Legal alert no. 29

On June 21st, it was published, in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Portugal, the Decree-Law no. 71/2017, regulating the Organic Law no. 8/2015, of June 22nd, and the Organic Law no. 9/2015, of July 29th, which introduced amendments to the Nationality Law.

Apart from the above mentioned regulation, the procedure of attribution and acquisition of Portuguese nationality is amended in order to make it swifter.

Firstly, regarding the proof of knowledge of Portuguese language, one of the requirements for the acquisition of the Portuguese nationality by way of naturalization, is set a rule establishing a legal presumption according to which a citizen born in a country in which Portuguese is the official language for at least 10 years and said citizen resides in Portugal for at least 5 years.

Secondly, regarding the need to submit a criminal record from the country of birth or the country of citizenship, an exemption is established when the applicant has not been a resident in such countries after completing 16 years of age.

Furthermore, the administrative procedure is amended, through the clarification of the notification regime regarding nationality applications, being established that all notifications carried out by the Central Registry Office are addressed to the domicile chosen by the applicant and they will not cease to be effective in case of return.

Thus, a group of situations is established in which the Central Registry Office shall presume the existence of an effective liaison between the applicant and the Portuguese Community, aiming to reduce the number of applications sent to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Lastly, citizens born abroad who have a Portuguese ascendant until the second degree in a direct line, considering that such ascendant has not lost the Portuguese nationality, are now able to apply for Portuguese citizenship, should they meet all the requirements for the effect, namely, in case they have an effective liaison with the Portuguese Community.

To access the complete text of the Decree-Law in analysis, of please click here.

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