Portuguese Citizenship: 8 Ways You Could Get A Portuguese Passport

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Written by: | Last updated on February 27, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 14 minutes

Portuguese citizenship comes with numerous benefits. These benefits include the right to live in Portugal, to work in Portugal, and to study in Portugal. But because the Portuguese passport is an “EU passport” holding a Portuguese passport gives you the right to live, work, and travel within the EU as well.

Henley & Partners rank the Portuguese passport 4th in the world, as of 2024, as does Passport Index.

How long does it take?

The current processing time is around two years [source].

Should I use a lawyer?

It may be faster to work with a lawyer, as:

  • Working with a lawyer ensures the application is correct and has the highest chance of approval.
  • Lawyers are able to submit the application electronically which could reduce the time by a few weeks or months, as it can take some time for your documents to be digitised. A lawyer, in comparison, can submit them in digital format.
  • They are also able to see where in the process it is, which is important given that the whole thing can take around two years. If you submit it yourself, it can take longer to get the documents digitised, increasing the length of time needed, and you won’t know what’s happening with your application.
  • In the event the process is taking too long, a lawyer also has the power to ask for an update and, in extreme cases, request an administrative injunction [source].

The Naturalisation Route (Living Here for 5+ Years)

© Portugalist

The most common way to obtain citizenship in Portugal is to live here for five years (previously six). In other countries, such as Spain, the requirement is typically 10 years.

It doesn’t have to be five years in a row, although this is typical. Those five years can be taken across a 15-year period [source].

In order to move to Portugal and live here for those 5 years, you will need to obtain residency.

  • If you’re from another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, that’ll be relatively easy [source].
  • It’ll also be relatively easy if you’re married to a citizen from an EU/EEA citizen or in a long-term relationship [source].

Have a passport from the US, Canada, UK, India, or anywhere else? Don’t fret! Even if you don’t have an EU/EEA/Swiss passport, or a partner from one of these countries, it’s worth noting that Portugal is one of the easier EU countries to move to thanks to its attainable residency visas.

These visas include:

  • The D7: Aimed at those with a passive income, such as income from a pension, social security, dividends, or a rental property.
  • The Digital Nomad Visa: Aimed at remote workers and digital nomads, or those with an active income such as a salary or income from freelancing.
  • The Golden Visa: Aimed at investors or those with savings. The most popular route is to invest in funds, such as venture capital funds.
  • The D2: Aimed at entrepreneur or those that want to start a business in Portugal.

As of 2024, the clock for citizenship via naturalisation (living in Portugal) now starts ticking when you submit your residency visa application in your home country – not when you receive your residency card as before.

Even though obtaining citizenship through naturalisation does require living here for at least 6-8 months of the year for 5 years (unless you’re on the golden visa, see below) it’s still faster and simpler than obtaining citizenship through another EU country.

CountryYearsDual Citizenship AllowedLanguage Level
Germany6-8 YearsNoB1
  • Time needed: 5 years residency in Portugal (+ processing period)
  • Language requirement: Yes: A2 (see details)
  • Other requirements: Clean criminal record i.e. not involved in any crime punishable by a prison sentence.

Read more about obtaining Portuguese citizenship through naturalisation

Is obtaining citizenship always worth it?

I am 78, American, living 6.5 years in Portugal. I can apply for citizenship, I even consulted a lawyer. I only need to jump through a few hoops (and fees and costly translations) to launch the process, which may take years. So I ask myself, why bother at my age? I no longer need the flexibility to move and work in other EU countries, I don’t need to vote here. So I think age is a consideration.  So that is my question for older expats.  Citizenship vs permanent residency. Why bother?


There are a few benefits of Portuguese citizenship. The main is that it gives you the right to live, work, and retire in other EU countries. However, if you’re planning on staying in Portugal forever, is permanent residency good enough?

Quite possibly, yes. Citizenship is a little bit better than permanent residency as there is always the slim but possible chance a residency renewal could be denied whereas citizenship won’t be taken away from you. You also don’t need to renew your citizenship, whereas you have to renew permanent residency every 10 years. Citizens also have a slightly easier time with paperwork compared to residents, due to the introduction of the citizen’s card, but the government is expected to make this more even for permanent residents and citizens in the future.

There is also the possibility that you will change your mind and decide you want to live in France or Spain, at which point you would then have to wait several years to get your Portuguese passport. You never know what the future holds.

However, if you’re certain you’re going to live in Portugal, it may not be worth the costs of obtaining citizenship.

The Golden Visa Route

Luxury villa
© DepositPhotos

The golden visa is essentially a part of the naturalisation route, but it’s included in its own section here as it’s slightly different: while visas like the D7 and digital nomad visa require you to spend an average of 6-8 months in Portugal, the golden visa only requires you to spend an average of just 7 days per year in Portugal.

This makes the golden visa perfect for those that want to obtain Portuguese citizenship, but don’t want to move to Portugal. In fact, because you only need to spend 1-2 weeks of the year here, you don’t even need to become a tax resident. This means you can continue living and working somewhere else, and paying taxes there, all the while working towards obtaining a Portuguese passport.

Investment can take many forms but, for many people, the simplest option is to invest €500,000 in a qualifying investment fund (in some cases, this can be as little as €400,000). These funds have a minimum maturity of 5 years and require 60% of the investment amount be invested in Portuguese companies.

Although this route eventually leads to citizenship, the golden visa is seen as residency by investment rather than citizenship by investment as the citizenship step is made separately.

Besides funds, other options include:

  • €500k investment in scientific research
  • An investment in the arts, culture, or national heritage of at least €250k

Like other naturalisation routes, this route requires you to be resident in Portugal for five years before you apply for citizenship. You also need to pass the A2 language exam.

