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Portuguese Citizenship by Naturalisation

One of the most common ways to obtain citizenship in Portugal by foreign residents is through naturalisation which requires meeting certain conditions, some of which are living in Portugal for at least five years and showing sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Contact us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or chat with us online to get unwavering help with any questions bothering you about the process or with making your application for Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation.

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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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    Overview of Portuguese Citizenship by Naturalisation

    The Portuguese citizenship law allows foreign nationals who belong to certain categories to obtain Portuguese citizenship. One of these categories is by residency or naturalisation.

    Foreign nationals who have spent a minimum of five years of legal residence and meet other eligibility requirements can apply for Portuguese citizenship in person or, in special circumstances, by post.

    The advantages of obtaining citizenship in Portugal are many and include dual citizenship, a Portuguese passport, access to other EU countries, and ease of access to public services.

    What is Portuguese Citizenship by Naturalisation?

    The law governing citizenship comes from Article 4 of the Constitution of Portugal and there have been developments to the Portuguese nationality law which determines the requirements for the available routes through which persons can claim Portuguese citizenship.

    A foreign national who obtains Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation has lived in Portugal as a legal resident for at least five years and met other eligibility requirements.

    This entails holding a long-term residence permit for the period spent in Portugal. The route qualifies them to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

    Our immigration team has helped hundreds of cases successfully obtain Portuguese citizenship. Let us help you too!

    Who can Apply for Portuguese Citizenship by Naturalisation?

    To be eligible to apply to become a Portuguese citizen by naturalisation, the applicant must have the following:

    • At least five years of residency in Portugal.
    • A clean criminal record i.e. not involved in any crime punishable by a prison sentence.
    • Knowledge of the Portuguese language at least to A2 level.
    • Proof of integration into the Portuguese community.
    • No tax obligation in Portugal.

    Our team of legal experts can help with the process. Speak to us today by calling: +44 (0)333 305 9375

    How do I Apply for Portuguese Citizenship?

    Applicants can apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation in person at one of the following locations:

    • At the service counter of the Institute of Registries and Notary at the National Support Center for the Integration of Migrants (CNAIM) in Lisbon or Porto.
    • At Espaços Registos in Lisbon, Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, on the Justice Campus and in Benfica.
    • In the Central Registers of Lisbon, Portugal.
    • At a Nationality Desk in Portugal.
    • At the Citizen’s Shop in Odivelas, Portugal.
    • At the Civil Registry Offices in Portugal.
    • At the Portuguese embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s country of ​​residence.

    Applicants must appear in person at any of the locations above with all required documents.

    Alternatively, an application can be made by mail in certain circumstances. The nationality request can be made by mail and the form to be filled in depends on the particular situation.

    The form and instructions on how to fill can be obtained from the Central Registry Office. All required documents are to be sent, along with the form, to the Central Registry Office, at Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 202, 1099-033 Lisbon.

    What Documents do I need to Apply for Portuguese Citizenship?

    To apply for Portuguese citizenship, the applicant must submit the following documents:

    • Portuguese residence permit.
    • Letter addressed to the Portuguese Ministry of Justice requesting Portuguese citizenship.
    • Criminal record certificate.
    • Birth certificate.
    • Proof of knowledge of the Portuguese language to at least A2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

    Applicants will be notified if additional documents are required.

    Do you wish to obtain a Portuguese Citizenship by Naturalisation? We would be happy to assist you.

    What is the Cost of applying for Portuguese Citizenship?

    It costs €250 to apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation. Payment can be made:

    • With a debit card at the place where the applicant made the application.
    • By cheque or postal order, if the applicant applies by post.

    What is the processing time for a Portuguese citizenship application?

    From submitting an application for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization to getting a decision, it usually takes about a year if there are no requests for additional documentation.

    What happens after I apply for Portuguese citizenship?

    The application process consists of eight stages which are as follows:

    • Acceptance of application by the Registry Office.
    • Registration of the application in the system of the Institute of Registries and Notary (IRN).
    • Verification activity to ensure that all required documents have been submitted
    • Verification activity to ensure that submitted documents meet the legal requirements.
    • Consultation, for certain requests, with other entities to verify that the applicant has no relevant criminal record.
    • Checks to ensure all necessary conditions for granting Portuguese nationality are met.
    • Decision-making on whether to grant Portuguese nationality to the applicant or not.
    • Registration of the new Portuguese national or citizen in the Civil Registry of Portugal.

