Amend to the Portuguese Citizenship Law | Update
IAS would like to inform you that, on the 26th of January and following the approval of the decree that amends the citizenship law by the Parliament, the President of the Republic has requested the preventive review of the constitutionality of the mentioned Decree.
The request of the President of the Republic was limited to Article 6 of the Decree. The relevant article is related to pending files regarding the acquisition of nationality from descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews. As it was decided that a connection to the Portuguese community would be requested as part of the process, for the pending files, the applicants would have to prove that they either have real estate in Portugal, often travel to Portugal, or are holders of residence permits issued for at least one year.
Bearing in mind the current context involving Israel and Palestine, the President of the Republic believes that the creation of additional obstacles to the granting of Portuguese citizenship could be considered an offense against the principle of human dignity, enshrined in Article 1 of the Portuguese Constitution, and even, objectively, against the right to life, protected under Article 24 of the Portuguese Constitution.
This article is not directly or indirectly related to the amendments proposed to anticipate counting the five-year deadline for legal residence periods, namely for Golden Visa holders. Therefore, this analysis by the Constitutional courts should have no impact on that stipulation.
The Constitutional Court now has 25 days to decide on the (in)constitutionality of the mentioned article of the Decree. Should the Constitutional Court rule that the article is in breach of the Portuguese Constitution, the President must veto it, and the decree shall be returned to the Parliament for amending. Should the article be deemed to obey the Constitution, the President can either issue a political veto – which we deem unlikely or publish the decree.
We will keep you informed on all relevant updates on this subject.