Although the concepts of nationality and residence in Portugal are interconnected, they cover different aspects of an individual’s relationship with the country.

Having Portuguese nationality means being legally recognized as a citizen of Portugal. The acquisition of nationality is generally based on criteria such as ancestry, birth on Portuguese territory, marriage to a Portuguese citizen, or a period of continuous residence in the country. Once someone obtains Portuguese nationality, they enjoy a range of inherent rights, including the right to live and work in Portugal without restrictions, access to public services, the right to vote, and participation in the country’s political life. Additionally, holding Portuguese nationality also offers advantages within the European Union, such as free movement and residence among the member countries.

Residence refers to the act of living legally in Portugal, either temporarily or permanently, without necessarily possessing Portuguese nationality. Foreigners can reside in Portugal under different visa categories, such as work, study, or family reunification visas. Residence grants individuals the right to stay in the country for a specified period and to enjoy certain public services and economic opportunities. However, residence does not grant all the rights associated with nationality, particularly regarding political rights and mobility within the European Union.

For any inquiries about Portuguese nationality, residence, or related matters, you can contact our Nationality Department’s team.

Nationality Department

Ana Santos Fontes | Maria Moura Fonseca | Ana Luíza Fronczak