Obtain the Citizenship by Naturalization at 5 years of legal residency

Portuguese Citizenship by naturalization – legal residence for 5 years

When it comes to acquiring nationality by naturalization, the legislature has reduced the necessary period of legal residence from 6 to 5 years that will lead to the portuguese citizenship to be issued. It has also created a presumption of sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language for those born in or citizens of a country where Portuguese is the official language and this is mandatory for the portuguese citizenship to be obtained.

The acquisition of Portuguese citizenship is regulated by the Nationality Law.

Unlike residency, the application for citizenship is to be submitted to a Civil Registry office and not to SEF (Border Immigration Agency).

Among others, Portuguese citizenship may be acquired by:

# Someone who applies for naturalization and cumulatively:

  • Is of legal age under Portuguese law
  • Has been a legal resident of Portugal for at least 5 years, under any legal entitlement whatsoever
  • Has sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language
  • Has not been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison sentence of more than 3 years under Portuguese law

# The under 18-year old child or the incapable child of a parent who has acquired Portuguese citizenship and declares that he/she wants the child to also acquire Portuguese citizenship.

# No minimum stay requirements

The Portuguese Citizenship via naturalization is the natural procedure to apply for those who hold the Golden VISA for more than 5 years and kept the residence via updated.

If the conditions are met and the process is approved the aplicant will receive the portuguese citizenship.

Portuguese citizenship benefits

Many of the rights given to Portuguese permanent residents are the same as Portuguese citizenship benefits. Both are able to:

  • participate in full employment or self-employment (without a Portuguese work permit)
  • participate in education and study
  • access Portuguese social security benefits and pensions
  • buy property in Portugal

additional Portuguese citizenship benefits

However, there are additional Portuguese citizenship benefits, such as allowing you to:

  • vote in Portuguese elections and referendums
  • obtain a Portuguese passport, ranked 16thin the world on the Passport Index
  • acquire EU citizenship, meaning you can travel freely across EU countries
  • live, work or retire in other EU member states.