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There are numerous conditions and steps to take if you've been living in Portugal for a while and feel it's the perfect time to become a Portuguese national, or if you've never been to Portugal and want to become a Portuguese citizen one day. To ensure success, each of these requirements and steps must be fulfilled and adequately completed. Being a Portuguese citizen entitles you to a Portuguese passport, which is one of the highest-ranking passports in the world. You can also live freely in Portugal and work full-time without needing to apply for a work permit.

Why is Portugal popular among expats?

Expats (expatriates) are people who live in a country other than their own. For expats, there are various advantages to living in Portugal. Besides a rich culture and beautiful infrastructure, sources show that a third of Portuguese people can speak English. This is a significant advantage for expats from English-speaking native countries. Also, the cost of living in Portugal is a lot cheaper when compared to other European countries and even the United States.

Applying for Portuguese nationality

Who can apply?

Several people can apply for Portuguese nationality, depending on varying requirements, these include;

• People over 18 who have lived in Portugal for at least six years and have no criminal convictions punishable by three or more years in prison under Portuguese law. This method is called naturalization.

• People who have been married to a Portuguese national for at least three years. This method of gaining Portuguese citizenship does not necessitate your presence in Portugal for the duration of the process. There is a noticeable distinction in criteria between Portugal and the rest of the European Union.

• People who are descended from Portuguese parents or grandparents. You can apply for Portuguese nationality if one or both of your parents are Portuguese, if you were born overseas but have a Portuguese grandparent, or if your non-Portuguese parents lived in Portugal for more than five years before your birth.

• People who have been adopted by Portuguese parents but are under 18 while applying for Portuguese citizenship.

• Individuals with ties to former Portuguese territories such as Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, and Portuguese India. For Macau and India, they would have had to be born under the period of Portuguese rule to apply for Portuguese nationality.

• People who have had Portuguese citizenship and lost it.

• Non-Portuguese minors whose parents became citizens of Portugal after they were born.

• People who are descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews.

What documents are needed?

The documents required to apply for Portuguese nationality vary depending on the requirements you meet and under what condition you are applying for. Generally, you would need the following documents to apply for Portuguese citizenship;

  • Completed citizenship application form

  • birth certificate (if possible)

  • proof of sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language

  • passport/travel ID

  • details of current residence permit

  • details of date and place of birth, occupation, current residence, and list of countries previously resided in

  • criminal record certificate

  • document issued by the SEF proving that you have been legally resident in Portugal for at least six years. (for people applying naturalization)

  • marriage certificate (for people applying through marriage)

  • Certificate of adoption (for people applying through adoption).

  • Birth certificate of the Portuguese parent (for people applying through adoption).

  • Certificate of the Jewish community to which you belong (for people applying as Sephardic Jews).

Getting nationality–translating documents

After preparing all relevant documents when trying to gain nationality in Portugal, the next step would involve properly translating all documents to Portuguese before submission to the Portuguese Ministry of Justice (Instituto dos Registos e do Notariado – IRN)

At times compiling and translating some of these legal documents may require a bit of expertise. To avoid having to get rejected applications due to translation and processing errors, use Starska Translations today.

With about 1000 highly experienced linguists in legal translations, Starska Translations is the number 1 translation service for anyone looking to process and translate Portuguese nationality application documents.

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