Category: Knowledge

The minor or incapacitated children of individuals who have acquired Portuguese nationality derived after the birth of their children may apply for the acquisition of Portuguese nationality, expressing such will and proving the fulfillment of the applicable legal requirements.

However, this claim can be opposed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, through a legal action opposing the acquisition of nationality, and one of the grounds that the Public Prosecutor’s Office can use in this action is the lack of an effective link of the applicant to the Portuguese community.

If the Public Prosecutor’s Office decides to oppose the acquisition of nationality, it will still have to prove that the person concerned does not have such link as, since 2006, and after express confirmation by the Supreme Administrative Court in 2016, it has been clear that the applicant for nationality only has to declare, and no longer has to prove, that he has an effective connection to the Portuguese community.

It is true that, in 2019, an Internal Service Guideline was issued by the Central Registry Office, which determined the presumption of the existence of an effective connection to the national community by all minors under 14 years of age, with the aim, among others, of relieving the pressure that had been generated on the courts in the past with the submission of several legal actions opposing the acquisition of nationality by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

However, in October 2022, Internal Guidance ceased to apply, and the Registry Services began to consider that a case-by-case analysis should be carried out and that situations in which the Registrars had well-founded suspicions of the lack of an effective connection to the national community should be reported to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, regardless of the age of the person concerned.

How can one justify the opposition to the acquisition of Portuguese nationality?

We are waiting to see whether the Conservatives will only report cases where they have “well-founded suspicions” that there is no effective link or whether they will do so in all cases, leaving it to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to investigate and, if it so decides and has sufficient evidence, to take legal action against the opposition to nationality.

It also remains to be seen whether the Public Prosecutor’s Office will file opposition actions in all cases, regardless of the evidence it can (or cannot) gather, leaving the final realization of justice in the case in the hands of the judges, or whether it will only file an opposition judiciously when it has evidence of the absence of an effective link.

In addition to these doubts, there is also perplexity and concern about the counting of the 1 year available to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to file an opposition. In 2022, the Portuguese Nationality Regulation was amended in such a way that the time limit will be counted from the date of registration of the acquisition of nationality, instead of the date of the fact on which the acquisition of nationality depends (i.e., the applicant’s manifestation of the will, which occurs with the submission of the file), and which was the solution previously in force.

This means that, as of April 15, 2022, and even about cases that were already pending on that date (except cases based on the descent of Sephardic Jews), the Public Prosecutor’s Office can now oppose the acquisition of nationality, even after it has already been registered in the Portuguese Civil Registry.

From our experience, we can say that there are already Civil Registry Officers who are notifying the interested parties in cases submitted more than 1 year ago that they may report their cases to the Public Prosecutor’s Office on the grounds of lack of effective connection to the national community.

However, we continue to follow these cases closely to see what the practice of the Civil Registry and the Public Prosecutor’s Office will lead to in these matters.

Do not hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions about this matter or need advice on any other related to obtaining Portuguese nationality or citizenship.

In this article, we will explore the time limit for opposing nationality acquisition in Portugal, as defined in Article 56, number 1, of the Nationality Regulation (Decree-Law no. 237-A/2006, dated 14th December). Recently, there have been amendments to the regulation that have significant implications for the process. We will discuss these changes and their potential impact on individuals seeking Portuguese nationality.

We mention “recent” changes, but the amendment has been in effect for over a year since April 2022. Despite this, it seems that the activity of the Registry Office has become more intense now, and considering the numerous questions we receive daily on this topic, we deemed it necessary to write an article to explain.


The Previous Time Limit and its Basis

Under the previous version of the Nationality Regulation, the one year for opposition to nationality was calculated from “the date of the fact on which the acquisition of nationality depends.” In practical terms, this referred to the date of submission of the nationality acquisition process, where the individual’s will to acquire nationality was manifested.


Recent Amendment – DL 26/2022

In 2022, a notable amendment (DL 26/2022) was made to the Nationality Regulation, coming into force on 15th April. Surprisingly, this change was implemented with minimal announcement by the government. The amendment introduced a significant change to the time limit for opposing nationality acquisition.


Current Time Limit for Opposing Nationality

As per the amended Article 56 of the Nationality Regulation, the Public Prosecutor now has one year from the date of registration of nationality acquisition to file a judicial action in administrative and tax courts to oppose the acquisition of nationality by the will.

This means that the registration date, which is the date of the nationality grant, allows the initiation of legal action at any point during the process and even within one year after the process is concluded.


