Portugal will make it easier for foreigners to obtain citizenship

September 13, 2023
Portugal-Passport The Portuguese Parliament is currently considering a significant change to the country's citizenship laws, aimed at simplifying the process for foreigners already residing in Portugal. This proposed change could open new doors for those wanting Portuguese citizenship, attracting people from a variety of backgrounds. The current system sets the record straight for foreign residents as soon as they receive an official permit to stay in Portugal, a situation that could soon see a change. Revamping Naturalization Requirements According to a report from Jurid Magazine, this potential change will affect all foreigners who have spent a specific amount of time in Portugal, required for naturalization. Congress is prepared to review and possibly amend current residency requirements. The current system sets the record straight for foreign residents as soon as they receive an official permit to stay in Portugal, a situation that could soon see a change. Soaring Interest in Portuguese Citizenship In recent years, the appeal of Portuguese citizenship has increased significantly, with local media reporting a significant 37% increase in citizenship applications in 2022 alone. According to the Border Agency and Foreigners (SEF), a total of 74,506 applications were filed during this period. Of these, 64,040 applications received positive responses and only 911 applications were rejected. It should be noted that the largest proportion of new Portuguese citizens come from Israel (20,975), followed by Brazil (18,591) and Cape Verde (3,662). Diverse Pathways to Citizenship For those seeking Portuguese citizenship through marriage or de facto union, Brazilians led the pack with 9,435 applications, followed by Venezuelans (1,536) and Cape Verdeans (900). Interestingly, Israelis have emerged as a prominent group pursuing Portuguese citizenship, surpassing Brazilians, despite the deep cultural and historical ties between Brazil and Portugal. Astonishingly, many Israelis, once they secure Portuguese citizenship, do not reside in the country, with just 569 out of 60,000 Israeli citizens with Portuguese nationality residing in Portugal as of 2022. In contrast, a significant portion of Brazilians, approximately 239,744, choose to make Portugal their home after acquiring citizenship. Advantages and Disadvantages The appeal of Portuguese citizenship lies in its various benefits, including lower taxes, lower living costs and a generally less stressful lifestyle compared to other countries. However, challenges such as language barriers and the potential for reduced income are important considerations. One of the most desired benefits for Portuguese citizens is the ability to travel within the Schengen border-free zone, which is still being negotiated for Israeli passport holders who want access through This country's visa exemption program for the EU and US. This change is especially important for Israelis because holding an Israeli passport comes with more restrictions. Additionally, the discussion extends to higher education opportunities. While academic requirements are often strict at Israeli public universities, EU citizens, including Portuguese citizens, benefit from more relaxed admission criteria and reduced costs. A Shift in Motivation Many European families have been motivated to apply for European citizenship because of these benefits. However, it should be noted that the number of Israelis applying for Portuguese citizenship may decrease in the future. 2022 marks the last year they can apply for citizenship under the descendants policy, a program designed to make it easier for Israelis with family ties to the country to obtain Portuguese citizenship. than. As Portugal contemplates these changes, the world is anxiously watching, eager to see how these potential changes will affect the Portuguese civic landscape for foreigners.

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