Acquiring Portuguese nationality via naturalisation
The citizenship law specifies various situations in relation to the acquisition of Portuguese citizenship through naturalisation to foreign nationals who meet all of the following requirements:
▪ To have reached adulthood or being of age under Portuguese law
▪ To have legally resided in Portuguese territory for at least six years with any type of resident permit except a short-stay visa
▪ To have sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language
▪ Not to have been found guilty, under a final and binding decision (res judicata), of a crime punishable with a maximum prison sentence equal to or greater than three years, under Portuguese law (e.g. murder, assault, theft, robbery, drug trafficking).
What should I include in my request for citizenship?
▪ Full name, date of birth, marital status, place of origin, citizenship, parental details, profession, current residence, details of countries previously resided in
▪ Full name and residence of the legal representative (if the applicant is incapacitated) or holder of the power of attorney (if one exists)
▪ Details of the number, date and issuing body of the person’s residence visa or similar document, passport or equivalent identification document of the applicant, their legal representative or the holder of the power of attorney
▪ Applicant’s signature, witnessed by a notary. The form to apply for naturalisation may be obtained from the following website: http://www.dgrn.mj.pt
Where should I submit my request?
Those wishing to acquire Portuguese citizenship through naturalisation can submit their request at one of the following services:
▪ At the extension to the Central Registry Office, at the National Immigrant Support Centre or at the annex in Alto dos Moinhos, in Rua Augusto Pina, nº 21 r/c Loja A, Lisboa, through filling in the appropriate application form.
Documents and the application form may also be sent by post to the Central Registry Office at Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, nº 200, 1093-003 Lisbon.
▪ If you are sending your documents by post and payment is required, you should include a cheque or postal order payable in Portugal made out to the “Conservatória dos Registos Centrais” (the Central Registry Office) in order to carry out this payment.
▪ At any Civil Register Office
▪ At a Portuguese Consulate (consular fees may be payable)
The application can also be made by completing the relevant application form and posting it to the Central Registry Office or by lodging it in person at the CNAI.
By Dennis Swing Greene
Dennis Swing Greene is Chairman and International Tax Consultant for euroFINESCO s.a.