Portugal Citizenship As a UAE Citizen: An Overview
UAE citizens are allowed to obtain dual citizenship. Due to this fact, you can become a citizen of the UAE and Portugal at the same time.
There are different routes to Portuguese citizenship which include by birth, investment, marriage, etc. When you get Portuguese citizenship, you will be allowed to enter all the EU countries without a visa.
With your Portuguese passport, you can even enter other countries that are not in the EEA/EU visa-free. Also, your Portuguese citizenship grants you access to so many benefits enjoyed by the citizens of Portugal.
Once you become a Portuguese citizen, you can enter any EU country of your choice to live, work, or study for 90 days (3 months) without restrictions. But if you wish to stay for much longer in any of those countries, you must obtain a Certificate of Registration.
After getting a Portuguese residence permit, UAE nationals must renew it for up to 5 years to apply for Portuguese citizenship through the naturalization route.
- Portugal Citizenship As a UAE Citizen: An Overview
- Ways UAE Citizens Can Obtain a Portuguese Citizenship
- Portuguese Citizenship By Naturalization: The Requirements
- Portugal Citizenship Application Costs
- How To Apply For Portuguese Citizenship By Naturalization As a UAE Citizen
- The Processing Time Of The Portuguese Citizenship Application
- Obtaining Portuguese Citizenship Through the Portugal Golden Visa Program
- Benefits Of Obtaining a Portuguese Passport
- How Can Total Law Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
UAE citizens who are in a de facto union or married to a Portuguese citizen can obtain Portuguese citizenship. You do not need to fulfill the 5 years residency requirement before you can obtain citizenship by marriage.
The citizenship by marriage route does not require UAE nationals’ residence stay period in Portugal. Instead, you are only required to be married or in a legal union with your Portuguese partner in the last 3 years. Even after getting married to your partner, you may enter another country and stay with your partner for 3 years.
However, if you have divorced, broken up, or separated from your partner after 3 years, you may not be eligible to apply for citizenship by marriage. That being said, you are expected to show evidence that you and your partner pay bills and live together if both of you are in a relationship.
But if both of you are married, you are expected to bring your government-issued marriage certificate as evidence of your marriage. Additionally, you must prove that you have ties to the Portuguese community through investment, taking the Portuguese citizenship language test, etc.
By Golden Visa
The Golden visa route is available for UAE nationals who want to invest in Portugal and obtain the Golden visa residence visa. This route offers one of the most trusted routes to Portuguese permanent residence and citizenship as it is popularly known as citizenship by investment.
Your investment through the Golden visa program could be by creating employment opportunities or making capital investments to boost the economy of Portugal. You must spend a minimum of 35 days within 5 years in Portugal, that is, 7 days per year for 5 years.
Additionally, you must show evidence that you have invested in Portugal before you may be considered for citizenship through this route. You will be issued an EU passport that will allow you to enter several countries visa-free through this route.
Do the following to obtain Portuguese citizenship by investment:
- Make an investment of about €500,000 in capital funds.
- Invest about €250,000 in the arts or cultural heritage of Portugal.
- Start a company or buy a company that already exists in Portugal.
- Buy a Portuguese company’s shares.
For more inquiries about investment opportunities available in Portugal or how we can help you apply for Portuguese citizenship, get in touch with us today at Total Law. Call us on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
Applicants who want to apply for Portugal citizenship by naturalization were previously required to stay up to 6 years in Portugal. But now, to get Portuguese citizenship via the same route, UAE nationals must reside in Portugal for at least 5 years as lawful residents in the country.
Besides that, you need to meet other eligibility criteria to become a Portuguese citizen which includes holding a long-term permit of residency in Portugal for the period of time you stayed in the country.
This route to citizenship is also known as citizenship by descent. If you are born to Portuguese parents, you may not be required to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
This is because you become a citizen of Portugal by birth automatically if you are born to Portuguese parents in Portugal. Another category of birth in Portugal that attracts automatic citizenship is where a child is born stateless.
Also, a newborn in Portugal will become a Portuguese citizen if one of the parents is a citizen of the country, provided the child’s birth is registered. As UAE nationals, your children born in Portugal will not have automatic citizenship, therefore, you need to meet some eligibility criteria for your children to obtain Portuguese citizenship.
If you want to obtain the Portugal citizenship by birth in Portugal, you can qualify to do so if:
- At the time of your birth, your foreign parents have resided in Portugal for at least 1 year.
- You were born in Portugal to foreign parents, you have stayed in the country for 5 years and you are over 18 years old.
- You already had a Portuguese national as one of your parents at the time of your birth.
