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Portugal Amends Nationality Law Accelerating Waiting Time for Applicants

posted 6 months ago

In a significant development, the Portuguese parliament has announced crucial changes to the country’s nationality law, offering much-needed relief to applicants facing delays in residency application processing. These amendments address the waiting period required for Portuguese nationality applications, particularly impacting individuals applying through naturalization.

Amendments to Article 15 – Addressing Residency Wait Times:

Previously, Article 6, Paragraph 4 of the nationality law mandated a minimum residency period of five years for individuals seeking Portuguese nationality through naturalization. This period traditionally commenced upon the issuance of the initial residency permit.

The recent changes, now incorporated into Article 15, Paragraph 4, explicitly state that the time between the submission of the temporary residency permit and its final approval will be considered when calculating the required legal residency period for nationality, as long as the permit is granted.

This alteration allows individuals to include the waiting period between submitting their temporary residency permit and its final approval when counting the legal residency period required for nationality. For those who have faced delays, this means they can now apply for Portuguese nationality sooner than previously anticipated.

Impact on Traditional D-Visas and Golden Visa Program:

The recent amendments are particularly welcomed by individuals who have applied for or obtained Portuguese residency through traditional D-visas, including the D7 Visa, and the Portugal Golden Visa Program. Previously, stringent requirements dictated a minimum five-year residency period starting from the issuance of the initial residency permit. Delays in processing, often exacerbated by factors such as COVID-19, the Ukrainian conflict, and the restructuring of immigration authorities resulted in extended waiting times for candidates.

Enhancing the Naturalization Process:

Applicants can now anticipate a quicker and more streamlined process for acquiring Portuguese nationality through naturalization. Individuals planning to apply for Portuguese residency in 2024 can look forward to fulfilling the five-year residency requirement for citizenship by 2029, irrespective of potential delays in processing their residency applications.

The recent amendments to Portugal’s nationality law mark a crucial step toward improving the overall experience for individuals seeking to move to Portugal or secure Portuguese citizenship through naturalization. By addressing delays in residency approvals and offering a more streamlined path to nationality, the Portuguese government has demonstrated a commitment to facilitating a smoother and more accessible process for applicants.

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