Is it worth adding new-born baby to your GV Application...?

I started my process in Oct-21, and got my card in June 23. My wife had her biometrics in Aug-23 and is now waiting for her card. We are going to have a baby soon, and wonder if it’s worth adding the baby to our application and getting them a residence card, or if they would automatically become eligible for a Passport, whenever we have received our passports. I understand, this would take a few more years, but we wont be spending extended periods of time in Portugal in those years. Just trying to see, if the additional costs of all those renewals are necessary?

Thanks

Congrats on the new arrival!

Your question comes up quite regularly on NG - I recommend searching for something like “child golden visa”, and you’ll find a lot of discussion.

Broadly, a minor child of a parent who has acquired Portuguese citizenship through the ARI can naturalise by “act of will”. Unlike the naturalisation of the ARI-holder parent, this can theoretically be opposed by the State on the grounds of a lack of connection to the Portuguese community, and “connections” are not well-defined. So it’s not a completely automatic process. I’ve read comments to the effect that this would not, in practice, be an issue for a young child (yours would be be, I guess, at most six years old). You should consult your lawyers (and possibly a good immigration lawyer if not the same).

Thanks Chris, very helpful.

I have indeed been trawling the forums for this info after I posted this, and found similar info, specifically about the connection being established through “education” in Portugal for e.g. What’s not so clear is, whether they need to have spent 5 years in the education system, or any period of time. Would love your opinion on that.

My lawyer is of the opinion that, Residence permit is the best way, and anything else carries significant risk, but the 2nd option isn’t necessarily the most beneficial for the legal profession, so I wanted it run it by fellow travellers on this journey.

If you already have the card, so if your new born was born in Portugal, he/she automatically gets PT citizenship. If born overseas, then it’s best to add her to your GV application, so once you naturalize, it can serve as connection of child to PT.

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I was told by a lawyer that there used to be a policy that children under 14 need no proof of connection, but this was revoked a year or two ago and replaced with the policy that 5 years residence and school attendance (if of school age) proves connection.

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Thanks Sohaib, we are scheduled to fly there in May, but having second thoughts about the pros and cons of spending almost 5 months there, other than the security of the passport, there arent too many pros, quite a few cons, so its a tricky one.

But if we dont go, it looks like adding the newborn might be the safest option. I was wondering, if the “links to portugal” requirement is still applicable to GV investors when applying for a Citizenship. I think I read somewhere on the forums, that, this was no longer the case.

That is interesting indeed.

Quite interesting.

If the child is not born yet, you may re-schedule your trip to PT as near as to the delivery date as possible, usually the airlines allow travel until the 8th month of the gestation, to ensure you get him/her the PT passport, without having to go through the hassle of adding him/her, paying for expensive GV fees and then going through the hassle of many years to apply for his/her citizenship. The choice is yours !

It is not applicable to citizenship by naturalization (requires applicant is 18+ years and passes language test).

It is applicable to minors.

The visa you are on (e.g. GV) doesn’t matter.

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Thanks Sohaib,

Wonder if you (or anyone here) know how long the process takes to have the passport in your hand once the baby is born, factoring in the August slowdown in Portugal.

Our original calculation was we would need a min of 5 months, fly in 2 months before, and fly out 3 months after (assuming that it is not very safe for a baby smaller than 3M to fly on a long flight (9Hrs+3Hrs connecting flight).

On your question re time to naturalisation - I see on other forums that although newborns have the fastest time to get a cartão de cidadão, the shortest period is 160 days and can be as long as 287 days (applications last year 2023). So, not exactly immediate.

On the health issue: A live-born infant, without structural problems at birth has an extremely low mortality rate in Europe, with (maternal) immunity transferred through breastmilk, vaccinations (BCG, DPT and Polio) and acquired immunity to digestive and respiratory infections even if living in a moderately contaminated environment. Infant mortality sharply declined over the past decades - Products Eurostat News - Eurostat. The child will be fine travelling– if normal precautions against infection are taken. (Infectious disease specialist).

Sohaib’s point about the birth of the child in Portugal, conferring nationality is correct. You may wish to know that if you take this path, the parents have a path to citizenship via the child as the Nationality Act now includes the ability of the child to confer nationality to the parents. The condition is that the parent(s) would need to have been living in Portugal at the time of birth for 1 year (with or without a title of residence), would have to establish paternity at the date/time of the child’s birth and have passed your Portuguese exam (presumably later). I cannot give a link for this from the IRN (as the law has recently changed, but the website has not altered yet). I read the clause in the Act some time ago, but cannot find it easily, now. A better website is the following: https://direitocomparado.com/nacionalidade-portuguesa-para-pais-de-filho-nascido-em-portugal-como-obter/ .


Either of the parents would need to have resided or be actually residing in the country. The last version of the Law has been linked several times here.

