Knowledge

Who are they for?

Residence visas are visas that allow foreigners to stay in Portugal for a period of more than one year.

 

Features and advantages of these visas

– These visas are valid for a period of 4 months and allow two entries into Portugal. During this period, the visa holder must travel to Portugal and attend an appointment at AIMA to obtain their biometric data in order to be issued with a residence card;

– Allows the submission of accompanying person visas for close family members at the same time as the main applicant’s application for a D2 visa, so that they can immigrate at the same time as the main applicant.

 

Companion Visa

The D2 visa allows the following family members to obtain an accompanying person visa:

  1. a) Spouse;
  2. b) Minor or incapacitated children dependent on the applicant;
  3. c) Adopted minors;
  4. d) The applicant’s adult dependent children;
  5. e) The applicant’s first degree relatives in the ascending line;
  6. f) Minor siblings under the applicant’s guardianship.

 

The attribution of a residence permit for entrepreneurs – known as a D2 Visa – is divided into two phases:

 

  • Phase 1 – Consulate – Allocation of the Residence Visa

 

Applicants must submit an application for a residence visa to the Portuguese Consulate or Consular Section of the Portuguese Embassy in their country of origin or country of residence, either in person or via the E-visa portal (depending on the consulate involved).

It should be noted that in certain countries, in order to deal with the volume of applications, the Consulate may delegate powers to VFS Global, which is a company that receives the applications before they are analysed by the Consulate.

 

When submitting an application for a residence visa, the following documents must be provided, among others:

– Proof of setting up a business in Portugal

– Proof of means of subsistence

 

Charge: €90

 

Once this residence visa application has been submitted, the Consulate has 60 days to issue it.

When the residence visa is issued, it is time for the applicant to travel to Portugal to apply for a residence permit.

 

  • Phase 2 – AIMA – Allocation of the Residence Permit

 

In most cases, the residence permit is issued by the Consulate with the date and place of the appointment.  Where this is not the case, it is necessary to request an appointment by telephone.

At the time of the appointment, the applicant will collect biometric data – photograph, fingerprints and signature – and submit the necessary documentation, namely:

  • Tax Identification Number (NIF)
  • Proof of issue of Social Security Number (NISS)
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of setting up a business in Portugal

 

Charge: €170,08

 

Once all the documents have been submitted, AIMA has 90 days to issue the residence card.

 

Features and advantages of the residence card

– The residence permit as an entrepreneur is issued for a period of 2 years and is renewable for a subsequent period of 3 years;

– This type of residence permit allows the possibility of applying for family reunification;

– Allows travel within the Schengen Area as a tourist for a period of 90 days without the need for a Schengen visa;

– Access to the National Health System;

– Access to the Courts, Education and the Business World

– Eligibility to obtain Portuguese nationality after 5 years of legal residence in Portugal;

– Eligibility to obtain a permanent residence permit after 5 years of legal residence in Portugal.

Minimum length of stay required to renew residence card

During the period of validity of the residence card, the holder must not leave the country for more than 6 consecutive months or 8 interpolated months.

However, there are a few exceptions to the obligation to meet these deadlines which, as exceptions, do not result in the cancellation of the residence permit. The existence of significant personal, family or professional reasons that justify the need to be absent from the country for periods longer than those listed above do not affect the maintenance of the residence permit by its holder.

The month of January brought with it the promulgation and implementation of the much-anticipated Decree-Law No. 10/2024, of January 8, which institutes the so-called “Urbanistic Simplex”. This legislation aims to revolutionize and simplify the licensing processes in the scope of urban planning, land management, and industry, bringing substantial changes to urban planning and real estate legislation in Portugal.

 

Use Permit – Just a Formality or will it be essential?

One of the most significant changes worthy of highlighting is the end of the obligation to display or prove the existence of the property’s authorization for use during the transaction. This innovation reflects the legislator’s view that such formalities were mere bureaucracies without added value and an attempt to make more properties available for housing in the market.