    Applicants can find out which stage their application is as well as if any notification has been sent to them by mail without the need of going to a registry office.

    They can check the status of their Portuguese nationality request online by using the query code they have received.

    Applicants can request the query code:

    • At the Central Registry office in Lisbon
    • In a registry office with a Nationality desk
    • Through the Registration Line – (+351) 211 950 500 – with the applicants ready to provide their case number and identification information.

    Requesting and receiving a query code is free of charge for applicants as is checking the status of their application.

    Applicants, whose applications are successful and receive Portuguese nationality, become Portuguese citizens and are bound to the rights and duties connected to Portugal.

    What are the advantages of Portuguese citizenship?

    Portugal is known for its quality of life. Citizens enjoy safety, a relatively low cost of living, safety, and access to high-quality services such as healthcare and education.

    The advantages of obtaining Portuguese citizenship include the following:

    • Passing nationality to descendants – If the citizenship holders have children or intend to have children, they can pass the Portuguese nationality to them.
    • Rights of a citizen – They enjoy the rights and duties of a full citizen of Portugal such as paying the same taxes, participating in public tenders or offers, accessing public health care, and moving easily between European countries.
    • They can also vote and run for office in local and European elections of other member states.
    • Access to EU countries – Persons who acquire Portuguese citizenship can choose to live in any of the countries which are part of the European Union (EU). This is synonymous with securing EU citizenship. They can also study and work there. However, they will need to undergo some registration if they intend to stay longer than three months.
    • Lower tuition fees – Portuguese nationals pay lower tuition compared to foreign nationals.
    • Dual citizenship – Portuguese passport holders can retain their home country’s passport if their home country permits dual citizenship. This is because Portugal allows dual citizenship.
    • Portuguese passport – The Portuguese electronic passport grants a Portuguese citizen visa-free access to 117 countries and is currently grouped in the 3rd position on the passport power ranking list.

    There are other benefits too such as access to Portuguese social security and pension. Holders of Portuguese citizenship can also buy property in Portugal easily.

    Naturalised citizens receive a Portuguese birth certificate so that their birth can be recorded in the registry and their Portuguese citizenship verified.

    Do not struggle on your Portuguese Citizenship application. We are here to help you and make it stress-free.

    What other ways can I Naturalise as a Portuguese citizen?


    Other ways to acquire citizenship in Portugal include the following:

    • Birth.
    • Adoption.
    • Marriage or partnership.
    • Descent (Parents or grandparents).
    • Sephardic Jewish ancestry.
    • Belonging to former Portuguese territories.

    Portugal Citizenship by Birth

    Any person born in Portugal automatically receives citizenship if he/she has Portuguese parents or if at least one of his/her parents is a Portuguese national.

    The Portuguese nationality law was amended on 11 November 2020. According to the amendment, children born to foreign parents will be eligible for Portuguese citizenship at birth if at least one has lived in Portugal legally for a year.

    Portuguese Citizenship by Adoption

    Any child who is adopted by a Portuguese citizen can apply for citizenship immediately if he/she is not up to 18 years of age. They must be legally adopted, however, and should show some connections to the Portuguese community.

    Portuguese Citizenship by Marriage or Partnership

    A foreign national who has been married or is in a de facto union for over 3 years with a Portuguese citizen is entitled to obtain Portuguese citizenship by marriage.

    They must, however, show proof of the relationship (such as shared utility bills and shared rental or property deeds) and its duration as Portugal recognises marriages and long-term, stable relationships.

    Applicants must also show proof of integration into the Portuguese community such as knowledge of the Portuguese language and ownership of property there.

    Portuguese Citizenship by Descent (Parents or grandparents)

    Foreign nationals who have a Portuguese grandparent or parent are eligible to apply for citizenship in Portugal at any age provided they can satisfy other requirements such as some level of knowledge of the Portuguese language.

    To prove that the applicant has a Portuguese parent or grandparent, he/she would have to produce documents such as a birth certificate and marriage certificate.

    The Portuguese ascendant of the applicant cannot be above the second degree (grandparent), otherwise, he/she becomes ineligible to apply for citizenship.

