Portuguese Citizenship application after 5 years of Golden Visa

As much as we would like to debate who “earns the right” to citizenship, this is a hotly debated topic in the domestic political sphere. Today the country is run by a minority Socialist government supported by two left wing parties.

The recent changes in citizenship/nationality law were driven by the left wing parties. In future, this could change, and what we think today as being normal may not be the case in a few years time.

Generally, yes. But now you’re talking about children born in country. Hauling yourself however far away to have birth in some foreign hospital is a pretty significant tie to the country. :slight_smile: And Portugal has jus soli rights, plus or minus. Unaccompanied minors crossing the border fall under humanitarian/refugee rules, and .pt has those. Whereas we’re talking here about children who weren’t born in the country to parents who “bought” a citizenship and aren’t bothering to actually live in the country, and their children. At some point you gotta pull the plug. I agree they’re trying to attract more residents… but handing passports to kids who aren’t in the country is an expensive and potentially controversial way to encourage younger immigrants, as Aditya points out. Ireland does it, of course, but reasonable countries will disagree on where that point is.

This seems to be the relevant law -

As Susan correctly points out, we’re all just punting at it, as an interesting discussion, I think, and I hope no one reading this avoids getting legal counsel on the basis of it. :slight_smile:

Hi. There is no separation between children and parents. If the parents live in Portugal, their children can live in Portugal, can get the residency and citizenship. If the parents don’t live in Portugal, the children can get the residence card/ EU family blue card and have the right to live in Portugal as well. Either case, there is no denying the kids to live/ be in Portugal with their parents.

I am not saying it is impossible. This is the advise from my lawyer who has been involved with GV since 2012 and now applying permanent residents and citizenship for many clients. The law is vague here, about the Portuguese ties. And she advises that living in Portugal/ being educated in Portugal is obviously a very strong tie. She mentioned also attending a Portuguese school in your home country can also be a tie.

But laws can change. It can be tightened and loosen, in 5 years time, who knows. Golden visa is new, meaning the number of people who are eligible to apply for citizenship after the GV is very few. Those who has applied and got the result are even fewer (just the approval of citizenship takes 1-2 years). And maybe SEF will eventually consider passing the Portuguese language or staying here a few weeks is considered enough tied to Portugal.

For the issue of getting citizenship for your dependents without going thru GV, has to be careful. There is a difference between born as a Portuguese or becoming a Portuguese through naturalisation. And a difference if a child is born before/ after you have become a Portuguese citizen. And a difference between if you are living in Portugal or not. There are so many scenario here. My advise is not to assume. It is better to confirm with a lawyer.

Also, the GV is a residency status, there is value in it. We can’t see citizenship has a value of 100, while GV has 0 value, is just the means to get the citizenship.

For instance, like this pandemic, entry to the country is restricted/ limited for a foreigner during certain times with the confinement, but as a resident, you can enter the country. Meaning if something happens you need to leave your home country and come to Portugal, all your family can come if they have the residence permit. I think this (to ensure that they come and stay in Portugal without further formality in case anything happens) is what most people who are looking into GV want, right?

Yes you are right. Residency alone would give some rights. I was giving reasons why children should be eligible for citizenship. I don’t know that it is the case, correct or even advisable. Others gave some reasons why they should not be eligible. It’s not for me really to argue with the law. I am fine with it either way and as I said, it does not affect me at all so in practical terms I don’t really care.

Hey Susan.

My kids are toddlers at the moment. Even in 5 years, they are not going to be clearing any A2 Portuguese tests.

Does that mean it’s a waste of money to include them in my GV application?

@susanayang