- An Overview Of Portugal Citizenship For Citizens Of Saudi Arabia
- What Are The Benefits Of Portuguese Citizenship?
- Requirements And Documents Needed For Portuguese Citizenship By Naturalisation
- The Costs For Portugal Citizenship By Naturalization
- Applying For A Portugal Citizenship As a Citizen Of Saudi Arabia
- The Processing Time Once The Citizenship Application Is Submitted
- Once The Citizenship is Granted: Next Steps
- Alternative Ways A Portuguese Citizenship Can Be Obtained
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
An Overview Of Portugal Citizenship For Citizens Of Saudi Arabia
You can apply for Portuguese citizenship as a Saudi Arabian citizen by marriage, naturalisation or investment.
A Portuguese citizen offers you an opportunity to be an EU citizen who can study, live and work in any country in the EU without needing to apply for a visa. Your citizenship rights can also be conferred on the children you have in Portugal.
Aside from being an EU citizen, there are other benefits to getting Portuguese citizenship.
First, you are no longer bound by immigration rules. You can leave and re-enter Portugal anytime you wish. You can also get a Portuguese passport, giving you visa-free access to over 180 countries.
There is a downside, however, to getting Portuguese citizenship as a Saudi Arabian. You may lose your Saudi citizenship. Even though Portugal accepts dual or multiple citizenship, Saudi Arabia does not.
If you get another citizenship without the approval of the Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, your citizenship will be revoked.
What Are The Benefits Of Portuguese Citizenship?
Below are the Portugal citizenship benefits:
- You can get social benefits like a pension from the Portuguese government.
- You can vote or contest for positions during elections.
- You can obtain a Portuguese passport and travel to over 180 countries worldwide without applying for a visa.
- You can access free healthcare from the Portuguese government.
- You can study, work or live freely in any country in the Schengen or EU area.
Portuguese Citizenship Request Letter
You must write a citizenship request letter to the Minister of Justice to apply for Portuguese citizenship. The Ministry of Justice in Portugal is responsible for conferring citizenship to applicants.
When writing your request letter, you must capture the following details:
- Your country.
- Your name in full.
- Your profession.
- Your residential address.
- Your marital status.
- Your birth date.
- Your lawyer’s name and address.
- Your parents’ names.
Your letter of request must be written in Portuguese. You must also get a staff from any Portuguese registry to sign it.
If you will mail the application, you must notarise your letter.
It is compulsory to submit your birth certificate. If your birth certificate was issued in Arabic, you must translate it to either Portuguese or English. After translation, you must also legalise the translation.
Evidence of Ties to Portugal
As a foreign national looking to get Portuguese citizenship, you are expected to show that you are well-adapted to life in Portugal. Here are the ways to prove that you have ties to Portugal:
- Presenting your language proficiency test scores in Portuguese. You must show proficiency in Portuguese up to the A2 level by taking the CIPLE test.
- Presenting an admission or acceptance letter into a school in Portugal.
- Presenting an address of your home in Portugal.
- Presenting a document that proves you have a property in Portugal.
Evidence You Have Paid the Citizenship Processing Fee
Your application must contain a receipt which shows you have paid the relevant fees for your application for Portuguese citizenship.
Criminal Record Certificate
Another essential document you must present when applying is the criminal record certificate or Police clearance. This shows that you have not committed a criminal offence before.
You must get this from Saudi Arabia and any other country where you have spent at least 3 months in the past 5 years.
You can get yours from the Police in Saudi Arabia by addressing a letter to the Chief of the Criminal Evidence Division. You must state why you are asking for the letter and where you are submitting it.
Before applying for Portuguese citizenship, you must have a valid passport. This passport must have been issued within the past 10 years.
Proof of Legal Stay in Portugal
You must show the Ministry of Justice that you meet the requirements for applying for citizenship. When applying for citizenship via the naturalisation route (except via marriage), you must prove you have spent at least 5 years in Portugal.
