Trends on immigration in Germany and Portugal for 2024

Here we cover two of the most expected changes in German and Portuguese laws on Citizenship in 2024.

Amendments to the German Nationality Act

In January 2024, the German Parliament decided to amend the German Nationality Act:

  • Acquisition of German citizenship after five years legal residence;
  • No requirement on renouncing previous citizenship;
  • Migrants with good results at school or work, good language skills or those who are particularly active in various areas of public life can acquire citizenship after three years;
  • If a person who has been legally residing in Germany for more than 5 years has a child, the child automatically becomes a German citizen.

The main provision, remains the ability to finance own existence without state support

We remind you that previously, the citizenship was only possible after eight years of residence in Germany and renunciation of previous citizenship.

Presumably, these changes will come into force in May 2024, as the amendments to the law must be ratified by the Bundesrat and signed by the Federal President.

Amendments to the Portuguese Nationality Act

On January 5, 2024, the Portuguese Parliament adopted amendments to the Law on Nationality. According to the amendments, the period of stay for further acquisition of citizenship will be counted from the date of application for a residence permit, rather than from the issuance date of the residence permit card.

Also, the period during of the Portuguese residence permit renewal will be counted for citizenship.

Previously, during applying for Portuguese citizenship, the period of stay of a foreigner was considered only by the validity of the residence permit card. (Due to the administrative workload and delays, the total waiting time between the application and the approval of the residence permit could be up to a year or more).

For instance, acquiring citizenship through the "Golden Visa", actual period from receiving a residence permit card to acquiring citizenship could be up to 7-8 years.

Consequently, the waiting period for the issuance of the residence permit card will be considered during calculating the days of stay in Portugal for the citizenship acquisition. These changes will significantly speed up and facilitate the acquisition of Portuguese citizenship, as due to the large number of applications the migration authorities do not have time to consider all applications, but in this case the waiting time is not burned off, but counts towards citizenship.

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