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Do you want to live in Europe? Find out how to become a Portuguese citizen



Vicente Nunez – Correspondent

published on 07/31/2022 07:00 / updated on 07/31/2022 19:19

In order to attract the descendants of the Portuguese who left the country, many of whom escaped poverty, the grandchildren of these citizens were given the opportunity to directly apply for their original citizenship – (photo: Pixabay)

Lisbon – Plastic artist Lenne Russo, 51, is on her way to fulfilling her dream of becoming a Portuguese citizen. More than having a coveted EU passport that allows free travel to more than 120 countries, she wants to regain her original family name, which was lost in the Brazilian civil service bureaucracy at the beginning of the last century. century. Between 1907 and 1908, her grandfather, Eduardo dos Santos Russo, then three years old, landed at the port of Santos with his family, who were looking for better living conditions in Brazilian lands.

Lined up, each of the Portuguese who arrived in promising Brazil was registered under federal control. But the haste and carelessness of the servers at the time led to gross errors in the notes. Surnames were changed without objection from the immigrants, many of whom were illiterate. In the case of Lenne Russo’s grandfather, Russo disappeared from the list. Only Eduardo dos Santos remained. “So much so that my official name is Aedileen Aparecida Mora dos Santos,” she says. He was left to use a Russian surname when he pursued his artistic career.

However, a legislative change introduced by the Portuguese government in 2018 gave Lenne hope. In order to attract the descendants of Portuguese exiles, many of whom were fleeing poverty, the grandchildren of these citizens were given the opportunity to directly apply for their original citizenship. Prior to this, the grandchildren of Portuguese born abroad could only apply for derivative citizenship. That is, they received the right from their parents, but could not transfer the benefit further. With the change in the law, Portuguese citizenship has become a right of inheritance, and they will be able to pass it on to future generations.

portuguese migraine

portuguese migraine
(photo: Pacifico)

But let’s be clear, warns lawyer Renato Martins, CEO of Lisbon-based firm Martins Castro: “If the grandchildren of Portuguese people don’t apply for citizenship, their descendants won’t be able to apply for it. the rope broke.” Therefore, it is important to apply for citizenship while those who qualify are still alive. This is Lenny’s case. “I have no children, but my sister Elaine Aparecida has three. Therefore, she and I are applying for Portuguese citizenship so that my nephews and their children can benefit,” he notes. “Better: in all documents issued by the Portuguese government, our surname will be Rousseau,” he celebrates.

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Artificial intelligence

There are no contemporary estimates of how many Portuguese-born descendants born in Brazil are eligible for the citizenship of a European country. Data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGS) for the mid-2000s showed that 21 million Brazilians were of Portuguese descent. Most of these citizens are scattered throughout Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Para and Goiás. However, not everyone is able to prove a connection with their ancestors, even out of ignorance. “Therefore, serious professional oversight is necessary,” recommends lawyer Joana Nunez from the office of Garcia, Silva, Nunes e Associados.

The biggest challenge, adds Renato Martins, is to collect all the documentation required by the Portuguese government. He recalls that until 1911 there was no registration of acts of civil status in the country. Births were cataloged in churches. And much was lost along the way. Thus, a thorough search is required. “There are people who have been doing this for more than 10 years without success,” he says, who, along with partners Martins Castro, created an artificial intelligence program that can identify information in a shorter time.

“Today we have over 1 million metadata in the genealogy bank that can be read and searched,” explains the lawyer. This process includes searching for information in churches and greenhouses (notary offices) in Portugal, as well as in ports and municipalities, since many Portuguese have gone to work in agriculture and even in hostels in Brazil. With this information, we collate the data and we can come up with what we are looking for,” emphasizes Martins. He emphasizes that not everything is digitized, but digitization alone is no guarantee of success in the efforts of those who claim to have Portuguese citizenship.

According to the lawyer, it is necessary to convert every piece of information – name, gender, parents’ names, location and date of birth – into searchable data. “We call it metadata. From there, the AI ​​does its part of the job as it can read the documents,” he clarifies. He adds that the time it takes to complete the entire citizenship process depends on the quality of the information. When they are more available, the necessary documents can be found within five working days. However, the whole process can take about two and a half years. An important detail: no candidate for Portuguese citizenship can be sentenced to three or more years in prison.

