Portugal Golden Visa now leading to citizenship after five years

Dr. Antoine Saliba Haig | Published on 17 Jul 2018

Portugal Golden Visa leading to citizenship in five years

The Portuguese government has just announced amendments to its Citizenship laws (Law no.37/81), allowing individuals who have been resident in Portugal for a minimum of five years to apply for citizenship, instead of the six-year residency period. These amendments in the law came into force on July 3rd of 2018 and apply for investors obtaining residency under the Portugal Golden Visa Programme

Such amendments make the Portuguese residency programme more attractive for individuals seeking another citizenship. Apart from showing residence of at least five years, the applicant must also have an understanding of the Portuguese language. Not be subject to a prison sentence of 3 years or more and is not considered a threat to national security.

CIP Cost Calculator Internal bannerAnother key change made was that of removing the requirement of sitting for a Portuguese proficiency test for certain individuals. Those applying for Portuguese citizenship who originate from a Portuguese-speaking country or have resided in a Portuguese speaking country for the past ten years are assumed to have sufficient knowledge of the national language. 

This is expected to be a highly welcomed change amongst the Brazilian community, as the second most common nationality of individuals who were approved for the Portuguese Permanent Residency Programme were Brazilians, with a total number of 561 applicants approved for the programme since its inception in 2012. Other Portuguese speaking countries include Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe. 

The news made waves after the legislative reform passed through the Portuguese Parliament. The shift in Portugal’s citizenship regime alters the avenue to citizenship for a significant number of foreign individuals. Upon acquiring residency through the Portugal Golden Visa Programme, individuals may now obtain permanent residency as well as citizenship after five years. 

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