 

Paradigm Shift in Responsibility

With the new legislation, the responsibility for ensuring the legality of the construction of the property shifts from notaries and conservators to buyers.

Previously, validation was ensured by the professionals involved in the transaction. Now, it is up to buyers to ensure that the property has the necessary urban titles to avoid potential legal issues.

 

Need for Legal Assistance from the Beginning

With this paradigm shift, the need for legal assistance from the pre-contractual phases of the deal becomes even more evident.

Buyers must now ensure the property’s compliance in terms of documentation and urban planning to avoid irreversible financial commitments.

Buying houses can become riskier, not only financially because the buyer may become responsible for illegal constructions, associated fines, and, ultimately, may have to demolish them, but also in terms of safety for families due to potential poor construction, which could lead to an increase in subsequent litigation and legal actions.

In addition to the aforementioned, another example is the signing of a promise contract and payment of a deposit, which will not be refunded to the prospective buyer if they subsequently realize that the property does not have a use permit.

 

Prevention is Better Than Cure

More than ever, prospective buyers should seek maximum information about the real estate they intend to purchase.

In most cases, buying a home involves the most valuable asset a family owns, so the decision to purchase should be made fully informed.

In most developed countries, because the decision to purchase real estate is the largest investment a family makes and often involves a commitment to bank financing, prior analysis by professionals is essential for the buyer’s sake. Often, buyers want to “save” in the initial phase but end up incurring much higher costs and entering irreversible situations during or even after the acquisition.

 

Conclusion

The new “Urbanistic Simplex” represents a significant change in the landscape of real estate transactions in Portugal. The responsibility to ensure the legality of the property’s construction now lies with the buyer. Be prepared and informed to make informed decisions at every stage of the process.

 

Who are they for?

Residence visas are visas that allow foreigners to stay in Portugal for a period of more than one year.

 

Features and advantages of these visas

– These visas are valid for a period of 4 months and allow two entries into Portugal. During this period, the visa holder must travel to Portugal and attend an appointment at AIMA to obtain their biometric data in order to be issued with a residence card;

– Allows the submission of accompanying person visas for close family members at the same time as the main applicant’s application for a D2 visa, so that they can immigrate at the same time as the main applicant.

 

Companion Visa

The D2 visa allows the following family members to obtain an accompanying person visa:

  1. a) Spouse;
  2. b) Minor or incapacitated children dependent on the applicant;
  3. c) Adopted minors;
  4. d) The applicant’s adult dependent children;
  5. e) The applicant’s first degree relatives in the ascending line;
  6. f) Minor siblings under the applicant’s guardianship.

 

The attribution of a residence permit for entrepreneurs – known as a D2 Visa – is divided into two phases:

 

  • Phase 1 – Consulate – Allocation of the Residence Visa

 

Applicants must submit an application for a residence visa to the Portuguese Consulate or Consular Section of the Portuguese Embassy in their country of origin or country of residence, either in person or via the E-visa portal (depending on the consulate involved).

It should be noted that in certain countries, in order to deal with the volume of applications, the Consulate may delegate powers to VFS Global, which is a company that receives the applications before they are analysed by the Consulate.

 

When submitting an application for a residence visa, the following documents must be provided, among others:

  • Company contract or written proposal for a contract to provide services in the liberal professions;
  • If applicable, a declaration issued by the competent authority stating that you are authorised to carry out the activity in Portugal.

 

Charge: €90

 

Once this residence visa application has been submitted, the Consulate has 60 days to issue it.

When the residence visa is issued, it is time for the applicant to travel to Portugal to apply for a residence permit.

 

  • Phase 2 – AIMA – Allocation of the Residence Permit

 

In most cases, the residence permit is issued by the Consulate with the date and place of the appointment.  Where this is not the case, it is necessary to request an appointment by telephone.