  • Time needed: 5 years residency in Portugal (+ processing period)
  • Costs: €250,000-€500,000 (+ additional fees)
  • Citizenship Language requirement: Yes: A2 (see details)
  • Other requirements: Clean criminal record i.e. not involved in any crime punishable by a prison sentence.

Read more about Portugal’s Golden Visa program

The Origin Route (Parents or Grandparents)

Portuguese older people
© DepositPhotos

If you’re lucky enough to have a Portuguese parent or grandparent, you should be able to acquire Portuguese citizenship by descent.

Great-grandparents are usually seen as too far back, however, you can usually get around this by having your parent or grandparent obtain citizenship first (assuming they’re alive and able to do so).

This is one of the most straight-forward routes to obtaining Portuguese nationality as you often only need to get a hold of documents like birth and marriage certificates. That said, you still do need to produce a paper trail of birth and marriage certificates back to that Portuguese relative (or relatives).

Those with Portuguese grandparents (and no Portuguese parents) will be asked to show more ties to Portugal, specifically at least an A2 knowledge of the Portuguese knowledge and ties to the Portuguese community. This is very achievable, but does take work.

If you’re thinking about moving to Portugal anyway, Lisbon-based lawyer Sandra Gomes Pinto suggests it may be easier to achieve these things once you moved to Portugal.

If you’re applying for citizenship through a grandparent, you would have an advantage of applying once you moved to Portugal. This is because, by being here, you would then have more ties to the Portuguese community, and it would make it easier to learn the Portuguese language.

Sandra Gomes Pinto [source]

Residency visas, such as the D7 or D8, are often approved within six months [source] versus the two years or so it takes for citizenship, so this is also the faster route initially.

It can be a challenge for those who don’t have contact with their parents, and even more of a challenge for those that require their grandparents’ birth and marriage certificates as these things often get lost over time. You can apply in Portugal, but most people apply in the country in which they’re resident.

  • Time needed: There’s no requirement to live in Portugal
  • Language requirement: Portuguese Parents: no, Portuguese Grandparents: A2 level of higher
  • Other requirements: Clean criminal record i.e. not involved in any crime punishable by a prison sentence.

The Marriage or Partner Route

Children in wedding outfits
© DepositPhotos

If your partner or spouse is Portuguese, you may be able to obtain Portuguese citizenship through them. You can also apply if you’re in a long-term relationship with a Portuguese national (known as a de facto union in Portugal) for three years or longer. Couples in a de facto union also need to prove that they really are a couple and in a union. This could be through showing documents that prove that they live at the same address, share bills, etc.

You don’t have to live in Portugal for those three years. You are no longer eligible after divorce.

Does that mean it’s time to get on Match.com? Not quite. If you’ve seen romantic comedies like The Proposal or The Green Card, you’ll know that marrying for citizenship isn’t treated lightly within the government offices that process these applications.

It’s also worth pointing out that, just because you’re married to or in a relationship with a Portuguese person, doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed a passport. In the case of the marriage route, it’s very important to show your ties to Portugal and the Portuguese community.

Examples of ties to Portugal might include:

  • Having a basic (A2 or better) knowledge of Portuguese.
  • Owning property here.
  • Living here.
  • Being involved in Portuguese clubs and organisations.

The more ties you can show, the better.

Having an A2 knowledge of Portuguese is not a definite requirement here, but many Portugalist readers who have applied via this route have been asked for a certificate to prove language competency.

If you’re applying for citizenship as a means of moving to Portugal, it may be quicker to apply for a residency visa such as the D7 or D8 as these are often approved within six months [source].

  • Time needed: 3 years of marriage or long-term relationship
  • Language requirement: Not always, but often an A2 level is asked for (see details)
  • Other requirements: Clean criminal record i.e. not involved in any crime punishable by a prison sentence.

The Sephardic Jewish Route

Sometimes it’s worth getting on Ancestry.com – especially if you think you might have Sephardic Jewish heritage.

During the inquisition period, thousands of Jews fled the Iberian Peninsula. To right a wrong, Portugal is offering citizenship to the ancestors of those who had to leave Spain and Portugal. Spain had a similar scheme, but has since closed it down.

You don’t need to trace your family tree all the way back to 15th Century Iberia, but you do need to trace far enough to show that you have Sephardic Jewish roots. Some people only have to go back a few generations while others will have to go back much further.

Some of the ties that are used to show you have Sephardic Jewish ancestry include:

The most valuable document, however, is the certificate from the Portuguese Jewish Community in Lisbon.

Unfortunately for many, the rules changes in 2022 and now stronger ties are required. Applicants will now also need to show either:

  1. That they already have property in Portugal.
  2. That they hold shares or social participations in Portuguese trading companies or cooperatives.
  3. That they have taken regular trips to Portugal throughout their lives.

In 2024, the law may change so that you may also need to live in Portugal for three years in order to qualify for citizenship. This is faster than the five years typically required for naturalisation, but means that obtaining citizenship via the Sephardic route is no longer as easy as it once was.

If you have these ties, it’s an avenue that’s worth exploring. However, most people are unlikely to meet the new criteria.

  • Time needed: Currently, you don’t need to spend any time in Portugal, but should expect the processing period to take somewhere between 6 and 24 months.
  • Language requirement: No (although it may help show a tie to Portugal).

Read more about Portuguese citizenship through Sephardi Heritage

The Former Colonies Route


Portugal has special relationships with former Portuguese territories including Angola, Cape Verde, Portuguese India, Guinea Bissau, East Timor, Macao, Mozambique, São Tomé, and Príncipe. Part of this special relationship includes an agreement whereby members of the former colonies could apply for Portuguese citizenship.

In most cases, there is (or was) a time limit during which citizens of these countries could apply to retain their Portuguese citizenship, so it may not be any option for you anymore.

