Immigration and Citizenship services

Portuguese Nationality

Learn all about Portuguese Nationality and Portuguese Citizenship and the associated laws with the help of a specialized lawyer based in Lisbon, Portugal.

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How to become a Portuguese Passport holder?

Obtaining Portuguese citizenship is one way many people reconnect with their ancestral land, recover family traditions, or facilitate business opportunities or embark on new careers. Portuguese citizenship carries multiple benefits, one of which is the abilityto travel and work freely within the European Union in possession of a Portuguese passport. Portuguese citizens have the right to enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival excursions to 184 countries. A Portuguese passport is one of the most widely accepted passports without the common visa restrictions imposed on other passports, and this incentive is open to all of those who can claim the right to citizenship.

For example, since the Brexit vote, the number of British citizens wanting to obtain a Portuguese passport has surged. Many who had not considered Portuguese citizenship before Brexit have now opted for British-Portuguese dual citizenship, as a means of maintaining their freedom to travel throughout the European Union.

If this interests you, there are several categories into which a case for obtaining Portuguese citizenship can fall. This website describes the various means of achieving citizenship and lists some of the paperwork and documents required. Feel free to use this site as your legal guide to Portuguese citizenship, to prepare a successful application.

How we can help

The massive increase in interest inobtaining Portuguese citizenship can affect how long the process takes. An improperly prepared application to the relevant Portuguese authorities causes needless delay. To facilitate the smooth and fruitful analysis of your application, be sure to scan and email all the related documents you have that might entitle you to Portuguese citizenship. The law, as mentioned before, defines several routes of Portuguese naturalization. Which one is best for you?

We can guide you. We can help you obtain it faster, using the most secure approach for the best chance to submitt a successful case. We have dedicated our firm to this area of the law. Utilizing the tools at our disposal and maintaining close communications with you, the process toward citizenship can be hassle-free and straightforward. You can track your application using an online system, gaining instant updates on your citizenship application.

Portuguese Citizenship with the help of a Lawyer

This firm explicitly represents clients who are seeking Portuguese naturalization. Our Portuguese citizenship lawyer has extensive experience in this field and works closely with Portuguese registries, such as Conservatoria dos Registos Centrais, Conservatoria dos Registos Civis, and other, smaller peripheral registries that also process Portuguese citizenship. The descendants of Portuguese immigrants that reach out to our firm come from former colonies and territories, as well as other locations around the world. As claims are submitted to our office, we issue a digital receipt stamped with the date of submission. The client can track the case and follow it to the conclusion. In most circumstances, the result is the successful attainment of a Portuguese passport and citizen card.

Our law firm also facilitates travel and residency claims, to process an application within Portugal, instead of an embassy.

In theory, the best candidates for Portuguese naturalization are the children, grandchildren, spouse (both married and unmarried partners in long-term relationships), Sephardic Jews, and individuals legally residing in Portugal, among others.

In practice, other determining factors such as the possession and verification of requisite documents, proof of Portuguese lineage (or another related situation), and various civil registration processes. Therefore, after a preliminary analysis, which ascertains the appropriate legal path toward citizenship, all details and documents must be carefully analyzed by an experienced professional, and a strategy for the whole family must be established from the start. Applications are sometimes delayed or denied, despite a legitimate claim, because people with little to no knowledge of the law fail to seek expert assistance. Even though such results can be reversed, a rejected application diminishes one's prospect of success.

Pathways to Portuguese Citizenship

Portuguese citizenship by right of origin

  1. Children of a Portuguese parentborn in Portuguese territory;
  2. Children of a Portuguese parent born abroad, if the parent is serving the Portuguese state;
  3. Children of a Portuguese parent born abroad if their birth is registered at a Portuguese civil registry or declare a desire for citizenship;
  4. Persons born in Portuguese territory to foreign-born parents, if at least one parent was born in Portugal, irrespective of title, at the time of birth;
  1. Persons born in Portuguese territory to foreign-born parents, if they declare a desire to be Portuguese, do not serve their respective state, and one parent legally resided in Portugalfor at least two years;
  2. Persons born in a Portuguese territory who possess no other citizenship;
  3. If you are married to a Portuguese citizen that meets the above requirements.
  4. Foreign-born persons with at least one Portuguese ascendant in their direct line (of the second degree) who retained citizenship.

Naturalization as a Portuguese citizen

Who can apply under these category of nationality?

  1. A person over the age of 18 can applyfor naturalization as a Portuguese citizen after five years of legal residence.The candidate must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language and active connections to the national community. Children under 18 years of age can acquire Portuguese citizenship by declaration when aparent is naturalized, and future children of such nationals are considered Portuguese by birth. The law recognizes a naturalized Portuguese citizen only after the process is complete. Thus, Portuguese nationality acquired through naturalization cannot be transmitted to descendants already overthe age of 18 at the time their parents' naturalization.
  2. From 2006 through 2015, a person withat least one Portuguese grandparent was exempt from the residency requirement when applying for naturalization. As of 29 July 2015, however, a person with at least one Portuguese grandparent receives citizenship by extension upon request. The new registration amendment still needs to be signed by the president before entering law.
  3. Portuguese citizenship by adoption - Any child adopted by a Portuguese citizen acquires Portuguese citizenship. The adopted child, however, must be nomore than 18 years of age.
  4. Portuguese citizenship by marriage - Any person married to a Portuguese citizen for at least five years can obtain Portuguese citizenship by request. No formal residency in Portugal is demanded; however, sufficient knowledge ofthe Portuguese language and active ties with the Portuguese community are still required.

Jewish Law of Return

  1. An amendment to Portugal's Nationality Law allows the descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled during the Portuguese Inquisition to become citizens.The Portuguese parliament passed legislation on Friday, 12 April 2013, that approved the naturalization of descendants of 16th-century Portuguese Jews who fled persecution. Under the Law of Return, applicants must prove Sephardic surnames in their family tree. Moreover, Sephardic applicants must demonstrate an ongoing connection to their ancient Portuguese roots, something commonly established by a letter from an orthodox rabbi. The amendment states that these applicants need not reside in Portugal, an exception to the standard naturalization residency requirement.
  2. Dual citizenship - Portugal allows dual citizenship. Portuguese citizens holding or acquiring foreign citizenship do not lose their Portuguese citizenship. Likewise, those acquiring Portuguese citizenship can keep their citizenship of origin.
  3. Citizenship of the European Union - As Portugal has membership in the European Union, Portuguese citizens are also citizens of the European Union under European Union law and consequently hold rights of free movement and the right to vote in elections for the European Parliament. Portuguese citizens have a right to consular protection at the embassy of any other EU country. Portuguese citizens can also live and work in any EU country.

Countries and Territories

Portuguese Citizenship – old portuguese state of India, Goan, Damian and Diu

Citizens born in the former Portugueseterritories of Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra, Nagar Haveli are Portuguese citizens,including their descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.)

Portuguese Nationality – East Timor and Macau

Nationals born in East Timor beforeits independence from Portugal can request Portuguese citizenship. The sameapplies to the former Portuguese territory Macau.

Born in the old Portuguese Colonies in Africa

Some Portuguese citizens born in theformer African colonies lost their citizenship at the time of independence.
However, each case must be examined, since not everyone lost Portuguese nationality.

Our Process


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FAQ on Portuguese Nationality

How long does it take to get the Portuguese Passport?
Can you follow-up the Portuguese Passport case?
Does the Portuguese Nationality case lead to a passport?
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Do I need to send my original documents?
Do I need to translate the documents to Portuguese?

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