At the time of the appointment, the applicant will collect biometric data – photograph, fingerprints and signature – and submit the necessary documentation, namely:

  • Tax Identification Number (NIF)
  • Proof of issue of Social Security Number (NISS)
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of registration as self-employed with the Tax Authority
  • Proof of means of subsistence.

 

Charge: €170,08

 

Once all the documents have been submitted, AIMA has 90 days to issue the residence card.

 

Features and advantages of the residence card

– The residence permit as an entrepreneur is issued for a period of 2 years and is renewable for a subsequent period of 3 years;

– This type of residence permit allows the possibility of applying for family reunification;

– Allows travel within the Schengen Area as a tourist for a period of 90 days without the need for a Schengen visa;

– Access to the National Health System;

– Access to the Courts, Education and the Business World

– Eligibility to obtain Portuguese nationality after 5 years of legal residence in Portugal;

– Eligibility to obtain a permanent residence permit after 5 years of legal residence in Portugal.

Minimum length of stay required to renew residence card

During the period of validity of the residence card, the holder must not leave the country for more than 6 consecutive months or 8 interpolated months.

However, there are a few exceptions to the obligation to meet these deadlines which, as exceptions, do not result in the cancellation of the residence permit. The existence of significant personal, family or professional reasons that justify the need to be absent from the country for periods longer than those listed above do not affect the maintenance of the residence permit by its holder.

Portuguese Investment Landscape 

Lisbon and Oporto were recently featured as Best Cities in the World by TimeOut Worldwide. This ranking was looking to spot the Top50 cities in the world that are perfect for city breaks – Porto can be found in the 10th position and Lisbon in the 13th. However, it’s not only for touristic reasons that Portugal is often spotlighted. It’s also one of the most interesting options for international investment in the most diverse areas. 

Real Estate used to lead the investment list. In 2023, this area experienced an investment decrease following a global trend due to the inflation rate, rising debt costs, and other factors. However, there was still an “Avalanche” of money from investors looking to get Portuguese Golden Visas, as one can read in Portugal Resident. 

“In 2023, many investors simply shifted from the property route which had been terminated by the government to the investment in a fund route where they mostly invest in Portuguese companies.” 

 

Real Estate 

In 2023, Portugal’s real estate market experienced a shift, recording a total investment of 1.6 billion euros, reflecting a 50% decrease compared to the previous year. Factors such as high inflation rates, rising debt costs, and discrepancies in price expectations between buyers and sellers contributed to this decline, according to insights from Savills reported by CASASAPO Notícias. 

 

Key Highlights: 

  • Investor Demographics: 54% of transactions were led by domestic investors, focusing on retail, hospitality, and office assets. 
  • Resilient Sectors: Retail and hospitality outperformed, with retail showing a remarkable 42% increase in investment compared to 2022. 

Origin of Capital: 

  • National investors dominated, accounting for 54% of 79 transactions. 
  • Cross-border investment reached 1.1 billion euros, directed mainly at hospitality, retail, healthcare, and student housing. 

 

Golden Visa Program Continues to Thrive 

Contrary to speculation, Portugal’s Golden Visa program remains robust. In 2023, the government’s termination of the property route led investors to shift towards the investment in funds route, particularly in Portuguese companies. 

 

Key Highlights: 

  • High Demand: 352 golden visas were granted through the investment funds route, amounting to €125 million. 
  • Investment Surge: Investment funds and venture capital companies witnessed an “avalanche” of funds from investors seeking Portuguese Golden Visas. 
  • Significant Impact: Between January and September, over €125 million flowed into funds and VCs specializing in Portuguese companies, a 45.4% increase from 2022. 

