top of page

Portuguese Parliament Considers Reducing the Residency Waiting Period for a Passport

Exciting news for foreign residents in Portugal! The Portuguese Parliament is contemplating a decision that could significantly reduce the waiting period for obtaining citizenship. Discover the potential change and its implications for individuals seeking a Portuguese passport in our latest blog.


For foreign residents in Portugal, the path to obtaining citizenship has often been hindered by lengthy waiting periods and bureaucratic hurdles. However, a potential breakthrough is on the horizon as the Portuguese Parliament considers a significant change that could eliminate the need for an extended residency duration before applying for citizenship. Let's delve into the implications of this proposed amendment and its potential impact on individuals seeking to call Portugal their home.

The Current Challenge

Currently, foreign residents in Portugal face a challenging situation when it comes to applying for citizenship. Take the example of a Brazilian individual who has resided in Portugal for five years. Although they obtained a residence permit in the fifth year, they are prohibited from applying for citizenship until the duration of their residence reaches five years. This creates an additional waiting period that can be frustrating and discouraging for those eager to become Portuguese citizens.

Navigating the Waiting Game

The process doesn't end with the completion of five years of residency. Once the individual acquires the necessary residency duration, they still need to undergo the time-consuming process of legalizing documents through the Foreign and Border Service (SEF). Even with expressions of interest via work contracts, the wait can be painstakingly long, leaving many foreign residents uncertain about their future in Portugal.

A Beacon of Hope

Amidst the challenges, a ray of hope shines through as the Portuguese Parliament sets its sights on addressing this issue. The acceptance of a petition submitted by Brazilian citizen Juliet Cristino, representing the Committee of Immigrants of Portugal (CIP), has opened the doors for a possible change in the legislation. The Parliament will engage in a debate in the next Legislature, commencing in September, to explore the prospects of reducing the residency duration requirement for citizenship applications.

An Optimistic Outlook

Juliet Cristino expressed optimism about the potential change, stating that the mere acceptance of the petition demonstrates the issue's importance. The fact that the Parliament is willing to consider the matter is a positive sign, reflecting the possibility of progress in the near future. The Committee for Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms, and Guarantees, chaired by MP Fernando Negrão of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), has confirmed the admission of the petition via email, marking a crucial step in the legislative process.


The prospect of reducing the residency duration for foreign residents to apply for Portuguese citizenship is a promising development. It symbolizes a step towards inclusivity, recognizing the value and contributions of immigrants in the nation's diverse cultural landscape. If this proposed amendment comes to fruition, it could significantly improve the experiences of foreign residents, offering a streamlined pathway to citizenship and encouraging a sense of belonging and integration in Portugal. As we await the outcomes of the parliamentary debate, hope prevails that a brighter future lies ahead for those seeking to call Portugal their permanent home.

188 views0 comments


bottom of page