From November 11, 2020, children of foreign parents will be entitled to Portuguese citizenship by birth, provided that at least one of the parents has resided in Portugal for at least one year. This is stipulated in the amended law on citizenship published by Portugal’s governmental edition Diário da República.

Previously, children born to foreign residents of Portugal could obtain citizenship by birth in case at least one of the parents had resided in the country for a minimum term of two years. By the new rules, this term has been decreased to one year.

Experts believe this update will enable Portuguese residence permit holders who remained in the country for at least a year to secure citizenship of Portugal for their children on their birth. This opportunity will be available even to foreign residents who only spent 7 days in the first year in Portugal (as the physical presence rules require).

Due to this change in legislation, Portugal’s Residency by Investment program will become the only EU scheme that allows foreigners to obtain citizenship by birth for their children without the need to reside in the country for any significant time.

The Portuguese authorities had already expanded resident rights in the past. In 2018, Portugal passed an amendment to the law on citizenship granting the right for naturalisation to foreigners who legally resided in Portugal for five years. The authorities apply the new rules verbatim: holders of Portuguese residence permits who meet a minimum presence requirement are considered legal residents and have a right to obtain citizenship.

The growing popularity of Portugal’s Residency by Investment program also correlates with the fact that Portuguese citizens will soon be able to obtain E-2 US visas and relocate to the US. Last year, the US House of Representatives passed the law known as AMIGOS (Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success) that would enable citizens of Portugal to apply for E-2 visas. This law will come into force upon approval of the US Senate and President.

The country launched a residency by investment program in 2012, which has, so far, brought over €5.5 billion to the country’s economy. Based on analysts’ reports, most members of the immigration programme invest in Portuguese property.

Portuguese residency allows you to live, work and study in any EU member state and cross the borders of 26 Schengen countries without a visa.

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