Portugal’s Law no. 23/2007, of July 4 recently had some updates. This law refers to the Entry, Permanence, Exit and Removal of Foreigners from National Territory. The new law that introduced the changes is called Law no. 2/2020, of March 31 (Portuguese State Budget for 2020). These changes apply to the rules of temporary residence in Portugal. The updates also interest the Portugal Golden Visa applicants.
What Did the New Law Change?
The main goal of the changes introduced is the simplification of the grant and renewal processes. With these changes, Portugal aims to create a bureaucratically less challenging route. According to the new format of the law, the initial permits will be valid for two years instead of one. Permit holders can renew their grants every two years.
It is important to note that these changes apply to the cases after April 1st, 2020. If the application is pending or not submitted on April 1st, 2020; the applicant can benefit from the simplified version of the law. However, the applications that are finalized before April 1st, 2020 cannot. Thus, if the holder received their permit before April 1st, 2020, their permit will be valid for one year.
The New Version of the Law Year by Year
- Initial Grant of the Residence Permit
According to the new law, the initial permit is valid for two years. In this period, the applicant must reside in Portugal for at least seven days. At the end of the first two years, the applicant must renew their permit.
- After the Initial Two Years (Years Two to Four)
After the permit is renewed following the two years, the permit is valid for another two years. In this period, the applicant must reside in Portugal for at least 14 days. At the end of these two years, the permit must be renewed again.
- After the Fourth Year
The process in this period is identical to the one before. In this period, the applicant must reside in Portugal for at least 14 days.
- The End of the Fifth Year
At the end of the fifth year, the applicants may apply for naturalization. At this stage, the applicant already has a residence permit valid for another year. At this stage, the interested parties may apply for citizenship at the Portuguese Civil Registry. Alternatively, they may apply for a permanent residency at the Foreigners and Borders Service of Portugal (SEF).
- The End of the Sixth Year
After the sixth year, if the applicant did not apply for naturalization or a permanent residence permit, they may continue to renew their temporary residence permit every two years. In these periods, the applicant must reside in Portugal for at least 14 days.