Portugal Citizenship By Birth

Portugal offers a pathway to citizenship by birth, providing individuals born in Portugal or to Portuguese parents the opportunity to become Portuguese citizens. Specific legal requirements apply to citizenship, and it is an accessible option for those directly connected to Portugal. Understanding these requirements is critical to a successful application process.

For personalised guidance and assistance in navigating the application process for Portuguese citizenship by birth, consider contacting Total Law.

Their team of experienced immigration lawyers can provide the expertise and support you need. Contact Total Law today at +44 (0)333 305 9375  to discuss your citizenship application and take the first step towards securing your Portuguese nationality.

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    Portugal Citizenship For Children

    Portuguese citizenship for children is influenced by several factors, including the status of the parents and the child’s place of birth. This comprehensive overview covers the various scenarios under which children can acquire Portuguese citizenship.

    Portuguese Citizenship for Children of Foreign Residents

    Portuguese citizenship can be granted to children born in Portugal to foreign parents under specific conditions. This pathway to citizenship, established by an amendment in 2020, is based on specific criteria:

    1. For a child born in Portugal to be eligible for citizenship at birth, at least one parent must legally reside in Portugal for at least one year before the birth.
    2. If one of the parents was born in Portugal and was living in the country at the time of the child’s birth, this also qualifies the child for Portuguese citizenship at birth.
    3. The child’s birth and the parent’s marriage must be officially registered with the Portuguese civil registry. This legally acknowledges the child’s birth and the parent’s marital status in Portugal.
    4. The parent must provide documentation confirming their place of birth and residency. This is to establish a clear record of the parent’s legal residence in Portugal, which is a crucial factor in the child’s eligibility for citizenship.
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    Citizenship for Children of Portuguese Citizens Born Abroad

    Children born outside Portugal to Portuguese parents are eligible for Portuguese citizenship. The process of obtaining citizenship involves several key steps:

    1. The child’s birth must be registered at the Portuguese Consulate in the country where they reside.
    2. The application for Portuguese nationality should be submitted to the nearest Portuguese Consulate.

    Citizenship for Children of Portuguese Golden Visa Holders

    Children of Portuguese Golden Visa holders are eligible for citizenship under certain conditions:

    1. If the Golden Visa holder has been a resident for at least one year, their children can apply for Portuguese citizenship.
    2. Location of Birth:
    • Children born in Portugal to non-EU parents who are Golden Visa holders can immediately apply for citizenship, provided the parent has been a resident for at least one year.
    • Children born outside Portugal need to apply for citizenship through the Portuguese Consulate in their country of birth.

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      Special Birth Routes to Portuguese Citizenship

      Portuguese citizenship offers unique pathways for individuals with specific ancestral connections. This includes those with roots in former Portuguese colonies and descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews. Understanding these special routes can help in accessing the benefits of Portuguese citizenship.

      Citizenship through Ancestry in Former Portuguese Colonies

      Portuguese citizenship through ancestry, including for those from former Portuguese colonies, involves several critical eligibility criteria:

      1. If at least one parent was a Portuguese citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth, they are eligible for citizenship.
      2. Even if these grandparents were born in former Portuguese colonies, applicants with Portuguese grandparents can apply for citizenship.
      3. Eligibility extends to those with Portuguese great-grandparents.
      4. Individuals from former Portuguese colonies may also be eligible for citizenship.
      5. Special Cases:
      • Descendants of Portuguese Jews were expelled during the Portuguese Inquisition.
      • Individuals born in Timor before its independence.
      • Children of Portuguese parents were born in Timor-Leste after its independence.

      Citizenship for Descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews

      In 2015, Portugal approved a law enabling descendants of Sephardic Jews, expelled in 1496, to acquire Portuguese citizenship. The application process entails:

      Applicants must gather documents confirming their eligibility as descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews.

      They need to demonstrate a connection to a Sephardic community of Portuguese origin. This can be evidenced through various documents, such as:

      • Family records and family trees.
      • Community archives detailing births, marriages, and deaths.
      • Records from cemeteries and tomb lists. Brit milah records.
      • Historical government archives showing migration from Portugal.
      • Lists of ships and passengers from Portugal.

      Specific Criteria for Eligibility (as of September 2022):

      • Inheritance of property in Portugal.
      • Ownership of shares in Portuguese companies.
      • A history of frequent travel to Portugal.

      Portuguese Citizenship By Birth: Requirements and Eligibility

      Portuguese Citizenship by Birth encompasses a range of criteria for eligibility, adapting to diverse situations. This citizenship can be obtained under several conditions, reflecting Portugal’s inclusive approach to nationality laws.

