Portuguese Nationality


For whom it is intended:

A foreigner who has been married* to a Portuguese citizen for at least three years can obtain Portuguese nationality during said relationship, if none of the circumstances justifying opposition to the acquisition of nationality apply.

* Those in a common-law marriage are also entitled, although there are some differences in the process.

The spouse obtains derived nationality, but can then also pass on Portuguese nationality to the other spouse and to children who are minors or born after acquiring nationality.


  • Have been married for 3 years to a Portuguese citizen;
  • None of the circumstances justifying opposition to the acquisition of nationality are present:
    • The lack of an effective connection to the national community;
    • Conviction of a criminal offence with a maximum prison sentence of three years or more
    • The exercise of public functions that are not predominantly technical in nature;
    • The provision of non-compulsory military service to a foreign state;
    • The existence of a danger or threat to national security or defence, due to their involvement in activities related to the practice of terrorism.
  • Gather the following documents, among others:
    • Identification document
    • Birth certificate
    • Portuguese birth and marriage certificate
    • Criminal record of the country of birth and nationality and of all countries where you have resided after 16 years of age
  • One of the following prior procedures may occur:
    • Find a Portuguese birth certificate in Portugal – we can help.
    • Transcribe the marriage to Portugal if the marriage took place abroad.

We’ll analyse and compare the birth and marriage certificates, taking the opportunity to detect any discrepancies in the documents that could hinder the process.

In some cases, it is presumed that there is an effective link with the Portuguese community:

  • You are a native and national of a Portuguese-speaking country and have been married/in a common-law marriage for five years to a Portuguese national;
  • Know enough Portuguese, married/in a common-law marriage with a Portuguese national for five years;
  • Legally resident in Portuguese territory for the three years prior to the application and proof of school attendance at an educational establishment in Portuguese territory or proof of knowledge of the Portuguese language;
  • Legally resident in Portuguese territory for the five years immediately preceding the application.

When the Registrar considers that any of the circumstances mentioned above occur, the latter communicates that information to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which may initiate legal action opposing nationality in the Administrative Court.

*This action is surmountable if the case is well instructed, as it is the Prosecutor’s Office that has to prove the absence of a link and not the applicant who has to prove his link.

The opposition to nationality does not apply to situations of acquisition of nationality when there are common children of the Portuguese couple or the relationship/marriage has lasted more than six years.


  1. Framing the legal framework and determining the best strategy for the client and their family.
  2. Guidance on the issue and legalisation of foreign documents by the client.
  3. Submission of the file to the competent registry/court/sector in Portugal and regular monitoring of progress.
  4. Sending the final document to the client – be it the judgement, the civil registration certificate (birth, marriage, death), etc.

* In the citizenship process the client receives a certificate of the Portuguese birth certificate and has the obligation to request the issuance of the “Citizen Card” and in possession of the latter, if desired, it can also request the issuance of the “Portuguese Passport”. Both documents can be issued at the Portuguese Embassy and/or Consulate or directly in Portugal. Ask us how.

Contacte-nos para saber mais detalhes.

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A Lamares, Capela & Associados presta os seus serviços a pessoas e empresas nacionais e internacionais.

Lisboa, Portugal

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