- After your birth one of your parents became a Portuguese citizen, you are disabled, and have resided in Portugal for at least five years.
- You have lived in Portugal for 3 years and can speak Portuguese fluently, and your grandparents retained their nationality.
You must prove your connection to the Portuguese community by taking the Portuguese citizenship A2 language test (CIPLE) if you have grandparents who are Portuguese nationals.
Only under-18-year-old UAE nationals can obtain Portuguese citizenship by adoption. You may apply for Portuguese citizenship if you are below the age of 18 and have been legally adopted by Portuguese nationals.
To be considered for citizenship by adoption in Portugal, you need to prove your Portuguese proficiency, ties to the Portuguese community, or admission into one of the country’s educational institutions.
The support documents you may provide include your ID and adoption papers. You may be required to pay €250, if Portuguese nationals adopted you before October 8, 1981. But you may not be expected to pay for the application if you were adopted after the mentioned date.
This route for Portuguese citizenship is specifically designed for UAE nationals of Sephardic Jewish heritage. The Sephardic Jews identify themselves as Sephardim who are Jewish people of Portuguese and Spanish descent.
UAE nationals who want to apply for citizenship via this route must prove they have a connection to the Jewish people through culture or ancestry. This is because this route grants citizenship to the descendants of Jewish people who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition era in the 15th century.
Also, you must prove that you have ties to the current Jewish community in Portugal or a historical Sephardic community abroad. To apply for citizenship as a Sephardim, you must:
- Show that you are connected to the Sephardic community.
- Be 18 years old or emancipated (according to the Portuguese law).
- Be of Portuguese Sephardic descent.
- Prove that you have no criminal record.
- Prove that you are a member of the Sephardic community of Portuguese origin.
If you cannot get citizenship from UAE or any other country in the world after you lost your UAE citizenship, this citizenship route should be your best option to explore.
Lost Citizenship by Decision of Your Legal Representative
You may be able to regain your Portuguese citizenship if you lost your citizenship through the decision of your legal representative.
In this case, it must be proved that the reason you lost your citizenship was because of the decision your parents, foster parents, or lawful guardians made to change nationalities for you.
The reason for this could be that you were a minor and you were unable to decide for yourself and needed people to do that for you at that time. Also, you may regain your citizenship if you lost your citizenship because of a disability.
Served the Portuguese Government
If you have offered certain services to the Portuguese government, you may stand a chance to obtain Portuguese citizenship. For instance, you may be rewarded with Portuguese citizenship for the work you have done during your service in the country’s military.
You must be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization. To be eligible, you must:
- Be 18 years old or older.
- Have stayed in Portugal for a minimum of 5 years.
- Show that you will not pose a threat to the country’s security.
- Have no criminal record.
- Prove that you have assimilated into the Portuguese community.
- Provide evidence that you passed the Portuguese citizenship language test with a minimum of A2 level.
- Prove that you have no tax obligation in Portugal.
Documents Required for Portuguese Citizenship By Naturalization
To apply for Portuguese citizenship through naturalization, UAE nationals must submit the following documents:
You need to provide your marriage certificate to the Portuguese authorities to apply for citizenship by marriage. You must provide evidence that you have a serious relationship with your partner if you are not married to a Portuguese national. To prove that, you will get the evidence that both of you live together and share bills.
Criminal Record Certificate
The criminal record certificate is known as the Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) in the UAE. It is proof of your good conduct, that you are not accused, and have no criminal precedents.
The Police Departments across the UAE issue a criminal record to applicants who are residing in the UAE or abroad. The criminal record certificate must be legalized and translated into Portuguese.
The UAE’s Police Clearance Certificate can be issued in both English and Arabic. The fees it attracts differ according to the preferred language, your place of residence, and your nationality.
You must provide a copy of your birth certificate if you want to apply for citizenship by naturalization. Your birth certificate helps to prove that you are a UAE citizen.
Evidence of Your Ties to Portugal
In applying for Portuguese citizenship by naturalization, you must prove that you have a connection to Portugal. However, you may not be required to include this if you are taking the citizenship-by-birth route.
You may provide the following as proof of your ties to Portugal:
- Address of your residence in Portugal.
- Letter of admission showing your current enrollment in a Portuguese educational institution.
- Documents showing your ownership of a property in Portugal.
- Proof of your proficiency in Portuguese with a minimum of A2 level in the CIPLE test.
Portuguese Residence Permit
In your application for Portuguese citizenship through naturalization, you must also include proof that you have lived in Portugal for at least 5 years. You could solidify your claim by bringing your residence permit that allows you to reside in Portugal. Besides that, you may also provide your rental agreements that show your residence address for the last 5 years in Portugal.
