Are you interested in applying for Portuguese citizenship? This page outlines who is eligible, the benefits of living in Portugal with citizenship and the process for applying.
Portuguese citizenship allows you to live in Portugal indefinitely and obtain benefits that differ somewhat to permanent residency in Portugal. Unlike permanent residents, those with citizenship in Portugal are permitted to vote in national elections and referenda, obtain a Portuguese passport and EU citizenship, allowing you to live, work or retire in any other EU member state too.
Citizens living in a country within the EU or EFTA can apply for Portuguese citizenship with relative ease.
Non-EU or EFTA citizens have been able to gain citizenship more readily since 2006, following a relaxation of the country’s legislation.
Following alterations to the Portuguese Nationality Act, non-EU nationals can secure citizenship after six years residing in the country or through marriage after three years residing here. Certain people and demographics can apply for citizenship in Portugal sooner, some of whom we’ll discuss in more detail shortly.
We’ve already discussed what differs between Portuguese permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship above, but it’s also important to look at the benefits of Portuguese citizenship as a whole. As a Portuguese citizen, you’ll also be able to do the following:
It is entirely possible to obtain dual citizenship, allowing you to apply for Portuguese citizenship without having to relinquish your citizenship of your home country. It’s important to check with your home country to clarify whether they allow dual citizenship first.
If your home country does not permit this, and you are serious about gaining Portuguese citizenship, you may be asked to renounce your existing citizenship first.
The Portuguese Nationality Act allows overseas nationals to obtain Portuguese citizenship in the following ways:
It’s also possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship via origin. There are three common scenarios in which citizenship by origin is made possible:
If you have been adopted by Portuguese parents, it is possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. The only stipulation is that adopted applicants need to be aged under 18. At the time of writing, no legal provision exists for Portuguese people adopting someone aged 18 and over, via agreements with former Portuguese colonies.
There are several long-term relationships between Portugal and nations that are former Portuguese territories. One of the main benefits of these relationships is that residents of these former colonies can apply for Portuguese citizenship. These territories include:
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