According to Sandra Gomes Pinto, “The general rule is that if a person was born before Portugal’s independence, then it’s still possible. Alternatively, if the person is a child of a parent who was born before Portugal’s independence. 

“However, there are often additional challenges in terms of documentation. Accessing birth certificates from this time period can be very tricky as they have often been lost. It’s also common for people to change names or surnames, which adds another layer of complexity.”

Sandra also notes that obtaining the required documents from former Portuguese colonies can be challenging. Documents are often damaged or non-existent, as formal registrations were less common at that time.

The Born in Portugal Route

While being born in a country is a guaranteed right to citizenship for many countries, it isn’t so straightforward in Portugal.

According to Sandra Gomes Pinto of Sandra Gomes Pinto & Associados, “It’s mandatory that one of the parents has been a legal resident in Portugal for at least one year. Alternatively, if one of the parents was born in Portugal, that would count too.”

The Adoption Route

Fed up with your parents? Find some Portuguese parents to adopt you can you could become a Portuguese citizen.

If Portuguese parents adopt you, you can claim Portuguese citizenship. Unfortunately, you have to be under 18 for this one: there isn’t a provision in Portuguese law for Portuguese parents adopting anyone older than 18.


Is there a citizenship exam?

No. While the US has the American Civics test and the UK has the Life in the United Kingdom test, Portugal does not have a similar test.

Do I need to purchase real estate in order to qualify for citizenship?

You do not need to purchase real estate in order to qualify for citizenship, although this may help show you have ties to Portugal (if required) [source].

Does Portugal recognise dual citizenship?

Portugal recognises dual citizenship, so, unlike some other European countries, Portugal won’t ask you to give up any other passports you hold [source].

Will I have tax obligations if I become a Portuguese citizen?

There are also no tax obligations that come with obtaining Portuguese citizenship [source].


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.

You can contact James by emailing james@portugalist.com or via the site's contact form.

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There are 175 comments on this article. Join the conversation and add your own thoughts, reviews, and stories of life in Portugal. However, please remember to be civil.


  1. My mother, my grandmother and grandfather were all born in Madeira. They moved to South Africa and my mom married my father who is South African. What documents do need to apply for Portuguese Citizenship/Passport. What do I need to do? Do I have to get my mothers marriage to my father registered in Portugal to start the process. If so, can I do it at the Portuguese consulate in South Africa? I am currently studying at Oregon University in the USA on a F1 student visa.

  2. Hi I have italian residency permit for long period Permesso Lungo Periodo” if I change my residency in Portugal, how long will it take me to naturalised?

  3. Hi Avishek

    It sounds like your father got his citizenship by living in Portugal in which case he can’t pass it down to you. If he obtained it through his parents or grandparents it would be different.

  4. Hi,
    My father has a Portuguese passport but he isnt born Portuguese. I am older than 18. Can i apply for the Portuguese citizenship?

  5. It was disappointing to discover that I couldn’t obtain Portuguese citizenship based on DNA evidence. I have taken tests with several companies like 23andme and Ancestry.com and all show a high percentage of Portuguese DNA. When I contacted several Portuguese lawyers they all said that this wouldn’t be considered evidence that I am Portuguese. Portugal needs to get it’s act together and start accepting modern technology.

  6. Hi,
    I have Portuguese nationality. Can I apply Portuguese nationality for my 70 years old parents who are from non EU country?

  7. I am a US citizen married to my wife a Portuguese citizen we have children with all dual citizenship I want to know is there a way I could get a Portuguese dual citizenship even though I served in the military is there a way around there rule

  8. My husband is of Portuguese descent via his great grandparents. I realize that this is a 3rd degree relationship, even though his family is Portuguese (he is half). We were offered by our landlord a farm and home on the property. My husband plans to have a farm, as he already has experience. Any suggestions on moving forward?

  9. Hi,

    I am thinking to apply the Golden Visa, if after 6 years, assuming I can pass all the criteria including passing the language test and successfully acquired the Citizenship, can my child (Age 10 & 8 at that time) at the same time acquire the Citizenship as well? Do they need to pass the language test to get the PR and Citizenships? If they are failed for the language test, can they still acquire the PR?

  10. I have a Portuguese passport and my son is in Scotland now he requires a Portuguese passport .. is there a way to find if he is registered under my passport to facilitate the process !!!

  11. hello good day i want to know can i get portuguese passport visa citizenship my grandmother and my father born in portugal libson but my grandmother and my father were in south africa my grandmother was died 20 year ago in south africa but my father still alive in south africa i want to get portuguese passport if i can get apply please contcat to me my email………..thank you regards

  12. Hi, sir My name is mohammadkhan I am from goa India I have my grand father grand mother birth teors marriage teor and my mother birth teor my father is out saider he is from Karnataka my mother marriage is not registered in1972 now my 10 years before dead now I no have my mother &father marriage certificate I am Portuguese or not ? I am applying or not ? Portuguese citizenship you help me plz sir. I totaly confused.

    • No you’re not Portuguese or can apply for nationality as your ancestry is not Portuguese. Goan who have Portuguese nationality have grandparents who lived in Portuguese India and usually have Portuguese surnames on their birth certificates. You apparently don’t!

  13. If you have a Portuguese equivalent of the U.K.s Citizens Advice Bureau, or a free legal advice association of some kind this would help. I know of some people who lived where they worked, and now because the restaurant has closed due to covid19. They just have a room and no longer have access to the kitchen in the restaurant for cooking. They are going to be without a job AND a home,so any advice would be really helpful, thank you. They have Portuguese citizenship.

    • Persons born abroad with, at least, one Portuguese ascendant in the second degree (grandparent) of the direct line who has not lost this citizenship can apply for Portuguese nationality!

