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04 January 2021

Obtaining The Portuguese Nationality


What is it?

Nationality establishes to which country a person's rights and duties are linked. And it can change throughout life.

Portuguese nationality can be acquired at birth or during life and can also be lost.

Portuguese law allows a Portuguese to acquire other nationalities. Therefore, it does not seem necessary to give up another nationality to acquire Portuguese nationality. However, the laws of other countries may require you to relinquish Portuguese nationality in order to have nationality in one of those countries.

How to acquire the Portuguese nationality?

There are several ways to acquire the Portuguese nationality, such as:

  • Being born in Portugal;
  • Have been adopted by Portuguese people;
  • Have Portuguese parents or grandparents;
  • Being married or living in a “de facto” union with a Portuguese;
  • Living in Portugal for at least 5 years;
  • Having been Portuguese and having lost nationality.

You can also apply for Portuguese nationality if:

  • If you are under 18 or incapacitated and the father or mother has acquired Portuguese nationality after being born;
  • If you are a member of a Portuguese community abroad;
  • If you have provided relevant services to the Portuguese State or the Portuguese community;
  • If you are a descendant of Portuguese Sephardic Jews.

On the other hand, it is not possible to apply for Portuguese nationality if:

  • If you have been convicted of a crime punishable in Portugal with a concrete prison sentence of 3 or more years;
  • If you are involved in any terrorist activity.

Depending on the situation of the person making the request, the rights and duties inherent to the acquisition of Portuguese nationality may start to apply from birth, as if it had always been Portuguese (attribution of nationality), or only on the date on which nationality is obtained (acquisition of nationality).

The documents required to obtain nationality may vary and the entity responsible for handling them is the IRN (Institute of Registries and Notaries).


FMS - Sociedade de Advogados, S.P., R.L. provides its Clients with the necessary legal services to deal with issues related to obtaining Portuguese nationality.

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