Portugal just keeps getting better and better for investors. Portugal has passed amendments to nationality law in 2024 making citizenship more easier and accessible for golden visa applicants, who are still waiting for residence permits.

From now on, the waiting period from the time of official filing the application will be counted towards Portuguese citizenship application, if such application is approved by Immigration authorities. Previously the five year period started from the date of approval of visa or residence permit.  The Government made this move to restore the confidence of investors who made significant investments in Portugal.

New Citizenship Law

Article 15 (Section 4) of New law  – For the purposes of counting the legal residence periods provided for in this law, the time elapsed since the moment the temporary residence title was requested is also considered if it is approved.

Currently under ARI legislation, Portugal requires atleast 5 years of residence period to naturalize as citizen, without being absent for 2 weeks yearly in Portugal territory .

The Decree will have to be signed by president and will become law after published in national gazette.

Waiting Period

The current waiting periods for approval of GV residence permits stretches up to 2 years, due to huge backlog of applications resulting from closure of property investments and government restructuring the immigration agency replacing SEF with AIMA.


For example, if you have waited one year to receive your residence permit approved, now that one year will count towards your citizenship time.

  • Applicant, having applied for the visa on January 1st, having the visa granted on March 20th and having an appointment on May 8th, the period for accessing nationality would start to run from May 8th.
  • ARI applicants with processes submitted online, for example, in January 2019, can apply for Portuguese nationality in January this year (2024), provided that the Golden Visa process has already been subject, in the meantime, to a notification of approval and payment of the issuance fee for their residence title.
  • The Golden Visa applicant who submits his/her application on the platform on August 2nd, and pays the analysis fee on August 4th, can, from this last date, start counting the 5-year period to submit his/her application to the Portuguese nationality.

Source/Credit: Examples provided by Prime legal Law Firm

Citizenship Conditions

The Nationality Law (Law No. 37/81), the requires 5 years of residence for the acquisition of Portuguese citizenship can be counted by considering all periods of legal residence in the country, whether continuous or intermittent within a maximum period of 15 years.

  • You are over 18 years old (or are emancipated under Portuguese law)
  • has legally resided in Portugal for at least 5 years
  • knows the Portuguese language sufficiently.

Citizenship Applications

The Ministry of Justice will examine applications and will take final decision on granting nationality. Online applications for Portuguese nationality must be filed by lawyer or solicitor. The application for Portuguese nationality is made in person, in one of the following places:

  • Counter of the Institute of Registration and Notary Affairs at the National Support Centre for the Integration of Migrants (CNAIM) in Lisbon or Oporto
  • Registry Spaces in Lisbon, on Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, on the Campus da Justiça and in Benfica
  • Central Registry Office in Lisbon
  • Nationality Desk
  • Odivelas Citizens’ Shop
  • Civil Registry Offices
  • Portuguese Consulate in your area of residence.

Please contact us for more information.