USA and the UK
- Citizenship in Portugal Overview
- Benefits of Portuguese Citizenship
- Eligibility Criteria for Portuguese Citizenship by Marriage
- Required Documents for Portuguese Citizenship
- Portuguese Citizenship Application Fees
- How to Apply for Citizenship Through Marriage
- What Happens After Applying?
- Other Ways to Get Portuguese Citizenship
- Does Portugal Allow Dual Citizenship?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Citizenship in Portugal Overview
Portugal is a country in southwestern Europe, bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. It is famous for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and delicious food.
The country’s official language is Portuguese, but English is used by many educated people and is taught in schools. Portugal has been a member of the European Union since 1986, and its citizens enjoy free travel throughout the region.
In order to acquire Portuguese citizenship, you must first be married to a Portuguese citizen for at least three years. You will also need to be able to speak Portuguese fluently and prove that you have been living in Portugal.
You can begin the process by submitting an application to the Portuguese consulate in your country of residence.
Benefits of Portuguese Citizenship
Portuguese nationality offers many benefits and rights, including:
- Passport – The ability to travel freely throughout the world
- Voting rights – The right to vote in elections and referendums held in Portugal
- Residence permit – The ability to live in Portugal as a permanent resident
- Access to education – Access to state-funded public schools and universities
- Access to employment – You can work in any field without any restrictions
- Access to healthcare – You can access free or low-cost healthcare in Portugal
- Property rights – You can own and inherit property in Portugal
Eligibility Criteria for Portuguese Citizenship by Marriage
If you are married to a Portuguese citizen, you may be eligible to obtain Portuguese citizenship. To be eligible for citizenship, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be legally married to a Portuguese citizen for at least three years
- Must have your marriage registered in the Portuguese system
- Have no criminal record
- Live in a de facto union with a Portuguese citizen for more than three years, and have judicial recognition of that status by a civil court
- Be able to speak Portuguese with a sufficient level of proficiency
If you are married to a Portuguese citizen and plan to stay in Portugal, you will need to register your marriage with the Civil Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Civil) where your spouse is registered.
The registration process is handled by the nearest Portuguese consulate. Once completed, the consulate will send a certification of registration to the applicant.
In addition to the above requirements, the Portuguese government requires that you demonstrate a connection to the Portuguese community beyond family ties.
For example, you may show your connection by presenting concrete evidence and witnesses who can attest to your involvement in Portuguese community activities, by showing evidence of useful activities benefiting the community or Portuguese culture, or by ownership of property in Portugal.
Required Documents for Portuguese Citizenship
In order to apply for Portuguese citizenship by marriage, you must provide:
- A certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, legalized by an Apostille or by the Portuguese Consulate in the area where the birth occurred
- Marriage certificate of the Portuguese spouse, issued within the last six months, listing the date and place of marriage
- A copy of your spouse’s Portuguese passport and Identification card
- A criminal record certificate from the authorities of the country in which you were born, as well as any countries where you lived after turning 16
- FBI Criminal Background Check – authenticated by Apostille
- Proof that you have never served as a foreign Civil Servant, nor been employed in foreign armed forces (unless required by local law)
- A handwritten letter explaining your motive for requesting Portuguese citizenship
If you have been married to a Portuguese national for more than 5 years, you do not need to prove your knowledge of the Portuguese language.
In addition, you are exempted from presenting the Portuguese Criminal Record Clearance, since it may be obtained compulsorily by the Portuguese government. However, we recommend that you apply for it first to avoid delays in processing your application.
You will also need to show proof of your connection to the Portuguese community by showing photos and receipts from trips to Portugal, copies of hotel and restaurant receipts, medical bills from Portuguese doctors, airline tickets purchased from Portuguese airlines or membership cards from Portuguese clubs or associations in the US.
Documentation to Establish your Knowledge of the Portuguese Language
In order to apply for Portuguese citizenship by marriage, you will need to provide proof of your knowledge of the Portuguese language.
You can do this with one of the following documents:
- A diploma issued by a Portuguese public or private school, in accordance with Portuguese law
- A certificate of approval in a test that was given by the institution
- A certificate of approval in an exam issued by the Portuguese Consulate when you were still living abroad
- A certificate of proficiency in Portuguese as a foreign language issued by an accredited Portuguese evaluation centre
If you have studied in a school in one of the Portuguese-speaking countries, you may provide evidence of your knowledge of the language by showing a diploma from that school.
Portuguese Citizenship Application Fees
The cost of applying for Portuguese citizenship by marriage is €250. This fee includes the processing of your application and a certificate of Portuguese citizenship.
You can pay the application fee online using your credit card (Visa or Mastercard), by clicking here.
To complete your application, you must submit a payment receipt with the remaining documents.
How to Apply for Citizenship Through Marriage
If you are married to a Portuguese citizen, you may be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship through marriage.
