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PORTUGUESE NATIONALITY BY ACQUISITION

Nationality acquired through the expression of intent

Nationality acquired by naturalisation

Other Cases:

Nationality acquired through the expression of intent

Acquisition by minor or incapacitated children:

Children who are minors or incapacitated of a mother or father who has acquired Portuguese nationality may also acquire it, by submitting a declaration to that effect.


Acquisition in case of marriage or non-marital partnership:

 A foreign national married to a Portuguese national for over three years may acquire Portuguese nationality, by submitting a statement to that effect through marriage.

 A foreign national who has lived in a non-marital partnership with a Portuguese national for over three years may acquire Portuguese nationality, after it being legally recognised in the Civil Court.


Acquisition by declaration made during incapacity:

 Those who have lost Portuguese nationality through a declaration made during their incapacity can acquire it when they are capable, by submitting a declaration to that effect.


Nationality acquisition by adoption:

 A child that is fully adopted by a Portuguese national acquires Portuguese nationality.

– If the adoption order was made in a foreign court, it will have to be reviewed/confirmed by the Portuguese Court of Appeal, unless the ruling has been made in a country which Portugal has entered into an agreement with that does not require the verdict’s review/confirmation.
The acquisition of nationality through the expression of intent always depends on the proven existence of bonds of effective connection to the Portuguese community and on the lack of conviction, with the judgement made absolute, for the practice of an offence punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 3 years or more, and only takes effect as of the date of registry.

Nationality acquired by naturalisation

Foreign nationals who have been residing in Portuguese territory for at least six years.

As long as they meet the following requirements:

– They are of age or emancipated under the Portuguese law;
– They have resided in Portuguese territory for at least six years;
– They have sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language;
– They have not been found guilty of a crime punishable with a maximum prison sentence equal to or greater than 3 years, under the Portuguese law;
– They are not a danger or threat to national security or defence due to their involvement in activities related to the practice of terrorism, in accordance with the respective law.


Minors born in the Portuguese territory, of foreign parents

As long as they meet the following requirements:
– They have a sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language and they have not been found guilty (minors older than 16) of a crime punishable with a maximum prison sentence equal to or greater than three years, under Portuguese law, and as long as one of the following conditions is met, at the time of the application:
– One of the parents has resided here for a minimum of five years;
– The minor has completed the first cycle of elementary education (primary school) in Portugal.


Individuals that had Portuguese nationality, lost it and have never acquired another nationality

In these cases, the Government grants naturalisation as long as they are of age or emancipated under the Portuguese law and they have not been found guilty of a crime punishable with a maximum prison sentence equal to or greater than three years, under the Portuguese law.


Individuals born in Portuguese territory, of foreign parents, who have usually stayed here in the 10 years immediately prior to the request.

As long as they are of age or emancipated under the Portuguese law, have a sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese law, they have not been found guilty of a crime punishable with a maximum prison sentence equal to or greater than three years, and they are not a danger or threat to national security or defence due to their involvement in activities related to the practice of terrorism.


Individuals that are not statelesspeople:

Who have had Portuguese nationality, to those considered descendants of Portuguese nationals, to members of communities of Portuguese ancestry and to foreign nationals who have carried out or have been asked to carry out pertinent services for the Portuguese State or the Portuguese community.


Descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews:

Provided they demonstrate the tradition of belonging to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin, based on proven objective requirements of connection to Portugal, namely surnames, family language, direct or collateral descent.

Other Cases:

Re-acquired nationality:

Acquisition by a Portuguese woman who lost her nationality for having married a foreign citizen.

It applies to women who have lost Portuguese nationality because they acquired a foreign nationality, based on marriage with a foreigner, under the terms of Law no. 2098 of 29 July 1959, and previous legislation.


Acquisition by anyone who has had Portuguese nationality and lost it for having voluntarily acquired a foreign nationality.

It applies to Portuguese citizens who have acquired a foreign nationality voluntarily, under the terms of Nationality Law no. 37/81 of 3/10, and have the definitive registration of the loss of nationality in the Central Registry Office.

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