Edited to provide the quote from the Nationality Act.
So lots for you to consider…

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Thanks so much. These are certainly new insights and give us more to think about.

  1. That 160 days to 287 days timeline certainly changes things as it means, we could be in the country for almost up to 10 months. Our lawyer, said the whole process from birth to having a passport in the hand should take about 2 months. Are these numbers based on anecdotal evidence from this forum? Would appreciate any links you could share there.

  2. The parents getting citizenship via the child is totally new to me as well. My understanding that 1 year of “residence in the country” is necessary, and simply having the residence card issued via GV is not sufficient?

Thanks

The data come from a (mostly) Brazilian community seeking Portuguese citizenship: https://forum.cidadaniaportuguesa.com/. Today I have found it a bit tricky re-finding the excel file which I downloaded before posting (and I cannot seem to repeat the exercise today to give you the url) but this is a screenshot from the excel file:

So these are real data (like our excel file on this forum).
On your points: (1) there is no requirement in the Act that you (or the child) be physically in Portugal. At least, I do not see this requirement. The application is done online, but if you have the appropriate documents, this can be done from anywhere, or via a lawyer. So best get a reliable lawyer onboard and take advice early. This is big business, so there are a lot of sharks in the water.
On (2) once again the idea came to me as I saw your post as I had read the full Nationality Act. 1 year residence is necessary, but the Nationality Act specifies “independentemente de título” which means (in this case) whether or not you have a residence card (title!), you have the right to be a national if your child is a national, but you are not. For obvious humanitarian reasons. I assume it means you have to have proof of being in the country. What that proof is, is not specified (and therefore not clear to me or anyone at this point!), but may be worthwhile getting your ducks in a row now, in case the requirement is removed at a later date.

Once again pointing to the need for a sensible/reliable lawyer. Don’t just use a GV lawyer if you go this route as this person may not have the required specialisation- somebody who deals with Brazilian cases may be better. But I repeat, there are sharks, as there always are when people are cornered or vulnerable.
You may find after talking to a reliable lawyer, that in fact that you do not need the GV !Because this path is an alternative - ie plan B - less costly and maybe faster to your objective, if your objective is citizenship. And you may want to try it, without withdrawing the GV, and see.
Good luck!
PS - your current lawyer is wrong on the 2 months’ timeline - not to deceive you but because it is assumed that it will be fast, and the lawyer may not have recent experience on these type of cases.
Edit2 - I see from the excel file screenshot that the application is sometimes made early (1 month), and sometimes after 9 months!

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Thank again for your really helpful insights and for going out of your way to look for the links.

Are these applicants applying under GV or a different route? I wonder if timelines vary, as I just spoke to someone who went through the process last Jul (GV Investor), and he said he got the passport in hand in 4 days post-birth. The ID Card was issued the next day, and passport 3 days later.

This has really made me think, if we as parents could qualify under this outside the GV Route. We havent done the language course though, so I am guessing, given that I would have the residence permit for 12 months at the time of birth, and my wife won’t, does this mean, if we can get the language certificate before birth, we could potentially both qualify under this route?

Would you have recommendations for any lawyers who understand this route. I will also run this by my lawyer, but I believe she specializes more in Golden Visas.

You’re still using the GV, since that residency is what grants your hypothetical Portugal-born child citizenship. (It wouldn’t work if you just had a baby there on a tourist visa.) You’d just be using an accelerated route instead of 5 year residence to naturalization.

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The applicants are mostly those who apply through descent - ie a Brazilian with a parent or grandparent who emigrated to Brazil (from either Portugal or one of Portuguese colonies eg Mozambique, Angola, India etc). The descendants now make an application for citizenship based on their parents’ Portuguese nationality. But, as there are many Brazilians in Portugal who may have come into the country for work (because Portugal currently has an open-door policy to lusophones from its former colonies), if they have a child, the child will have citizenship, but the parent does not until s/he has fulfilled 5 years’ residence. Hence the modification in the law to enable ascendants (parents) to acquire citizenship - with conditions.
I do not know any reliable lawyers that specialize in citizenship here. I will ask. Could I recommend that you ask your lawyer for a recommendation of a immigration lawyer, making it clear that you want somebody who already has clients who have experience on this precise point - citizenship by ascendancy? What you want to avoid is taking on a lawyer without experience in this area.

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I just had clarification from my lawyer too, that this is indeed 5 years (As per your latest post) and not 1 year, which is where I am at, so unfortunately, this is not an option for me. The link is a bit confusing as it originally states 1 year, but later on, says 5 years, unless I am confusing things.

With 5 years the wait times, would be pretty much the same as GV, unless the process for naturalization via this path was significantly faster.

I agree, if 5 year wait times, its no different from GV.

Before getting citizenship for your child, you should read this article. The world is not a better place than it was 1,3 or 10 years ago.

Mandatory Troop - José Jorge Letria - Correio da Manhã (cmjornal.pt)