To start your Portuguese Citizenship application, you need to submit all the required documents to Conservatória dos Registos Centrais. You will have to submit copies of your valid passport and birth certificate, as well as a copy of your marriage certificate and proof that the application fee has been paid.
Once you have completed the application, it will be reviewed by the relevant authorities. If approved, you will then have to take a Portuguese language and culture test, as well as an interview.
Maximize your chances for obtaining a Portuguese citizenship marriage by contacting our legal experts today on: +1 844 290 6312
What Happens After Applying?
After you apply, you will receive a notification of your application. You will have to send copies of all the necessary documentation to Conservatória dos Registos Centrais, Portugal.
Once your documents are received, they will be checked and if everything is correct, your Portuguese citizenship certificate will be issued.
If it is found that your marriage was entered solely to obtain Portuguese nationality, your application may be denied.
Your citizenship application may also be denied if your marriage has ended before the 3 years required for eligibility, or if you have falsified any documents in your application.
You automatically receive Portuguese citizenship if you have Portuguese parents or grandparents. If you were born in Portugal itself, you can also receive citizenship.
If a child is born in Portugal to parents who are not Portuguese nationals, both parents must appear in person at the Consulate to apply for nationality on behalf of their children and sign the birth registration.
To register a child as a Portuguese citizen, the parents must be registered at the Consulate. If one or both parents are not Portuguese, their marriage must be registered in Portugal before applying for the child’s citizenship.
If you have been living in Portugal for a certain period and have been paying taxes, you can apply for a Portuguese citizenship by naturalization. You must show that you are integrated into Portuguese society, such as through language or cultural exchanges.
To be eligible for citizenship by naturalization in Portugal, you must be 18 years old and have lived in the country for at least 5 consecutive years (previously six until 2018). You must also be able to speak Portuguese fluently and prove that you have been working or studying during your time in Portugal.
If you meet all these requirements, then all you have to do is fill out an application form and submit it with all of your supporting documents (such as your current passport, birth certificate, proof of residence, and criminal record certificate) to the Portuguese embassy or consulate.
Portuguese citizenship by Adoption is a program that grants Portuguese citizenship to foreign nationals who are adopted by Portuguese citizens or residents.
To qualify for this, you must have at least one parent who is a Portuguese citizen and be legally adopted by a Portuguese citizen.
If you meet these requirements, then you will be able to apply for citizenship by adoption after your adoption has gone through.
The application process for citizenship is similar to other types, in that you need to provide identification, adoption papers, and evidence of your connection to Portugal.
The Portuguese citizenship by investment program allows individuals to obtain a Portuguese passport and enjoy all the benefits of being a citizen of Portugal by making a significant investment in the country.
The program allows investors to obtain a Portuguese passport with an investment between €250,000 and €1.5 million in Portugal. Additionally, the applicant must also be able to show the knowledge of Portuguese language.
Does Portugal Allow Dual Citizenship?
Portugal is one of the few countries in Europe that allows its citizens to hold a second nationality. This is due to the fact that Portugal’s constitution, which was established in 1976, recognizes dual nationality as a right.
This means that once you become a Portuguese citizen, you will not be required to renounce your previous citizenship.
If you hold Portuguese citizenship in addition to another citizenship, it is unlikely that you will lose your Portuguese citizenship unless you commit a serious crime or are involved in an act of terrorism.
Additionally, you cannot lose your Portuguese citizenship if you would become stateless as a result. This means only dual citizens can lose their Portuguese nationality involuntarily.
How Can IAS Help?
IAS provides personalised assistance to ensure that your application for Portuguese citizenship by marriage is submitted correctly and on time.
Once you have applied for Portuguese citizenship by marriage, your case will be reviewed by the Portuguese Government and a decision will be made regarding your application.
We have a team of experienced and knowledgeable lawyers who will guide you through every step of the process, making it as easy as possible for you.
We are here to help you navigate the complex laws and regulations surrounding this type of citizenship application so that you can get your Portuguese passport as quickly as possible.
For immediate assistance with your citizenship situation, call our immigration advisors today at +1 844 290 6312. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.
Last modified on August 16th, 2023 at 5:35 am
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It depends on your situation. If you are a foreign citizen and have been married to a Portuguese citizen for at least three years, you may apply for citizenship. If you have been living in Portugal for at least five years or are a minor child of a Portuguese citizen, you may also be eligible for citizenship. There are other circumstances under which you may be eligible as well.
Portugal citizenship by marriage is a process that can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on how quickly you file your application and whether or not you have any issues with your background check.
The easiest way to get Portuguese citizenship is to be born in Portugal. In order to become a Portuguese citizen by birth, you must be born in Portugal, have at least one parent who is a legal resident of Portugal, and have lived in the country for a few years.