USA and the UK
- Can I get Portuguese citizenship?
- How to get Portuguese citizenship by naturalization?
- How to get Portuguese citizenship by marriage?
- How to get Portuguese citizenship by investment?
- How to get Portuguese citizenship by Sephardi ancestry?
- What are the benefits of Portuguese citizenship?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get Portuguese citizenship?
Portuguese citizenship offers numerous benefits. Those who are born in Portugal to a Portuguese parent automatically receive Portuguese citizenship.
Getting Portuguese citizenship by birth is the easiest and fastest way of becoming a citizen of Portugal. However, it is possible to become a citizen of Portugal even if you were born in a different country.
Portugal offers several different ways to get Portuguese citizenship. Each of these routes comes with slightly different requirements.
Our lawyers can assess your situation and help you determine whether you are eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. Call our experts today on: +1 844 290 6312
Those who successfully apply for Portuguese citizenship can get a Portuguese passport granting them the right to travel visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival to 184 countries.
Portugal allows dual citizenship which means that those who are also citizens of another state do not have to give up their existing citizenship to become Portuguese citizens.
How to get Portuguese citizenship by naturalization?
Foreign nationals may become Portuguese citizens by naturalization after living in the country for at least five years.
Additionally, to be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a clean criminal record
- Have enough money to support themselves
- Be able to pass a Portuguese language test and a test on Portuguese culture and society
To start the naturalization process, applicants must first apply for a permanent residence permit. Once you have spent the required period of time living in Portugal as permanent residents, they can apply for naturalization.
How to get Portuguese citizenship by marriage?
Foreign nationals who get married to a Portuguese citizen might be able to get Portuguese citizenship after being married to them for at least three years. It is important to note that the marriage must be registered in the Portuguese system.
Similar rules apply to those who are not married but are in a de facto union with a Portuguese citizen.
After receiving judicial recognition of such a status by a civil court and being in a relationship with a Portuguese citizen for at least three years, foreign nationals might be able to obtain Portuguese citizenship.
Those who want to obtain Portuguese citizenship by marriage must prove their knowledge of Portuguese. They can do so by providing the following documents:
- Diploma from a Portuguese public or private school
- Certificate of approval for a Portuguese language exam issued by a Portuguese institution or Portuguese Consulate
- Certificate of proficiency in Portuguese issued by an accredited Portuguese evaluation centres
If the applicant has been married to the Portuguese citizen for more than 5 years, they do not have to provide proof of knowledge of the Portuguese language.
Those who get a divorce after obtaining Portuguese citizenship do not have their status revoked.
However, if they divorce or separate before the application process is finalised, they stop being eligible for Portuguese citizenship by marriage.
How to get Portuguese citizenship by investment?
Foreign nationals who have a significant amount of money to invest in Portugal might be eligible for the Portuguese D9 Visa, also known as the Golden Visa.
The D9 Visa is a residence visa, which means that those who get it can stay in Portugal long-term. Initially, the Golden Visa is valid for one year but its holders can continue to renew it for two-year periods provided that they maintain their investment.
After living in Portugal for five years, holders of the D9 Visa can apply for Portuguese citizenship.
There are several types of investments that foreign citizens can make to qualify. These include:
- Purchase a property worth at least €500,000
- Invest €350,000 in a property in a Portuguese urban regeneration area
- Invest at least €350,000 in a qualifying Investment Fund
- Invest at least €350,000 in scientific research in Portugal
- Invest at least €250,000 in the sectors of arts or culture
- Invest at least €500,000 in small- or medium-sized businesses in Portugal
- Create at least 10 jobs in Portugal
- Make a capital transfer of at least €1 million into Portugal
- Purchase company shares worth at least €1 million
Those who invest money in Portugal are not required to be constantly present in Portugal. To maintain their status, they must spend at least 7 days in Portugal in the first year and at least 14 days in the following two-year periods.
Foreign investors who have enough funds to make an investment in Portugal and apply for the Golden Visa do not have to take a language test to do so.
However, they need to pass one if they want to obtain Portuguese citizenship after living in the country with the D6 Visa for at least 5 years.
How to get Portuguese citizenship by Sephari ancestry?
Jews of Sephardic descent might be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship under Decree-Law 30-A/2015 introduced in 2015.
The law was put in place to correct the wrongdoing of King Manuel I of Portugal who, in 1496, began to expel Jews who refused to convert to Christianity.
The law allows descendants of Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin to return to Portugal and get Portuguese citizenship.
