Portugal Allows Birthright Citizenship: A New Advantage for Golden Visa Holders


Updated: December 9, 2020

Portugal introduced a new birthright citizenship law on November 11th, 2020. According to this law, ‘Children born to foreign parents, at least one of whom has lived in Portugal for a year will be eligible for Portuguese citizenship at birth.’ Portugal’s newly amended nationality law was published in the Diário da República, the official newsletter of the government. This publication followed promulgation from President de Sousa.   

The new law reduces the time-frame of the already existing citizenship at birth law. According to the old law, one of their parents had to have been a resident for two or more years.

How Does This Law Affect Golden Visa Holders?

The law basically allows children born in Portugal to obtain Portuguese citizenship if one of the parents were residing in Portugal for the last year. Golden Visa holders are considered legal residents in Portugal if they fulfill their minimum stay requirement of 7 days. This means that an individual who has held a Portuguese Golden Visa for a year and has a child there will be able to confer Portuguese citizenship on that child at birth.

This is a major win for the Portuguese Golden Visa. Under this legal amendment, Portugal’s Golden Visa will be the only program in the EU that allows citizenship by birth without the need for a significant time of residency. 

Before this, the last significant boost to the Portuguese Golden Visa came in 2018. This law made foreigners legally residing in Portugal for five years eligible for naturalization, instead of the previous six year requirement. The Portuguese judiciary system considers Golden Visa holders to be legal residents, and thus many investors were able to be naturalized and become Portuguese citizens.

Future Possible Benefits of the Golden Visa Portugal

Portugal is currently on track to become an E1 and E2 country with the United States. The act called the ‘Amigos Act’ was passed in the House of Representatives last year. It is currently with the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. It should pass the Senate and get promulgated by the President in order to become law. If the ‘Amigos Act’ becomes a law, Portuguese citizens will be able to live and conduct business in the United States, visa-free. This will be another huge advantage in the already very popular Portuguese Golden Visa. 

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