Grandchildren of Portuguese who applied for Portuguese nationality before July 2017 can apply for some sort of retraining of their nationality. The main attraction of the update is the possibility of passing the Portuguese passport also to your children and grandchildren.
The right to citizenship in the European country has been guaranteed to the grandchildren of the Portuguese since 2006. Until 2017, however, they received the nationality by naturalization, which takes effect only from the date on which it is granted.
In July 2017, a change in legislation granted them the so-called nationality of origin, which is equivalent to being Portuguese by birth.
Anyone with the original nationality can pass this right on to their children, regardless of the date of their birth. Portuguese citizens by naturalization can only transmit nationality to their minor descendants.
Grandchildren of Portuguese who have completed the process under the old rules are also entitled to the original nationality, but the change is not automatic. It is necessary to formally request the conversion of the statute: the so-called convolution.
The possibility of change has drawn attention in specialist forums. Law firms are also signaling Brazil’s interest in change. The Portuguese Consulate in São Paulo even created a special area on the website detailing the process.
“People are generally interested in this issue of being able to pass it on to their children. In this sense, just after the approval of the law, there was a great demand, ”explains lawyer Raquel Brito, partner at Abreu Advogados.
When asked, the Portuguese Ministry of Justice did not answer how many people have already been converted.
19-year-old student Beatriz Zanzini has just started her Portuguese citizenship process through the conversion of the nationality of her father, who is a Portuguese grandson and was naturalized in 2008.
“When I was 18 I was very interested in nationality. So I went to get him to see what I should do. As I had to do my dad’s process first, then mine. , I got a little lost. I thought it was going to be quite complicated, but it was not, “he says.
“It was also a lot faster than I expected. I thought it would take at least six months, but everything was ready in three, “says the young woman, who did the whole process on her own, directly in Portugal, where she already lives.
Mathematics teacher Maria Celeste Ferreira chose to file the conversion request through a lawyer. Granddaughter of Portuguese born before 1900, she says she still has bad memories of the bureaucracy when she applied for naturalization.
“It took a lot of work to find the certificates, authenticate and register a lot of things. All this ended up weighing on the decision and I ended up hiring the same person who had already taken care of my file. I have two children who are planning to leave Brazil and wanted to make sure everything was ready for them. We take care of everything at the same time, ”he says.
In the opinion of lawyer Raquel Brito, the process is generally straightforward. “It is a requirement to join the process, there is no need to do a new documentation”, he explains.
In addition to the completed and signed application, it is necessary to send the Portuguese authorities a certificate of criminal history in Brazil and other countries where the person has resided for more than six months. The order has a cost of 175 euros (approximately R $ 1,075).
In recent years, Portugal has made several changes that have improved access to citizenship in the country. In addition to guaranteeing original citizenship for the grandchildren of the Portuguese, the legislation has also simplified the requirements for proof of “effective links with Portugal”. Since November 2020, knowledge of the Portuguese language is sufficient to fulfill this prerequisite.
Until then, more subjective criteria were used, such as proof of regular trips to Portugal or of association with Portuguese cultural and sporting entities.
Since 2013, the country has gained more new citizens through civil status offices (naturalizations and assignments) than through the birth of babies.
Despite the pandemic, the country set a record of favorable processes in 2020: 149,157
people now have Portuguese nationality. Provisional data from the Ministry of Justice indicates that, up to April of this year, Portugal has given a favorable opinion on 56,550 nationality applications.
Brazil tops the list of requests, followed by Israel, Cape Verde, Angola and Guinea-Bissau.
Israel’s presence in second place in the top 5 – with four Portuguese-speaking countries – is explained by the granting of nationality to the descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from the country during the Inquisition.
Since 2015, the descendants of these communities can apply for Portuguese nationality by naturalization.