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News & Knowledge

Application for Portuguese nationality by Portuguese grandchildren born outside Portugal

5th February 2019
Miguel de Azeredo Perdigão, Azeredo Perdigao & Associados - Sociedade de Advogados, RL

One of the recent amendments to the Portuguese Nationality Act is the possibility of Portuguese Nationality be granted to grandchildren of Portuguese nationals born outside Portugal, when the Parents did not request this nationality previously. MSI's Portuguese law member Azeredo Perdigão & Associados provides further information.

In fact, according to an amendment dated June 2017, the Portuguese Nationality Act provides the possibility of an individual “(…) born outside Portugal who have at least a Portuguese national 2nd grade ascendant in the direct line and that has never lost his/her nationality [grandparent or grandmother], declare that want to be Portuguese, to have a real connection to the Portuguese community, and if these requirements are meet, register their birth ant the Portuguese Registry Office” may acquire the Portuguese nationality, when until such moment it was only possible to acquire it by a process based upon the naturalization system.

Therefore, the submission of the application for the Portuguese nationality should be cumulatively accompanied with the following documents: (i) birth certificate of the applicant, (ii) birth certificates of the grandmother/grandfather with Portuguese nationality and of the parent who is their descendant, (iii) criminal registration certificates from Portugal, from the country of birth and country of nationality and from countries where the applicant has been or is resident, (iv) document proving sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language and (v) documents that can contribute to prove a real connection or effective ties with the Portuguese community.

If the above-mentioned documents do not raise any major difficulty, the reference to  real  connection  or  effective  ties  with  the  Portuguese  community  and  the documents that can prove it deserves further consideration given the fact that the fulfilment of this requirement is essential on the procedure for granting Portuguese nationality.

Once the concept of real connection or effective ties with the Portuguese community is somehow vague and determinable only before each case, the Portuguese Nationality Regulation stipulates some provisions that the real connection or effective ties with the Portuguese community exists when the applicant, on the moment of the request:

  • Has resided legally in Portugal in the three years immediately preceding the application, is registered with the Portuguese Tax Authority and National Health Service, and attends an educational establishment in Portugal or demonstrates knowledge of Portuguese Language;
  • Has resided legally in Portugal in the five years immediately preceding the application and is registered with the Portuguese Tax Authority and National Health Service;

However, it may occur that the applicant does not have a residence or live in Portugal. In this case, the Portuguese Nationality Regulations stipulates that the real connection or effective ties with the Portuguese community must be proved by documentation submitted with the request, mentioning a non-exhaustive list of documents that demonstrate and fulfill such requirement and relates with:

  • Legal residence in Portugal;
  • Regular travels or visits to Portugal;
  • Property owned by the applicant for more than three years or lease agreement entered by the applicant for more than three years, regarding assets or real estate located in Portugal;
  • Residence or connection or ties with an historic Portuguese community outside Portugal;
  • Involvement or regular participation over the five years prior to the request in the cultural life of the Portuguese community in the country where the applicant lives, namely in the activities of the Portuguese cultural and recreation activities of these

In conclusion, and although the obtaining of the said documents to provide with the submission of the request may be bureaucratic and the procedure may not be fast, it is worth note and highlight that the granting of the Portuguese nationality to the applicant entitles him with the same rights that any other Portuguese  citizen, namely to obtain the Portuguese identity card or passport and to circulate and to move freely within the EU and the Schengen Area, in a case that, according the 2018 Edition of the Henley Passport Index, the Portuguese passport was considered as the 5th most valuable in the world, among passports of 199 countries and granting access to 186 countries without visa.

About Azeredo Perdigao & Associados - Lisbon

In law practice, every case is different, and every client is unique. The understanding of this duality must be at the core of law practice in today's world. It is because of this that AZEREDO PERDIGÃO & ASSOCIADOS makes each client feel special and the object of personalised service. Herein lies one of the reasons for the satisfaction of our clients and the guiding principle behind the art of our law practice since 1919.

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