Early Identification and Concerns

Being vigilant of legislative changes, we were among the first to draw attention to the amendment before it was enacted. We expressed concerns about this change, considering that the previous time limit for opposing nationalities was more favorable to applicants.


Cases Pending and Notifications

According to the law of 2022, the amended Decree-Law applies to cases pending on the date of its entry into force. As a result, the Registry Office is indeed notifying cases pending for more than one year since the date of submission.


Our Ongoing Cases

Concerning our specific cases, despite having several ongoing processes, we have received notifications in only a few cases where the process was initiated in 2021 and the notifications were received in 2023. Interestingly, these notifications were not solely related to connection proof; there were other factors involved.

In response, we handled these cases strategically, and, so far, none of them have escalated to court. Nevertheless, we must remain vigilant, as the possibility remains.



Understanding the time limit for opposition to nationality is crucial for individuals seeking Portuguese nationality. The recent amendments to the Nationality Regulation have shifted the basis of this time limit, impacting the process and potential legal actions. We advise applicants to be well-informed and proactive during the process and seek legal guidance to navigate any challenges effectively.

If you wish to do so or have any questions about this topic (or any other), don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of lawyers is available to assist you anytime!


This article was written by our lawyer and managing partner Ana Sofia Lamares.

She has dealt with countless Portuguese nationality requests and her experience is highly sought-after for those seeking help when it comes to granting Citizenship or Nationality. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with her here.

The HQA Visa promises to be an alternative solution to the well-known Golden Visas due to the reduced requirement regarding the minimum periods of stay in Portugal. Is this the case?

Before explaining this new type of visa, let us explain the context in which it emerged.

Portugal continues to experience a growing influx of migrants. However, the limit on the minimum length of stay in the national territory is a factor that weighs on the decision of those wishing to move to the country.

Residence Permits for Investment Activities, popularly known as Golden Visas, emerged in 2012 with the benefit of breaking the barriers inherent to mandatory periods of stay, as, by the provisions of Article 65-C of Regulatory Decree 84/2007, the holder of this type of residence permit needs to remain in national territory for an average annual period of 7 days.

It turns out that the popular Golden Visas, as set out in Article 90-A of Law 23/2007, not only entail very large capital spending for investors but, in recent times, have seen their survival questioned in some respects (we’ve written about it here).

Considering these factors, the “HQA VISA” has been hailed as a much more cost-effective solution that encompasses the benefits of Golden Visas. This means that, with a considerably lower investment, the holders of the “HQA Visa” would not have to comply with mandatory minimum periods of stay in national territory, acquire the possibility to circulate throughout the Schengen area without limitations and, after 5 years, give its holder the possibility to apply for the attribution of Portuguese nationality.

But is the HQA Visa all that? The answer is: yes and no.

The truth is that the HQA VISA, which is nothing more than the Residence Visa for Highly Qualified Workers, is not a low-cost alternative to Portuguese Golden Visas.

Once a residence permit has been granted in any of its modalities, except in the case of Golden Visas, the foreign resident still must comply with certain minimum stay rules in the national territory to ensure that his/her residence permit is not canceled.

According to paragraph a) of no. 2 of article 85 of Law no. 23/2007, of July 4, during the valid period of the temporary residence permit, its holder must not leave the country for a period exceeding six consecutive months or eight interposed months. The granting of permanent residence also requires compliance with the periods of stay in the national territory, this time by the provisions of paragraph b) of paragraph 2 of Article 85 of the Aliens Act.

According to this legal provision, the holder of permanent residence, which is valid for 60 months, may not be absent from the country for a period exceeding 24 consecutive months or 30 interpolated months.

However, there are several exceptions to the obligation to comply with these deadlines and which, as exceptions, do not result in the cancellation of the residence permit. The existence of weighty reasons of a personal, family, or professional nature that led to the need to be absent from the country for periods longer than those mentioned above, does not affect the maintenance of the residence permit of the third-country national.

Therefore, if the highly qualified worker holding the “HQA VISA” is absent from the country for periods longer than those indicated above and these absences are justified with professional reasons and documented, he/she should not be disadvantaged.

This exception applies not only to Residence Permits for Highly Qualified Workers but also to all other types of Residence Permits. This exceptionality, which allows the absence of the holders of these residence permits for longer periods, can never be confused with the flexibility inherent in Residence Permits for Investment activity.

If you have any questions regarding these types of visas, residence permits, or any other, please do not hesitate to contact our team of lawyers.

