Children on GV application? Henley and GSC have different opinions

In our rush to try and get our GV application submitted in hopes of still qualifying I have proposals from both Henley Partners and Global Citizen Services.

Henley’s proposal of fees says that our 6 & 8 year old kids need to be on the GV application while GCS says only my wife needs to be on as the kids would naturalize, as minors, when my wife and I become citizens. Don’t want to be foolish to save the GV fees for the kids but don’t want to waste money either.

Does anyone have experience to help clarify?

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This thread discusses the pro and cons of adding the kids to the GV versus waiting:

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Citizenship had always been fuzzy legally for kids.

With Portugal eyeing ending the GV, it’s legally fuzzy for adults too.

Hard to imagine why anyone would rush into this process knowing what is going on, but I wish OP good luck.

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Because doing nothing closes the door. Getting a NIF and bank account set up while investigating funds and properties allows me to be ready if there is a transition period before the program closes.

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Perhaps not needing the kids to be on the GV is possible to achieve citizenship but there are other considerations/advantages of them having them on the GV such as; always having a visa to travel to Portugal/Europe, being able to get government health care, being able to enrol at a school or playing sports. We started out only doing the annual visits and have ended up moving here permanently and without the GV visa (legal residence), our son would not be able to play soccer competitively (assuming you get FIFA clearance). This is just a quick list but something to think about. Obviously not sure of your circumstances (they can change as ours did) so perhaps best to run these issues past your legal team.

On the website that explains the documents needed for citizenship (Como obter a nacionalidade portuguesa), there is a requirement to show effective link to the Portuguese community. This is automatically recognised for children under 18 if they have one of the following:

  • have been legally resident in Portugal for 5 years
  • (are) registered with Finance and the National Health System (or regional health services)
  • prove that (they) are studying in Portugal

If your children have a Golden Visa it is possible for them to be legally resident for 5 years even though they have been in Portugal for only 7 days/year on average (assuming that this benefit is not removed by the changes proposed by the government). This is why I chose to get GV for my children as well.

Unclear from that link if it’s just one, or all of them. This link suggests they need 5 years and school attendance: https://dre.pt/dre/detalhe/decreto-lei/26-2022-180657814

Artigo 56.º
4 - A Conservatória dos Registos Centrais presume que existe ligação efetiva à comunidade nacional quando, no momento do pedido, o interessado, que seja menor ou maior acompanhado que careça de representação para o ato, resida legalmente em território português nos cinco anos imediatamente anteriores ao pedido e, sendo menor em idade escolar, comprove ainda a frequência escolar em estabelecimento de ensino em território português.

Translation from deepl.com:

Article 56
4 - The Central Registry Office presumes that there is an effective link to the national community when, at the time of the request, the interested party, who is a minor or accompanied adult requiring representation for the act, has resided legally in Portuguese territory for the five years immediately preceding the request and, if he/she is a minor at school age, also proves school attendance at an educational establishment in Portuguese territory.

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That’s a good point.

Either way, it is hard to meet the first dot point without the Golden Visa residence concession, unless you are actually living in Portugal for a high portion of the 5 years.

I am expecting to be in that situation and assumed that I would need to wait for the 5 years.

I also think it is hard to meet the studying requirement, as that would require the child to be physically present in Portugal for long enough (I don’t think enrolling is enough).

Knowing how the government feels about it, trying to slip through the “door” while it is closing may be ill-advised. Fingers crossed you get what you want.

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The timeline might be a bit tight for your 8 year old (especially depending on when they turn 9). 2 years from application to get the golden visa, 5 years residence, 2 years to get citizenship is 9 years. I believe your child needs to be less than 18 to declare their citizenship (after you’ve become a citizen).

If they’re over 18 easier for them to just study A2 Portuguese and naturalize directly based on 5 years residence.

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If their child was not included as a dependent on their GV application, the child wouldn’t have ever been a resident, right? Therefore including them on the GV application is the safest route and provides a path for citizenship as a minor or non-minor.

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I am not a lawyer but given the child’s age, this is what I would think makes most sense if your child needs to be resident for 5 years.