! Naturalization/citizenship requirement changes potentially coming in Portugal!

There might be some changes to Portuguese/Portugal citizenship coming down the line… anyone know more about this? Seems like a bit of a vague article…

TLDR, they are considering lowering the time required to reach citizenship.

This does seem interesting…

The background is a petition filed in July by a Brazilian national, Juliet Cristino, who notes that Brazilians already in Portugal, who apply for residence, can wait up to four years for a permit to be issued. They then wait another five years before being eligible for citizenship. She wants the five year clock to start before the formal granting of residence.

(Detalhe de Petição)

The petition has been taken up by PS for debate. While the petition focuses on Brazilian nationals, the parallel with the ARI process is obvious. Perhaps this even represents an opportunity to argue that the five year clock on the ARI should start from pre-approval.

Below is a translation of the original article in Jornal Jurid:

In this month of September, the Portuguese Parliament will review a possible change in the current legislation, making it easier for foreigners already living in the country to obtain Portuguese citizenship. The change will be in the time-counting needed to achieve naturalization. Currently, a foreign resident in the country has their time-count reset upon receiving formal authorization to stay in Portugal.

For example, a Brazilian who has been living in the country for five years while awaiting formalization will have to stay an additional five years legally to obtain citizenship after receiving the authorization. This waiting time, even with an expression of interest through a work contract, is not considered in the process.

However, this reality may change. In the legislative session that began this month, the Portuguese Parliament will examine a possible alteration to the current rules. The debate will be motivated by the acceptance of a petition from Brazilian Juliet Cristino, from the Committee of Immigrants of Portugal (CIP).

According to Maurício Gonçalves, an attorney specializing in immigration and Portuguese nationality, if this goes ahead, it represents progress for those seeking to naturalize. Currently, Portugal is home to over 500,000 Brazilians, as demonstrated by data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty).

“According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), naturalization by ‘length of stay’ is the main form of acquiring nationality for Brazilians,” explains Gonçalves. Therefore, the new legislation would be a facilitator for Brazilians already living in Portugal while awaiting formalization.

[Maurício Gonçalves is an attorney specializing in immigration and Portuguese nationality. He has lived and worked in Portugal for 23 years. He has extensive experience in Portuguese nationality processes, divorce recognitions, inheritance issues, diploma validations, and various visas. He has a team prepared to handle any legal and notarial demand in Portugal.]

(Cidadania portuguesa: Parlamento analisa facilitar a naturalização no país)

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Fantastic news if we can do it. I think for those of us 2021 applicants, given we have the right to reside in PT there’s a solid argument to be made that that should be the start date for citizenship clock. But who knows

I’d assume they’d use the existing criteria - “hold legal residence”, which normally has stay requirements, but the GV gets around that

It is an interesting question though, will it be something like what canada has, where 2 years of temporary residence (i.e. worker visa) plus 2 years residence permit = citizenship?

I’d be surprised if they try and change it to time spent in country over ‘hold legal residence’, it will pretty much destroy whatever is left of the golden visa.

I’ve been looking at this too & did again last night.
The relevant Despacho doesn’t seem to give applicants the rights of a GV holder per se, just the right to remain legally in the country and avail of all public services.
Unless the applicant actually took up residence will the authorities really accept this as ‘legal residence’ required for citizenship…it’s an open question…

It would decrease the allure, surely, but on the flip side that would make it in line with several other countries who offer residence but with a very high bar to citizenship.

It might be a negative for many people wanting GV, and certainly cause many applicants to walk away, yes, but politics are based on the mood of the people and what with things how they are, “the people” may just want there to be a higher bar to becoming a citizen even at the cost of the GV program, which isn’t exactly loved anyway.

Frankly, I think there is absolutely nothing to cheer here. There is some possibility of a good outcome, but with the winds blowing as they are, I would suggest that a bad outcome is just as likely. Consider that this topic is being considered by the very party that was happy to kill GV entirely then cranked out a bunch of really crappy legislation around it. All of which is still fresh in their minds as they consider this topic.

Better for us to have let the sleeping dogs lie.

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Agreed Jeff

totally agree, it just seems very crazy to me to go to all that trouble with changing many small details of the GV in the last bill, only to basically throw it all down the drain by changing the wording on how citizenship applies. 95% of people applying for GV in PT are in it for the citizenship, otherwise there are cheaper,faster and easier options in the EU/Schengen for a residence permit.

The article also forgot to mention the reason for the Isreali citizens - it is to right an ancient wrong done to the sephardic Jews hundreds of years ago. I have a friend whose family is here just for that reason. Those numbers will drop dramatically as that program is winding down. The article should’ve been focused on the Lusophone countries as the PT government already had to rewrite the legislation for them. That being said any improvement in the process would be welcome. As bad as it is for us if you have been to any Loja de Cidadão and dealt with SEF there - the insanity that Lusaphone peoples have to deal with - with a common language and cultural ties is one of the primary reasons SEF hopefully won’t exist in its current form when I get my dual citizenship.

The names and contact information of members of Parliament whom we could write to would be extremely helpful. Does anyone have a list of members working on this?

I just received this link from our attorney regarding upcoming changes.

This just might be our best Christmas Present.

This just received for my attorney.

It just might be our best Christmas present.

Also being discussed in this new thread…