      • Does one maintain Portuguese citizenship simply by being born there? My grandfather was born there but immigrated to the US when he was 6 years old and never went back. He did not serve in any US armed services and to my knowledge never renounced his Portuguese citizenship. Would he still be considered a citizen for my purposes of applying through the decendant route? Thank you!

        • Hi Kim,

          That sounds like a positive starting point. It seems likely he had Portuguese citizenship, but it’s never a given and as you point you, some people did give it up when they moved to the US.

          Please contact info@portugalist.com if you’d like someone to look into this for you.

  14. I came to Portugal through my Day who is a Portuguese citizen immediately I got a job can I still have my documents through my Dad now that I have a job? Urgent advise please

    • My grandfather is from Portugal, he owns a property there. My mother and father would like to become citizens of portugal. I would also like to get my ancestral visa for my daughter and myself and citizenship for my husband. How do we go about the process

  15. Hello, Could you please advise, my partner is Portuguese (born in Madeira) and lived in the UK for over 40 years. I am English and have been cohabiting with him for 23 years. We are wanting to retire to Madeira and were wondering whether or not I would be entitled to Portuguese citizenship based on the length of our lives together (we are not married).
    We appreciate your advise – with kind regards – Gill.

    • Hi Gillian!

      I am in a similar situation, my partner of 14 years (not married) we are based on South Africa and want to move to Portugal and was also curious to understand if I’d qualify for immediate citizenship.

      Did you have any further luck with this?

      • Hi Gabriel,

        If my partner (who has a Portugese Passport) and I (who has a South African Passport only) get married in South Africa and also declare our marriage in Portugal, once we arrive in Portugal, will I be able to work in Portugal? Can you advise what visa I would need to apply for?

        Thank you in Advance for any assistance you may be able to offer

  16. Hello:

    I live in Saint Lucia, W.I. My father was Portuguese. I would like to apply for my citizenship. Please advise on the requirements.

  17. Re Sephardi Jewish ancestry: it’s not necessary to trace back to 1496; if you can prove Sephardi ancestry you are eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship, even if not practising the religion; it’s assumed that legitimate Sepharadim are descendants of those expelled. In this particular case there is no need to be resident in Portugal to acquire citizenship. (Expulsion from Spain in 1492 is assumed to imply fleeing to Portugal, then being expelled from there too – Sephardi just means “Spanish”, so all Sepharadim are descendants of those expelled.) See Wikipedia on “Portuguese nationality law”.

  18. I plan on going to Portugal in three weeks with the intentions of buying a second home to live all year round and travel. Do I need a visa and what other documents might I need

  19. Good day

    My grandparents are both Portuguese (both having a Portuguese passport) , and my father is also registered (but passed away recently) .
    Recently found out I can register and obtain a Portuguese Passport.
    However I am still unclear of the paper work.
    Does anyone what I need?
    – Father ID + Passport (which my gran is providing)
    – Mom ID
    – Birth Certificate (mine) + ID + South. African passport.
    – and Police Clearance (this is where I am unsure is it a normal Police clearance or is there some route I must follow)

    Please advice if I am missing something

    Thank you

  20. Both of my father’s parents both moved from Portugal to the U.S.A. Am I eligible for citizenship? How do I go about applying for it?

  21. Hi I’m Mozambican by birth, (Portuguese colony ) I would like to move and work in Portugal this summer, I do have proof of my grandma ID that she is Portuguese.
    However my dad didn’t do anything to obtain Portuguese passport through his mom and they are both deceased. How can I proceed ?
    What are the necessary requirements ?

  22. Please advice we are wanting to Move to Portugal hoping my Husband can land a job as a Butcher/ Butcher Manager Spar Group once he is lucky enough to land a job .How do we qualify for recidency ..And can my parents come to

    • After 5 year living legally in the country you can apply for citizenship. Your parents as they are adults are subject to the same rules.

  23. Hi there.

    My dad is Portuguese. We don’t have any contact. I have his ID number. Can I use that to apply for my Portuguese passport?
    Would the embassy help me with just his ID number to get the relevant paperwork?
    Do I need to make an appointment at the embassy to go ask what all is needed?
    Really not easy to find out everything I need.

    Thank you

    • Hi Vicky

      Trust you well.
      I was wondering if you ever got your answers or got to proceed with your passport?
      I am currently in the same position:
      – I know what documents is needed.

      Kind regards

  24. This site was updated this month (January 2020) but makes no mention of the anticipated change in the language proficiency requirement for citizenship. The word has been spread through social media that the need to be fluent in Portuguese will be eliminated. This now seems to still be unclear.
    From this article it also seems that being a resident for six years is not enough in itself to become a citizen; that one must also fall into one of the categories mentioned. – money, marriage, ancestry, adoption.

    • To answer your question … I am sorry but I do not recall a more specific source, other than FaceBook comments on various pages for expats, for the current information spreading that the language requirement would be eliminated, but I have read it on various sites in the last four months.

      • Thanks Alexis.

        I’ll keep a lookout for it and if you come across it again, let me know and I can update the article.

  25. My daughter is 19 yrs and studying in portugal since 3 years. I have portuguese nationality. Can i apply nationality for my daughter??

  26. Hello,

    I would like to know the process and documents required for acquiring Portuguese citizenship.
    My father was born in 1925 in Portuguese India, place called (Daman) so that makes me and my Family eligible.

  27. I have determined I have Portuguese ancestry through a DNA test. Is this sufficient to obtain Portuguese citizenship? I don’t have Portuguese grandparents. I was born in USA but my parents and grandparents are from the Dominican Republic.

  28. I am South African, married to a Portuguese for 10 years, marriage registered in Portugal a year ago, our son has Portuguese nationality. We currently live in UK. I want to apply for nationality do I have to speak Portuguese to qualify

  29. Hello there
    I’m married for two years in england and my wife has Portuguese passport! Can any one tell me how can I get the Portuguese passport please?
    Thank you

    • Hi Jody,

      Not something I can personally answer as I’m not Canadian and don’t know your situation. Many Canadians move to Portugal for retirement and live off their pensions – no idea if that includes other benefits as well.

