How to Get a Portuguese Passport: Steps & Tips for 2024

Wondering how to get a Portuguese passport? This no-nonsense guide cuts through the confusion to give you vital information on eligibility and application steps.
April 25, 2024
Ana Fankhauser
April 25, 2024

Wondering how to get a Portuguese passport? This no-nonsense guide cuts through the confusion to give you vital information on eligibility and application steps. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of the processes involved, from proving your connection to Portugal to submitting the right paperwork. Let’s get started on your pathway to Portuguese citizenship.

Key Takeaways

  • Portugal offers several pathways to citizenship, including birthright, descent, marriage, investment (Golden Visa), and naturalization, each with its own specific requirements such as proof of lineage, connections to the community, investment maintenance, and legal residence.
  • The application process for a Portuguese passport requires scheduling appointments, providing necessary documentation, and may entail fees ranging from €65 to €100, depending on processing times and expedited services.
  • Portuguese passport holders benefit from dual citizenship, allowing them to retain another nationality and gain access to visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 191 countries, along with the right to live, work, and study in any EU country.

Eligibility for a Portuguese Passport

Eligibility for a Portuguese Passport

Portugal, with its appealing climate, high standard of living, and membership in the European Union, is a popular destination for those seeking a second citizenship. The Portuguese nationality law, a part of the broader Portuguese law, is grounded in jus sanguinis, meaning ‘right of blood,’ and offers several routes to obtaining Portuguese citizenship.

From birth and descent to marriage and investment, there are multiple pathways to becoming a Portuguese citizen. Each path has its own set of requirements and processes, which we will explore in the following sections. Strap in and get ready to discover your route to a Portuguese passport.

Citizenship by Birth

The first pathway to Portuguese citizenship is through birth. Portugal follows the principle of jus sanguinis, meaning that citizenship is primarily granted by descent, rather than location of birth. If you are born in Portugal or have a Portuguese parent, you automatically receive Portuguese citizenship at birth.

In some cases, children born in Portugal to non-Portuguese parents can also qualify for citizenship, if at least one parent has been legally resident in Portugal for a minimum of a year. Descendants of Portuguese citizens born abroad can claim Portuguese citizenship by descent, either through birth registration in Portugal or a declaration of intent to claim Portuguese citizenship.

Citizenship by Descent

Another common pathway to obtain Portuguese citizenship is through descent. Individuals with Portuguese parents or grandparents can obtain citizenship, provided they can demonstrate their lineage and maintain effective connections with the Portuguese community.

To apply for citizenship by descent, you’ll need key documents such as birth, death, and marriage certificates to establish Portuguese ancestry. For descendants of Portuguese nationals born abroad, registering their birth with the Portuguese civil registry is crucial for eligibility. In some cases, proof of a connection to Portuguese culture, including language proficiency, may be required.

Citizenship by Marriage

Tying the knot with a Portuguese citizen can also pave the way to citizenship. Here, the critical requirement is that the couple must have been married for at least three years and have their marriage registered in the Portuguese civil system.

Along with marriage, applicants must demonstrate a connection to the Portuguese community, which can include cultural involvement or property ownership in Portugal. Individuals in a de facto union with a Portuguese citizen for more than three years with judicial recognition can also be eligible for Portuguese citizenship.

Citizenship by Investment (Golden Visa)

Investment can also be a gateway to Portuguese citizenship. The Portugal Golden Visa program, a residency by investment program, offers a path to Portuguese citizenship after five years of maintaining residency for golden visa applicants.

The program offers various investment options, including real estate purchases, scientific research, capital transfers, or creating job opportunities. To be eligible, applicants must maintain their investment for five years and spend an average of seven days per year in Portugal. Given the complexity of this process, professional guidance is often advisable.

Citizenship by Naturalization

Last but not least, citizenship can be obtained through naturalization. For this, an individual must have:

  • Maintained legal residence in Portugal for a minimum period of five years
  • A valid legal residence permit
  • Submission of criminal clearance documentation
  • Passing a Portuguese language proficiency test

Minors attending a Portuguese school may be exempt from the language test.

Applying for a Portuguese Passport: Process & Requirements

Applying for a Portuguese Passport

So, you’ve found your eligibility route to a Portuguese passport, what’s next? The subsequent step is the application process, which involves assembling the required documents, submitting an application, and paying the appropriate fees.