Letter Asking for Portuguese Citizenship
You need to address this letter to the Portuguese Justice Minister. You must request to be conferred Portuguese citizenship in this letter.
The following details must be contained in the letter. It must include your:
- Full Name.
- Date of Birth.
- Residence History.
- Residence Address.
- Civil Status.
- Parents’ Names.
- Attorney’s Name and Address.
If you wish to send your application by post, ensure that your letter is notarized. Also, ensure that your letter is written in Portuguese and signed at the Registry. Remember that during your application, you may be asked to provide additional documents.
Portugal Citizenship Application Costs
You will make some financial commitment to process your Portuguese citizenship. The amount of money you may be required to pay depends on the kind of route to Portuguese citizenship you choose or your individual situation. The fees include:
- If you are under 18 years old and are disabled, you may be required to pay €200.
- If you are 18 years old or above, have lost your citizenship, and have no other nationality. You may be required to pay €250.
- If you lost your Portuguese citizenship due to your lawful representative’s decision. You may be required to pay €175.
However, you may qualify for Portuguese citizenship through the investment options. To qualify, you need to invest a minimum of €250,000 into the economy of Portugal.
If you need more insights regarding the investment opportunities you can explore or more information about Portuguese citizenship and help through your application process, Total Law can help. Call us on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
If you wish to submit your application by mail, you must ensure you assemble all the required documents and complete your application form with the necessary details before you mail them.
The Central Registry Office will provide you with instructions on how to fill out the form. The type of form you will be issued depends on your individual case.
Ensure that you address your mail to Conservatória dos Registos Centrais, Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 202,1099-033 Lisbon.
You must visit an application center if you prefer to apply for your Portuguese citizenship in person. When you arrive at the application center, bring out all your required documents and submit them for review.
You may visit any of the following application centers in Portugal:
- Offices of the Civic Registry.
- Nationality Desk.
- Central Registry Office of Lisbon.
- Odivelas Citizens’ Shop.
- Closest Portuguese embassy or consulate where you live.
- Lisbon’s Registry Spaces, on the Campus da Justiça, on Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, and in Benfica.
- Counter of the Registration Institute and Notary Affairs located at the National Support Center for the Integration of Migrants (CNAIM) in Oporto or Lisbon.
Applicants are not allowed to apply online by themselves. Therefore, you will need the help of our immigration lawyers at Total Law to apply for citizenship via this route.
Through the online platform created by the Portuguese government, our immigration lawyers can submit an application on your behalf and follow up on your application. Contact us on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.
The Processing Time Of The Portuguese Citizenship Application
After you have applied for your Portuguese citizenship, it usually takes a few months and in some cases up to 2 years to process your application. There are some factors that may delay your application processing time, which include:
- Incomplete documents in your file.
- How busy the offices are.
- The time of the year (whether during holidays or festive period).
- Other issues with your application.
UAE citizens have the chance to obtain Portuguese citizenship through the Golden visa program of the country. To qualify for Portugal Golden visa, you need to meet some eligibility criteria. You must:
- Own the money for your investment.
- Be 18 years old.
- Have no criminal record.
- Significantly invest in the Portuguese economy.
- Maintain the investment for a minimum of 5 years.
Documents Required for Portugal Golden Visa
You will be required to provide some documents once you meet the Portuguese citizenship eligibility requirements:
The documents you are required to provide include:
- A valid passport.
- Your visa application form, you can download from the Portuguese visa portal.
- Your 2 passport-sized photographs that meet the Portugal visa photo requirements.
- An affidavit that you will maintain your investment in Portugal for up to 5 years.
- Proof of clean criminal record. You can obtain the Police Clearance Certificate in the UAE from the Police department. It must be gotten in the last 3 months, also ensure that it is translated into Portuguese.
- Proof of your valid health insurance in Portugal.
- Your ARI portal payment receipt.
Application Process of Portugal Golden Visa
There is a step-by-step guide you must follow in order to apply for the Portugal Golden visa program. Here are the steps:
Step 1. Choose the Investment Type
If you wish to explore the investment options available to you in Portugal, you may visit the country with your lawyer. To do so, you need to obtain a Portuguese Schengen visa for the small period of time you will spend in Portugal.
But if you do not want to get involved in the process so much, you need to grant your lawyer power of attorney to represent you in the investment process and give you updates regarding the investment.
Once you are willing to invest in an option of your choice, your lawyer will schedule relevant meetings and assemble the documents you need to make the deal happen.