 

Achievements in Business and Innovation 

Portugal’s business landscape has seen notable achievements, reinforcing its appeal to international investors. AICEP mentioned some of the most notable achievements for Portugal in this context:  

  1. MSG INSUR:IT: Increased investment in Porto’s center of excellence. 
  1. Accenture: Established a Cloud Security center of excellence in Porto. 
  1. IP Parking: Opening a new development office in Portugal. 
  1. Bosch: Plans to invest in the Aveiro Plant. 
  1. Vitec: Expanding its R&D office in Porto. 
  1. BPCE-IT: Expanding its team in Portugal at Natixis, creating a tech hub with 320 new positions. 
  1. BIOrbis: Collaborating with Universidade Católica. 
  1. Bedrock Streaming: Expanding to Portugal with a new office. 
  1. Elementis: Unveiling a new R&D and support center in Portugal. 

 

Outlook for 2024 and Key Challenges 

The recovery of the investment market in 2024 is contingent on the decline in interest rates, stabilizing economic indicators, and increased investor confidence. Anticipated interest rate cuts in 2024 are expected to drive investors towards diversified strategies, particularly in alternative segments like hospitality and retail. There are 4 key challenges one can anticipate: 

  • Macroeconomic Uncertainty 
  • Global Geopolitical Tensions 
  • Legislative and Tax Changes 
  • International Governmental Instability 

 

Despite these challenges, we anticipate a market stabilization post-legislative election in 2024. With over 85% of the sector attributed to foreign investment in the past decade, Portugal remains poised to leverage its strengths and attract foreign investors. 

And it’s easy to understand why. Portugal is still a politically and socially stable country, considered one of the safest in the world, thus with one of the strongest passports in the world 

Finally, recent changes to the nationality law, which allows the nationality process to be submitted five years after submitting the Golden Visa process, will be an important aspect this year for investors, who see this program feature as the main differentiator when compared to other Golden Visa programs. 

To know more about this, understand why and how you should invest in Portugal don’t hesitate to contact our team of lawyers here. 

New Immigration Rules to the Portuguese Immigration Law was issued, introducing significant changes aimed at streamlining processes and incorporating online procedures. Here’s a summarized version of the official document:

 

1) Digital Submission:

Applications for residence permits, both new and renewals, are now encouraged to be submitted digitally through a designated online platform accessible via a central services portal.

2) Enhanced Security Measures:

To combat illicit activities, applications for residence permits will be digitally submitted using qualified electronic signatures. Residence permits will be handed over in person at AIMA offices, reinforcing security measures.

3) Administrative Approval for Researchers:

A new provision allows for administrative approval for residence permits applied for by third-country nationals holding a ‘researcher’ or ‘researcher mobility’ permit from an EU member state, provided there is no opposition within 30 days.

4) Family Reunification Automation:

Anticipating government statements, an online platform is being introduced for automated family reunification processes.

5) Golden Visa Program Updates:

Changes to the Golden Visa program include a shift to “access to supporting information” instead of requiring specific documents. AIMA can request opinions from competent national entities to verify investment fulfillment, broadening oversight.

6) Monitoring Group Powers:

AIMA, along with relevant entities, will now assess investment activities biennially, emphasizing their impact on science, culture, foreign direct investment, and job creation.

7) Transition for Pending Applications:

Pending applications and renewals for residence permits related to investments before October 2023 will follow the entrepreneurial immigrant regime, with necessary adjustments.

8) Automation and Simplification:

The key aspect of the new law is automation, with AIMA gaining extensive powers to consult databases for efficient processing.
AIMA is required to check application requirements within 15 days, promoting simplicity by reducing physical documentation.

9) Verification through Online Systems:

Criminal record verification in third countries is to be done through online systems, resorting to traditional certificates only when necessary.

Verification of legal entry and stay in Portugal will be conducted using online systems, potentially posing challenges for longer-term residence permits.

 

Conclusion and Impact of New Immigration Rules:

The amendments aim to alleviate delays through online processing but also introduce stricter measures against abusive immigration practices.

The changes may pose risks for certain residency program renewals and tax status qualifications, emphasizing the need for careful consideration when choosing programs.

To help you navigate these new rules and several amendments, don’t hesitate to contact our team of lawyers here.