To prove you have been in Portugal within those 5 years, you have to show your residence history, a document that shows all the places you have lived in Portugal. You will also be required to show the residence permit that allowed you to stay in Portugal for 5 years.
You can obtain citizenship by marriage. Suppose this is the route you are taking for your citizenship application. In that case, you must present a marriage certificate proving you have been married to a Portuguese national for at least 3 years.
Alternatively, if you are in a de facto union, you must prove you have been living together for at least 3 years and have been sharing bills. Your addresses must also show that you live in the same house. A joint account held for at least 3 years is also proof.
Proof of Exceptional Services to a Portuguese Community or the Country
If you have been rewarded before due to the exceptional services you offered to a Portuguese community, you may be eligible for citizenship. Also, you can be conferred citizenship if you served in the Portuguese military.
Attach proof of your service to your application document and let the Ministry of Justice decide if your services were instrumental enough to confer citizenship on you.
The Costs For Portugal Citizenship By Naturalizationents
Here is the breakdown of the costs of Portugal citizenship by naturalisation:
- If you are 18 or older, you will pay €250 as an application fee.
- If you are below 18 or disabled, you will pay €200 as an application fee.
- If you changed your nationality by the instruction of a legal representative or guardian, you will pay €175 as an application fee.
- If you don’t have a nationality even after you lost Portuguese citizenship, you will pay €250 as an application fee.
Note that you will also have to pay fees to obtain some supporting documents and fees for the application process. These fees may vary depending on the application route you are taking.
You can contact our team at Total Law to help you estimate how much the process will cost you. Contact us by calling +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.
You can make your citizenship application in person. To do this, you must visit any of the application centres in Portugal and submit all your supporting documents, including proof that you have paid the relevant application fees.
These application centres are located at the following places:
- The Nationality desk.
- The Portuguese Consulate or Embassy near you (in case you are not in Portugal at the time of your application).
- The Civic Registry locations in Portugal.
- The Citizens’ shop is located at Odivelas.
- The Registry spaces in Lisbon.
- The Institute of Registration and Notary Affairs (IRN) is in the National Support Centre for the Integration of Migrants (CNAIM). You can find their offices in Lisbon and Porto.
You can also make your citizenship application online. However, you cannot do it yourself. You must engage the services of a solicitor or a lawyer who will help you make the application. The lawyer will have to create an account on the online portal designated by the Portuguese government for citizenship applications.
You must ensure the lawyer or solicitor you are using has a valid certificate and digital signature. Without these, your lawyer cannot access the portal.
At Total Law, we have competent lawyers and solicitors well-versed in making citizenship applications. We have successfully applied for citizenship for Saudi Arabians, and we can also take care of your application. Contact us by calling +1 844 290 6312 or send us a message online.
By Mail or Post
If you do not want to apply online or in person, there is a last option. You can make an application by post.
To do this, first, gather all of your supporting documents and get the application form. Complete and sign the application form, then mail it with your supporting documents to Conservatória dos Registos Centrais, Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 202, 1099-033 Lisbon.
We can also help you do this if you contact our team at Total Law. We will also offer professional guidance through all the phases of the application process. Contact us by calling +1 844 290 6312 or send us a message online.
The Processing Time Once The Citizenship Application Is Submitted
Many factors can affect the processing time once the citizenship application is submitted.
One of such factors is the workload of the application centre you used. Often, the centre is inundated with citizenship requests that they have to take a while before making a decision on yours since the applications are treated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Administrative delays and bureaucratic processes can also affect the processing time.
Lastly, the route you took while applying for citizenship can also affect the time. If you applied through any naturalisation route, you could expect your application to take longer. Portuguese citizenship by descent or birth route is usually the fastest.
Generally, it could take up to 2 years to get a decision on your application.
Once The Citizenship is Granted: Next Steps
If your citizenship request is granted, the next step is to apply for a Portuguese passport. You can apply for this by:
- Visiting any registry office or citizen’s shop around your locality in Portugal.
