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Access to Portuguese nationality: 10 years of the law in figures (Unofficial translation)

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  • RESIDENCE STATUS
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Acesso à Nacionalidade Portuguesa: 10 anos da Lei em Números (Original language title)

Celebrating the 10 years anniversary of the current Portuguese nationality law, the Observatory of Migration released a statistical study evaluating the impact of these amendments. It concludes that the new legislation proved to be extremely important for the increase in the number of naturalisations and in opening up several modes of citizenship acquisition.

Between 2006 and 2016, 477 thousand applications were submitted and 401,669 were foreigners were granted the Portuguese nationality. In the ten years before the amendments to Law, a total of 61,156 foreign citizens filed a request. The strengthening of jus solis (nationality obtained by virtue of the territory in which the individual is born) and the reduction of the period of legal residence to apply for citizenship led to an increase of requests are 2 of the most effective modes of acquisition. Representing 42.1% of the total between 2007 and 2016, naturalisation became the main channel to Portuguese nationality. Until 2005, especially during the 1980s and the mid-1990s, marriage was the main access point to nationality for immigrants (twelve times more than naturalisation).

The highest number of requests come from Portuguese-Speaking citizens reflecting not only the relative importance of certain migrant communities in Portugal (Brazilian and Cape Verdean are the two largest foreign groups residing in Portugal) but also the fact that Portuguese-speaking foreign citizens are exempt from the language test when applying for citizenship.

Source: Observatory for Migration