Changes to the Nationality Law have retroactive effects

Nationality Law

The latest amendments to the Nationality Law, which guarantee Portuguese nationality for children through parents who have a residence permit or who have lived in Portugal for at least one year, may be applied with a retroactive effect.

In 2018, the amendments to the Nationality Law reduced from five to two years the minimum period of legal residence in Portugal of one of the foreign parents, so that the child could be considered portuguese of origin.

In 2020, the law has changed again, which established that individuals whose parent have a residence permit or who have been living in Portugal for at least one year, are entitled to the Portuguese Citizenship.

Recent changes to the Nationality Law have retroactive effects

The Institute of Registries and Notary (IRN) has decided that the new changes to the Nationality Law may apply to those born before it has entered into force, in 2018.

The decision was taken after analyzing the cases of some citizens who were born in Portugal but did not have Portuguese nationality because the parents did not obey the conditions imposed.

The Statement, approved in February, applies to all other citizens in the same circumstances, said the Ministry of Justice.

The IRN also states that the recent changes to the Nationality Law have been increasing the number of people born in Portugal to whom Portuguese nationality is granted,with the purpose of “promoting the inclusion and social integration of second generation immigrants”.

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