  30. yes find a portugese girl in germany and marry her this will sort out your citizenship once and for all and just in 3 years 🙂

  31. Good day. My wife’s grandfather was born in Portugal. She has his birth-certification. Can she qualify for ancestry passport?

  32. So in order to get citizenship you need to live here 6 years? I am registered portuguese, my children are registered, my marriage is registered and we ve been married 23 years and been living in Madeira for 4years yet we told it’s not possible, without language test, proof of payment to state pension fund and ties to community…yet all sites tell you it’s possible..makes no sense as their registry office here gives you a long list of requirements

  33. I have Portuguese grandparents and am a U.S. citizen. I would like to find out the possibility of gaining Portuguese citizenship.

  34. My grandmother is born in Portugal colony but she married outside to Hindu with no marriage records, how can I apply for Portugal citizenship.

  35. Hi my name is Joao I have my fathers Portuguese passport from 1965 expired 1976 I have mine which I received in 1972 expiring 1984, they changed the law in 1981 three years before mine expired, and now they are denying me a new one. I submitted Article 6º, nº 6 asking for my Portuguese Nationality, I paid the fee and sent all my portuguese documents to IRN Conservatoria do Registos Centrais, I just received a response that I have 27 days to prove my grandparents were portuguese, I never met them. can someone please direct me in the direction to resolve this matter. thank you

    • Hello I am ratna khadka from Nepal Now I am Living in Cyprus As a student here how can I migrate to Portugal can you give me any suggestion

  36. Hello. My father is Portuguese from Madeira & he left my mother when I was born without marrying her. I am now 47 years old & live in South Africa. Do I have any claim to citizenship even though I have not had contact with him since he left in 1972

  37. HI there, thanks for the useful information. I have a quick clarification. Suppose you get a job in Portugal and live there 5 years with your job visa. If I understand your article correctly, in your 5th year, you can apply for the permanent residency, and one year after that, in your 6th year since you arrived in Portugal, you can apply for a citizenship? I am clarfying it is not 6 years after permanent residence, meaning not 11 years since you arrived in Portugal…

  38. Hi my wife apply for portuguese citizen 2 year ago
    Her parents and grandparents are portuguese and she hasn’t heard anything about it, we already stop by the portuguese consul here in the USA and no one give us an answer would please someone give us an answer. Thx

  39. I was born in the Azores to American parents in 1968. I would like to get my Portuguese citizenship in order to live in the EU and work in the UK. What do you suggest I do? Please advise.

    • Hi Leslee,

      Don’t normally comment on the comments on this article, but I just wanted to point out that with the UK leaving the EU Portuguese citizenship might not allow you to work there anymore than your current American citizenship. Nobody knows yet.

    • I am trying the same thing too. It is a bit complicated but if your parent who is related to your great grandfather has these documents you will be possibly eligible. Here are the documents required:-https://www.consuladoportugalgoa.com/pages.php?id=2#

  40. Hey antonio did u get solution on this matter?. i have exactly same issue. my grandfathers birth and marraige (Reg in Portuguese) i have. but they want certificates even of my great grand father. which is impossible to get.

  41. Hello. My great-grandparents (on both sides of my family) were citizens of the Azores Islands before moving to the United States. Does that status allow me to gain citizenship or does the grandparent requirement need to be only one generation of separation (my parent’s parent). If so, could my mom obtain citizenship and then me through her? Thank you!

  42. my mum is from Portuguese india. she has had her birth and marriage registered in Lisbon. I am 36 years old and my mum has an indian passport. will I be able to register my birth and apply for a passport from the UK(this is where I live)

  43. Hello,
    I was born in the Azores Portugal and came to America with a green card with my family when I was 9 years old, I am still a Portuguese citizen, how do I go back to my country to live?
    Thank you, Maria

  44. Hi,
    Thank for this information.
    I have a question :
    If I were illegal in one of EU countries, and I stayed more than I need. Could they refuse for my portuguese citizen request?
    Thank you in advance.

  45. We are from South Africa, my son’s father is Portuguese. We were not married and I would like to know how would we be able to get my son a Portuguese Passport? Would we need to have his father on his birth certificate to apply or any other documents?

    • Hi – yes you need to get the father’s name on the birth certificate. Which currently means doing a paternity test. We did that (despite being together, unmarried, for 20 years as initially our daughter was only registered under my name) and it was relatively simple after that. The Portuguese consulate in Cape Town was very helpful and our daughter’s citizenship card and passport were processed quickly.

      • Hi Miriam, could you please let me know long it took for your daughter’s father to be added to her birth certificate once you had a applied at home affairs? Secondly, what was the processing time of her Portuguese citizenship card and passport?

        Thank you kindly!

  46. My father and grandparents were all born in Portugal. My father was under 10 when he came to Canada. I hold a British and Canadian passport. Am I eligible to apply for my Portuguese citizenship

  47. After I obtain Portuguese Nationality, what process will I have to follow in order for my husband to obtain nationality for him. We both are Indians.

  48. I have a Portuguese passport and my marriage is registered in Portugal I’m married since 13 years what documents required to get Portuguese passport for my spouse

  49. If u r in Ireland try to obtain a professional qualification spend some money on education struggle a bit. Once u obtain a professional visa and extend it by the time until u obtain citizenship. Actually u must pay tax in Portugal. There is no job or job with 500 euros u will spend on ur self. So no point to waste the time. So express ur experience in the place where u r

  50. I was born in Portugal in 1967 to Portuguese parents and lived ther until 7 years of age. We moved to Canada in 1973 and became citizens in 1979. Can I get my Portuguese citizenship back to have dual citizenship

    • Yes you can, you need to go to the Portuguese Embassy or Portuguese Consulate, you have never lost your citizenship and if you have children they can also apply and become Portuguese citizens, very simple process.

