Portuguese citizenship lawyers

Portugal is considered to be one of the best European countries to live in, its good quality of life, climate and friendly culture makes it a desirable location. If you would like to live in Portugal to option of becoming a Portuguese citizen may be easier than you think.

The Benefits of Portuguese Citizenship

One of the most important benefits of Portuguese citizenship gained by a foreign citizen is the ability to work either for yourself or for a company without the need for a work permit. Property purchase is easier and you will regain the ability of free travel around Europe, as well as be able to live and work in any of the EU Member States. 

As a Portuguese citizen you may access education, vote in elections and also obtain social security and pension benefits. Portugal permits dual nationality, as does the UK, so obtaining Portuguese citizenship and a Portuguese passport will not impact on your citizenship of birth.

There are a variety of ways that Portuguese citizenship can be obtained which are outlined below.

Portuguese citizenship through marriage

An individual who is married to a Portuguese citizen or who is cohabiting with a Portuguese citizen can apply to become a Portuguese citizen after three years, however, the relationship must be continuous. Should the relationship fail at some point in the future, your Portuguese citizenship will not be renounced.

Portuguese citizenship through naturalisation

A foreign national who has lived in Portugal continuously for a period of six years may make an application to become a Portuguese citizen, providing they have not been convicted of a crime that carries a gaol sentence that exceeds three years.  An applicant will also have to demonstrate proficiency in the Portuguese language by way of a certificate or taking a test.

Portuguese citizenship through descent

Individuals with Portuguese heritage can obtain Portuguese citizenship in a variety of ways,

1. An individual can gain citizenship from a parent born in Portugal or a Portuguese territory

2. A person who was born abroad to Portuguese parents and their birth was registered at the Portuguese civil registry.

3. A person born within a Portuguese territory with one Portuguese parent residing in Portugal at the time of their birth

4. An individual born in a Portuguese territory without another nationalilty.

5. A person born in Portuguese territory with a parent who acquired Portuguese nationality after their birth

6. An individual with Portuguese grandparents with sufficient ability in the Portuguese language

7. A person born in Portuguese territory to foreign parents who haslived in Portugal for ten years

Portuguese Citizenship for Sephardic Jews

Individuals with sufficient evidence of Sephardic Jewish ancestry who are able to demonstrate their association with a Sephardic community,

who have a Portuguese Sephardic surname and sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Citizens of former Portuguese territories

Individuals who are citizens of countries that were formerly Portuguese colonies who were born during Portuguese rule, including Portuguese India and Macau.

Portuguese citizens who lost their citizenship

Former Portuguese citizens who lost their citizenship for the reasons set out below can regain their Portuguese citizenship once more if they fall into the categories listed below:

  1. Individuals whose family moved abroad and took another citizenship when they were children
  2. Individuals who have lost their citizenship but never acquired the citizenship of another country
  3. women who lost their citizenship through marriage to a foreign national (under article 30 of the Nationality Law and article 65 of the Nationality Regulation)
  4. individuals who voluntarily acquired foreign citizenship before the Portuguese Nationality Act of 1981

Documentation required

The documents and evidence required to support an application:

  • Birth certificate
  • Documentary proof of knowledge of Portuguese language
  • Current passport or travel ID
  • Evident of current residence permit, if appropriate to the type of application
  • Evidence of date and place of birth, current residence and list of countries previously resided in, if appropriate to the type of application
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Document issued by the SEF proving that you have been legally resident in Portugal for at least six years.

Giambrone’s highly experienced immigration lawyers will advise and guide you through the process of gaining Portuguese citizenship, scrutinising your documentation and ensuring that your application will not be rejected due to an avoidable error or omission in the documentation required.

For more information about acquiring Portuguese citizenship please click here