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Portuguese Nationality for Parents of Native Portuguese Children

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Last year a pivotal amendment to Portugal's Nationality Law, affected, among others, parents of native Portuguese children.

Effective from April 15, 2022, the law enables these parents to apply for Portuguese citizenship, provided they meet specific legal criteria:

  • be of legal age or emancipated;

  • demonstrate adequated knowledge of the Portuguese language (A2 level);

  • have no criminal convictions resulting in a prison sentence of three years or more.

Definition of Native Portuguese Children

To understand this legislative change, one must first grasp what 'native Portuguese' means. Such individuals acquire Portuguese nationality at birth through direct lineage (children or grandchildren of Portuguese citizens) or birth in Portugal to foreign parents.

Who Stands to Benefit?

The updated law mainly benefits foreign nationals residing in Portugal who have children born in the country. Notably, these parents can apply for citizenship without demonstrating legal residency if they have lived in Portugal for at least five years.

Parentage vs. Residency: What's the Optimal Path?

Eligibility for citizenship under the new law varies on a case-by-case basis. Some may find it simpler to apply based on five years of legal residency, while others could benefit from the provisions concerning native Portuguese children. For a nuanced understanding of your options, we recommend consulting a qualified legal professional.

Is Professional Guidance Necessary?

While it is possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship without professional assistance, the process is complex. Should you encounter difficulties, seeking advice from a specialized attorney is advisable.

Is It Naturalization?

Yes, acquiring nationality through this route falls under the category of naturalization, similar to pathways based on duration of residency or marital relations with a Portuguese citizen.

Should you require expert guidance on this subject, we invite you to reach out to us for personalized assistance.

This article is authored by Lidiane de Carvalho

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