- Visiting any Portuguese Consulate or Embassy if you are not in Portugal at the time of application.
- Visiting the passport shops located at the airports in Lisbon and Porto.
- Visiting the autonomous regional governments in the Azores and Madeira.
- Visiting the Institute of Registration and Notary Affairs (IRN).
When you get to any of these locations, submit all the supporting documents needed for your application. These documents are:
- Valid identification documents like your passport or citizen’s card.
- Recent passport photographs.
- Proof your citizenship application was approved.
- Evidence you have paid the passport application fee.
If you are up to 18 or older, you will need to pay €65 for your passport. If you are outside the country, the fee is usually higher.
You will get your passport after a few days or a few weeks if you are not in Portugal.
One of the ways to naturalise and become a Portuguese citizen is via marriage. It is one of the fastest naturalisation routes. You only need to be married to your Portuguese partner for 3 years before applying.
If you are in a de facto union with a Portuguese national, you can also apply for citizenship, according to the nationality laws.
To prove that you are eligible for this route, you must show that you have been married to the Portuguese for at least 3 years. Proving this is relatively easy as it requires you to show your marriage certificate. Note that the marriage certificate must be issued by the government.
Proving a relationship is a bit harder for people who are not married but in a de facto union. You will show you live in the same house as the Portuguese national. This can be verified by submitting a joint account with your name and address. You can also present a rental contract between you and the property owner.
Portuguese citizenship can be granted via this route only if you and your partner live together. The years stop dont matter after you have separated or broken up with your Portuguese partner.
Couples not currently in Portugal can also apply, but you have to show you have connections to Portugal. These connections could be a property you acquired in Portugal, an offer letter indicating you have been accepted to study in a Portuguese university or that you are proficient in speaking, writing and reading in Portuguese.
This is also known as citizenship by origin or by birth. Sometimes, being born to Portuguese parents or in Portugal does not automatically confer citizenship on you. You will need to meet any of the requirements below further:
- You have at least 1 parent who is also a Portuguese citizen at the time you were born.
- You have at least 1 grandparent who hasn’t lost their citizenship. If this applies to you, you must have lived for 3 years in Portugal. Again, you must be proficient in Portuguese.
- You are up to 18, born in Portugal to foreign citizens who have been living in Portugal for a year before you were born.
- You have at least 1 parent who became a citizen after you were born. You must have spent at least 5 years in the country.
If you intend to claim citizenship by descent through your Portuguese grandparents, you must show you have ties to Portugal. This is typically proven by showing you are proficient in Portuguese.
Your adopted child who is below 18 years of age can apply for Portuguese citizenship. You need to present the official papers that made you their legal parent to get approval via this route.
When you want to acquire citizenship for your adopted child, you must show proof of their ties to Portugal. This can be evidence they are enrolled for studies in a school in Portugal. Alternatively, they should know how to speak Portuguese.
If you have lived or worked in Portugal for at least 5 years, you can apply for citizenship.
Since 2012, Portugal has granted citizenship to foreign nationals who invest in the country for at least 5 years. The investment program is known as the Golden Visa.
If you get a golden visa, you and your family can study, live and work in Portugal. But you must maintain your investment for that 5 years.
Getting the golden visa will cost between €200,000 to €500,000. You have to invest this sum in different sectors in Portugal.
Investors have been applying and getting into the program due to its tax-free benefit and less stringent residence rules.
After looking after your investment for 5 years, you can apply for citizenship.
Here are some of the investments that you can make in Portugal if you want to apply for citizenship via this route:
- Invest in scientific or tech research ongoing in Portugal.
- Invest €400,000 in an existing business, creating at least 8 permanent jobs.
- Invest €500,000 in Portugal by opening a company that will create a minimum of 10 permanent jobs.
- Invest €200,000 to €400,000 to maintain, repair or protect a national heritage or piece of art.
