Information Note

On October 2nd, 2020, the Portuguese Parliament approved amendments to The Nationality Law, which was approved by the President on November 3rd.

The main changes are:
• The government must, within 90 days, fulfill the objective requirements to prove the effective connection with the Portuguese community in the naturalization processes of descendants of Sephardic Jews.
• It is no longer necessary to show evidence of the effective connection with the Portuguese community in the nationality processes of Portuguese citizens’ grandchildren, with the exception for evidence that the applicant has enough knowledge of the Portuguese language.
• For applicants who are married or in a non-marital partnership with a Portuguese citizen, the minimum requirement of three years to obtain Portuguese citizenship remains applicable. However, in cases where the applicant has been married or in a non-marital partnership for more than six years, the objection to the acquisition of Portuguese citizenship on the basis of non-existent effective connection with the Portuguese community is no longer accepted.
• Children born in Portugal to foreign parents who are not working for their own State and who do not refuse Portuguese nationality can also have the right to Portuguese nationality in its original form if one of the parents is a legal resident in Portugal or if, regardless of the title, the parent is living in the country for at least a year.
• Whoever did not retain their Portuguese nationality for living in Portugal for less than 5 years during April 25th, 1974 (The Carnation Revolution), has the right to Portuguese nationality if they did not work for their country’s government after not retaining the nationality and remained in Portugal, regardless of the title. The children of these citizens, born in national territory, can also be Portuguese.

We would like to recall that in July 23rd 2020, the Portuguese Parliament had already approved some amendments to The Nationality Law, such as the amendments concerning the grandchildren of Portuguese citizens and applicants married to Portuguese citizens, as can be read here:

However, these changes were vetoed by the President to enable the Parliament to review some aspects regarding nationality application via non-marital partnership ( ). The President welcomed a new version of the decree October 2nd.

The changes to The Nationality Law will come into effect the day following its publication although there might be some regulations and guidelines put into place for specific offices such as The Portuguese Institute of Registries and Notary (IRN).

This Information Note is addressed to clients and lawyers, and does not constitute advertising. The information therein contained is general and abstract in nature, and should not be used as basis for any decision making, without first resorting to appropriate legal advice. This Information Note may not be copied, reproduced or put into circulation, without the express authorization of its authors. For further clarification contact us at