Discover the new rules for obtaining citizenship in Portugal and see who fits into the categories | World

Portugal started to adopt new rules to grant citizenship of the country to descendants of Portuguese and spouses — interested Brazilians should benefit.

To be benefited, you must belong to one of these categories;

  • Children of Portuguese;
  • Portuguese grandchildren;
  • Great-grandchildren of Portuguese people who have living ancestors with citizenship;
  • Portuguese spouses;
  • Sephardic Jews;
  • People who have legally lived in Portugal for more than 5 years;
  • People who were born in Portugal, but are the daughters of foreigners;
  • People who once had citizenship but lost it;
  • Portuguese adopted children;
  • Persons who provided relevant services to Portugal

The new law came into force with a new, electronic system.

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2 of 2 Image of a church in downtown Lisbon, Portugal — Photo: Pedro Nunes/Reuters

Image of a church in downtown Lisbon, Portugal — Photo: Pedro Nunes/Reuters

Until the rules were changed, grandchildren of Portuguese people could only obtain citizenship if their parents also had recognized nationality. It is now possible to “skip” a generation.

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Lawyer Raquel Brito, from Abreu Advogados, in Lisbon, says she has noticed that with the new rule there are more Brazilians who want to have information.

The duration of the entire process has not changed, according to her – it was about 2 years and still is.

For a person born in Portugal to be considered Portuguese, the parents must have been in the country for at least one year — no matter if this happens legally. The deadline has been falling in recent years: until 2015, if the parents had not lived in Portugal on a regular basis for five years, the child would not have citizenship.

The meaning of the change is to give more importance to ties with the country than to blood ties, according to lawyer Raquel Brito.

“I still haven’t noticed an increase in nationality titles, but there are many (Brazilians) who travel for their children to be born in Portugal, this has been happening a lot — Brazilians who travel to give birth. Now (the children) are already born regularized, and that is significant”.

There are two cases of spouses of Portuguese people who can obtain citizenship:

  • Those who are married;
  • Those who have a stable union for at least three years;
  • Those who have a Portuguese child

In such cases, it is possible to apply for citizenship if the union is recognized in Portugal.

The general purpose of the new rules is to facilitate the granting of citizenship, but in one case the opposite happened: for descendants of Sephardic Jews (those who have ancestors who lived in the Iberian Peninsula), it is more difficult.

They need to prove their ancestry and show a certificate from a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin. After that, they must prove ties with Portugal.

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