Can I obtain Portuguese Citizenship if I was Born in Portugal?

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Written by: | Last updated on February 27, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes
This article is available in: en_US

If you were born in Portugal, you might have a golden opportunity to become a Portuguese citizen, which can be a game-changer especially if you’re holding a passport from outside the European Union, like the USA. This opens up doors not just to live in Portugal, but also in other EU countries, as well as in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

But how do you know if you’re eligible? The rules are pretty straightforward. According to lawyer Sandra Gomes Pinto, there’s a key requirement you need to meet related to your parents’ status in Portugal at the time of your birth.

To be eligible for Portuguese citizenship by being born in Portugal, at least one of your parents must have been living in Portugal legally for at least one year before you were born. This doesn’t mean just being in Portugal; it means they must have had a residency permit to live there.

Alternatively, if one of your parents was also born in Portugal, that could make you eligible for citizenship too. This creates a direct connection between you and Portugal through your birthright and your parents’ heritage or legal status in the country.

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re holding a non-EU passport and find yourself connected to Portugal by birth, checking into your parents’ status at the time you were born could be well worth it.

Portuguese citizenship offers numerous benefits, including the ability to live, work, and travel freely within the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. It’s a chance to enjoy the rich culture, history, and lifestyle of Portugal and beyond, without the restrictions that come with a non-EU passport.

This possibility can seem especially attractive if you’ve ever considered making a move to Portugal or taking advantage of the freedoms that come with being an EU citizen. Whether it’s the warm climate, the welcoming communities, or the economic opportunities, becoming a Portuguese citizen could be your ticket to a new life in Europe.

Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.