Does Portugal Allow Dual Citizenship?

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Last updated on June 14, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yes! If you become a Portuguese citizen – something you can do after living in Portugal for just 5 years – you will not be asked to give up your other passport. Well, the Portuguese government won’t ask you to anyway. The possibility of dual citizenship, combined with the speed at which you’re eligible, has made Portugal a very popular destination for second passport seekers, particularly from from the US, UK, Canada, and India.

Some countries don’t allow dual citizenship and if you’re from one of those countries you may have to choose between your current passport and your Portuguese passport.

The following countries do not allow dual citizenship generally:

  • Bahamas
  • China
  • Haiti
  • Indonesia (except in certain circumstances)
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Malawi
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • The Netherlands (except in certain circumstances)
  • Panama
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Other countries (e.g. Spain) allow dual citizenship in practice, but it’s much more complicated than in Portugal. Generally, Spain does not permit dual citizenship with another country other than with Iberian countries, according to giambronelaw.com. However, other law firms note that, in practice, many people are able to hold onto their other nationalities. Thankfully, the waters are much less muddied in Portugal.

However, one stumbling block that people come across is having to show an A2 level or higher of Portuguese (with exceptions). But the good news is that even though this may seem daunting, A2 is a very achievable level and many people reach it in as little as a few months. And there are now plenty of great courses and resources that cover European Portuguese, including podcasts, YouTube channels, and TV shows.

If you’re from one of those countries, you don’t have to take Portuguese citizenship after 5 years. Instead, some people are happy with permanent residency which gives them the right to live, work, and study in Portugal as well as travel within the EU. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow them to easily move to another EU country in the same way as having Portuguese citizenship would.

Read more about obtaining Portuguese citizenship (and getting that all-important EU passport).

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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.

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