      • I am an Indian passport holder residing in Mumbai.

        I come from an ex- Portuguese colony “Vasai” located in suburbs of Mumbai. My paternal and maternal both grandmothers’ birth certificates are in Portuguese. Would I be eligible to apply for Portuguese passport? If yes, could you please tell me what kind of other documents will I require? And if there are any other criteria I need to be aware of.

  51. Hi,
    Regarding about apply for perminent residence, and citizen ship of portugal, in April 2020 my five years will finish. What do i need for perminent residence and citizenship? please let me know, many thanks.

  52. Hi Everybody !!
    I’m a regular guy working on administration at the age 50 years in Bangladesh.. Willing to migrate myself to Portugal.. Help me out people !!

  53. If i get my PR, which i have to stay the first year 7 days and 14 days in each subsequent year. So on my 5th year i got my Permanent residency. after six years i am allowed to apply for citizenship? or because i already have the PR proved i stayed 5 years i only need to prove i stay for one more year to complete the 6 years? does my 5 years of PR count and only remaining to do one more year? do i have to stay the whole year to Portugal or on the 6thyear? or again another 14 days of the 6th year?

  54. Hi I am married to a portugul citizen. and want to acquire citizenship. but I was born in Mumbai and my birth is not registered in Mumbai but I have my Baptism certificate from Mumbai on which my marriage have been registered in portugal.Can you advise how to apply for citizen ship.

    • Hi James,

      As you mentioned about the golden visa program, by staying in Portugal for 5 years to apply for a PR. May i know the meaning of staying is physically live in Portugal for 5 years? Or just need to stay an average of 7 days per year in 5 years?


      • Hi Heidi,

        I believe the golden visa scheme only requires you to be physically in Portugal for 7 days per year on average, however I would recommend speaking to a legal professional to confirm this.

  55. Hi,
    I am looking at acquiring Portugese citizenship through me deceased grandparents who lived in Madeira and emigrated to South Africa in the late 1920’s. My father does not have Portugese citizenship but my aunt was able to get her Portugese passport a few years ago.I am unable to find all the requirements needed for the application. Can you shed some light on the subject,.
    Many thanks,
    Raoul Gomes

  56. My Dad was born in Portugal during WWI, was brought to the United States in the 1920s, became as US Citizen in the 1960s and died in the US in the 1980s. I am his son, born in the US and have lived here my entire life, but now retired and interested in moving to Portugal. Can I apply for permanent residence when I arrive there (I meet the legal qualifications you listed). Thank you.

  57. My step son, Wife (his birth mom) and I are moving to Portugal. We have a home and Ways to provide for the three of us. My is granted her Visa through myself as I have Dual citizenship. My stepson who is over the age of 18 is not covered under my citizenship. There was too many side complications to have adopted him, and moving to Portugal was not in the cards at the time. It’s been asked that he provides an amount that shows that he can live and support himself In Portugal. Does anybody have any idea how much he has to have to show in order for him to obtain his visa? We have written a letter stating that he will be under our financial supervision and then we will support him. We will be heading to the embassy within the next couple of weeks. We have all kind of documentation insurances and everything that is needed. The only concern we have is how much money does he have to show for them to be satisfied that he is able to support himself. He won’t have to pay for any residents as I already stated we own a home already. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  58. Hello I am inquiring o behalf of sister.
    She leaved in Portugal for 3or 4 year with visa and have a daughter there b
    Brazilian parents. is the daughter have any right to ask to Portuguese citizenship?
    Many thanks,

  59. 1st come to Portugal legally.
    Make a legal entry within 3 working days to nearest SEF it’s free.
    Make finance number, fees 20 Euros from finanace office.
    Make house contract (JUNTA) 30 euros at some places only
    Make social security number.
    Work anywhere and start paying tax of 210 euros every month
    Take work contract and all documents enter papers in SEF online and wait for 4 months.
    After 4 months you will recieve an email to select the date for fingers and get the fingers done perhaps you will recieve 1 year temporary card (After entering papers time limit is not fix when you will get date for fingers after 4 months I mean and here comes your luck)
    Documents : Passport, Legal entery, Finanance, social security number, Junta, Indian PCC, Portugal PCC, work contract when you enter papers in SEF and add 2 passport size photo, salary slips, TAX declaration and work declaration, also 583 euros at the time of fingers.
    After 1 year card pay atleast 6 month tax.
    Apply for 2 years of card same documents and process of fingers
    Once you get card now it’s total 3 years
    Apply again 2 years card with same documents and process of fingers
    Now it’s 5 years in total from the date of issue of your 1st card.
    Eligible to apply passport with same documents and process of fingers additionally A2 level of portuguese language.
    Total time is 6-7 years to get passport as I see the current situation in portugal.
    Very importantly 1 thing Lisboa is so pack that no one is getting a accommodation so before coming please contact any one who is in portugal.
    Good luck friends and Obrigado.

  60. Thank you for a most interesting and informative article. May I please contact you to discuss my situation with you? I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards, David

  61. I was born in South Africa my father were from portugal l can get passport portuguese citizenship possibilities please lêt me know l want move in Portugal

  62. How long a Portugal citizen has to stay in Portugal to maintain his citizenship..
    Can he work in Non EU country while maintaining Portugal citizenship

  63. I have my deceased mothers Portugal passport.
    She used to live in Goa.
    She lived all her life in Goa & Mumbai.

    I was considering applying for Permanent residence based on the my mom’s old Portugal Passport.

    Please advice how can i pursue this & actualise my dream of moving to Portugal.