It’s official! Diogo Capela was (again) elected one of the Top 25 Global Migration Attorneys during the EB-5 & Global Immigration Expo event in Newport Beach, California.

After speaking on Golden Visa opportunities in Portugal and sharing his expertise about Immigration-related topics, Diogo received his 3rd consecutive award which also positions Lamares, Capela & Associados as the “one-stop shop” if you’re looking for a firm that can safely solve your issues when it comes to Migration.

This recognition comes from the Uglobal Immigration Magazine, which annually spotlights the top-notch within its “Top 25 Global Migration Attorneys” award.

This acknowledgment is reserved for attorneys working in the migration area, showcasing considerable experience processing a substantial volume of applications. That’s why we would like to thank all who trusted us as the legal partner to solve Migration issues and the partners who stand by every day to facilitate our work.

The distinguished list of winners is a testament to the industry’s trusted figures who drive progress through their foresight and inspiration. Congratulations to all, especially to Diogo on behalf of LACA.

On January 5th, significant amendments to the Portuguese Nationality Law were approved by the Parliament. These changes still need to be published in the Official Journal (Diário da República) and will only come into effect on the first day of the month following that publication.

Some of the amendments confirm in the Law what had already been outlined in the Nationality Regulation, such as the Opposition period to nationality, which is now “1 year from the date of registration of nationality acquisition” instead of the date of the “fact on which nationality acquisition depends.”

The main innovations mainly concern the regime for granting nationality to descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews, the rules for establishing parentage for the purpose of obtaining original nationality, and the counting of residence time for nationality acquisition based on residency.

Without prejudice to a subsequent separate and more detailed analysis of each of the changes, we summarize below the three main alterations to the Nationality Law of 2024.

 

  1. Descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews

Following the introduction of very ambiguous requirements in the Nationality Regulation (which will still apply until the approved changes come into effect) and considering the possibility of a complete repeal of the regime, the Parliament has now approved amendments to the Nationality Law regarding the descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews.

Additionally, a special regime has been approved for the descendants of Sephardic Jews who apply for nationality before the new law comes into effect.

 

Regime applicable to proceedings submitted after the entry into force of the new law

As of the entry into force of the new law, descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews may apply for nationality by fulfilling the following cumulative requirements:

  • Demonstration of a tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin, based on proven objective requirements of connection to Portugal; and
  • Legal residence in Portuguese territory for a period of at least 3 years, whether consecutive or interpolated.

 

The proof of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin will undergo a restrictive change compared to the current practice. While, until now, it has been verified by the presentation of a certificate from one of the two Sephardic communities in Portugal, with the new amendments coming into effect, that certificate will now be subject to final approval by an evaluation committee appointed by the Ministry of Justice. This committee is expected to include “representatives of competent services in the field, researchers or professors in higher education institutions in Sephardic studies, and representatives of Jewish communities with the status of a religious collective person, established in Portugal.”

 

Regime applicable to proceedings submitted before the entry into force of the new law

For those applying for the grant of nationality as descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews before the entry into force of the new law, an intermediate regime will exist. In this regime, it will be sufficient to meet the following requirements:

  1. Demonstration of the tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin, based on proven objective requirements of connection to Portugal;

Along with only one of the following alternative requirements:

  1. Ownership, inherited by succession, of real rights over properties located in Portugal, other personal enjoyment rights, or equity interests in commercial companies or cooperatives based in Portugal;
  2. Regular travels throughout the life of the applicant to Portugal, attesting to an effective and lasting connection to Portugal;
  3. Holding a residence permit for more than 1 year.

 

The first two points were already part of the Nationality Regulation and had been in effect since September 1, 2022. However, the third point is a new addition and will only be in force until the entry into force of the new Nationality Law.

 

So, why add these two points to the nationality law for a short period?

