Portuguese Nationality Law

Good news, with the entry into force of the new amendment to the Portuguese nationality law. As it is common for people in Macau and Hong Kong to be eligible, we endeavor to explain this amendment, particularly in the nationality acquisition by marriage.

The ninth amendment to the Portuguese Nationality Law (Law no. 37/81, of 3 October) just came into force on 11 November 2020, enacted by Organic Law no. 2/2020, of 10 November.

Among other novelties, this amendment allows a person who is married/ common-law-married with a Portuguese national and does not speak Portuguese or has an effective connection to the Portuguese community, the possibility of applying for Portuguese nationality in cases where the marriage or de facto union has lasted at least 6 years.

This amendment opens the door to Portuguese nationality for those whose marital or de facto relationship is maintained for a minimum period of 6 years, being exempted from having the couple’s common children, as well as any language proficiency exam in Portuguese.

We take this opportunity to remind you that it only takes 3 years to acquire the Portuguese nationality in those cases in which the abovementioned couples have children in common.

Given our considerable experience in cases of attribution of Portuguese nationality, we advise all interested parties to take the necessary steps in order to initiate the respective procedures as soon as possible, namely, bearing in mind the new and attractive conditions that this change has enacted in terms of facilitating the access to Portuguese citizenship by childless couples, as well as the current circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, which have greatly delayed the duration of the referred procedures for the acquisition of Portuguese nationality.

Below are some useful links:

Portuguese Consul General in Macau and Hong Kong

Portuguese Nationality Q&A

Portuguese Nationality Benefits

Portuguese Nationality Law Revision

Portuguese Nationality Q&A II

Portuguese Nationality Law