How to obtain the Portuguese nationality for Ex-Colonies

Portuguese Nationality for individuals born in the former Portuguese Colonies

The acquisition, loss and reacquisition of Portuguese nationality of individuals born in the former Portuguese territories that became independent is ruled by Decree Law no. 308-A/75 of 24 June.

According to this decree the individuals born in the former colonies, or those whose father or mother were born in overseas territory still under Portuguese administration, only kept the Portuguese Nationality up until the independence of these territories.

The remaining descendants to the third degree of the Portuguese citizens referred above can also retain Portuguese nationality unless, within two years from the date of independence, they declare, being adult or emancipated, or through their legal representatives, being unable, they do not want to be a Portuguese national.

Also, those individuals who were born in the former colonies – as well their wives and minor children – can retain Portuguese nationality if they were residing in Portugal mainland or adjacent islands for more than five years on April 25, 1974.


Step 1 – Registering parents marriage – necessary to show minor was born from married parents.

  1. Those born in mainland Portugal and the adjacent islands;
  2. Those who became nationalized;
  3. Those born abroad of a parent born in Portugal, in the adjacent islands or naturalized;
  4. Those born in the former State of India who declare that they wish to retain Portuguese nationality;
  5. Those women who are married, widow or divorced to the Portuguese citizens referred in the preceding paragraphs and their minor children;