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Newsletter May 2017

Legal Updates

Changes in the Nationality Act

On April 20th, the Council of Ministers approved the decree-law that regulates the Nationality Act, introducing new rules.

Amongst them, the fact that the grandchildren of Portuguese will be directly entitled to the original nationality, which is currently attributed only to the descendants of Portuguese parents.

The State shall grant the Portuguese nationality to the grandchildren of Portuguese citizens born abroad, without depending on the situation of their parents or even, along with other requirements, without the need to have effective ties with the national community.

This is great news for the grandchildren of Portuguese citizens who have their lives settled abroad. The acquisition of Portuguese nationality is also facilitated for both minors and incapables, descendants of Sephardic descendants of Jews expelled from Portugal between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, since the requirement regarding the demonstration of a connection to the national community is no longer required.

However, a new refusal criterion was introduced by the Portuguese State to recognise the right to Portuguese nationality, necessary to prevent and fight terrorism. Nationality shall only be accorded to persons who “do not constitute a danger or threat to national security by their involvement in activities related to the practice of terrorism”.

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New rules for online lease platforms

Up until this date, online platforms such as Airbnb and Booking have announced the rental of houses with a relative lack of administrative control.

However, last April 20th, the government approved, in Cabinet, a decree-law that aims to put an end to all accommodation spaces without tourism licensing, and has followed the promulgation by the President of the Republic.

With this legislative measure, these electronic platforms will only be able to announce on their platforms those units which are duly registered in the National Registry of Tourism. This measure aims not only to combat clandestine leases but also to ensure respect for fair competition rules.

The Decree-Law will only enter into force on July 1st, so there will be a period of adaptation.

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Business Updates

Free update on rustic estate registration in the next 30 months

The Council of Ministers approved the creation of a Simplified Registration Information System that during 30 months will have an exceptional regime of exemption from the payment of the fees and emoluments due on the registration of rustic properties.

Amongst other measures related to the ownership of forest property, it was decided to create the Land Bank, where all the rustic heritage without a known owner will be included. It was also created a system of incentives, as well astax and emolumentary exemptions applicable to Forest Management Entities and their members. At last, the process of constitution of Forest Intervention Areas was significantly simplified.

This legislative package is now awaiting discussion and voting in the Assembly of the Republic.

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Popularity of Oporto and north of Portugal

A study by the IPDT – Tourism Institute, in partnership with Tourism of Oporto and North of Portugal and with Oporto Airport, analysed the “Profile of Tourists in Oporto and in the North of Portugal”, revealing that tourists spent more € 222, 00 in average consumption during their stay, and spent more nights in the country, compared to the same period of time in 2015/2016.

The preference for the Oporto and North region is justified by the existence of family and friends, for the gastronomy and wines of the area, as well as the natural beauty and heritage in these areas. Factorssuch as the climate, price, hospitality and the existence of cheap flights were also important inchoosing.

The tourists who most sought this region were the French, Spanish and Swiss, with Ryanair and TAP being the most sought airlines to travel.

The gastronomy was pointed out asthe most appealing quality, at the top of the tourists’ preferences, which reveals the importance of continuing to focus on the quality of local gastronomy. The Douro river, the area known as “Riberia” and the history of Oporto were also the places of reference and the one forward to visit by tourists.

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