Step 2. Provide Your Portuguese Tax Number and Bank Account
You must present your Portuguese bank account and tax number to invest your money in the option you choose. You can get the tax number at the local offices of the Taxpayer Registration Services.
Some documents will be required of you before you will be issued the Portuguese tax number. Also, you must fill out the set of forms the tax office will give you.
You can apply for a Portuguese bank account online or in person. It is easier to open a Portuguese bank account online as it saves time and makes the registration process hassle-free. Despite this reason, some banks emphasize the importance of coming to their offices in person to open Portuguese bank accounts.
You will be required to reveal your personal details such as your identification document, income, and your home address during your Portuguese tax number and bank account processes. Once you create your new Portuguese bank account, some banks in the country may ask you to deposit a minimum of €250 into your new account.
Step 3. Investment Your Money
You may invest your money after you have gotten a tax number and bank account. Depending on the situation around the investment, it might take up to a few months to complete the investment.
Upon the completion of your investment, gather all the documents you were issued before you apply for Portuguese Golden visa. You must prove that you have secured a Portuguese investment as your Golden visa application may not be considered if you cannot provide solid evidence of your investment in Portugal.
Step 4. Submit Your Golden Visa Application
You must submit your Portugal Golden visa application at the SEF (Immigration and Borders Service of Portugal). Here is how to submit your Golden visa application:
- Have your lawyer register you with the Residence Permits for Investment Activities (ARI) portal.
- Pay all required fees.
- Attach all supporting documents in electronic copies. The documents must be within 4MB in size and in PDF.
- Await SEF confirmation.
- Schedule an appointment at the SEF’s local branch where you must submit your Golden visa application.
The application process for a Golden visa requires a lot of tact and attention to detail. You may get discouraged from completing the process by yourself. Do not worry because our professional immigration lawyers at Total Law can help you throughout your Portugal Golden visa application process. Call us on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
Step 5. Receive Your Portuguese Residence Permit
Once you have submitted your application, you may get your residence permit in 6 months. The initial validity of your residence permit is for 1 year, but it can be renewed for up to 5 years.
Step 6. Submit Your Application
Once you have maintained your investment in Portugal for 5 years, you may become eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. You must prove that you know the Portuguese society and laws. Also, you must prove your proficiency in Portuguese by taking the language test.
Portuguese Citizen Rights
One of the most special things that come with obtaining a Portuguese passport is that you will be entitled to most of the rights the locals of Portugal enjoy. You will enjoy social security, work opportunities, and the right to vote and be voted for just like every other Portuguese citizen.
Live in Other EU Countries
Once you obtain the Portuguese passport, you may live in any country of your choice in the European Union. The only thing you must obtain to live permanently in those countries is the Certificate of Registration, as you will not be required to apply for citizenship. However, if you wish to stay for a while (within 90 days) in those countries, you will just need your Portuguese passport.
Freedom of Movement
The Portuguese passport is highly rated worldwide. Holders of the Portuguese passport enjoy visa-free entry into countries in the EU/EEA regions and several third countries. Tourists who have Portuguese passports will not be restricted from entering, studying, working, or living in the European Union countries.
Standard of Living
The quality of life in Portugal is more affordable when compared to most countries in the European Union. This is why Portugal continues to attract thousands of immigrants yearly.
UAE citizens who move to Portugal and hold a Portuguese passport are not double-taxed. This is due to the double taxation agreement the UAE has with Portugal. Because of this, the Portuguese government and the government of the UAE cannot tax a single income of UAE nationals at the same time.
How can Total Law Help?
Your immigration to Portugal demands that you meet some eligibility criteria and provide all supporting documents for your application to be processed. If you want to apply for Portuguese citizenship by investment as a UAE national, you must choose one of the investment opportunities for Portuguese citizenship.
This stage is very tricky as there are so many options available to you, and because of this, you must be very careful with the choices you make. To avoid regrets, it is better that you get expert advice from experienced immigration lawyers. Total Law can help you throughout your investment stages and application for Portuguese citizenship.
We can assist you in choosing an investment option that suits your individual needs, determine if you are eligible, assemble your documents, and guide you through all the stages of your application.
All you need to do is to get in touch with one of our friendly immigration lawyers at Total Law. Call us on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, foreigners can obtain Portuguese citizenship. All you need to do is to meet the eligibility criteria and provide all the required documents to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
One of the fastest ways to get Portuguese residency is through the Portugal Golden visa also known as Portugal residency by investment. It takes about 8 to 10 months to get the Portugal Golden visa.
Getting Portuguese citizenship is hassle-free and the process can be completed within a few months.