Even though the concept of Branded Residences is relatively new in the real estate industry, it was not just invented.

The concept of branded residences has been around for several years, and the first branded residence can be traced back to the early 1900s.

One of the earliest and most iconic branded residences is The Plaza Hotel in New York City. Opened in 1907, The Plaza Hotel has a long history of luxury and elegance. In recent years, a portion of The Plaza Hotel has been transformed into branded residences known as The Plaza Residences. These exclusive residences offer residents access to the hotel’s amenities and services while enjoying the privacy and comfort of their own homes.

The Plaza Residences exemplify the concept of a branded residence, where the prestigious hotel brand extends its expertise and reputation to the residential component, providing residents with a luxurious lifestyle and an association with a renowned hospitality brand.

Since The Plaza Residences, the concept of branded residences has gained popularity, and numerous other branded residential developments have emerged worldwide, partnering with various luxury brands across different industries.


What exactly is a branded residence?

Branded Residences are luxury residential properties that are developed and marketed in collaboration with a well-known brand, typically a luxury hotel, resort, or fashion label.

The idea behind branded residences is to combine the exclusivity and prestige of a luxury brand with the comfort and amenities of a high-end residential property.

Here are 6 key features and characteristics of branded residences:

  1. Collaboration with a reputable brand: Branded residences are created through partnerships between real estate developers and established luxury brands. These brands lend their name, reputation, and expertise to the project, often influencing the design, amenities, and services provided.
  2. High-quality design and finishes: Branded residences are known for their exceptional design and attention to detail. The interiors are typically designed by renowned architects and interior designers, incorporating luxury materials, high-end finishes, and sophisticated aesthetics.
  3. Premium amenities and services: Branded residences offer a range of amenities and services to enhance the residents’ lifestyle. These may include features like concierge services, 24/7 security, fitness centers, spas, swimming pools, gourmet restaurants, valet parking, housekeeping, and more. The goal is to provide a luxurious and convenient living experience.
  4. Exclusive access and privileges: Living in a branded residence often comes with exclusive benefits and privileges. Residents may enjoy preferential treatment and access to the facilities and services of the associated brand’s hotels, resorts, or other properties worldwide. This can include discounts on hotel stays, access to private clubs, priority reservations at restaurants, and other similar perks.
  5. Global locations: Branded residences can be found in prime locations around the world, including major cities, resort destinations, and sought-after neighborhoods. Developers often choose iconic or strategic locations that align with the brand’s image and appeal to affluent buyers.
  6. Investment potential: Branded residences have gained popularity as investment opportunities. They often retain their value well and can provide attractive rental yields due to their desirability and association with a reputable brand. Buyers are drawn to the combination of luxury living and potential investment returns.

Branded residences can take different forms. Some may be standalone buildings dedicated solely to residential units, while others may be integrated within a larger mixed-use development, including hotels, retail spaces, or office buildings.

Overall, branded residences offer a unique fusion of luxury living and brand association, providing residents with an elevated lifestyle and exclusive perks. However, they also tend to come with a higher price tag compared to standard luxury properties due to the added brand value and premium features.


Branded residences in Portugal

Portugal is one of the European countries with the greatest growth potential within the concept of Branded Residences according to the Knight Frank Global Branded Residences Report 2023. This report concludes that Portugal is in the top 5 destinations for second home purchases, often associated to Branded Residences.

This is an increasing trend and particularly interesting for foreign investors, who are the main target for luxury products. As can be read here “the lifestyle that Portugal is already offering matches the amenities and way of life that branded residences offer and to which foreign investors have become accustomed”.

This is a business segment that is expected to grow 55% by 2026 and there are currently 186 active projects that have been identified worldwide.

If you would like to know more about Branded Residences, explore opportunities in Portugal or just explore real estate investment opportunities, feel free to contact us here.

On July 19th, the Portuguese Parliament approved the new terms for obtaining the Golden Visa in Portugal. The modifications proposed by the Government resulted from social and political pressure to answer the housing crisis in Portugal.

The amendments to the Golden Visa program are linked to Real Estate Investment which is no longer included in the list of criteria to access this type of residence permit.

Since 2012 that Real Estate investments of over 500 thousand euros or acquisition of properties with at least 30 years old have granted the residence permit to foreign investors through the Golden Visa program.

They are now no longer eligible which concerns the approximately 8,000 Portuguese Golden Visa applications awaiting approval (more than 21,300 in the pre-analysis phase).

Equity holdings higher than €500 thousand euros in venture capital funds are also excluded as well as the capital transfers equal to or higher than €1.5 million.