To be able to do it, applicants must prove that they have genuine Sephardic origin and must demonstrate a link with Portugal. They can do that by providing documents showing their Portuguese Sephardic ancestry by, for example, surname, language, or genealogy.
There are three documents that applicants can use to prove their Portuguese Sephardic ancestry. These are:
- A certificate issued by a Sephardic community recognised under Portuguese law (the document must state that the applicant has ties with a Portuguese Sephardic community through language, surname, lineage, or family memory)
- A certified document issued by the applicant’s Jewish community (the document must confirm that the applicant speaks Portuguese Sephardic languages or engages in cultural practices used by the Portuguese Sephardic community)
- A certified document such as a marriage certificate, death certificate, or birth certificate that confirms the applicant’s family ties to the Portuguese Sephardic community
If the applicant manages to prove that their Sephardic ancestry is genuine, they are granted Portuguese citizenship.
It is important to note that Portuguese citizenship for Jews with Sephardic origins is granted at the discretion of the Minister of Justice.
If the applicant fails to submit extensive evidence supporting their application, they might be denied Portuguese citizenship.
This process for obtaining Portuguese citizenship via this route can be complicated, so get in touch with our legal experts today so they can assist you: +1 844 290 6312
What are the benefits of Portuguese citizenship?
Obtaining Portuguese citizenship comes with numerous benefits, including the right to live, work, and study in Portugal without any restrictions.
Those who hold Portuguese citizenship can leave and re-enter Portugal as many times as they want without having to worry about losing their status. They can also participate in local and national elections, and access free healthcare.
Furthermore, as Portugal belongs to the European Union, Portuguese citizens can live and work in EU member states without having to meet any specific requirements or apply for visas.
If you are thinking of becoming a citizen of Portugal, our lawyers can assess your individual circumstances and tell you which of the routes to Portuguese citizenship is the right one for you.
How can IAS help?
The process of applying for Portuguese citizenship can be complex, especially as each of the available routes comes with different requirements. At IAS, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who have expert knowledge of the Portuguese citizenship application process.
They can assess your situation and provide advice on the best course of action. They can explain to you in detail what the requirements are and what documents you must gather.
If you hire one of our lawyers, you will have access to ongoing support throughout the application process. Even if there are any issues with your application, they can help you solve them.
Thanks to the professional assistance of our immigration experts, you can maximise the chances of your Portuguese citizenship application being approved.
Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how our team can help.
Last modified on August 16th, 2023 at 4:50 am
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The process of applying for Portuguese citizenship can be complex as there are many requirements applicants must meet and documents they must submit. However, if you meet the eligibility criteria and can provide the required evidence, obtaining Portuguese citizenship should not be difficult.
It is generally possible to work while your Portuguese citizenship application is being processed, depending on your immigration status.
If you are legally living and working in Portugal on a long-term visa, you may be able to continue working while your citizenship application is being processed. If you do not have a valid immigration status or work permit, you do not have the right to work in Portugal while your citizenship application is being processed
Make sure to check with the appropriate authorities or consult an immigration lawyer to avoid accidentally breaching the rules.
The Portuguese Golden Visa is a residency program that was introduced in 2012. It is intended for foreign citizens who want to invest money in Portugal.
To qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa, individuals must make a significant investment in Portugal. This can include purchasing property, renovating existing property, or investing in a development project.
Once an applicant makes the investment, they can get a temporary residence permit, which is valid for a period of one year and can be renewed for two-year periods thereafter. After spending at least 5 years in Portugal with the Golden Visa, its holders can apply for Portuguese citizenship.
The Golden Visa is a popular option for foreign investors seeking to live and work in Portugal long-term.
Portugal allows dual citizenship which means that those who successfully obtain Portuguese citizenship do not have to give up their existing citizenship.
Dual citizenship means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time.
Since Portugal is a member state of the EU, those who are Portuguese citizens also enjoy additional EU citizenship. This citizenship, granted automatically to those who are citizens of any of the EU member states, guarantees the holders the right of free movement and residence within the territory of EU member states.
Those who want to obtain Portuguese citizenship must pay the registration fee of €250. On top of that, they might have to pay an additional €250 for each person if they wish to include their spouse or children in the application.
There might also be extra fees applicants must cover, for example, for getting their documents issued or translated. These costs vary depending on the individual circumstances of each applicant.
Naturalization is the process by which a non-citizen of a country becomes a citizen of that country. In Portugal, naturalization is available to foreign citizens who have lived in the country for at least 5 years (3 years if they are married to a Portuguese citizen). To be able to apply for naturalization, foreign citizens must also meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language
- Have a clean criminal record
- Have enough money to support themselves