The process may seem daunting, but with accurate information and a clear understanding of the requirements, you’ll be well on your way to acquiring your Portuguese passport. Let’s dive into the specifics!

Required Documents

Any successful passport application begins with accurate and complete documentation. For a Portuguese passport application, a valid citizen’s card or identity card must be presented. If your Citizen’s Card is expired, it must be renewed even if the passport is still valid.

The documents you’ll need depend on your pathway to citizenship. For instance, proof of eligibility for citizenship includes:

  • a birth certificate
  • proof of nationality of parents or grandparents
  • a complete application form
  • proof of residence

A parent or legal guardian should submit the application on behalf of minors or disabled citizens.

Application Process

The application process for a Portuguese passport involves several steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment at a Portuguese consulate or passport bureau.
  2. Provide your citizen’s card and any previous passports.
  3. During the appointment, your photograph will be taken.
  4. Give your fingerprints and digital signature.

After approval, you can either pick up your passport in person or have it mailed to you, but the latter option will cost you more in shipping. It's important to keep in mind that the processing time for a Portuguese passport application can vary significantly depending on a number of variables, including the speed of filing and the outcome of the background check.

Fees & Processing Time

While the rewards of obtaining a Portuguese passport are numerous, it does come with associated costs and processing time. The standard fee for obtaining a Portuguese passport within Portugal is €65, with an optional additional delivery service to the indicated address for €10.

For those in a hurry, expedited processing services are available at an extra cost. These include Express Service for €20, Urgent Service for €30, and Urgent Service at Lisbon Airport for €35. You’ll also need to factor in the processing time, which can vary from one business day for urgent renewal to five business days for normal renewal.

Dual Citizenship & Portuguese Passport Benefits

Dual Citizenship & Portuguese Passport Benefits

Now that we’ve covered the pathways to Portuguese citizenship and the application process, let’s explore the benefits of holding one of the Portuguese passports. In addition to the freedom to live, work, and study in any EU country, Portuguese passport holders also enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 173 countries.

Portugal’s dual citizenship policy is another significant benefit, enabling individuals to retain their previous nationality while benefiting from Portuguese citizenship. This flexibility is especially beneficial for those with ties to both Portugal and other countries, like the United States.

Dual Citizenship Policy

Portugal’s dual citizenship policy is a game-changer for many. The policy allows individuals to acquire Portuguese nationality while retaining the citizenship of their country of origin. This means you won’t have to renounce your previous nationality upon receiving Portuguese citizenship.

Dual nationality offers the best of both worlds, providing additional freedoms to the individual. This includes increased global mobility, right to residency, and access to employment and education opportunities in both nations.

Benefits of a Portuguese Passport

Beyond dual citizenship, there are several other perks that come with holding a Portuguese passport. With a Portuguese passport, you can travel to 191 countries without a visa, making it one of the top passports for global mobility.

As a Portuguese citizen, you also gain EU citizenship, which includes the right to live, work, and study in any EU country, as well as access to healthcare and education systems.

The high quality of life, safe environment, and relatively low living expenses make Portugal a popular destination for those seeking second citizenship.

Renewing & Replacing Your Portuguese Passport

Once you’ve obtained your Portuguese passport, it’s essential to understand the process for renewing or replacing it. This is particularly important if your passport is:

  • lost
  • stolen
  • damaged
  • if personal information is outdated
  • if all visa pages are filled.

The renewal process is straightforward, but if you need to replace your passport due to theft, the fees are higher, starting from €100. Let’s explore these processes in more detail.

Renewal Process

The renewal process for a Portuguese passport involves the following steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment at the consulate.
  2. Gather the necessary documents, including your current Portuguese ID or citizen’s Card and your existing passport.
  3. Attend the appointment and submit your documents for renewal.

The Portuguese passport is valid for five years and can be renewed up to six months before its expiration date.

If your ID or citizen’s Card is expired, it must be renewed before the passport. If you are renewing a passport for a minor without the presence of both parents, a notarized authorization from both parents is needed.

Replacing Lost or Stolen Passports

The loss or theft of a passport can be stressful, but Portugal has procedures in place to ensure a smooth replacement process. If you are abroad and your Portuguese passport is lost or stolen, you should report the loss or theft at the nearest Portuguese embassy or consulate and get a new passport.

