In Portugal, the newborn children of investors will be able to acquire citizenship more quickly

November 11, 2020
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Portuguese citizenship for investor's newborn children
Photo: Adobe Stock
Amendments to the Citizenship Act came into force. Now, participants in the residence permit programme can apply for citizenship for newborns after one year of maintaining their status.

A child may apply for Portuguese citizenship if:

  • he was born in Portugal;

  • at least one parent had lived in Portugal for at least a year before the birth.

Children of foreigners were able to obtain Portuguese citizenship at birth before. But before the amendment one of the parents had to have lived in the country for at least 2 years.

The law does not set clear rules for the children of investors who receive a residence permit for investment in Portugal. But our lawyers believe that the newborn child of an investor will be able to obtain citizenship of Portugal if the residence permit of one of the parents is valid for at least 1 year. For this investor does not need to live permanently in the country: it is enough to spend in Portugal only 7 days per year.


The investor’s grandchildren can also apply for Portuguese citizenship if their parents are citizens by birth or naturalisation.

The amendments to the law entered into force on 10 November 2020, when it was published in the state newspaper Diário da República.

How an investor can obtain Portuguese citizenship

The Government of Portugal allows participants in the residence permit programme to apply for citizenship in 5 years for investment. Under normal circumstances, the naturalisation process takes up to 10 years.

Continuously remain a resident of the country until you apply for citizenship. To do this, you must comply with the terms of the program and regularly renew the residence permit card.

2 main conditions for maintaining a residence permit for investment:

  • to maintain investments for at least 5 years;

  • spend 7 days a year or more in the country.

In July 2020, the government established new rules on renewals of residence permit cards. Investors who participated in the programme after 1 April 2020 will extend their status under the 2+2+2 scheme. This means that the first extension must take place in 2 years, not a year as before.

2 main conditions for maintaining a residence permit for investment:

    • to maintain investments for at least 5 years;
    • spend 7 days a year or more in the country.

In July 2020, the government established new rules on renewals of residence permit cards. Investors who participated in the programme after 1 April 2020 will extend their status under the 2+2+2 scheme. This means that the first extension must take place in 2 years, not a year as before.

We talked about the change in the material “The residence permit for Portugal: citizenship conditions for children have been simplified and the validity of gold visas has increased”.

Pass the exam for knowledge of the Portuguese language. To obtain citizenship, all you need to do is confirm your language skills at elementary level A2.

The opportunity to obtain EU citizenship is one of the main advantages of Portugal’s residence permit programme for investment. Other countries allow you to obtain a second passport only on general conditions, by naturalisation.

How the pandemic has affected the popularity of the programme

Portugal remains one of the most attractive countries for investors despite the crisis and closed borders.

808 investors and 1,424 family members received a residence permit for Portugal from January to July 2020. The programme brought the country 439 million euros – only 6.7% less than in the same period in 2019. The pandemic has had little or no impact on the demand of foreign investors.

The interest of Russians in Portugal’s residence permit programme for investment increased by 69%. In 2020, 44 investors from Russia became participants, in 2019 there were only 26 of them. We talked about it in the material ‘Residence permit for Portugal: statistics for the first 7 months of 2020’.

How Portugal attracts foreign investors

In our experience, investors often see Portugal as an underdeveloped country. But this opinion easily disproves the results of international ratings, awards and economic forecasts.

Portugal was ranked 3rd in the Global Peace Index 2020. The country has a low crime rate and its citizens are law-abiding and friendly towards immigrants. We talked about this in the material ‘Portugal was ranked 3rd in the Peace Country Ranking’.

Braga, the Algarve and the Azores are among the “Top 20 places in Europe for life, investment and business in 2020”. The rating was made by European Best Destinations, an expert in the development and promotion of tourism within the European Union.

Various factors were considered in the evaluation. For example, accommodation costs, crime rates, availability of international schools and major airports, accessibility of medical services and even the quality of internet connections. The rating was published on the website of the American edition of Forbes.

Portugal has received 26 awards in the tourism sector as a result of an open vote for the World Travel Awards 2020. 8 awards were given to regions and cities of the country, which shows a high level of comfort, developed infrastructure and quality of life in the tourist areas of Portugal. We talked about this in the material ‘Portugal has collected 26 awards at the World Travel Awards 2020 and has become the most comfortable holiday destination in Europe’.

Portugal’s economy will begin to grow from 2021 – this is what experts from the European Commission and local entrepreneurs believe.

The European Commission forecasts GDP growth of 5.4% in 2021 and 3.5% in 2022. These figures are above the average for the Eurozone and the European Union. And the international consulting company Deloitte surveyed the heads of Portuguese companies. 56% of those surveyed are confident that the economy will grow in 2021. However, 35% believe that growth will be more than 3%. We talked about the forecasts in the material “European Commission: the economy of the European Union countries will start to grow in 2021”.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal

the City of Braga topped the ranking of the best places to live and invest in Europe

the City of Braga topped the ranking of the best places to live and invest in Europe

Madeira is the best island resort according to the World Travel Awards 2020

Madeira is the best island resort according to the World Travel Awards 2020

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal
the City of Braga topped the ranking of the best places to live and invest in Europe
Madeira is the best island resort according to the World Travel Awards 2020

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