While becoming a citizen of Portugal isn’t a requirement for living and working in the country, it is still an option. One of the best things about Portugal in terms of its residency options is that it also allows for dual citizenship, which means that becoming a Portuguese citizen doesn’t mean you have to give up your national identity or cut ties with your home country.
Of course, both permanent resident permit holders and citizens of the country have many of the same benefits, including:
You’re probably wondering, why bother becoming a citizen when I can simply get by with a permanent residency permit?
Well, becoming a Portuguese citizen comes with some additional benefits, including:
There are several ways you can obtain Portuguese citizenship. In most cases, you can just wait six years (as a resident) and apply through the naturalization process. Regardless of how you obtain citizenship, the one thing that remains constant is that the application must be submitted to the Instituto dos Registos e do Notariado (IRN - the Portuguese Ministry of Justice).
Let’s take a look at the most common options for obtaining Portuguese citizenship:
After three years of marriage or even cohabitation with a Portuguese citizen in the country, you can apply for your own citizenship with ease. There are no requirements in terms of a prior period of residency in Portugal, however, all applicants must provide legitimate documents proving their constructive connection to their spouse and the community.
Additionally, if you decide to divorce or separate after obtaining citizenship through marriage, you won’t have to worry about your citizenship being revoked.
Citizenship by descent simply means that either your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were citizens of a country—in this case, Portugal.
To acquire Portuguese citizenship by descent, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:
Once you have lived in Portugal for six years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship. However, you must meet the following requirements for approval:
To attract foreign investment into the country, Portugal also offers a specific visa program—the Golden Visa program also mentioned in the previous chapter.
This program was designed to speed up the process for all non-EU/EFTA foreign investors to obtain a Portuguese residence permit and claim citizenship through investment.
You can learn more about the Golden Visa program and its requirements for citizenship here.
All citizenship applications can be submitted yourself or through an appropriate proxy, such as a relative or an attorney.
The documentation required along with your citizenship application include:
Depending on which category you’re applying for citizenship under, the application will cost between €175–250 ($213-$305). You’ll need to submit your application form to the IRN along with the proper documentation and payment.
Transitioning a D7 visa to citizenship in Portugal?
If you manage to renew your D7 visa and remain in Portugal as a resident for more than five years, you will be eligible for Portuguese citizenship. Once you have Portuguese citizenship, you will no longer need to apply for, or renew a Portuguese visa.
Does a Portugal Golden Visa lead to citizenship?
Once you have Portuguese citizenship, you are entitled to live and work anywhere in the EU.