Main Things To Know When Applying For Portuguese Citizenship

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There can be many reasons why you might want to apply for Portuguese citizenship. Maybe you have lived there for a while and are planning on staying. Perhaps you want to move but are not sure how it would work. Whatever your reason is, there are many things that you will need to know before applying. This article aims to tell you all the mains things that your need to know when applying for Portuguese citizenship. 

Are You An Investor?


Firstly, although there is a long process of applying for citizenship for most people, if you are an investor you may be able to expedite the process. If you are in a position to be able to invest a large sum of money into a Portuguese business, you may be able to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa – this is a fast-track Portuguese citizenship process that grants you a visa in return for a large financial investment. The amounts that need to be spent are upwards of a quarter of a million euros so this option may not be available to everyone but if you are looking for the fastest way to get Portuguese citizenship then this is it. 

If You Are Not European How Long Does It Take?


Most people who are looking for citizenship want to know how long the process is going to take. Unfortunately, if you are from outside of the European Union then you need to have been living in Portugal for six years before being able to apply. By all accounts, this is a long time but if your heart is set on Portuguese citizenship then you know what you have to do. It is worth noting that there are a few finer points about what counts as ‘living in Portugal’ and you may want to make sure that you do not get caught out if it is not your only residence. 

What About Brexit?


If you are a UK national and are looking into Portuguese citizenship then you might be in for a complicated ride. The details of how obtaining citizenship of other European nations if you are from the UK have not yet been ironed out. The same may be allowed as it was when the UK was still part of the EU and the process would be relatively simple. However, it could also end up meaning that you have to go through the same process as people from outside of the European Union. The best advice if you are currently in Portugal, you are originally from the UK, and you are thinking about getting Portuguese citizenship is that you should act quickly. You might be able to get your application in before any real changes are made. However, you might have to re-apply if any severe changes are made later on. 

What Are The Benefits?


Okay, so you’ve understood some of the ways you can get citizenship, but you might be wondering why you would want it. Firstly, having Portuguese citizenship affords you all the same rights as a Portuguese national. Specific to Portugal, these benefits include; being able to participate in full or part-time employment (without a work visa), participate in education, access social security and pensions, and being able to buy property. You will also be allowed to vote in elections and you will have all the benefits you get from being a European National too, such as the freedom to travel across the member states and to be able to live and work anywhere within the European Union.

How Much Does It Cost?


You’re probably thinking that all of this sounds great, but where is the catch? Well, you won’t find it in the application fee. Some countries charge exorbitant prices for people to get citizenship. It can cost thousands of dollars just to get residence and then more thousands to get a passport. In Portugal, depending on what type of citizenship you are applying for, costs are between 175 and 250 euros. If you are under 18 and applying for citizenship through your Portuguese descent then you do not have to pay at all. Although you have to wait a long time to be able to apply, the application process is relatively cheap, compared to other countries in the European Union.

Can I Have Dual Citizenship?


Some people will be looking to gain Portuguese citizenship but not want to give up their original nationality. Some countries make you renounce your former nationality or will not let you hold two different passports. This means that having dual nationality should not be a problem unless of course, your original country does not allow you to have dual nationality. Portugal does not stand in your way of having dual nationalities. 



One of the most common ways in which people gain citizenship to another country is through marriage. To be able to apply for citizenship you must have been married to a Portuguese national for three years. If you are unfortunate enough to get divorced at a later date then your citizenship will not be revoked. What is interesting about Portugal is that you do not have to be married to gain citizenship from your partner. Three years of cohabitation also counts, which is an unusual but very progressive law. You do not have to have been living in Portugal to claim this citizenship either but you may have to prove a connection to the Portuguese community. 

Becoming Portuguese 


Becoming Portuguese is a complicated process that has many different steps. Depending on your situation you may have to wait up to six years to be able to apply for it. If you are lucky you will just be able to invest a large sum of money and then enjoy the benefits of being a Portuguese citizen. The main things you need to know about Portuguese citizenship are; how long it takes if you are not European, how it works with Brexit, what the benefits are, how much it costs, whether or not you can have dual citizenship, and how it works with marriage. Hopefully, this article has explained these points effectively and you should now know all the main things about Portuguese citizenship. 


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