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An image of a woman standing with her back to the camera, arms spread wide open, facing the vast Atlantic Ocean from a scenic viewpoint in Portugal. The ocean stretches endlessly into the horizon, and the sky above is clear and bright. The woman appears to be embracing the vastness and beauty of the natural scene before her, symbolizing freedom, peace, and a deep connection with Portuugal.

Vitoria Valente

Immigration Specialist

Jan 25, 2024

How Do the 2024 Amendments Change Your Path to Portuguese Citizenship? Key Insights Explained

The Portuguese Citizenship Law underwent significant amendments in 2024, bringing about important changes that affect various aspects of citizenship acquisition and legal procedures. This article aims to simplify these changes and answer some common questions regarding the new amendments.

What are the Major Changes in the Portuguese Citizenship Law of 2024?

The 2024 amendments introduced several key changes:

1. Definition of Effective Ties: A clearer definition of what constitutes effective ties to Portugal, including criteria like non-conviction of certain crimes and involvement in terrorism or violent crimes.

2. Changes for Descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews: New rules requiring a minimum legal residence in Portugal and a certification process for Sephardic descent.

3. Provision for Pending Applications: Special provisions for applications submitted before the enforcement of the new law.

4. Suspension of Nationality Procedures: The procedure for acquiring Portuguese nationality can be suspended for individuals under international restrictive measures.

5. Affiliation Establishment Changes: A deadline is established for using paternity recognition for nationality purposes.

6. Residence Period Calculation: The amendment addresses delays in the residence process by considering the time since the request for a temporary residence title.

How Does the New Law Define 'Effective Ties' to Portugal?

The law now requires non-conviction of a prison sentence for crimes under Portuguese law and no involvement in terrorism or violent crimes as proof of effective ties. This change aims to ensure that those seeking citizenship have a positive and non-threatening relationship with Portugal.

What are the New Requirements for Descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews?

Descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews must now demonstrate a tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin and have legally resided in Portugal for at least three years. Additionally, their Sephardic descent must be certified by a specialized committee.

This committee, appointed by the Portuguese government, plays a key role in verifying and certifying the Sephardic Jewish ancestry of applicants. While the makeup of this committee may change, it typically includes historical and genealogical experts, representatives from Jewish communities or organizations in Portugal, government officials.

They are tasked with ensuring that applicants truly have a connection to a Portuguese Sephardic community. This is done through a detailed examination of various forms of evidence provided by the applicants, such as family records, community affiliations, historical documents, and other types of proof that establish a link to a Sephardic Jewish lineage from Portugal.

How are Pending Applications Affected by the New Law?

Applications submitted before the law's enforcement are exempted from some of the new requirements, offering a degree of flexibility and fairness to those who applied under the old rules.

It is important to note that while these exemptions provide relief for pending applications, each case may still be subject to individual review based on the specifics of the application and the criteria in place at the time of submission. This approach ensures that those who applied under the previous law's framework are not disadvantaged by the changes introduced in the 2024 amendments.

What Does the Suspension of Nationality Procedures Entail?

The process of acquiring Portuguese nationality can be suspended if the applicant is subject to international restrictive measures, such as sanctions by the UN or EU. This change reflects Portugal's commitment to international security and cooperation.

What Changes have been Made to the Establishment of Affiliation?

The new law sets a deadline for using paternity recognition in nationality applications, specifically addressing the recognition of paternity for adult applicants.

An image of a young man in a Portuguese park, kneeling on one leg, making a 'V' for victory sign with his fingers. Close to him, a peacock is visible, adding a vibrant and natural element to the scene. The park setting is peaceful and green, highlighting the playful and joyful interaction between the man and the surrounding nature.

How is the Residence Period Calculated Under the New Law for All Residency Permits, Including Golden Visa?

The latest amendments to the Portuguese Citizenship Law have introduced significant changes in the calculation of the residence period, applicable to all types of residency permit applications, including the Golden Visa program. This inclusive approach ensures a uniform application of the law across various residency programs.

Under the new law, the residence period for any residency permit now begins from the date the application for a temporary residence title is submitted, rather than when it is officially granted. This change reflects an effort to accommodate the often lengthy administrative processing times, thereby preventing applicants from being disadvantaged due to delays that are out of their control. The shift to counting the residence period from the application submission date rather than the issue date of the residence permit represents a fairer, more realistic acknowledgment of the application process timeline.

In the context of the Golden Visa program, this change is particularly impactful. Previously, the clock for the five-year residency requirement needed for the Golden Visa only started ticking after the Golden Visa was approved. Now, however, this period begins from the moment the temporary residence title application is filed and approved, provided all the legal requirements are satisfied at the time of application. This adjustment is a significant boon for Golden Visa applicants who may have faced prolonged delays in the approval process, sometimes extending up to two or three years.

For those applying for or holding a Golden Visa, these updates translate to a more streamlined and efficient process, with reduced waiting times and a clearer path towards residency and, ultimately, Portuguese citizenship. The changes emphasize the importance of meeting all legal requirements and maintaining compliance throughout the residency period, ensuring a smooth and fair journey towards establishing residency in Portugal.


The 2024 amendments to the Portuguese Citizenship Law mark significant steps towards a more secure and fair process in acquiring Portuguese nationality. These changes reflect Portugal's evolving legal landscape and its commitment to upholding both national and international security standards.

If you're seeking to understand how the 2024 Amendments to the Portuguese Citizenship Law affect your specific situation, or if you're considering applying for Portuguese citizenship, moviinn is here to help. Our team of Portuguese citizenship specialists is well-equipped to provide you with personalized guidance and support throughout your application process. Don't navigate these complex legal waters alone. Book a call with us today at moviinn, and let us help you clarify your individual situation and take the next steps towards your Portuguese citizenship. Your journey to becoming a Portuguese citizen starts with us!

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