The goal is to prevent any type of investment in the Real Estate sector, direct or indirect, as well as millionaire transfers.

Eligibility criteria to obtain the Portuguese Golden Visa

The program remains valid and beneficial only to those who

  • Invest more than 500 thousand euros in a Portuguese company that generates at least 5 jobs or ensures the maintenance of 10.
  • Invest at least €250 thousand euros in Portuguese cultural and artistic heritage, either through restoration or maintenance of existing cultural sites (investment is reassessed every two years)

With such measures, the Government aims to facilitate and promote the allocation of resources in the Portuguese business sector, human resources and cultural heritage.

It is possible to check all the amendments and the final Golden Visa eligibility criteria list by consulting the Mais Habitação website.

If you have any questions or would like to proceed with your Golden Visa request under these new criteria, feel free to contact us so we can assist you with the whole process.

Since January this year, the rate applied for capital gains tax is the same for both residents and non-residents, following a court decision to ensure equality.

As of this year, the national budget applies the same rate to both residents and non-residents, setting the bar at a 50% limit when calculating capital gains (in previous years capital gains for non-residents were calculated at 100%).

On income tax, progressive rates are applied based on the taxable amount of real estate capital gains (50% limit) and the taxpayer’s other sources of income, including all sources earned abroad (more information is available in this technical opinion issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants). This scenario differs from last year when a flat rate taxation of 28% was applied for non-residents.

The recent changes to the rules for declaring (and calculating) capital gains are a little more complex for both taxpayers and for the authorities and experts that analyse declarations. This is because each country applies a different framework and the evidence to prove foreign income also greatly varies.

In the meantime, the new rules have come into force and changes are already underway. Taxation calculations for 2022 continue to be subject to the flat rate of 28% mentioned earlier, although they may eventually benefit from the 50% limit when calculating capital gains.

If you would like any support on this issue or anything related to property taxation, please do not hesitate to contact our specialized legal team.

The Immigration, Borders, and Asylum Report by SEF with the latest available data from 2022 is now available (PT only).

There have never been so many foreigners living in Portugal is the first obvious conclusion. The number is rising since 2017, back when Portugal had just over 420,000 foreign residents. Today there are over 780,000, mostly Brazilian citizens (close to 240,000), followed by citizens from the United Kingdom (approximately 40,000) and from Cape Verde (close to 37,000).

When looking at the current distribution of these citizens within Portugal, the vast majority (more than 300 thousand) is settled in Lisbon, followed by the districts of Faro, Setubal, and Porto respectively.

SEF ReportThe prevalence of Brazilian citizens in Portugal is not new, but it is important to highlight that there is significant population growth (22%) compared to last year.

Considering the relevance of this community in Portugal, the Government has carried out initiatives such as Digital Equality – already explained by us – which aims to facilitate the bureaucratic processes needed upon the arrival of Brazilian citizens to Portugal. This initiative, among many other mechanisms, allows the acquisition of residence in a much simpler (and digital) way.

Back to SEF report, it is also interesting to note that, despite the increase in the number of Brazilian citizens in Portugal compared to last year, the growth of the “Others” category reflected in the SEF chart was even greater. Foreigners now living in Portugal from destinations considered unconventional grew by more than 33%, according to existing data.

The most expressive numbers are related to the arrival of citizens from Oceania (+130%) and Eastern Europe (+94%). The latter can be justified by the war in Ukraine and the acceptance of many new citizens who fled the conflict in this country.

Imigração em Portugal









It is also interesting to realize when analyzing the new foreign residents in Portugal that, citizens of countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, or Pakistan go to Portugal for professional reasons, while those who come from Africa, from countries like Angola or Cape Verde, go to Portugal mostly under a request for family reunification. Brazilian citizens are no exception – 47% of residents go to Portugal for professional reasons, while around 30% have applied for family reunification.

The list of foreigners who were granted residency through “investment activity” – which is related to the attribution of Golden Visas through, mainly, the purchase of real estate and transfer of capital – is led by citizens from the USA (216), followed by the Chinese (213) and Brazilians (109).

Finally, there was also a significant increase in nationality permit applications – since 2021, more than 63,000 Portuguese nationality permits have been issued to foreign citizens, mostly to citizens of Israel (>20 thousand) and Brazil (>18 thousand).

Imigração em Portugal

Generally, these residence permits are granted nationality through naturalization but, when it comes to Brazilian citizens as the majority, the numbers show that most obtained nationality by their own will, through marriage or similar.