  64. Hello,

    thank you for this. I was wondering if is possible to apply for permanent residency after holding a Non-habitual residency permit?


  65. Hi James,

    Thank you for this platform so that we can be informed about Portuguese citizenship procedures.

    I am a non-EU citizen and I have been married to my Portuguese husband for 3 years. I know that I have the right to apply for the Portuguese citizenship now but do you think I need to be able to speak the language to get the citizenship?

    Thank you in advance.

  66. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My Grandparents on both sides were born in Portugal, my parents were born Mozambique and I was born in South Africa. I was on my mom’s portuguese passport as a child she never renewed it. What do I need to reapply for a portuguese passport and are my children entitled to one? I have no family left in South Africa they have all left.

  67. As a South African and my grandfather is from Madeira, I do not speak the language, can I apply for a Portuguese Passport.

    My sisters have been trying for the last few years and have been told that they could but need the marriage certificate of our grandparents in order to apply.

    Please advise.

  68. What about a family member (sister) living in South Africa which has become extremely dangerous. I am originally from SA, have a French passport (30years) and reside in Portugal and have Portuguese residency.
    Many thanks

  69. Good morning, My husband’s great grandfather was from Portugal and he and many others fled religious persecution in the mid 1800s and ended up in the Caribbean. They are originally from Madeira. Do you think Portuguese passport/residency is possible? Seriously thinking of emigrating there.

  70. Hello sir, I am Kulwinder kaur from India I have completed my B.com and I want to study in Portugal. How can I get visa

  71. Dear All,

    Can Anyone guide me of obtaining visit visa or Protugal?
    I am from Pakistan and need to settle in Portugal.

    Any friends can guide me on this please?

    Thank you

  72. Hello! My husband and I are currently living in the USA and are planning to move to Portugal in the coming months. Both my maternal and paternal parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles were born in the Azores and moved to the USA in and around the 1920’s. How easy or difficult will it be to receive my Portuguese citizenship? My husband is not of Portuguese decent but we have been married 25 years. How difficult will it be for him to obtain the same? We are interested in equal citizenship.

  73. Hi,
    My husband is now a Portuguese citizen and we have been married for 30 years. I am Canadian.
    I want my citizenship as well. I am considering either registering our marriage in Portugal or registering for citizenship myself.
    I want to know the benefits/drawbacks of each.
    Thank you for your time in answering.

  74. Hello,
    We came to Portugal months ago for settlement and have a baby born here last month, we both are foreign national and did not live here for long time (as mentioned),how we can apply the baby resident card and after so can we apply for resident card through our baby born here? Please give some valuable advise.
    Many thanks.

  75. I’m portuguese and so are my children. I am married to a South African. We live in South Africa and have been married for 26 years. Your article states that after 3 years of marriage to a Portuguese citizen the spouse is illegible for Portuguese citizenship. However, I have enquired about this through our consulate here in Cape Town and they have told me it is not possible, unless we are resident/living in Portugal. Could you confirm this fact?

    • Hi Gisele – do you have any feedback on your query? I am in the same boat, my husband and daughter have citizenship and passports but not me…


  76. I am in a similar situation, my kids’ paternal grandparents were born in Portugal but migrated to Aus, kids’ dad born in Aus and so are they. I am looking into getting them a dual aus-Portuguese citizenship but both grandparents are now Aus citizenship only I think. The consulate here is hopeless and can not get any information on how to apply

  77. Hello, my Brother Nipu. Hope you are doing well. If you are interested yet to come here to Portugal, can count on me. I am working for a company which accepts the request for immigration (in a legal way).

    Best Wishes,

    • Hi there, Brother i am Antonio from Goa India. I have got my father,s birth, marriage and death registered in Portugal. I could do that since my father was born in Goa that was colonised by the portuguese.
      Now my children would like to acquire the portuguese passport. Can you help me in this regards. I will be highly obliged. God Bless and thank in advance. You could mail me with all details that you may like to give to me to make things easy for me. Bye for now

      • Hey antonio did u get solution on this matter?. i have exactly same issue. my grandfathers birth and marraige (Reg in Portuguese) i have. but they want certificates even of my great grand father. which is impossible to get.

    • Hello dear good day l want to know if l can get Portugal passport cizitenship my father born from Portugal l want to get portuguses passport cizitenship l want work in Portugal please let me know thanks

      • Hello my sister was born in Mozambique in 1974 now she needs to ask for Portuguese nationality as our parents are Portuguese but now is being asked for a Mozambique birth certificate which we do not have how can I get on please

  78. Serafina, your fathers birth certificate and grandfathers would be registered in Portugal in Lisbon, you just have to request it from the civil registry.

  79. I’m similar to the last comment – my father is from Mozambique and then moved to Portugal and then to the UK where I was born. My grandfather stayed, died and is buried in Lisbon and my uncles are there. Anyone got any ideas as to how to trace birth certificates from the 50s as my father does not know where his would be – I need this to apply either via my father of course, or even via my grandfather as it proves my link to my grandfather.

  80. I am British, born in Mozambique. I now want to apply for a Portuguese passport before Brexit. What are the eligibility criteria.?

    • if you were born in Mozambique before 1974 and have your birth certificate. no issue, just go to Portuguese embassy.

      • Hi James

        My dad is late but was Portuguese born in Portugal,
        I was born in Zimbabwe, Unfortunately he was never married to my mother.
        He did blood tests and paid maintenance for me until I was 18 years old.
        How do I find his parents or my grandparents?
        Would i qualify for citizenship?
        Do I need to learn Portuguese?
        Who can give me advice?

  81. Hey . I will get marry this year . My fiancé was born in Zimbabwe . But she have Portuguese passport too bc of her grandfather . She never visit Eu in her life but she travel dubai and aisa country with her Portuguese passport . After marriage can I get passport or visa too ? Please help me .

