In 2019, more than 180,000 foreigners obtained Portuguese nationality, more than double the number of babies born in Portugal (81,351) over the same period. The number is a record high and reflects the growing impact of the current immigration legislation that has increasingly opened the country’s doors to migrants. The majority of applicants come from Brazil, Cape Verde and Israel. On average, there are almost 15,000 foreigners per month who are approved for Portuguese nationality.
The Portuguese Nationality Law has been revised to simplify the implementation procedures. The main amendments to the statutes are: opening attribution of Portuguese nationality to grandchildren of Portuguese living abroad; simplifying proof of knowledge of the Portuguese language; and reducing the cases in which criminal records are required.
One of the requirements for acquiring Portuguese citizenship is demonstrating effective links to the Portuguese Community. These connections are shown by objective circumstances that reveal bonds. Examples include: mastery or at least a basic knowledge of the language; family ties; relations of friendship or conviviality; possession of a home; social habits: membership in clubs, churches, associations and organisations; cultural links; economic holdings; interest in history or current events in Portugal.
Since inception, Golden Visa investments have reached €3 billion according to data from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF). The programme authorises non-EU citizens entry, residence and eventual nationality in Portugal in exchange for large financial investments or creation of jobs.