Access the full report – with much more data – here and do not hesitate to contact our team for any questions about Immigration and request support or advice in this area.


A Lamares, Capela & Associados apoia e representa os seus clientes nos serviços relacionados com a concessão de vistos e autorizações de residência em Portugal, bem como nos processos de aquisição da nacionalidade portuguesa. Prestamos ainda serviços de relocalização a clientes individuais e empresas que pretendam instalar-se em Portugal.

The Government is considering the continuity of the Gold Visa Program in Portugal, without real estate investments or the transfer of capital.

How will it then be possible to obtain the Gold Visa in Portugal?

Some of the already-known conditions remain, namely

  • The creation of at least 10 jobs;
  • Capital transfers equal to or higher than 500 thousand euros for investment funds or venture capital funds;
  • Capital transfers equal to or higher than 500 thousand euros to be applied in scientific research activities; and
  • Capital transfers of no less than 250 thousand euros for artistic production or recovery/maintenance of Portuguese cultural heritage;
  • Capital transfers equal to or higher than 500 thousand euros, aimed at the incorporation of a business registered in Portugal, combined with the creation of five permanent jobs; or to increase the share capital of a given company registered in Portugal that is already established, with the creation or maintenance of jobs (a minimum of five permanent jobs, for three years).

The Parliament is expected to vote on these new terms on 19th of July.

The Uglobal Magazine published an article focused on the theme of Golden Visa in Portugal, whose legislation was generally approved, however it is still being debated in the specific area.

In its introduction, the article says: “Nearly four months ago, the Portuguese government announced ending the golden visa program as part of its strategy to combat rising housing costs, setting in motion a legal process that aims at scrapping Europe’s most popular residency by investment program.”

Diogo Capela, partner at Lamares, Capela & Associados contributed to this dossier: “
“It is still possible to submit Golden Visa applications and the foreseen amendments have not yet been approved, so I advise my clients and investors to keep working on their processes, so we can submit their applications before the end of the program”.

The Golden Visa Portugal Program was created in October 2012 with the aim of attracting foreign investment. In a decade, it moved about 7 billion euros and, until January of this year, 11,180 Residence Permits for Investment were issued (until December 2022), according to the data released by the Foreigners and Borders Service.

Read the full article: Portuguese parliament continues golden visa debate – Uglobal

“Digital Equality” for Brazilians and Portuguese

Citizens of Brazilian nationality residing in Portugal will be able to access online the same services as Portuguese citizens in terms of documentation.


The Brazilian community residing in Portugal will have access to a digital document that gives them the “status of digital equality” in relation to Portuguese citizens. The announcement was made a few days ago by the Secretary for Brazilian Communities, Consular and Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Ambassador Leonardo Gorgulho.

Speaking to the press, Leonardo Gorgulho maintained that this digitization process is “very advanced” and that this solution will save time and resources: “It is good for citizens, who will receive their card in less time; it’s good for the consulate, which manages to do the service and dispenses with the person’s trip to the Consulate General in Lisbon and it’s good for the SEF, because it’s a document that will have the security measures they need it to have”.

The idea of this program is to be internal at the Consulate General of Brazil (e-consular) to prevent citizens of Brazilian nationality from traveling in person to request, for example, a certificate, or schedule a passport renewal. It is intended that interested parties register and enter the e-consular and deal with these matters online.

“The document will have a digital format, a key code and a link to verify authenticity. And the Portuguese authorities, through the code and the link, will give the necessary validity”, explained the Secretary of Brazilian Communities, Consular and Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Ambassador Leonardo Gorgulho.

This project will go through a pilot phase of tests and adjustments, until it is made available to all citizens of Brazilian nationality residing in Portugal.

It should be remembered that according to data from the Foreigners and Borders Service, at the end of 2022, 233,138 Brazilians legally resided in Portugal, the main foreign community. These data also indicated that there was an increase of 13% of citizens of Brazilian nationality residing in Portugal in 2022, compared to the year 2021 (in practical terms, it symbolizes an increase of over 28,444 people).

The restructuring of the Foreigns and Borders Service has led to considerable delays in the renewal of Residence Permits and consequently extended validity periods. In addition, part of this entity powers are transferred to the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN). Despite the extinction of the Foreigners and Borders Service being legislated in Decree-Law, the Portuguese Government foresees that the transitional regime of competences will take place until October (Agência para a Integração, Migrações e Asilo sucede ao SEF)

Get in touch with us for further information.

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