  82. Hi!

    Dear I want to know that can I apply for a Temporary Resident Permit as I have a regular rental income of $2000 per month. And we are total 4 person in family.

    Please reply

  83. Hi James,

    I am please to see you are supporting from the heart and its truly helpful for all. My below concerns,

    1) I am from India, planning to have longer stay, PR, in Portugal. Basically I am Civil Engineer, working in Saudi Arabia. As you wrote, investment amount ranging from 280,000 to 550,000 Euro, would this possible to invest the amount by group of people like 3 or 4. Whats its criteria.

  84. Hi,

    My mother was born in Portugal to a Portuguese father and a half Portuguese/English mother. My mother’s passport lapsed some years ago bug I wondered if it was at all possible for me to get a Portuguese passport?

  85. I am from Ethiopia, my great grand parents were Portuguese missionaries that came to Ethiopia in 18s. my great grandparents and also my grandparents all have passed away. I plan one day to visit Portugal and trace my family heritage where ever it goes. I have no idea If I am eligible to apply for citizenship because Ethiopia was never a colony of Portugal and my great grandparents are not alive as well.

    • Hi Thomas,

      Not a lawyer so best to speak to one for any legal advice. Sounds like a very interesting story that you have, though. Even if you aren’t eligible for citizenship, I think it would still be very interesting to look into your family tree.

  86. What if my great-grandparents were from Portugal? One side from Lisbon and other side from the Azores, would that qualify me to apply for citizenship? It made my grandma 1st generation born here in the states.

  87. Hi it’s Balvinder Singh
    Actually I’m an illegal in Purtugal and my girlfriend is British citizens and we both want to get married here in Purtugal
    Can we get married here ?
    And after that if we get married then would I able to get residency card

    • I would imagine if you’re illegal here that’s going to make it difficult for you to legally marry here. Also, it sounds complicated as your girlfriend is a British citizen rather than a Portuguese citizen?

      I would advise you to speak to a lawyer

    • No you are living there illegally and will be deported if you attempt to register your wedding. the registry office will inform SEF.

  88. Hi,I’m Mrs favour.I live in Portugal and i HV my residential document,pls how many yrs will it take me to become a citizen of Portugal,I love Portugal so much,pls what can I do to become a full citizen of Portugal.

  89. Dear sir im malaysian portuguese half portuguese n half
    Nepali i could speak the portuguese language quite well.i would to apply for portugal citizenship.what is my first step..pks advice

  90. Hi. What about students. As he is living on the temporary residence card. So can he apply after 5 years. As he do not pay any sort of tax etc?? Kindly please clear that. Can a student get a Portuguese citizenship after living 5 years in portugal on student status.

  91. My father is Portuguese but I don’t know him.

    Can I still get a Portuguese passport?

    Who could you direct me to somewhere I can find out

  92. Long Term Visa doesn’t need language test, but you do need one when you apply for 5 years permanent residence. for golden visa programme as well

  93. i was born in Brazil now i live in Canada, My father was portuguese now im trying to get my Portuguese paper but I need help
    What are the documents i need

  94. Hi,

    I live in Albania and I have done my post graduate course in Portugal, I know basic Portuguese to communicate daily . Should this fact help me to work in Portugal?

  95. Morning,trust you are well
    please will you help me with some advise, both my parents are Portuguese and so were their parents, I was born in South Africa, can my family qualify for a Portuguese passports?if so who can I contact.
    thank you for your time

  96. Hello,

    My wife was born and raised in the UK(like me), but her father is Portuguese and although he’s lived in the UK for 40 years has retained his Portuguese citizenship.

    Any ideas if and how my wife can apply for Portuguese citizenship?


  97. Hi I live in the united kingdom and I got married to a Portuguese national in 2012, we lived together 5years and we got divorce in 2017, we didn’t register the marriage with the Portuguese consulate and now we are back together living as partners. Can I apply for a Portuguese nationality base on the fact that we have been married for five years before the divorce in 2017.

    • Hi Kenneth
      I am married to a Portuguese as well, believe me if you didn’t register you marriage it will be difficult.
      We got married in Africa and this is our second marriage from both side, The Portuguese government asks me to register my previous divorce in China, but my government said they don’t do that unless I was divorced in China.
      We are married for over ten years and we lived in Portugal for 5 years, we still can’t register our marriage!

    • Yup, as Vivian said – you have to get everything registered in Portugal.
      What you have to remember is everything a Portuguese person does is added (yes, added) to their birth certificate. So, if you don’t get each and every activity registered – each marriage and each divorce (including the birth/s of your children) registered then the Portuguese won’t recognise it / or your current status.
      We could not get our marriage registered in Portugal before my wife’s divorce (which had taken place decades ago) was registered. It took years to do and lots, and lots, of legal translations.

      Good luck

  98. My mom is of Chinese Descent . Her parents are Chinese Descents as well.n. My mom was born in Macau in 1932. She immigrated to Hong Kong in 1946. Can she claim Portugal Nationality now based on her birthplace?

  99. Hi. What about students. As he is living on the temporary residence card. So can he apply after 5 years. As he do not pay any sort of tax etc?? Kindly please clear that. Can a student get a Portuguese citizenship after living 5 years in portugal on student status. Please please reply me as soon as possible.

  100. Hlo
    I want to know that my father have a portuguese citizenship but I dont’t have I only have residence card and I am of 18 years can I apply for a Portuguese citizenship.

    • It is a minefield in S Africa. We were ripped off by an “expert” legal type person in S Africa. It took us 4 years (and, eventually, very helpful Portuguese Embassy staff in England) to get the mess sorted – and even then it was only possible after we’d left S Africa.

      Good luck

  101. I have been Married to my Portuguese wife for 10 years i cant speak the language, would i need to during interview process ?


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