Wait time now counts toward 5 year residency?

Um, can we move the discussion on the 7/14 day stay to the thread dedicated to THAT topic


Most of us are tracking this thread for updates/discussion on the new law change for 5 year clock start from application.


Oops, yes, sorry.

Back to the topic, the president’s objection to the bill did not concern our situation. It was about the clause for Sephardic Jews that were exiled. That was the subject of the Mercan group article above.

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Indeed. It seems the most likely outcome now is that the bill will be returned back to parliament. Unfortunately for us, there isn’t one right now. It’s likely that Chega, the anti-immigration right wing, will gain seats. So the uncertainty is whether the future parliament will actually want to re-submit the bill without the Sephardic Jew passages, or just fail to do so. Something like a pocket veto.

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I moved over the posts solely related to proving your time in Portugal.

I left the ones discussing whether you need to meet the stay requirements from the time of application or not assuming the wait time will start counting towards citizenship, as those are somewhat relevant here.

Let’s keep this thread for news regarding the nationality law going forward!


Other than Chega’s anti-immigrant stance, is there a clear sense of where the other parties stand on the relevant issues? I haven’t been able to identify where the votes on this particular bill came from, and how the next election could change the support.

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The vote on the nationality bill was

In favour: PS (115), IL (8), BE (4), PAN (1), L (1)
Against: CH (11), PCP (6)
Abstain: PS (3), PSD (65)

(Obviously this is not necessarily a guide to how parties would vote if the bill is brought back in a new parliament.)



Thank you, that’s enormously helpful. Is it at all clear whether the unified abstention by PSD is out of an objection to the merits of the bill?

As far as I can tell from the published documents, PSD raised objections in relation to (a) how the Nationality Act deals with applicants with criminal convictions, and (b) the language about the treatment of Sephardic Jews. PSD also complained about the late notice given by PS of its proposed amendments, one of which is the backdating change in Article 15 that we’re all interested in. But I can’t see that PSD has expressed any opposition to the Article 15 amendment itself.

So it seems to me that PSD didn’t have any substantial objections to the principles of the bill, more that their suggested improvements (in their view) weren’t taken up. Hence abstention rather than opposition. But happy to be corrected by anyone with better insight into the debate.


My reading is the same from the published material. PSD knew the bill would pass (PS majority) but their main issue was on due diligence on the criminal records and the short time for evaluating amendments before the vote. Article 15, item 4 was not contentious in the statements; I did not watch the debate before the vote.


Thank you both so much for illuminating the dynamics at play. If PSD didn’t object to the substance of the bill, we can probably sleep easier with regard to its future if the courts return it to the new parliament. PSD has ruled out any future alliance with CHEGA, so even a modest rightward drift in the next election shouldn’t be too catastrophic for us.

Difficult to read / predict the results of the election, even for those following the debates. The probability is highly in favour of a coalition (either PS+ ) OR (CDS+ ) rather than a majority for one party. But then a coalition was also predicted the last time!

However difficult it may be, for those who have already waited for so long, we just have to wait and see. The writing on the wall favours eventual passing of the amended nationality law, with Article 15, item 4, counting time waiting (by law). We will know what the Constitutional Court says next week (20th, I believe).

Although some have speculated that Article 15 item 4 will reduce the total GV fees to be paid, I dont fully share this view. It will not be in the country’s financial interest to reduce total fees, although AIMA will need to anticipate (in their Contagem de tempo) how many will not renew GV if they have already met the 5 year waiting period for a citizenship application through delayed processing. Fees can be altered without an act of Parliament.


Good point on fees. I imagine “ARI applicants will owe $ equal to the typical number of renewals at time of citizenship application.” sounds great in Portuguese.

Well, they kind of need to state that in order not to lose too many votes. However, I also don’t see any possibility of PSD ruling without some sort of support from Chega. There aren’t enough votes going to the parties to the right of PS otherwise.

There was a debate between André Ventura (leader of Chega) and Luis Montenegro (leader of PSD) on RTP1 yesterday. Someone have already uploaded it to YouTube. You can enable auto translated subtitles.

Montenegro is “very clear” in stating that the party has no agreement with Chega and listing all sorts of reasons why he doesn’t like Chega and their approach to politics. Still, he never answers plainly to the question of whether they will enter into an agreement or coalition with Chega in case they win without an absolute majority. He does say he’s happy to do so with the classically liberal IL, however.

On the other hand, Ventura is very keen to do a coalition (understandably so), accusing PSD of rather wanting to give the power to PS.

Either way, I do hope we’ll see the nationality law picked up again by the next government in case it gets struck down by the constitutional court—without any material changes to article 15.4.


I agree with you.
The advantage of PS has always been its willingness to reach agreement or find areas of understanding with parties that are more left leaning than PS. Costa always found common ground. There is considerable lack of willingness (or ability) to do the same for right-leaning parties (in this case, as evident in the discussion between PSD -as the biggest member of the Aliança Democrática- with Chega).
The President referred to this unwillingness to reach agreements across the right, as an important weakness of the right, almost 2 years ago.
To be fair, Rui Rio (the previous leader of PSD) made a deal with Chega before the last election (either in Açores or Madeira - I cannot now remember), and the deal was widely interpreted as having cost PSD the last election.
We hate to repeat our errors, dont we?

Hearing from Andre Miranda (Portuguese lawyer) that the Constitutional Court has today approved the amendments to the Nationality Law as constitutional, meaning that the President may now promulgate it. Excellent news.

Judgement here:


Yes. News link now added above

So does the President pass it into law now, or is it that he may promulgate it? Like, are there any more roadblocks here or is it just procedural steps?

My understanding is that, formally, the President could still veto the bill on political grounds, which would send it back to parliament (which could then override the veto).

This is regarded as unlikely, though, since the President only raised a constitutional objection initially. The presumption is he will now promulgate it, likely by the end of next week.

None of this addresses the remaining key question for ARI applicants: whether the ‘start date’ of the 5 year timing is the initial application submission, or the biometrics appointment.


That is great news. Thanks for the update.

The update from IAS which doesn’t add much to what Chris posted, but glad to see it reinforced from a Law firm. They are still ambiguous on when the 5 year clock starts for now.