The Government grants Portuguese nationality, by naturalization, to foreigners who have been legally residing in Portuguese territory for at least five years.

According to the Nationality Law (No. 37/81, October 3), “legally residing” in Portuguese territory is understood to mean individuals who are here, with their situation in order before the Portuguese authorities, under any of the titles, visas or authorizations foreseen in the regime of entry, stay, exit and removal of foreigners, and in the regime of the right to asylum.

The law also delimits that the legal residence of five years can be either uninterrupted or interpolated, for the purpose of the application for nationality, as long as the periods have elapsed within a maximum interval of 15 years.

In addition to the length of residence, there are other important requirements that need to be met: 1) the applicant must be of age or emancipated under Portuguese law; and 2) the applicant must have sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language (a requirement that is presumed for applicants who are nationals of Portuguese-speaking countries).

Furthermore, in order to apply for nationality by this form, the applicant cannot have been sentenced for a crime that in Portugal is punishable by a prison sentence of 3 years or more, or be involved in activities related to terrorism.

Portuguese Nationality for those who have been legally residing in Portugal for at least five years can be requested online by the proxy (lawyer or solicitor representing you.

Nationality Department

Ana Santos Fontes | Maria Moura Fonseca | Ana Luíza Fronczak