iWorld / News / Portugal

Portugal will grant citizenship by birth: how residents wll benefit from it

January 5, 2021

3 minutes read

Since November 2020, children born in Portugal to foreign parents who have been staying in the country (whether legally or not) for 1 year will be entitled to Portuguese nationality by the right of soil.

This news was revealed by the newspaper Diário da República, which published the new changes in the Citizenship Law that were made public in November, last year.

Despite the fact that the right of soil had been in force in Portugal before, the main condition was the stay in the country for at least 2 years of at least one of the parents of the child. The amendments have affected the term, reducing it by half.

The head of the Lisbon company Valadas Coriel & Associados, Patricia Vladas Coriel, explained the effect it will have on the owners of the investor visa:

"Children used to enjoy the right to citizenship by the fact of their birth on the territory of Portugal, if one of the parents stayed in the country for at least two years. The amendments, which came into force, not only halved the period, but also eliminated the need for a long physical presence. That is, children of Golden Visa holders can count on a Portuguese passport, even if their parents have been in the country for only 7 days.

These amendments make the Golden Visa program unique and the only one in the entire European Union, allowing a long reasonable absence of the applicant in Portugal.

It should be noted, that the law "On Citizenship" had undergone changes even earlier. The amendments announced in 2018 stated, that holders of investor visas, legally residing in the country for the last 5 years, became eligible for a Portuguese passport by naturalization. This law is interpreted literally: foreign investors can stay in Portugal for the minimum number of days stipulated by the program and still qualify for citizenship status.

Portugal is also moving toward participation in the U.S. E1 and E2 treaties. This will give the country another serious competitive advantage under the Golden Visa program. The AMIGOS bill, which passed the House of Representatives last year, has been read twice by the Senate, and is currently being considered by the Judiciary Committee. If the bill receives approval from the Senate, it will be sent to the president for final approval. Once AMIGOS goes into effect, Portuguese citizens will be allowed to live and do business in the United States.

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