Grandsons of Portuguese Born Abroad - New Regulation (Part I)
Decree-Law No. 71/2017, published on the 20th of June of 2017 with the introduction of the new wording to the Nationality Regulation. The so-called "New Nationality Regulation" validates changes introduced to the Nationality Law.

Among the novelties, the most relevant and questionable concerns the determination of what will be considered "effective connection with the Portuguese community", as well as the applicability of the new legislation to the "existing cases" and previously delivered to the Portuguese Conservatories.


Regarding the "effective connection to the Portuguese community":

Until 20/07/2017, a foreign citizen grandson of a Portuguese could apply for his Portuguese nationality by acquiring the nationality by naturalization.

With the new diploma, grandchildren will be able to apply for nationality through attribution, however provided they prove to have strong involvement with the Portuguese community. Therefore, a Brazilian grandson of a Portuguese will have a chance to see his nationality recognized if:

- He legally resides in the national territory;

- He travels to Portugal regularly;

- He has property in Portugal in his name for more than 3 years;

- He has a lease agreement for more than 3 years;

- He is connected to a Portuguese historical community and/or

- He participates in the cultural life of the Portuguese community for over the last 5 years of the country where he lives.


According to the legal text, the requirements listed above are “documents that can contribute to prove the effective connection to the Portuguese community”, so apparently the evaluation of these will be discretionary by the Portuguese government.


Thus, the legislation reduced the chances of a foreign-born Portuguese grandson who has always lived at home with Portuguese traditions to become Portuguese, as the requirements for effective community ties cannot be met by descendants who do not reside, or have property in Portugal, or are connected to the formal communities of Portuguese if, for example, the communities do not exist at the place of residence in the country of origin. Also, individuals who reside outside Portugal and who cannot, for financial reasons, or simply because it is not viable for them, travel to Portugal regularly cannot become Portuguese.


In conclusion, a foreigner who is Portuguese through his grandparents cannot depend solely on heredity (ius sanguinis), but on (being interpreted: economically ?!) being able to prove effective ties to the Portuguese community.

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