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Portuguese Citizenship

There are a number of different ways you can obtain Portuguese citizenship. The more time you have lived in Portugal, the easier it is to acquire citizenship.

For immediate assistance with your citizenship situation, call our immigration advisors today at +44 (0)333 305 9375. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.


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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Portugal Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Portugal visa or permit, IAS Portugal immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Ireland successfully, we can help you achieve your goal.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Compassionate support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are well-versed in Portugal immigration matters.

    Regardless of what your Portugal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    Portuguese Citizenship Routes Overview

    Portuguese citizenship is a great option for those who are looking to obtain a second citizenship.

    The Portuguese passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world, and it makes life easier when travelling. The country has a strong economy, and the government is constantly working on modernizing its immigration laws.

    The process for obtaining Portuguese citizenship is straightforward and can be completed in a few months.

    The most common way of obtaining Portuguese citizenship is through ancestry or marriage, although there are other options available for those who do not fit into either category.

    If you’re interested in becoming a citizen of Portugal, you should consider all your options before applying for citizenship.

    Citizenship by Birth

    Portugal is a country that offers citizenship by birth to people born in Portugal, or to those who were born outside of Portugal but have at least one parent who was born in Portugal.

    If you were born in Portugal, you are automatically a Portuguese citizen by birth. If you were born outside of Portugal but either parent was born in Portugal, then you are also eligible for citizenship by birth.

    In order to apply for Portuguese citizenship by birth, visit the nearest consulate or embassy and submit the following documents:

    • Birth certificate of the child (containing all pertinent information regarding the birth)
    • A Portuguese passport and identification card of one or both Portuguese parents
    • Birth certificate of non-Portuguese parent legalized by the Government of the country of birth

    If you are over 18, you will have to appear in person at the nearest Portuguese Consulate with these documents:

    • Identification documents with a picture and signature (such as a passport, driver’s licence, etc.)
    • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
    • A certified copy of the long form of your birth certificate, legalized by Apostille or by the Consulate of Portugal if you were born outside of the United States

    All documents written in a language other than Portuguese, Spanish and English must be officially translated into Portuguese.

    Make this process easier, by contacting our legal experts today. Call us on: +44 (0)333 305 9375

    The fee for citizenship by birth is $225.00 (payable in the form of a money order to the Portuguese Consulate). This fee includes all administrative fees, as well as the cost of the stamp duty for your passport.

    Citizenship by Descent (Parents or Grandparents)

    The easiest way to get Portuguese citizenship is through your parents or grandparents. This is called citizenship by descent, and it’s possible for people who have at least one parent or grandparent who was born in Portugal.

    You will need to apply with proof of your lineage, and then pass the test on Portuguese history and culture.

    To apply for citizenship by descent, you must submit the following documents:

    • A birth certificate authenticated by Apostille and officially translated is required, this document should show that the applicant’s parents recognized him or her while he or she was a minor
    • The birth certificate of a Portuguese grandparent
    • The birth certificate of the parent who is a Portuguese citizen and the grandparent of the applicant must show that this parent was recognized by his or her parents while he or she was still underage
    • A document demonstrating that the applicant has a good knowledge of Portuguese idiom
    • A criminal record check issued by the country where the applicant was born and all countries where he has lived after turning 16

    All documents must be authenticated by an apostille, and all foreign documents must be translated into Portuguese.

    The fee for citizenship through descent is €175.00 (Portuguese bank checks, in Euros, of the Instituto dos Registos e do Notariado, I.P.).

    Citizenship by Marriage

    Citizenship by marriage is a route to Portuguese citizenship that allows you to become a Portuguese citizen based on your marriage to a Portuguese citizen.

    This route is only available if you are married to your spouse for at least 3 years, and your marriage is registered in the Portuguese system.

    The first step of this process is to file an application with the Portuguese Consulate, where you will be required to prove that your marriage is genuine. You can do that by submitting the following documentation:

    • A certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, legalized by Apostille (a certificate certifying that the signature on the document is genuine) or by a Portuguese consulate
    • A complete copy of the Portuguese spouse’s birth certificate, issued within the last 6 months, showing that your marriage has been fully registered
    • Copy of spouse’s passport, together with his/her identification card
    • Criminal record certificate issued by authorities of the country of birth and countries where the applicant has lived after reaching 16 years of age
    • FBI criminal record authenticated by Apostille
    • A handwritten letter explaining the motive for the nationality request, along with proof of knowledge of the Portuguese language

    According to Portuguese nationality law, you can prove your knowledge of Portuguese by providing the following documents:

    • A diploma issued in Portugal by a public or private school, under the terms of Portuguese law
    • A certificate of approval in an exam taken at any institution in Portugal
    • A certificate of proficiency in Portuguese as a foreign language issued by one of the accredited evaluation centres

    If you have been married to a Portuguese citizen for more than five years, proof of knowledge of the Portuguese language is not required.

    Additionally, you may also have to establish a strong family connection with the Portuguese community, with concrete evidence that you have actively participated in community activities and have made contributions towards Portuguese culture.

    For example, you can show your photos from Portugal, bills from hotels and restaurants, receipts for medical services, airline tickets, or membership cards from Portuguese clubs or organizations in the United States.

    The fee for applying for citizenship by marriage is €250, which must be paid in advance. This fee includes the cost of all necessary documents and translations, as well as the cost of submitting your application to the Portuguese authorities.

    The Naturalisation Route (Residency in Portugal)

    If you are not eligible for citizenship by birth or descent, then you may be able to apply for citizenship through naturalisation.