Applying for a temporary passport requires the following:

  • Two passport-type photographs
  • A completed application form
  • If applicable, proof of exercise of parental authority for minors or disabled applicants
  • Proof of urgent and exceptional nature of the request

Additional charges may apply for replacement if the previous passport is not available.

Tips for a Smooth Passport Application Process

Tips for a Smooth Passport Application Process

By now, you should have a good understanding of the journey to obtaining a Portuguese passport. However, there are a few additional tips to keep in mind for a smooth application process, especially when it comes to the Portuguese electronic passport.

From language proficiency to accurate documentation and seeking professional assistance, several factors can influence the success of your application. Let’s delve deeper.

Language Proficiency

Learning Portuguese and demonstrating language proficiency is a critical part of the process for obtaining Portuguese citizenship and a passport. For instance, to be eligible for Portuguese citizenship by marriage, applicants must show sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Additionally, citizenship by descent requires evidence of an effective connection to the Portuguese community, which includes language proficiency. So, dust off those language books or sign up for a course and immerse yourself in the beautiful Portuguese language.

Accurate Documentation

Accurate and complete documentation can make or break your passport application. Documenting a genuine connection to Portugal, such as cultural participation or property ownership, is necessary when applying for a Portuguese passport.

Comprehensive background checks are part of the citizenship by marriage application process, along with various proofs of identity and connection to Portugal, highlighting the critical need for detailed and accurate documentation.

Seeking Professional Assistance

Navigating the path to Portuguese citizenship can be complex, and seeking professional assistance can alleviate much of the stress. Experienced immigration consultants or lawyers can provide end-to-end solutions on citizenship through investment programs.

These professionals offer:

  • Tailored advice to a diverse range of applicants
  • Quick processing services
  • Hassle-free support
  • Up-to-date assistance with visa and documentation requirements

This facilitates a smoother passport application process.


In conclusion, obtaining a Portuguese passport opens the door to countless opportunities, from visa-free global travel to the freedom to live, work, and study in any EU country. Whether through birth, descent, marriage, investment, or naturalization, the journey to Portuguese citizenship might be an investment of time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. So, why wait? Start your Portuguese citizenship journey today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I qualify for a Portuguese passport?

You qualify for a Portuguese passport if you have been a resident of Portugal for at least five years, including one year of permanent residence, and meet additional documentation requirements.

What is the easiest way to get a Portuguese passport?

The easiest ways to get a Portuguese passport include five years of legal residence, marriage to a Portuguese national, investing through the Golden Visa Program, or having Portuguese ancestry. Good luck with your application!

Can you get Portuguese citizenship by descent?

Yes, you can get Portuguese citizenship by descent if you were born in Portugal to a Portuguese citizen parent or if you were born outside Portugal to a Portuguese citizen parent who was an employee of the Portuguese State.

What is the Portugal Golden Visa program?

The Portugal Golden Visa program is a residency-by-investment program that leads to Portuguese citizenship after five years of maintaining residency.

Does Portugal allow dual citizenship?

Yes, Portugal allows individuals to acquire Portuguese nationality while retaining the citizenship of their country of origin.

About Movingto

Movingto is a leading immigration law firm that specializes in helping individuals and families navigate the complex process of relocating to Portugal. With a team of experienced lawyers and immigration experts, provides tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of each client.

Why Choose Movingto?

  • Expertise and Experience: Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of Portuguese immigration law and years of experience assisting clients with various visa applications, including the D7 Visa, Golden Visa, Startup Visa, and Family Reunion Visa.
  • Personalized Approach: We understand that every client's situation is different. Our lawyers take the time to listen to your goals and provide personalized advice and guidance throughout the process.
  • Comprehensive Support: offers a comprehensive range of services beyond legal advice, including assistance with document preparation, property search, and relocation planning.
  • Competitive Fees: We offer competitive fees and transparent pricing so that you know exactly what to expect.
  • Exceptional Client Service: Our team is committed to providing exceptional client service. We are responsive, attentive, and always available to answer your questions.

Whether you are an entrepreneur seeking to establish a business in Portugal, a retiree looking to enjoy the country's favorable tax regime, or a family seeking to reunite in Portugal, is here to guide you every step of the way.

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