Portugal is making a significant change to its nationality law by speeding up the time it takes to process golden visa applications.

In a briefing update, Global Citizen Solutions said the amended article 15, now incorporating paragraph 4 of the nationality law, states that the time between the submission of the temporary residency permit application and its final approval will be taken into account when calculating the required legal residency period for nationality, as long as the residency permit is granted.

The changes are set to to take effect on the first day of the following month of publication in the Official Gazette, likely from 1 February 2024.

This means that those who have faced delays in residency approvals due to factors such as Covid 19, the Ukranian war and the restructuring of the Portuguese immigration department will now have their waiting period considered, allowing them to apply for Portuguese nationality sooner.

For example, individuals wishing to apply for Portuguese residency in 2024 would fulfil the five-year residency requirement for citizenship by 2029, irrespective of potential delays in the processing of the residency application.

This process must now have a final wording before it it sent to the president for ratification and then published in the offical gazette.

Patricia Casaburi, CEO of Global Citizen Solutions, said: “Portugal is making a significant, rational move. This change is crucial, especially after recent years have seen Portugal become less attractive for residency and citizenship plans. Now, Portugal is taking a substantial step forward.”