We believe that, with the additional provisions, instead of simply introducing the new regime, the intention was to mitigate the proliferation of more legal actions regarding processes initiated between September 2022 and the entry into force of the new law. This was done in anticipation of avoiding decisions similar to the recent one reported, where the Administrative and Fiscal Court of Porto ruled that the two subparagraphs of paragraph 3 of Article 24-A, added in March 2022 during the regulation of the Law, would “introduce into the legal system a requirement authored by the Government in the exercise of regulatory power, disregarding the limits of the legal reserve” and would therefore be unconstitutional.

 

  1. Establishment of Filiation

During the discussion of the latest amendments to the Nationality Law, even in the previous legislative term, there was a debate about the possibility of repealing Article 14 of the said Law. This article stipulates that only filiation established during minority is relevant for the purpose of obtaining original nationality.

The complete repeal of the article was not approved, but the regime was eventually expanded to allow filiation established during adulthood to also have effects on original nationality under the following circumstances:

  • The establishment of filiation occurs as a result of a judicial process, or
  • The establishment of filiation is the subject of recognition in a judicial action.

When filiation is established through a judicial action, the application for original nationality can be made within the 3 years following the final and non-appealable decision.

 

Exceptional 3-Year Deadline Calculation Regime

An exception to this rule is already provided for cases in which filiation is established before the entry into force of the new law. In these cases, the 3-year period will be calculated not from the final and non-appealable decision, but from the effective date of the newly approved law. In other words, individuals who had parentage established during adulthood before the entry into force of the law can, within the next 3 years, apply for original nationality.

One of the most applauded amendments, addressing the rights of those whose regularization is delayed due to administrative processes, involves the change in the commencement date for calculating the legal residence period.

 

  1. Naturalization Based on Residency Time

Article 15 of the Nationality Law previously stated that for nationality purposes, “individuals are considered to reside legally in Portuguese territory if they are present here with their status regularized before Portuguese authorities, under any of the titles, visas, or authorizations provided for in the regime of entry, stay, departure, and removal of foreigners and in the asylum law regime.”

However, in many cases, there is a significant lapse of time between the residency application and its approval, during which the individual resides effectively in Portugal but without this time being accounted for as legal residence.

The amendment to the law allows for the consideration of “the time elapsed since the moment the temporary residence permit was requested, provided that it is subsequently approved.

When it comes to navigating the complex landscape of immigration law, Lamares, Capela & Associados stands out as an example of excellence. Renowned for its commitment to facilitating legal immigration to Portugal, the firm has become a trusted partner for individuals seeking a seamless transition to a new chapter in their lives.

At the heart of Lamares, Capela & Associados’ success is the top expertise and international acclaim of Diogo Capela. Once again, Diogo was nominated for the “Top 25 Global Migration Attorneys.” This prestigious competition is powered by UGlobal Immigration Magazine, which annually spotlights the top-notch attorneys working in the migration area worldwide.

Diogo Capela’s influence extends beyond borders, as evidenced by his significant contributions to UGlobal Immigration. With a remarkable track record of providing over 200 insightful answers to immigration-related queries on the official website, he has become a trusted voice in the worldwide citizenship residency arena.

If you also need a legal partner to take care of your migration-related issues, don’t hesitate to contact us.

In the context of Law No. 56/2023, dated 06/10, which, following the “More Housing” program, introduced measures in the housing sector, a new fee called ‘Extraordinary Contribution for Local Accommodation’ was created.

 

How does it apply?

It applies to Local Accommodation (AL) units falling under the categories of apartments and lodging establishments integrated into an autonomous fraction of a building.

 

Which properties are exempt?

Local accommodation units used as permanent residences are exempt from the extraordinary contribution, provided that the occupancy does not exceed 120 days per year in this case.

This extraordinary contribution also does not apply to:

  • Properties located in interior territories; and
  • Residential properties that do not constitute autonomous fractions or parts suitable for independent use.

 

Who is responsible for payment?

The holder of the AL operation.

It’s important to note that property owners, even if they are not the holders of the AL operation, are secondarily responsible for the payment of the extraordinary contribution concerning their properties.

