The Current Portuguese Citizenship Application Situation
Residency programs in Europe may require 5 to 10 years of Residency before applicants can apply for Citizenship. The benefits of Residency soften the blow of waiting, but it is not an option for many investors.
The benefits become even more enticing once the status evolves into Citizenship, enabling all the EU's freedoms, including travel, and the creation of a safe haven in a politically stable country.
How, then, to balance the wait with the benefits? Portugal has the answer.
Portugal’s Nationality law states that Portuguese citizenship can be acquired after 5 years of legal Residency. For a long time, this only started to count from the moment the Residency card was issued. Now, in 2024, this will no longer be the case.
2024 Parliamentary Change to Nationality Law: Fast-Tracking the Portuguese Citizenship Application Process
On January 5th, the Portuguese Parliament approved a series of changes to the Nationality law. The most attention-grabbing modification addresses this exact issue and starts to count the 5-year time to Citizenship from the moment the Residency application is submitted.
This translates into a massive reduction in the overall time. With this change, Portugal will have the fastest path to EU Citizenship. The change states as follows:
“For the purposes of counting the legal residence timeframe foreseen in this law, it is also considered the time since the moment the temporary legal residence permit has been requested, provided that it comes to be approved.”
While the Parliament has approved the change, it has not yet become law. First, the change will be referred to the President of the Republic. Thereafter, it will either be ratified, vetoed, or referred to the Constitutional Court for advisory.
If vetoed, the law will return to Parliament for a secondary round of revisions. If the changes are sent back without any further modifications, the President must ratify it. Alternatively, there is also the chance the President ratifies the law without doing anything else.
Though it is not yet law, it is unlikely these changes will undergo anymore modifications, considering they have already been approved by the Parliament.
If it becomes law, Portugal, in 2024, is set to regain some momentum and once more become one of the most attractive countries to invest in the European Union by offering one of the fastest paths to Citizenship – just five years until the Portuguese passport.
February 2024 Update
On February 20th, the Constitutional Court pronounced itself on the changes proposed by Parliament: there is nothing unconstitutional about them. In the official statement, the Court described the changes as not harming the expectations of nationality applicants, nor that it jeopardizes their lives or dignity. Basically, the Nationality Law changes are approved. They should become law officially sometime during March 2024, after being published in the Official Gazette.
2024 Investment Opportunities in Portugal: The D2 Visa and the Path to Citizenship
With this change expected to take place, Portugal is offering one of the fastest paths to Citizenship in a European Union country. It is undoubtedly a unique opportunity for investors seeking an extremely powerful passport, but how does one begin to take advantage of it?
The Portugal D2 Visa, the country’s number one Residency by Investment program, has the solution. It boasts numerous benefits, including the ability to move to Portugal, one of Europe’s safest, and cleanest, and sunniest countries, and visa-free travel to the Schengen Zone.
It is a program centered on the operation of businesses in Portugal with the intent of stimulating the local economy. Contact Investment Visa now and find out more about our investor-friendly packages and how you can take the first step toward EU Citizenship at one of the most affordable rates in the world.