How To Gain Citizenship In Portugal: 6 Ways


Portugal has been somewhat unique in recent years regarding nationalist sentiment. In contrast, most European countries have seen nationalist parties rise significantly over the last decade (namely France, Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden). Portugal’s surge was relatively modest, with only a 0.7% increase in support for far-right parties between 2001 (when it stood at 0.2%) and 2011 (at 1.5%). This is probably due to Portugal’s citizens’ relatively high (immigration-wise) quality of life.

How To Gain Citizenship In Portugal

Portugal does not currently possess a strict citizenship test like other countries like Germany, Austria, and France. However, there are many ways to gain Portuguese citizenship. The critical factor for naturalization is residency; applicants need to have resided in Portugal for at least six years.

How To Gain Citizenship In Portugal

Investing In Portugal

This method requires a significant amount of money to be invested in the Portuguese economy; however, it does not require any residency. Invest a minimum of €1 million into the economy after five years. This investment will automatically become a Portugal Citizenship by Investment since, as far as the Portuguese state is concerned, your mere investment will provide you with all of the rights and obligations of a Portuguese citizen. It’s possible to apply for citizenship by an investment after three years; however, this process includes additional fees, and it may be viewed as being more complicated.

Marrying A Portuguese National

This method is similar to how women gained suffrage in America. If you are legally married to a Portuguese national for at least three years, you automatically become a citizen. There are no tests required, nor any residency needed either. Additionally, spouses of citizens have immediate access to Portugal’s labor market. In contrast, those not yet citizens do not have such access until they have resided there for at least three months. This method has the advantage of being entirely free; however, it is by far the most challenging way to gain citizenship due to its requirement for marriage – hence why only 6% of applicants opt for this method.

Being A Descendant Of A Portuguese National

If your parents were both born in Portugal, you might be eligible to become Portuguese yourself; despite having never even visited Portugal before. The critical factor which makes eligibility likely is if one of your parents was also an heir to their father’s Portuguese nationality. For example, if your great-grandfather was Portuguese, you may be eligible for citizenship even if neither of your parents was. This method has become increasingly popular in recent years due to Portugal’s growing reputation as a tourist destination; it currently has the ninth-largest tourism industry in the world by revenue.

Being An Expat In Portugal

If you are an expatriate living in Portugal, you may gain citizenship through general or specific schemes that local authorities have set up. While certain regions have their own rules, most areas offer programs that enable non-citizen residents to apply for citizenship after a certain period. The critical factor determining the cost and ease of this method is how much money you make; the larger your salary, the more likely you will apply.

Volunteering For The Portuguese Army

This option was initially designed for citizens from former Portuguese colonies such as Brazil and Macau; however, since 2015, it has been available to all non-citizen residents who are willing to volunteer their services in cases of national emergencies or war. As part of this process, applicants must enlist into either military service or civil defense and remain on active duty until they can prove that six years have passed since they first signed up. This route involves high costs, but the benefits include lifelong access to Portugal’s job market and the right to bring your family to live with you. This program has become very popular with immigrants who can afford it since naturalization typically takes less than a year.

Documentation of Sephardic Origin

There is no residency requirement; however, this method has several legal restrictions that make it more complicated than just applying. Its popularity among applicants stems from the fact that not only does it provide fast access to citizenship, but it also comes with financial benefits similar to those of self-employment. These include exemptions from paying social security taxes for up to five years and are eligible for various government subsidies, including loans from local banks. While this method is restricted to people of Sephardic origin, it does not require them to show proof of religious belief or practice – despite most Jews in Portugal today being either atheists or agnostics.

How To Gain Citizenship In Portugal

When choosing the right path to citizenship, there are many things to consider before making your decision. There is no one-size-fits-all process; it depends on your circumstances when you decide to apply. Portugal back in 2008 that if you have a Portuguese spouse, you will have a much easier time becoming a citizen, but if you decide to invest in Portugal with no ties to the country, living there for five years may be all it takes.

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