Changes to the Nationality Law in Portugal

Understanding the Legislative Process

In Portugal, legislative initiatives can be proposed by Deputies, Parliamentary Groups, the Government, or Regional Legislative Assemblies. Citizen voter groups also have the right to initiate legislation as per the Constitution. The process involves committee reports, plenary debates, and detailed voting phases.

Detailed Amendments to the Nationality Law

The Tenth Amendment to Law No. 37/81, governing Portugal’s Nationality Law, involved significant changes, particularly to Articles 1, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, and 15. This amendment resulted from the consolidation of various draft laws and a comprehensive legislative process.

Key Provisions in the Amendment

Significant revisions include new criteria for naturalization of descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews, involving demonstrations of traditional community ties and legal residency in Portugal. The amendment establishes a specific evaluation committee for the certification process.

Amendments to Article 14 address the attribution of original nationality under specific circumstances, and changes to Article 15 clarify the calculation of legal residence periods for nationality purposes.

Final Steps in the Legislative Process

After the Assembly’s approval, the legislative initiative becomes a decree for presidential promulgation. The President has the authority to veto, requiring additional Assembly confirmation or revision.

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