Nationality Law with equal requirements for Portuguese spouses with or without children

The Nationality Law, vetoed by Marcelo in August, was approved this Friday by Parliament. Parties on the left voted in favour, while PSD, CDS and Chega voted against. IL abstained.

Lusa News Agency Text

A measure included in the law is the one regarding the acquisition of Portuguese nationality by the spouses of Portuguese nationals.


The amendments to the Nationality Law, voted on Friday in parliament, change nothing in relation to the measures approved in July for grandchildren of Portuguese nationals who wanted to obtain nationality, but have equal requirements for spouses with and without children.

The parliament approved this Friday an amendment to the Nationality Law to to overcome the veto of the President of the Republic as he felt it discriminated against childless couples or those with children already born in Portugal.

Now, "the spouse of a Portuguese citizen who wishes to obtain nationality, whether or not they have children, as long as they meet the remaining requirements and deadlines" can do so, Socialist deputy Paulo Porto explained to Lusa.

Regarding the amendments adopted in Julywhat changes are numbers four and five of article 3 so that spouses without children now have the same conditions of access to Portuguese nationality, said the socialist deputy.

As for the changes to the law approved in July regarding Portuguese grandchildren who wish to obtain nationality, nothing will change, Social Democrat deputy José Cesário and Paulo Porto told Lusa.

The approved amendments to the law had the votes in favour of PS, BE, PCP, PAN, PEV, the non-attached Members Joacine Katar Moreira and Cristina Rodrigues, and the votes against of PSD, CDS, Chega and the abstention of the Liberal Initiative parliamentarian.

"Essentially, access to nationality for the children of foreigners living in Portugal, even if they are illegal, has been greatly reduced".This is one of the reasons why the Social Democrats voted against the amendments this Friday," said José Cesário.

In July, PS and PSD considered that Portuguese emigrants who want to obtain the nationality of their grandparents, as well as spouses of national citizens would have, by the new rules, a more streamlined and fairer process.

The Nationality Law now approved considers thepenas as necessary requirements for the attribution of nationality to Portuguese grandchildren, who reside abroad or in Portugal, have Portuguese language skills and who do not have a criminal record of more than three years or a suspicion of links to terrorist actsJosé Cesário, who voted in favour of the diploma in July, when his party voted against it, then explained.

At that time, the PSD voted against the law because of issues concerning Sephardic Jews and the children of immigrants born in Portugal.

"I voted in favour because I believe that the amendments concerning Portuguese people not residing in Portugal are fair measures, which allow Portugal to be closer to the Portuguese communities and which were part of the electoral programme" of the party, José Cesário explained at the time.

Another measure included in the law is the one regarding the acquisition of Portuguese nationality by the spouses of Portuguese nationals.

"There has been simplification in this case too," said the Social Democrat MP, elected for the Outer Europe constituency and former Secretary of State for Communities, in July.

"Because now for a spouse to obtain Portuguese nationality it is enough to have been married for at least six years to a person of Portuguese nationality," or earlier if the couple already has children of Portuguese nationality, he explained.

The amendments adopted this Friday eliminate precisely this question of whether to have a child or not.

With these changes, both grandchildren and spouses of Portuguese "will now have objective criteria for the attribution of nationality", argued the Socialist Paulo Porto.

In practice, both grandchildren and spouses will no longer have the need to "prove their connection to the community", as provided for in the previous version of the law, and which was difficult to prove, he considered, giving the whole process "greater legal certainty".

In addition, "it also simplifies the work inside the registry offices", stressed the PS deputy.

In the amendments approved this Friday, social-democrat MP José Cesário regretted, however, that the rejection of a Liberal Initiative proposal, supported by the PSD, that aimed to eliminate article 14 of the law, which prevents adult citizens, children of Portuguese citizens, from registering Portuguese nationality, had not been contemplated.

"It is a pity that the entire left, including the PS, opposed this amendment, which continues to discriminate against many Portuguese descendants, especially in Africa and South America," he said.

In those areas there were many Portuguese in remote areas who did not register the Portuguese nationality of their children because they would have to travel long distances. And this Friday, now grown up, their children want to register their nationality, but they can't, he lamented.

Socialist Paulo Porto countered that "no proposal rejected"The issue is that "as this amendment had not been contemplated in July, it could not be done now".

However, he assured that the PS is sensitive to the issue and is studying the possibility of changing this measure.

On Thursday, the vice-president of the Socialist bench Constança Urbano de Sousa said that the PS will "fully address" the objections that were at the root of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa's veto on the revision of the law.

The law, already amended by parliament, will be referred to the President of the Republic for a decision.

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