    To qualify for this route, you must be able to prove that you have been living in Portugal legally and uninterruptedly for at least five years before applying. You must also be able to demonstrate proficiency in the Portuguese language and knowledge of Portuguese culture.

    This route allows you to become a Portuguese citizen if:

    • You must have lived in Portugal for at least five years
    • You have a good knowledge of the Portuguese language
    • You have no prior criminal convictions

    In order to acquire Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation, you must submit the following documents:

    • Proof of residence in Portugal
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
    • Criminal record
    • Proof of proficiency in the Portuguese language

    The fee for Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation is €250 (payable online using a credit card, by cheque or by postal order). The fee includes the cost of processing your application, your citizenship certificate and a residence card.

    Allow our legal experts to guide you through this process. Call us now on: +44 (0)333 305 9375

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    Citizenship by Investment

    Portuguese Citizenship by Investment is the most popular route to citizenship in Portugal. Also known as The Golden Visa Program, it’s the fastest route to Portuguese citizenship, with only a few months of processing time.

    To qualify for citizenship by investment, you will need to make one of the following investments:

    • Invest in a property worth at least €500,000, the minimum investment amount is €400,000 if you purchase in a low-density area
    • Make an investment of at least €350,000 in a qualifying Investment Fund
    • Transfer €1 million or more to your new Portuguese bank account
    • Hire at least ten Portuguese nationals to work in your company
    • Make a capital transfer of at least €350,000 for research activities in science or technology
    • Support the arts or help rebuild national heritage by making a capital transfer of at least €250,000

    In order to apply for Portuguese citizenship by investment, you need to provide the following documentation:

    • Valid passport
    • Two passport-size photos
    • Proof of a clean criminal record

    Additionally, to qualify for citizenship through this program, you must be over the age of 18 and have no criminal record of any kind. You must also own the money you seek to invest and commit to maintaining the investment for at least five years.

    To start the process of applying for Portuguese citizenship by investment, you must visit Portugal, set up a bank account with a tax number and make an investment. Once you do this, you can apply for citizenship and receive your residence permit.

    To renew your Portugal Golden Visa, you must visit the country for at least 7 days in the first year and then 14 days in subsequent years.

    Unlike other types of investment visas, you do not have to live in Portugal permanently to receive permanent residence or citizenship.

    Our team of legal experts can make this process much easier for you. Get in touch with us today on: +44 (0)333 305 9375

    Citizenship by Adoption

    If you are adopted by a Portuguese citizen, you may be eligible for Portuguese citizenship. You must have been legally adopted by your adoptive parents who were both legally resident in Portugal at the time of your adoption.

    The adoption application process is similar to other types in that you need to provide ID, adoption papers, and evidence of your connection to Portugal.

    Statue in Portugal

    How to Apply for Portuguese Citizenship?

    If you want to become a Portuguese citizen, there are several steps you’ll need to take.

    First off, you’ll need to get in touch with the Portuguese Embassy in your home country. After that, go ahead and take the following steps:

    • Fill out the application form
    • Submit all the necessary documents with the application fees
    • Send your application along with all supporting documentation to the Portuguese Consulate for processing

    Once you have submitted your application form then it will be processed by the Portuguese Immigration Service which will decide whether or not they believe that you qualify for citizenship based on your level of integration into Portuguese society.

    If you are not eligible for citizenship, then you will be informed by the Portuguese Immigration Service and given a reason why.

    If you are eligible for citizenship, then the Portuguese Immigration Service will send you an official letter of congratulations and inform you that your application has been approved. You will then need to attend an interview with a member of the Portuguese Immigration Service at a later date.

    Once the interview is complete, then you will receive confirmation that your application has been approved and that you are now officially a citizen of Portugal.

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    Portuguese Citizenship Processing Times

    Portuguese citizenship processing times are based on the country of origin of the applicant.

    If you are a citizen of a European Union country, the processing time is a few months.

    If you are a citizen of a non-European Union country, the processing time can be between a few months to up to two years depending on how quickly the government processes your paperwork and whether or not there are any issues with your application.

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    How Can IAS Help?

    Looking to get Portuguese citizenship? IAS can help!

    The process of becoming a Portuguese citizen is not easy. The country’s citizenship laws are very strict, and you’ll need to meet several requirements before you can start the process.

    But don’t worry! Here at IAS, we’re experts in Portuguese citizenship laws and have helped many people become Portuguese citizens over the years. We know what it takes and will work with you step-by-step throughout the entire process.

    We can help you determine if you qualify for Portuguese citizenship, and then guide you through the entire application process. We will prepare all documents needed for your application, including birth certificates and marriage certificates.

    We’ll also help you with the translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Portuguese. And once we have all of your documents ready, we’ll submit them on your behalf so all you have to do is wait!

    For immediate assistance with your citizenship situation, call our immigration advisors today at +44 (0)333 305 9375. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Portugal is a popular country to move to, but it’s not always easy to get citizenship. There are a few paths to obtain Portuguese nationality: by birth, marriage, adoption or naturalization. It’s important to understand the different routes before making your decision to apply for Portugal citizenship.

    To qualify for Portuguese citizenship, you must have a family member who was born, adopted or registered in Portugal. There are also other methods available, such as marriage to a Portuguese national or residence permits.

    Yes! Portugal allows dual citizenship. This means that you can hold more than one nationality at the same time. You are not required to give up your original citizenship when you become a citizen of Portugal.

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