    Allow our legal experts to assist you with this complicated process. Call us today on: +44 (0)333 305 9375

    Portuguese Citizenship by Sephardic Jewish ancestry

    The Portuguese nationality law offers citizenship to Sephardic Jews and those with Sephardic Jewish heritage. These categories of people have a history of being expelled from the Iberian Peninsula hundreds of years ago. Therefore, the Portuguese government is offering them citizenship to correct this moral wrong.

    Persons who desire to obtain Portuguese citizenship through this route must be at least 18 years of age and not be found to have committed a crime punishable by three years (or above) of imprisonment under Portuguese law.

    To apply for citizenship in Portugal via this route, the applicant must provide the following documents:

    • A birth registration certificate.
    • A passport copy.
    • A criminal record certificate issued by the relevant Portuguese authorities, the country of residence, or the country of origin.
    • A Portuguese Jewish community certificate proving Sephardic Jewish lineage of Portuguese origin. This can be through surname, language, genealogy, or family memory.

    Portuguese Citizenship by belonging to Former Portuguese Territories

    Persons who are citizens of former Portuguese colonies can apply for Portuguese citizenship because Portugal maintains a special relationship with them since post-colonization.

    These colonies include Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Macau, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Portuguese India, São Tomé and Principe, and Mozambique.

    Not sure if you qualify for Portuguese Citizenship though Naturalisation? Our expert immigration lawyers are here to assist you.

    How can IAS help?

    You have a lot of advantages when you obtain Portuguese nationality. Portugal is one of the best countries for doing business and the cost of living is one of the lowest in the European Union.

    If you are looking to obtain Portuguese citizenship, you have come to the right page. We are professional legal advisers who are very experienced in the Portuguese nationality application process, having gathered extensive experience in the area through successful applications.

    Upon requesting our services, our team of experienced lawyers will work with you through the whole process, ensuring that your application scales all eight stages of the application process.

    We will ensure that no documentation is left behind and that you have the best chance of obtaining Portuguese citizenship.

    Call the Immigration Advice Service (IAS) today on 0333 305 9375, or contact us via our live chat function to get started with obtaining citizenship in Portugal.

    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

    Except you are an EU/EEA and Swiss national in which case you can move freely to Portugal and establish residency with minimal requirements, you must apply for a visa to reside in Portugal.

    The routes to residency in Portugal include:

    • The golden visa route.
    • The D7 (passive income) visa route.
    • The D2 (Entrepreneur) visa route.
    • The High-Quality Activity (HQA) visa route.
    • Student visa route.

    The Golden visa program

    Interested persons who intend to get Portugal’s golden visa must make a substantial investment in Portugal without the need to move to Portugal at all.

    Golden visa holders only need to stay for up to 7 days in Portugal in the first year and 14 days every two years for the whole 5-year period.

    The following are the types of investments which qualify for the program:

    • Purchase real estate worth at least €500,000.
    • Invest €500,000 into a qualifying Portuguese fund.
    • Make a capital transfer of €1.5 million into a Portuguese bank account.
    • Set up a Portuguese company and create 5-10 jobs, depending on the population density of the location of the business.
    • Invest at least €350,000 in scientific research projects.
    • Invest at least €250,000 in national heritage or artistic/cultural projects.

    Investing qualifies the investor for the residence permit program which then leads to permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship.

    The D7 (passive income) visA

    The D7 visa allows foreign nationals and foreign retirees in Portugal who are receiving their income or pension from a foreign source to apply for a resident permit. The minimum income is €705 a month (the Portuguese minimum wage) and can come from dividends, royalties and salary from remote employment.

    The D2 (Entrepreneur) visa

    Interested foreign nationals who do not have passive income but want to execute an acceptable business idea in Portugal can apply for the Entrepreneur visa.

    The High-Quality Activity (HQA) visa

    The HQA visa requires that applicants invest at least €175,000 in their own scientific research project with a Portuguese university as well as a Portuguese company to run it.

    Student visa

    Time spent studying as a foreign student also counts as a period of residence. However, student visa holders have to renew their visa when it expires till the period of study adds up to 5 years. Then, he/she can apply for permanent residence.

    If the citizenship application is refused, the applicant is given 20 days to supply additional documentation that upholds his/her rights to get Portuguese citizenship. Otherwise, the decision remains final.

    Common reasons for receiving a refusal include relevant criminal records and lack of proof of acceptable integration. It is necessary to correct the reasons for refusal before re-attempting the application.

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