Created in mid-2020, the new code has new rules for spouses and grandchildren of Portuguese citizens.
According to information from Portugal’s Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), Brazilians take the first place in the ranking of those who most obtained authorizations granted by the Portuguese government to live in the country. In information divulged by Agência Brasil, 41.99 thousand of the 117.5 new residence titles issued by Portugal in 2020 were destined for those born in Brazil. A large part of this number is due to the Portuguese New Citizenship Law, created last July.
The new legislation made easier the life of those who seek recognition of Portuguese nationalitynationality as spouses and grandchildren – as well as Portuguese born children of immigrants. With the change in the law, norms were de-bureaucratized and simplified, besides offering greater legal security in citizenship processes. According to the SEF, the previous bureaucracy for documentation was one of the main causes of denial of requests, both for ties due to loving relationships as well as for blood ties to grandparents.
In the case of grandchildren of people born in Portugal, the Portuguese New Citizenship Law guarantees a more just process, requiring only knowledge of the Portuguese language and a clean record of criminal antecedents – for convictions above three years, besides suspicion of links to terrorism. Previously, besides the aforementioned conditions, candidates for citizenship had to prove that their grandparents maintained links to their native country. Among the requirements were frequent contacts with Portuguese residents or institutions, besides having a legal residence in the country and owning real estate for at least 3 years among other factors.
For the children of immigrants, the new legislation guarantees native citizenship for those born on Portuguese territory. To this end, it is necessary that at least one of the parents still lives legally in Portugal – or still lives in the country for a minimum of one year. Previously, the requirement for children of immigrants was that one of the parents would maintain legal residence in the country for at least two years. Furthermore, one of the parents had to have been a legal or illegal resident for a period of over five years.
Finally, the Portuguese New Law of Citizenship has simplified the requests of spouses or partners of people born in Portugal. In the case of a verified relationship of over six years, the legislation excludes the need for effective links to the country. For more recent relationships, besides the requirement of at least three years of a stable relationship, there is a need for the previous recognition of the relationship in Portugal – either by an endorsement of the marriage or a judicial acknowledgement of the stable union.