment aims to bridge the gap between legal provisions and the practical challenges faced by those pursuing Portuguese citizenship.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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