      Eligibility Criteria

      • Citizenship is granted if at least one parent was a Portuguese citizen at the time of the child’s birth.
      • Eligibility can also be based on having a grandparent who has not renounced Portuguese citizenship.
      • Proficiency in the Portuguese language is required.
      • A minimum of three years’ residence in Portugal is necessary for eligibility.
      • The applicant must be at least 18, except for minors or those with disabilities.
      • Children born in Portugal to foreign parents are eligible after living in Portugal for at least five years.
      • Minors or those with severe disabilities are eligible if one parent becomes a Portuguese national after birth.
      • Children born in Portugal to a Portuguese parent are considered citizens.

      Document Requirements

      • It is essential for verifying the child’s identity and birth details. This should be the original or a certified copy.
      • A current passport or other government-issued photo identification of the child is required to confirm their identity.
      • Parents’ Long-Form Birth Certificates documents are necessary to establish the identity and lineage of the parents, crucial for verifying the child’s eligibility for citizenship.
      • If one or both parents are Portuguese, evidence of their birth in Portugal or a valid Portuguese ID document is required. This could be a passport, a citizen card, or an official ID.
      • Documentation to verify both parents’ current residential address and contact phone numbers is needed. This helps establish the family’s residency status and facilitates communication during application.
      • A recent, passport-style photograph of the child is typically required for identification purposes in the citizenship application.

      Processing and Application

      • Applications are mainly submitted through Portuguese embassies or consulates.
      • The process includes verification of documents and eligibility criteria. The processing time can take a few weeks to twelve months.
      • Citizenship applications may require additional steps or documentation based on individual circumstances.

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        Eligibility for Portuguese Citizenship By Descent

        Eligibility for acquiring Portuguese citizenship through descent is based on specific requirements, specifically targeted to individuals with Portuguese ancestry. This pathway is particularly relevant for those who trace their lineage to Portuguese parents or grandparents.

        Eligibility Criteria

        • Having a Portuguese parent or grandparent.
        • Applying at any age provided proof of Portuguese ancestry within two generations.
        • Possible requirement to demonstrate integration into the Portuguese community.

        Document Requirements

        • Applicant’s birth certificate.
        • Birth certificates of the Portuguese parent or grandparent.
        • Official documents proving the familial relationship.
        • Evidence of Portuguese nationality of parents or grandparents, such as passports or ID cards.
        • Proof of residency, if required.
        • A formal declaration expressing the desire for Portuguese nationality.

        Processing and Application

        • Applications are typically made at Portuguese consulates or embassies.
        • There is no fee for citizenship by descent applications.
        • The processing time for citizenship can take a few months to two years. The applicant can check the status of their application online.
        • The process includes verifying documents and assessing eligibility against the provided criteria.

        Applying For Portugal Citizenship by Birth or Descent

        Obtaining Portuguese citizenship by birth or descent is a structured process involving specific steps and documentation. Here’s a guide on how to deal with this process efficiently.

        Step-by-Step Process for Application

        Determine Eligibility

        • Children born in Portugal to at least one Portuguese parent or foreign parents residing in Portugal under specific conditions are eligible for citizenship by birth.
        • Individuals with at least one parent or grandparent recognised as Portuguese citizens are eligible​​​​for citizenship by descent.

        Gather Necessary Documents

        • The applicant’s birth certificate was verified and translated.
        • For descent, use the birth certificates of the Portuguese parent/grandparent.
        • Criminal clearance documentation from the country of birth and other countries where the applicant has resided since age 16​​​​.

        Complete the Application Form

        • Forms can be accessed online or at the Portuguese Consulate. Ensure all sections are filled accurately.

        Acknowledge and Authenticate Documents

        • An Apostille is required where necessary for attesting and authenticating documents.

        Submit the Application

        • Applications can be made online through a lawyer or solicitor or directly at a Portuguese consulate or the Civil Registry in Portugal​​​​.

        Pay Application Fees

        • The standard application fee for Citizenship by Birth is €250.
        • There is no fee for applicants with at least one Portuguese parent or grandparent; for others, the fee is €175.
        • Fees are reduced to €200 for applicants under 18 or disabled whose parents became Portuguese citizens after birth.

        Application Processing

        • An application for citizenship by birth typically takes six to twelve months.
        • Citizens of countries outside the European Union Non-EU citizens can expect the process to take a few months and two years.
        • Obtaining a residence permit may take up to six months after applying. Permits are initially valid for one year but can be renewed for five years.

