Portuguese nationality law is the legal set of rules that regulate access to Portuguese citizenship, which is acquired mainly through descent from a Portuguese parent ( mother, father, grandfather ), naturalization in Portugal or marriage to a Portuguese citizen.
Overall the present Portuguese nationality law, dated from 1981, privileges Jus sanguinis, while the precedent law, of 1959, was based on the principle of Jus soli. This shift occurred in 1975 and 1981, thus basically making it difficult to access naturalization not only to first generation migrants but also to their children and grandchildren. Only very recently, in 2006, was this situation slightly changed, but still stressing Jus sanguinis.
BIRTH IN PORTUGAL
In general, a child born in Portugal to foreign parents is not entitled to Portuguese citizenship unless the parents have lived in Portugal for 5 years with valid residence permits, or if the minor has concluded the first cycle of compulsory education in Portugal.
DESCENT FROM A PORTUGUESE PARENT
A child born to a Portuguese parent is automatically a Portuguese citizen provided the parent was born in Portugal or is employed by the Portuguese state. Or, the child may be registered as a Portuguese citizen. For example, a child born in Mozambique to a Portuguese-born parent can be registered as a Portuguese citizen at the country’s embassy in Maputo. Under Mozambican law, the child automatically acquires Portuguese citizenship if the other parent is Portuguese-born.
Portuguese Nationality Act Law 37/81, of 3
Consolidated version, as amended by Organic Law 2/2006, of 17 April.
Article 6 – NATURALIZATION AS A PORTUGUESE CITIZEN
1 –The Government grants Portuguese nationality, by naturalization, to foreigners who satisfy each of the following requirements:
a) A person aged 18 or emancipated under Portuguese Law;
b) Have resided lawfully in Portuguese territory for a minimum of six years;
c) Have sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language;
d) Have not been convicted of a crime punishable by Portuguese Law with imprisonment up to a maximum equal to three years or more.
2 –The Government grants nationality, by naturalization, to minors, born in Portuguese territory, to foreign parents, provided that they fulfill the requirements set in sub- paragraphs c) and d) of paragraph 1 and that, at the time of the application, one of the following conditions is satisfied:
a) One of the parents has resided lawfully in Portugal for a minimum of five years;
b) The minor has concluded the first cycle of compulsory education in Portugal.
3 –The Government grants naturalization, with an exemption of the requirements set in sub-paragraphs b) and c) of paragraph 1, to persons who had Portuguese nationality and who, having lost it, never acquired another nationality.
4 –The Government grants naturalization, with an exemption from the requirement set in sub-paragraph b) of paragraph 1, to persons born abroad with, at least, one Portuguese ancestor in the second degree of the direct line, if he or she has not lost his or her Portuguese nationality.
PORTUGUESE CITIZENSHIP BY ADOPTION
Portuguese Nationality Act Law 37/81, of 3 October, state that the child adopted by a Portuguese citizen acquires Portuguese citizenship. The child should be under 18.
PORTUGUESE CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE
Article 3 Acquisition in case of marriage or de facto union
1 –A foreigner married to a Portuguese national for more than three years may acquire Portuguese nationality by means of a declaration made during the duration of the marriage.
2 –A declaration invalidating or annulling the marriage does not impair the nationality acquired by the spouse who married in good faith.
3 –A foreigner who, at the time of the declaration, lives in a de facto union with a Portuguese national for more than three years may acquire Portuguese nationality, after judicial recognition of the status by a civil court.
Note: No formal residence period in Portugal is laid down; however, in practice, knowledge of the Portuguese language and integration into Portuguese society may be required.
Portugal allows dual citizenship. Hence, Portuguese citizens holding or acquiring a foreign citizenship do not lose Portuguese citizenship. Similarly, those becoming Portuguese citizens do not have to renounce their foreign citizenship.
Although Portugal allows dual citizenship, some countries, such as Japan and South Korea, do not. Thus, dual Portuguese–Japanese citizens, under Japanese nationality law, must declare to the Government of Japan whether they are going to keep their Japanese or Portuguese citizenship. A similar procedure is required for dual Portuguese–South Korean citizens, under South Korean nationality law.
OPPOSITION TO ACQUISITION OF NATIONALITY BY ACT OF WILL OR ADOPTION
Article 9 Grounds
Grounds for opposing the acquisition of Portuguese nationality is:
a) The lack of effective ties with the national community;
b) The conviction of a crime punishable by Portuguese Law with
imprisonment up to a maximum equal to three years or more;
c) The exercise of public functions without a predominantly technical nature or
the rendering of noncompulsory military service in a foreign State.
Article 10 PROCEDURE
1 –The opposition is submitted by the Public Prosecutor within one year after the fact upon which the acquisition of nationality depends on a procedure to be initiated under article 26. 2 –It is compulsory for all authorities to report the facts referred to in the preceding article to the Public Prosecutor.
CITIZENSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Portuguese citizens are also citizens of the European Union and thus, enjoy rights of free movement and have the right to vote in elections for the European Parliament.
WHY GOANS ARE APPLYING TO PORTUGUESE NATIONALITY
WHY GOANS ARE APPLYING TO PORTUGUESE NATIONALITY
Formerly known as the Estado da Índiathis territory was an integral part of Portugal (as distinct from a colony) under Portugal’s Constitution of 1910.
On 19 December 1961, India invaded and annexed the territory. The annexation was not recognized by Portugal (or the United Nations) until 1975, at which time Portugal re-established diplomatic relations with India. The recognition of Indian sovereignty over Goa was backdated to 19 December 1961.
Portuguese nationality law allows those who were Portuguese citizens connected with Goa before 1961 to retain Portuguese nationality. Acquisition of Indian citizenship was determined to be non-voluntary at the time.
One practical obstacle is that the civil records of Goa were abandoned by Portugal during the invasion and hence it can be difficult for descendants of pre-1961 Portuguese citizens from Goa to prove their status.
According to the financial express the number of a citizen from Goa, applying for the Portuguese nationality has increased steadily in the over last tree years, as said the election commission statistics.
The record available with the state office of election Commission of India, refers that as many as 1855 goans have become Portuguese nationals in the last three year and more and more goans are applying for a European passport.
The reason way so many goans are applying to a Portuguese nationality is because that it gives them entry into Europe.
Goans search for Portuguese nationality first and from Portugal they can travel to other countries like (England, United State, Canada), searching for better jobs and conditions for them and their family’s.
The Portuguese law regarding goans citizens has changed and make it easier for goans and their next two-generation applying for Portuguese nationality.
REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY TO PORTUGUESE NATIONALITY:
All applications for Portuguese Nationality should be submitted to the nearest Portuguese Consulate of your area.
The following documents will be necessary for the Application
1. For those born in the Antigo Estado da India before 18th December 1961:
Birth certificate and Marriage certificate (if applicable) issued by the Conservatória do Registo Civil de Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Avelí.
Same documents for the spouse (if applicable).
Legal Identification Documents (current passport).
If submitted in Goa:
Valid Indian Passport or identity certificate with attached photograph issued by Mamlatdar/Sarpanch.
Other identity cards can include a ration card or a voter identity card or a driving license. Certificate of Residency with full address and photograph.
Certificate of Residency indicating residency between January 1974 and December 1975. If you were residing in the ex-Portuguese territories in Africa you do not qualify to apply.
2. For those born after 18th December 1961
It will be necessary to prove that their parents were born in the Antigo Estado da India (Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Aveli) and got married there before 18th of December 1961.
Birth certificate of the parents, marriage certificate of the parents, death certificate if any of the parents is deceased, all issued by the Conservatória do Registo Civil de Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Aveli.
Birth certificate and marriage certificate (if applicable) of the individual applying.
Legal Identification Documents (current passport).
If submitted in Goa:
valid Indian Passport or identity certificate with attached photograph issued by Mamlatdar/Sarpanch.
Other identity cards can include a ration card or a voter identity card or a driving license.
Certificate of Residency with full address and photograph. Certificate of Residency indicating residence between January 1974 and December 1975. If you were residing in the ex-Portuguese territories in Africa you do not qualify to apply.
3. For those born after 18th December 1961 whose parents were born in the Antigo Estado da India before that date and got married after that date or got married outside the Antigo Estado da India
It will be necessary to register their parents first or, at least, one of the parents according to number 1. The Nationality Application of the individual can only be submitted after the full registration (birth and marriage certificate) of the individual’s parents (or, at least, one of the parents) as Portuguese in the Registo Civil Português.
If the birth and the marriage certificates of the parents (or of at least one of the parents) of the individual are already registered in the Registo Civil Português, the individual just has to submit the respective references (numbers and year of the birth and marriage certificate).
All documents are written in English or any other language must be translated into Portuguese.
All documents issued in Goa must be certified by a)Public Notary, b)Collector,
Under Secretary (Home)
All documents issued in Damão and Diu must be certified by a) Public Notary, b) Mamlatdar and Joint Secretary (Home).
All documents issued in Bombay must be certified by a) Public Notary, b) Mantralaya.
Incomplete documents or documents were not following these instructions will not be accepted.
NB: These are not legal/professional translations.
This part applies to all applicants: The reader must consult and refer to the nearest Portuguese Consulate and ask for detailed and up to date information before proceeding.
Contact - M: 07444619884 T: UK Glasgow +44 (0) 141 628 8277, Belfast +44 (0) 2895815206, USA New York +13472846572
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