Amendments to Organic Law no. 1/2024, of 5th March, on the Nationality Law

Amendments to Organic Law no. 1/2024, of 5th March, on the Nationality Law


Amendments to Organic Law no. 1/2024, of 5th March, on the Nationality Law

Main changes made by Lei Orgânica nº 1/2024, from March 5th, in Lei da Nacionalidade:

On March 5th, 2024, it was published at Diário da República the Lei Orgânica nº 1/2024, which is the tenth change to Law nº 37/81, from October 3rd, which approved the Law of Nationality.


I.     Changes regarding Sephardic Jews – articles 6º/7 & 6º/13

As a result of the current modifications, the regime applicable to nationality requests from descendants of Sephardic Jews had some changes, such as the creation of other requirements in order for those people to be eligible to acquire Portuguese nationality.

New requirements added:

  • Residency in Portugal for at least three years, whether those are in a row or not.
  • The demonstration of tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin is now to be subject to final approval by an Evaluation Committee, yet to be named, constituted by representatives of the competent services regarding the subject, researchers or teachers in higher education institutions in Sephardic studies and representatives of Jewish communities with the status of a religious collective person, based in Portugal.

Previous requirements kept:

  •  The demonstration of tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin remains to be based on objective criteria, such as last names, family language, direct or collateral descendant.
  •  Waiver of the need to reside in Portugal for at least five years and proof knowledge of the Portuguese language.

This changes come into force and are applicable to nationality request from April 1st onwards.

Regarding requests made between September 1st, 2022, and March 31st, 2024, a different regime is applied, with the following requirements:

  •  Proven connection to Portugal, based on objective criteria (last names, family language, direct or collateral descendant)
  •  Ownership (by mortis causa) of property rights over real estate located in Portugal, personal rights or shareholdings of commercial companies or cooperatives headquartered in Portugal.
  •  Regular trips to Portugal, which attest an effective and lasting connection to the country.


II.      Changes regarding counting deadlines – articles 10º & 15º/4

Regarding counting deadlines, in special the ones referring to legal residency in Law of Nationality, the time since the temporary residence permit was requested, as long as it ends up being granted, is now counted and taken into account.

 This new regime constitutes a benefit in counting the residence time of foreigners living in Portugal, who are requiring Portuguese nationality by naturalization: the five years required to do so are now counted since the request of the residence permit, instead of the day it is granted.

Considering the long period of time noted on residence permits requests, this change is an important benefit for those who, later on, request Portuguese nationality.

On the other hand, this new Law also changed the moment in which the deadline for the Public Ministry to deduce opposition to any nationality request starts to count – from now on, it is counted since the nationality request is registered.


 III.     Creation of a regime applied to filiation during adulthood – articles 14º/2 & 14º/3

It is created a new regime applied to filiation during adulthood, whereas the regime which was in force only addressed filiation during minority.

Therefore, in case the filiation is established during adulthood, Portuguese nationality can only be attributed in case the following requirements are met:

  • Filiation established following a judicial process or object of recognition in judicial action.
  • The sentence becoming final, without the option to appeal.
  •  Nationality required within the three years after the sentence is final.

In the filiation was established before the present alteration comes into force, the three years deadline mentioned above is counted from the day it does come into force (April 1st, 2024).


 IV.      New case of suspension of the procedure for acquiring  Portuguese nationality – article 13º/2

The procedure for acquiring Portuguese nationality, whether it is through effect of will, adoption or naturalization, is suspended while the applicant is under restrictive measures, approved by the ONU or EU within the framework of Law-Decrete nº 97/2017, from August 23rd.

The same suspension was also applied before, and it still is, when de applicant is convicted for a crime under the Portuguese law, in which the penalty, or penalties, individually or cumulatively, exceeds one year in prison.  


 V.      Regulation of the collection of biometric data for the purpose of      acquiring Portuguese nationality – article 12º-C

In order to assure the authenticity of the data presented by the applicants of Portuguese nationality, it is now regulated the collection of biometric data.

  •  Facial images, fingerprints and height can be collected by qualified and accredited personal by the INPI, I. P., by the Direção-Geral dos Assuntos Consulares e das Comunidades Portuguesas or by self-service terminals.
  •   In case of approval, these data will then be used for the purposes of creating, issuing and using the Citizen’s Card.
  •   If the application is denied, the data will be eliminated after the expiry of the deadline for judicial objection of the decision, or, in case of objection, after the final and unappealable decision of such objection.


 VI.      Relevance of violent, specially violent or highly organized criminality – articles 1º/3, 6º/1/e) & 9º/d):

The involvement of the applicant in violent, specially violent or highly organized criminality activities have three different effects and consequences:

  •  The non-involvement in such activities is a requirement which depends the proof of effective connection to the Portuguese national community, beyond the ones already in the letter of the law, in the case of requests for nationality by Portuguese citizens’ grandchildren.
  •  It is added to the requirements, which verification is mandatory and cumulative, needed for the Portuguese nationality to be granted in case of application for acquisition of nationality by naturalization.
  •   The involvement of the applicant in such activities is reason of opposition to the attribution and acquisition of Portuguese nationality.


VII.    General Provisions:

  •  This alteration comes into force on April 1st, 2024.
  •  The Chapter IV of the Title I now includes the article 12º-C, regarding the collection of biometric data.
  • The government is going to change the Portuguese Nationality Regalement (DL nº 237-A/2006, from December 14th) 90 days after the present law is published. 


All articles are integrated in Lei da Nacionalidade (LN)




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