Immigration

Brazilians Can Now Obtain Portuguese Citizenship Faster Thanks to New Law

Brazilians Can Now Obtain Portuguese Citizenship Faster Thanks to New Law

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As of April, the procedure for foreign nationals to become Portuguese citizens will be easier, thanks to a new law that reduces the years of residency requirements.

Portugal’s Nationality Law requires that foreigners spend a minimum of five years in the country, in order to be eligible to obtain citizenship, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Thanks to the new changes, the waiting period between expressing interest in obtaining citizenship, which includes submitting an authorisation to live in Portugal and receiving this authorisation, will be calculated as residency time in the country. Previously, the waiting period for the authorisation, which could take up to three years, was not counted.

Thousands of Brazilians to Benefit From New Law

The new law impacts thousands of Brazilian nationals, who also represent the largest foreign nationality group in Portugal. Many of them who applied for Portuguese citizenship in 2019 and were issued only a residence permit later on, will now be eligible to become Portuguese citizens.

The new law establishes that immigrants residing in Portugal must prove language proficiency, except for candidates from countries where Portuguese is the official language, which make up the CPLP, in addition to Equatorial Guinea.

Applicants of other nationalities will have to take exams to prove their language skills, and the candidates must have a minimum of A2 level in the Portuguese language to be eligible for obtaining citizenship.

Descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews to Have Their Certificate Evidence Approved By an Evaluation Committee

Descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews will also be able to obtain Portuguese citizenship, provided they can prove they have connections to Portuguese society, which can include surnames, language or direct collateral descent.

According to the new law, certificates issued by a Jewish community “with the status of a religious collective person based in Portugal” will serve as evidence. Such institutions include Comunidade Israelita do Porto and Comunidade Israelita de Lisboa. The new changes require that such a certificate has to be approved by a specific evaluation committee.

In addition, with the new law in place, descendants of Sephardic Jews must have a legal residence of three years in Portugal to obtain citizenship. This means that they need a Residence Permit to stay in the country and after a period to request recognition of their status.

Those Who Committed Crimes Are Not Eligible for Obtaining Portuguese Citizenship

The new law points out that candidates who have been convicted for three or more years, cannot obtain Portuguese citizenship.

The legislation gives the right to the state to not grant citizenship to people who represent a danger or threat to the national security, which include those that committed acts of terrorism, violence or organised crime.

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