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Portugal: Record number of citizenships granted in 2019 (Unofficial translation)

A record number of 180 000 Portuguese citizenship applications were granted in 2019. This is more than double the number of births in the country, which stood at 81 000 for the same year.

The figures were released by the Portuguese Ministry of Justice, suggesting a significant increase in the number of persons who acquired citizenship after amendments to the nationality law were approved by the Portuguese parliament in April 2018. The changes extended the access to nationality and naturalisation to persons born on the national territory, as long as one of their parents had been a resident in the country for two years. The high rates of nationality acquisition in Portugal were also highlighted in the International Migration Outlook 2019 published by the OECD.

The largest number of successful nationalisation applications belonged to Brazilian citizens, followed by Cape Verdeans and Ukrainians – the biggest migrant communities in Portugal. Israeli citizens come up for the first time among the top five due to legal changes introduced in 2013 which allowed Sephardic Jews, expelled from Portugal in the 15th and 16th centuries, to obtain Portuguese nationality.