Sephardic Jews

Foreign trade analyst Maria Ligia de Melo, 35, is looking for records of her Portuguese ancestors from 2019. However, her case is more complicated. She claims to have connections with Sephardic Jews expelled from Portugal by the Inquisition in the 15th century. A large number of these Jews moved to Recife, where their names were changed so that they could live in peace. The citizenship advantage of Sephardic origin was created in 2015, but this year the Portuguese Citizenship Law was amended to make it more difficult for those who intend to acquire citizenship in this way.

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In addition to the documents of origin, it will be necessary to demonstrate a real and lasting connection with Portugal through regular travel within the country, or to have a document of ownership of real property rights, in case of inheritance. Maria Ligia has been in Portugal for three years now, where she works and studies. Despite the difficulties, she does not give up. “My family is from the hinterland of Pernambuco, who have very bad papers. That’s why I haven’t been able to find the data I need yet. But, God willing, I will get Portuguese citizenship because I am Sephardic. origin,” he says.

Lenne Russo even considered giving up her Portuguese citizenship when her parents died in 2014. However, last year a friend convinced her to renew her dream of applying for citizenship, restoring her last name and living in Europe. And he went to fight. After a long search, he found in the National Archives records of the arrival of his great-grandfather Augusto Cesar Russo with his grandfather. “Everything was there, his full name and the name of his wife,” he says. “Once my citizenship is revealed, I want to visit my family’s hometown, in Tras os Montes,” she emphasizes, who will pay 11,200 reais for the process of nationalizing her and her sister.

marriage and children

Lawyer Joana Nunez says that Brazilians who are married or in a stable union with the Portuguese can also apply for citizenship in Portugal. The relationship, however, cannot be less than three years. All documents must be certified and apostilled in The Hague, which guarantees international recognition. Children of foreigners born in Portugal are among those who can transfer citizenship in this case to their parents if they have been living on Portuguese lands for more than five years.

“Portuguese citizenship has many advantages,” says the lawyer. “Portuguese identity card (citizen card) entitles you to free movement and residence in all countries of the European Union. It also makes it easier to access a bank loan (including for buying a home),” he adds. However, she emphasizes that the naturalization process is not easy, mainly due to bureaucracy and lack of staff in government agencies such as the Foreigners and Border Guards Service (SEF). “Demand for citizenship is growing, but government infrastructure is not keeping up with this movement.”

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Joana gives another warning: “Before you apply for citizenship, you need to seek the help of serious professionals registered with the Portuguese Bar Association.” The warning makes sense. The Portuguese government is investigating at least 22 Brazilian digital influencers who were selling citizenship properties but were actually scamming the unsuspecting. “Professionals registered to provide this type of service can be sued if they harm someone and are liable for it. In the case of false consultants, the punishment is more severe, and losses are inevitable,” he says.

It is estimated that at least 1 million Brazilians live in Portugal, including those with dual citizenship. There are almost 300,000 legal foreigners, of whom 47,000 received permission to develop the country in the first half of this year. In addition to these groups of Portuguese and Brazilian descendants who have received residence permits, the Portuguese government wants to attract labor to the country and stimulate the economy. For this, a temporary 180-day visa was created so that those who wish could look for work in local companies. The new law should come into force by the end of August.

Economy and xenophobia

The funds created to attract the descendants of Portuguese and foreigners are not limited to Portugal, says lawyer Renato Martins, CEO of Martins Castro. He notes that Spain, Germany, France and Luxembourg, which recently naturalized 15,000 Brazilians, are following the same path. And this is the result of what the authorities call a “demographic winter,” when the elderly become the majority of the population, and there are no longer enough young people in the labor market to guarantee the support of social security systems. “I, like scientists from the European Union and the United Nations (UN), prefer to call this reality demographic suicide,” he says.

In his opinion, countries that relax immigration rules are very specific about the problems that arise in connection with the aging of the population, and pursue policies aimed at repopulating them. “No nation can support itself when its economically active population is shrinking,” he says. In Portugal, even with the arrival of foreigners, the number of inhabitants is falling every year. There are just over 10 million of them.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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