1 of 1 Flag of Portugal Photo: Getty Images Flag of Portugal Photo: Getty Images
Under current law, five years. But the point from which this period is counted could change: the Portuguese Parliament approved an amendment in the first days of 2024 that could speed up the process that Brazilians and other foreigners go through to obtain Portuguese citizenship.
Currently it is The fiveyear period begins when the foreigner receives the residence permit.
However, the regulation approved by the Portuguese parliamentarians stipulates that this period must begin with the application for a residence permit.
For the change to take effect, the text must depends on the proclamation by the President of the Republic and on the regulation by the legislature within 90 days of publicationas emphasized lawyer Flávio Martins Peron, specialist in residence visa procedures and Portuguese nationality.
In practice, the change could mean a reduction of around two years in the time it takes to apply for citizenship for many foreigners moving to Portugal, according to Peron, a partner at the firm Martins & Oliveira Advogados.
He illustrates it this way: “The person who came (to Portugal) as a tourist and got a job here does a process called 'expression of interest' (of residence in Portugal) it is the person who raises his hand and says, ' Look, “I have a job here and I want to legalize myself in Portugal.” From the moment he submits an application for legalization, it currently takes about two years for this process to be analyzed and approved,” he explains.
“The measure will benefit many people. I understand that she is correcting a mistake,” says Peron, who was born in Portugal and grew up in Brazil. “Two years is not an appropriate period of time to respond to a migration process, especially considering that Portugal needs these people here, right? Portugal is a country that has this need for migration so that the economy can turn around.”
The change has no significant impact on Brazilians who are already applying for a visa in Brazil, the lawyer said.
As an example, he cites those who, still from Brazil, apply for visas such as the socalled D7, for pensioners, retirees and people with their own income in Brazil, who can prove that they have at least a Portuguese minimum wage per month (820). Euros or around R$3,480) to stay in Portugal for a period of one year.
“We are applying for a visa for this client in Brazil, he is moving to Portugal and here we are applying for a residence permit in two, at most three months he will legalize himself here with a residence permit. From then on.” From now on, the fiveyear period begins to run within which he can apply for Portuguese citizenship.”
The vote to change the calculation of the fiveyear period came as part of a package that encouraged further updates to the socalled citizenship law.
Parliamentarians also agreed to shorten from five to three years the legal period of residence in Portugal required for Sephardic Jews to access citizenship.
And Portuguese lawmakers also promoted a change to grant children recognized by Portuguese parents the right to citizenship only after they turn 18. In these cases, applying for citizenship must wait three years after paternity is recognized.
A foreigner who has a residence permit in Portugal “basically has the same rights and obligations as a Portuguese citizen, with the exception of political rights,” says Peron.
However, one of the main advantages of Portuguese citizenship in terms of residence is for people who eventually want to move to another country in the European Union, the lawyer recalls.
“From the moment she acquires Portuguese citizenship, she can also enjoy all the benefits of European citizenship,” emphasizes Peron. “In addition, a Portuguese citizen does not need a visa to the United States, Canada or Australia he simply has to go through a process that is much simpler than a visa.”
The lawyer also mentions that he sees disparities in access to financing. “A foreigner with a residence permit can finance up to 70% of the property value, while the bank will usually finance a Portuguese a little more up to 80, 90% of the property value,” he says.