Are you interested in becoming a Portuguese citizen? The process of naturalization in Portugal is not as complicated as one might think.
In this article, we’ll outline the major steps that you have to go through in order to become a citizen of Portugal.
What Are The Ways To Get Portuguese Citizenship?
You may not know this but the country of Portugal has been a common member of the European Union. The country, therefore, offers citizenship to any EU citizen.
Portuguese citizenship can be acquired through descent, marriage, or naturalization. Portuguese citizenship by descent is acquired automatically by any child born to a Portuguese citizen, regardless of the child’s place of birth.
A Portuguese citizen may also apply for naturalization after living in Portugal for six years.
The requirements for naturalization are:
- Be over 18 years of age
- Have legal residency in Portugal for at least six years
- Have no criminal record
- Be able to support yourself financially
- Have knowledge of the Portuguese language
- Pass a Portuguese history and culture test
The naturalization process begins with an interview at the local office of the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).
After the interview, applicants must take a written exam on Portuguese history and culture. If they pass, they are then granted Portuguese citizenship. The entire process takes about two years.
The first step of the process is to prepare the necessary documents. These include a valid passport, birth certificate, criminal record, and proof of residency. Once you have these documents, you’ll need to submit them to the Portuguese consulate or embassy nearest you.
The next step is to take a Portuguese language test. This is to ensure that you are able to communicate effectively in the country. The test is not difficult and can be taken at any Portuguese language school.
Once you have passed the language test, you’ll need to attend an interview with a representative from the consulate or embassy.
During this interview, they will ask you questions about your background and why you want to become a Portuguese citizen.
After you have completed the interview, you’ll need to take a civic exam. This exam tests your knowledge of Portuguese history and culture. It is not difficult and can be taken at any Portuguese language school.
The last step in the process is to swear an oath of allegiance to Portugal. Once you have done this, you will officially be a Portuguese citizen!
Now you may be asking yourself the question; how much does it exactly cost to own Portuguese citizenship? The answer is: it depends. If you are an EU citizen, you can become a Portuguese citizen for free.
It must be mentioned that if you do not hold a passport from any EU country, you must pay a fee for your application and take a written exam on Portuguese history and culture. The fee for the exam is about €100. The total cost of the naturalization process is about €2,000.
Another way to become a Portuguese citizen is by marrying a Portuguese citizen. This process is known as “spousal citizenship,” and it allows the non-Portuguese spouse to obtain citizenship through marriage.
The requirements for spousal citizenship are less stringent than those for naturalization, and the process can be completed in as little as two years. The cost of spousal citizenship is also relatively low, at around €500.
Citizenship Through Investment
One final way to become a Portuguese citizen is through investment. The requirements for citizenship by investment are quite different from the other two options, but it is possible to obtain citizenship through investment in Portugal.
The minimum investment required is €1 million; however, that does not mean that there are no other requirements. In reality, you have to check all the boxes of requirements in order to be fully eligible.
The cost of this type of citizenship is high, but it is possible to finance the investment through a bank loan.
In order to obtain Portuguese citizenship through investment, there are a number of necessary requirements that must be met under any circumstance. Firstly, the applicant must have made a minimum investment of €1 million in Portugal.
This investment can be in the form of a financial contribution to a Portuguese company or in the form of a real estate investment. Secondly, the applicant must have held a valid residency permit for a minimum of 5 years.
Lastly, the applicant must be able to demonstrate their integration into Portuguese society, for example, by having a good knowledge of the Portuguese language and culture.
Benefits Of Becoming A Portuguese Citizen
You may or may not know this, but Portugal has been regarded as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole of Europe, and it’s no wonder why. With its stunning scenery, Mediterranean climate, friendly locals, and relaxed lifestyle, Portugal has a lot to offer.
If you are someone who is considering to move their permanently alone or with a family, then you must know that there are many benefits to becoming a Portuguese citizen. Here are just a few of them:
1. You Can Live And Work In Portugal Without A Visa
As a Portuguese citizen, you have the absolute right to reside there and also work in Portugal without a visa.
You’ll also be able to travel freely throughout the Schengen Area, which includes 26 European countries. This makes it easy to travel for work or pleasure without having to go through the hassle of applying for a visa each time.
2. You’ll have Access To Free Healthcare
As a Portuguese citizen, you’ll be entitled to free healthcare under the national health system.
This means you won’t have to worry about expensive medical bills if you get sick or injured. You’ll also be able to access free dental care and prescription medication.
3. You can apply for a Portuguese passport
It must be mentioned that once you have a Portuguese passport, you have the right to live and work in any country in the European Union without any hassle or complications.
Not just that, but it also allows you to travel to 170 other places without a visa. If you personally wish to live and work in another country in the EU, a Portuguese passport makes it much easier to do so.
4. You Can Call Portugal Home
There’s no feeling like becoming a citizen of a country that you love. When you become a Portuguese citizen, you will finally be able to call Portugal home. Portugal offers not only delicious and unique food but also glamorous and breathtaking scenery.
So if you are considering leaving your current home behind and moving to Portugal to become a citizen, you should definitely go for it.
As you can see, there are a number of various ways to officially become a Portuguese citizen without spending a fortune. Naturalization is the most common option, and it is relatively affordable.
If you married a Portuguese citizen a short time ago, then you may be able to obtain citizenship through spousal citizenship. And finally, if you have the financial resources, you can invest in Portugal and obtain citizenship through investment.