On March 5, 2023, Organic Law no. 1/2004 was published, which made the tenth amendment to Law no. 37/91 of October 3, approving the Nationality Law.

This change brought about several legislative alterations, among which we highlight: 

– Extension of the criterion of non-involvement in activities related to terrorism. Those seeking Portuguese nationality must also avoid violent and highly organized criminal activities.

– The requirements for descendants of Sephardic Jews seeking Portuguese citizenship have also changed. They must now have resided legally in Portugal for at least three consecutive or interspersed years. In addition, a government commission must approve their connection to the Portuguese Sephardic community.

– The collection of biometric data is now part of the nationality application process, intending to guarantee the accuracy of the information. This data can be used to issue a citizen’s card if nationality is granted. If the application is denied, the data is deleted after the appeal period or final decision.

– Nationality acquisition processes can be suspended for those who are subject to UN or EU sanctions.

– Obtaining nationality by filiation can be requested after reaching the age of majority, provided that the filiation is established by a judicial process or recognition within three years of the final decision.

– The period of legal residence required to apply for nationality by naturalization is now counted from when the application for a temporary residence permit is made, not just from when the document is issued.

The new law came into force on April 1, 2024, and the government has 90 days to adjust the Portuguese Nationality Regulation by these changes.

Joana Neto Mestre | Elsa Lemos