Former Portuguese Colony
Citizens and residents of former Portuguese colonies overseas can apply to acquire Portuguese citizenship. Some countries that were once Portuguese colonies are Cape Verde, Timor, Sao Tome, Macao, Guinea Bissau and Portuguese India.
Citizens of these countries are to show that they are well-versed in the traditions and culture of the Portuguese people. One way to show this is proficiency in speaking and understanding Portuguese.
If you are currently living in any of these countries but are not a citizen, you can be eligible for citizenship by:
- Being at least 18 and emancipated by Portuguese laws.
- Being the progeny of parents or grandparents who are Portuguese citizens.
- Being the partner or spouse of a citizen of these former colonies.
If you have evidence of your service to the Portuguese government or community, you can submit it to the Ministry of Justice so they can decide if they will reward you with citizenship.
By Jewish Sephardic Ancestry
If you are from the lineage of the Sephardic Jews, you may apply for citizenship. The Portuguese government is currently offering citizenship to people from that ancestry. This is because of the unfair treatment the Sephardic Jewish people faced during the inquisition period of the 15th century in the Iberian area.
You can claim Sephardic Jewish ancestry if you prove that:
- You have shares and stocks in a business in Portugal.
- You have a property in Portugal.
- You have family members that use Sephardic surnames.
- You have family members who speak Ladino.
You visit Portugal frequently.
- You have a certificate of residence from the Lisbon Jewish community.
Regaining Lost Citizenship
Before 1981, Portugal did not allow their citizens to hold dual citizenship. This meant that anyone who got citizenship elsewhere would have their Portuguese citizenship revoked. But the rules have been reversed. You can reapply for citizenship if this Law affected you.
Lost Citizenship Due to Change in Civil Status
Portuguese women who got married to foreign nationals and picked up citizenship in their spouse’s home country automatically lost their Portuguese citizenship. This was the rule up until 1981. You can apply to regain citizenship if you are affected.
Lost Citizenship Without Nationality
You can apply to regain citizenship if you renounced or lost Portuguese citizenship and still haven’t obtained another nationality.
Lost Citizenship Due to the Choice of Your Legal Representative
If a legal guardian or parent changed nationalities for you while you were under their care, you can regain Portuguese citizenship if you are 18 years or older.
How Can Total Law Help?
Total Law can assist and advise you on your Portugal citizenship application. We can do this by reviewing your supporting documents to ensure they are suitable for your application.
We can also assess your eligibility for citizenship to know if you meet all the minimum requirements before you start the process.
As stated above, you cannot make an online application without the services of a solicitor. At Total Law, we have experienced and qualified solicitors who can make the online application on your behalf.
We can also ensure you are well-prepared for the CIPLE Portuguese language test.
For more information about what we do and how we can further help you in your citizenship application or any other Portuguese visa, call +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.
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Even though Portugal allows dual or multiple citizenships, Saudi Arabia does not. You will lose your Saudi nationality if you become a Portuguese citizen. The only way to bypass this is to ensure that you have the approval of the Saudi Arabian Prime Minister. If you get Portuguese citizenship without the permission of the Prime Minister, your Saudi Arabian citizenship will be revoked.
It is rare for the Portuguese government to grant visas, permanent residence or citizenship to applicants who have a criminal record. This is because of the government’s commitment to keeping the residents and citizens of Portugal safe. However, if you have a criminal history, you can reach out to any of our lawyers at Total Law. They are experts who can advise you on what to do in your peculiar situation. Contact them by calling +1 844 290 6312.
The Portuguese language proficiency test is not hard. You only need to get the A2 level of Portuguese proficiency if you intend to apply for Portuguese citizenship. The A2 level is the minimum level of the proficiency scale. You should reach this proficiency level if you take language classes for at least 5 months.
You must have lived in Portugal for at least 5 years to be eligible for citizenship. Note that this applies only to legal residents.