        Receive Citizenship Confirmation

        • Once approved, you will receive a notification confirming your Portuguese citizenship.

        Additional Information and Tips for a Smoother Application Process

        • Consider hiring a Total Law lawyer or immigration specialist to guide you through the process and ensure all legal requirements are met.
        • Double-check all documents for accuracy and completeness to avoid delays in processing.
        • For applications by descent, ensure all foreign documents are officially translated into Portuguese.
        • Understand the residency requirements for foreign parents in Portugal for citizenship by birth.
        • Be prepared for the processing time, which can be lengthy, and plan accordingly.
        • Keep yourself updated on any changes in Portuguese nationality laws or application procedures.
        • Portugal allows dual citizenship, so you don’t have to renounce your original nationality​​.

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          The Costs Associated With The Application

          Applying for Portuguese citizenship involves various fees, depending on the application route. Here’s a breakdown of the costs of applying for Portuguese citizenship by birth or descent.

          Citizenship by Birth

          The application fee for Portuguese citizenship by birth is €250. This fee is mandatory for processing the application​​.

          Registering a birth in Portugal is free of charge. However, if you request a Citizen Card during the birth registration, an additional fee of €7.50 is charged.

          Applicants need to pay an exam fee of €75. This fee is typically associated with the Portuguese language proficiency test, which is a requirement for some applicants, especially in the naturalisation process.

          Citizenship by Descent

          There is no application fee for those applying through descent, meaning individuals with Portuguese parents or grandparents are exempt from this fee.

          The application fee for Portuguese citizenship through descent is €175. However, this fee may vary due to consular exchange rates and other charges for consular services. These variations depend on the country where the application is made and the specific consular services required.

          Additional Costs

          • Applicants may have to pay costs for translating and authenticating necessary documents, such as birth certificates and criminal records.
          • If applications are submitted by mail, postage and handling fees will vary depending on the location and delivery service used.
          • Travel expenses should be considered for those who must travel to a Portuguese consulate or embassy to submit their application or gather necessary documents.

          Processing Time After The Application Is Submitted

          The processing time for Portuguese citizenship applications varies depending on the type of application and several other factors.

          Citizenship by Birth

          The processing time for a Portuguese citizenship application by birth generally can take up to 12 months. However, this duration can vary based on each case’s specifics and the processing office’s workload​​.

          Registering a birth in Portugal is typically a swift process. It should be done within 20 days after the day of birth. This registration is a prerequisite for citizenship-by-birth applications​​.

          Citizenship by Descent

          The processing time for citizenship by descent applications can range from a few months to up to two years. This variation largely depends on how quickly the government processes the paperwork and whether there are any complications or issues with the application​​.

          Sometimes, the processing time for citizenship by descent can extend to two to three years. This extended duration might be due to additional verification requirements, documentation checks, or other bureaucratic processes.

          Factors Influencing Processing Time

          1. The completeness and accuracy of the application and the supporting documents can significantly influence processing times. Only complete or accurate applications may result in delays.
          2. The number of applications received by Portuguese authorities can impact processing times. Higher volumes may lead to longer processing durations.
          3. For applicants applying from abroad, the involvement of Portuguese consulates can add to the processing time, particularly if documents need to be sent to Portugal for processing.
          4. Any legal complexities or governmental obstacles encountered during the application process can extend the processing time.

          Tips for Applicants

          • Applicants can check the status of their application online, which can provide updates and an idea of the progress of their application​​.
          • To avoid delays, ensure all required documents are submitted correctly and in the required format.
          • Seeking advice from Total Law legal experts or immigration services can help streamline the application process and potentially reduce waiting times.

          How Can Total Law Help

          Total Law is an experienced immigration law firm specialising in various nationality and immigration issues, including Portuguese citizenship applications. Their global expertise and ability to tailor solutions to individual needs make them a valuable resource for those navigating the complex process of obtaining Portuguese citizenship. Whether you are applying by birth, descent, or through other legal pathways, Total Law can provide comprehensive guidance and support throughout your application journey.

          For anyone considering applying for Portuguese citizenship, reaching out to Total Law for assistance can be a crucial step towards a successful application. Our knowledgeable lawyers can handle various legal issues, no matter the complexity. You can contact Total Law at +1 844 290 6312 for personalised advice and support to ensure your application is handled efficiently and accurately. Our expertise in international immigration law places them in an optimal position to help you achieve your goal of becoming a Portuguese citizen.

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