 

When is it due?

The contribution must be paid by June 25 of the year following the relevant period.

 

How much?

The taxable base for the contribution involves applying the economic coefficient of the local accommodation and the urbanistic pressure coefficient to the gross private area of residential properties, with a fixed rate of 15% on this resulting base.

Portugal, a country of emigrants 

There have been many migratory waves of the Portuguese from the 15th century up to today. 

Recently, the UN and other entities estimated that there are over two million emigrants, meaning that more than 25% of Portuguese born in Portugal live outside the country. 

In addition, there’s a vast community of Portuguese from the diaspora, including spouses, children, and grandchildren of those who migrated over the centuries, whose numbers are practically impossible to ascertain, but estimated to be over six million. 

 

Immigrants in Portugal 

The interest in Portugal and in obtaining Portuguese nationality has also grown among citizens with less immediate connections. 

Portuguese nationality is sought after because the Portuguese passport ranks as one of the “strongest” and Portuguese law allows the citizen who acquires it to maintain their original nationality. 

Many choose to live in Portugal and reunite their families here, as the country is recognized as one of the safest and most peaceful in the world, with a healthcare system ranked 12th by the WHO and an internationally recognized educational system. 

Moreover, Portuguese citizens are simultaneously European citizens, enjoying free movement to live and work in any EU country, and benefiting from the privileged relations Portugal maintains with PALOP countries worldwide. 

 

Why the delay in Nationality processes? 

The main factor cited for the delay is the exponential increase in applications. From 2010 to 2016, the average was 100,000 cases per year. From 2017 to 2020, it was about 160,000 per year. In 2021, processes exceeded 195,000. In 2022, there are no official data, but an estimated 250,000 cases. 

Additionally, the average age of employees is 59 years old, meaning many retire monthly without replacement (there hasn’t been a hiring process in 20 years!), and the technical means are inadequate: computers are over 15 years old and use very outdated operating systems. 

The combination of these factors results in the widely known delay, accumulating year after year, causing frustration among citizens and professionals – the Union of Registry and Notary Workers estimates there are about 300,000 pending processes. 

 

Online Nationality 

In February 2023, a new online platform (only for two types of processes – residency, and marriage) was tested and expanded in June to all process types. 

Starting from December 1st, 2023, lawyers must submit nationality requests online, which concerns us because the current platform is very deficient and causes some constraints for professionals (both lawyers and service providers). 

As communicated by the government, a “new platform will be fully launched later this month,” thus maintaining hope for its replacement or improvement. 

Since February 2023, around 14,700 online requests have been submitted, resulting, according to the IRN, in about ten thousand fewer in-person appointments per month at the conservatories. 

The Ministry of Justice emphasized efficiency gains, in time and environmentally. 

 

How to get it faster? 

According to what has been conveyed by the government and the Conservatory members, electronically submitted processes will be much faster than those submitted by individuals. 

This is because the lengthier steps, such as digitization and process classification, are eliminated, saving about 70% of the service’s action time. 

Note that only through a lawyer can a process be submitted online. Therefore, citizens wishing to submit alone must use other means (in person or by mail), and in this scenario, it is evident that processing nationality requests through lawyers means, from the start, achieving Portuguese nationality more quickly. 

This prerogative aligns with the established preferential treatment of lawyers who have access to specific channels in the competent bodies and maintain frequent contact with them, ensuring that the process stays within the established deadlines. 

Furthermore, processing through a lawyer has always been the safest method. Lawyers can avoid errors, anticipate possible reasons for refusal before affecting the process, provide guidance to ensure that the documentation is complete from the beginning, and by staying updated regarding legislative changes, they can adapt procedures to minimize delays as much as possible. 

So, if you want to start the process of applying for Portuguese nationality, don’t hesitate to contact our team of lawyers so that we can ensure that your process runs quickly and safely. 

Get in touch with us for further information.

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