Before going into the theme itself, it is advisable to briefly explain what nationality is, the characteristics of the Portuguese, the legal basis and the means of obtaining it so that the reader has a better overview of what the proposed changes are and what the situation is current status of such proposals.
Nationality establishes to which country a person's rights and duties are linked.
The rules that govern Portuguese nationality are Law No. 37/81 and Legislative Decree No. 237-A / 2006 and subsequent amendments to these legal diplomas.
Portuguese law allows more than one nationality simultaneously. Therefore, it is not necessary to give up other nationalities to acquire Portuguese.
However, there are countries in which local law does not allow such a hypothesis and may require that Portuguese nationality be abdicate, so it is advisable to check the specific case. It is not the cases of Brazilian and Israeli legislation that also admit more than one nationality.
In the case of Portugal, the loss of Portuguese nationality can only occur due to a declaration of will.
Portuguese nationality can be by attribution (original nationality) or by acquisition (derived nationality).
The essential difference from attribution to acquisition is the production of the effects of recognition of citizenship. The effects of derived nationality begin with the approval of citizenship, in the case of attribution, the effects return to the person's birth.
In this text we will only talk about the cases that are going to change, the Portuguese citizenship for grandchildren, the Portuguese spouse or common law marriage and for the children of foreigners born in Portugal.
Below is a comparative table of how requirements are demanded today and what changes are proposed:
Citizenship for Portuguese grandchildren
- How it is today (As stated in the legislation today, the requirement that the proposal intends to change - there are other requirements) To prove effective links with the Portuguese community
The law exemplifies some situations, such as having legal residence in the country, ownership of real estate in Portugal for three years or link with Portuguese associations abroad, but it is up to the final judgment of the judge to assess whether the requirement has been met or not proof of an effective link with the portuguese community
Objective requirement - know Portuguese language
Citizenship for Portuguese Spouses or in Common Law Marriage
- How it is today (As stated in the legislation today, the requirement that the proposal intends to change - there are other requirements) - who have been married for more than three years to a Portuguese national and prove their effective relationship with the Portuguese community
The requirement regarding the duration of the marriage or de facto union - 3 years - does not apply if there are common children of the couple with Portuguese nationality;
The judicial action to recognize the de facto union is also waived if the couple has common children of Portuguese nationality;
If there are common children of the couple or the marriage is at least 6 years old, proof of effective connection to the Portuguese community will be assumed Citizenship for children of foreigners born in Portugal, including children born between April 25, 1974 and 1981 of parents from the former Portuguese colonies
- How it is today (As stated in the legislation today, the requirement that the proposal intends to change - there are other requirements)
One of the parents has been legally resident for at least five years or the minor here has completed the 1st cycle of education basic - children of foreigners, who have usually stayed in the 10 years immediately preceding the request. - people born in Portugal after April 25, 1974 and before the entry into force of the nationality law, in 1981, one of the parents has lived for at least two years - Proposal
If one of your parents has been resident, legally or illegally, in Portugal for more than 5 years; or if the child has completed at least one cycle of basic education or secondary education in Portugal. Reduction of time to one year
It will only be possible to know when the regulation is edited by the President. but it can be mentioned as possible parameters those already provided for in art. 25, 2-7 of the Legislative Decree in force the necessity of be approval in Portuguese language test certificated by educational establishment trusted by Portugal or a habilitation certificate issued by educational establishment. in countries that Portuguese is an official language.
And citizenship for descendants of Sephardic Jews?
The approved text does not provide for any changes to the requirements for applying for citizenship based on this hypothesis.
However, in the legislative proposal there is a generic recommendation to better regulate the situation of the Sephardic naturalization in order to guarantee, at the time of citizenship request, compliance with the requirement of effective connection with Portugal, which is a reason for great insecurity in the community. and it conflict with that proposed by the reform of making the requirements for granting nationality more objective.
Following the Portuguese legislative procedure, the proposal was forwarded to the President.
Meanwhile, the President of the Republic returned it to Parliament. The refusal of promulgation was based on the understanding that the diploma disfavors couples without children or with Portuguese children of different parents.
From what the President justified in his statement, he is not against the changes, he just thinks that in the case of couples there should be a more similar or just one criterion for all types of couples.
The decree will now be reviewed by deputies in the Assembly of the Republic.
Thus, the bill returned to parliamentarians trying to find a middle ground between the proposal sent and the opposition presented by the President.
In summary, there has not been any change in the legislation yet, but the perspective is that there will be changes and that will make the requirements more objective and broad regarding the grandchildren, spouses of Portuguese and children of foreigners born in Portugal, however it should be noted that the situation became unclear as to the descendants of the Portuguese Sephardim.