Portugal Receives Record-Breaking Amounts of Citizenship Requests

Portugal has a large ex-pat population. For the last four years, the foreign resident population in the country has continuously increased. The Borders and Asylum Report (RIFA) suggests that the foreign resident population in Portugal is highest since the records began.

Portugal Has More Than Half a Million Foreign Residents

RIFA’s report shows that Portugal had 590,348 foreign residents in 2018. 2019 saw a 22.9% increase in this population. The last four years experienced an increase in the foreign population of Portugal. In the last four years, the number of foreign residents in Portugal increased by almost 200,000.

The increasing number of foreign residents also impacts the number of applications for citizenship. In 2019 alone, 74 thousand foreigners applied for citizenship. This figure also improves every year since 2015.

Brazilians Lead the Applicant Population

The Brazilian population is the biggest ex-pat community in the country. Currently, Brazilians constitute around a quarter of the total foreign resident population in Portugal. RIFA’s report shows that 151,304 Brazilians live in Portugal. The following nationalities are:

  • Cape Verde (37,436)
  • United Kingdom (34,358)
  • Romania (31,065)
  • Ukraine (29,718)
  • China (27,839)
  • Italy (25,408)
  • France (23,125)
  • Angola (22,691)

Brazilian Nationals Also Lead the Portuguese Citizenship Rates

There are several different types of citizenship applications. The most popular three of these methods are naturalization, marriage and de facto union, and original attribution. The respective rates of preference of these methods in Portugal are 68.9% for naturalization, 13.3% for marriage and de facto union, and 11% for original attribution.

In 2019, Brazilian nationals led the charts by 22,928 applications. Israeli nationals followed Brazilians by 18,433 applications. The rest of the applications came from Cape Verde (6,472), Angola (2,993), Ukraine (2,738), Guinea-Bissau (2,538), and Turkey (1,629).

Portugal is the Best Place to Retire

Apart from young entrepreneurs and investors, pensioners also choose Portugal as their new home. The Portugal Golden Visa Program is a popular route for retirees to relocate to Portugal. The program saw increased interest in the first quarter of 2020. In the first three months, 259 main applicants and more than 500 dependents received residents permits through the Portugal Golden Visa Program.

The program grants residence permits to interested individuals who meet the criteria. After using one of several investment routes, the applications of investors go through a due diligence process. Successful applicants receive residence permits. After five years of residency, investors may apply for naturalization.

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