Advantages of obtaining Portuguese Citizenship: Main Benefits

21 de December, 2023

Advantages of obtaining Portuguese Citizenship: Main Benefits

Descubra as vantagens da obtenção da cidadania portuguesa: acesse agora e conheça os principais benefícios para você e sua família.
Reading: 5 min

Portuguese citizenship is a gateway to a world of opportunities. It offers a range of advantages that extend beyond Portugal’s borders, spanning across the entire European Union—a valuable asset in the globalization era. The Portuguese passport ranks 4th among the most powerful globally, granting visa-free entry to 191 countries.

It’s worth noting that Portugal allows dual citizenship. If your home country permits it as well, you can hold two passports simultaneously.

We’ve outlined several significant advantages of obtaining Portuguese citizenship and living in Portugal. If you’re eligible—whether through descent (children and grandchildren), residency time, or marriage—but haven’t applied yet, here are the primary reasons not to delay. Laws change, opportunities fade, and family circumstances shift. Secure your citizenship now, even if you don’t plan to reside in Portugal at this moment.

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What are the advantages of Portuguese citizenship?

As we mentioned, having Portuguese citizenship can significantly ease the life of those who decide to move to Portugal. Among the various advantages of being a Portuguese citizen, the main ones are:

1.Living as a European citizen

With Portuguese citizenship, you can live, work, and study in Portugal. Additionally, as Portugal is a member of the European Union (EU), you automatically become a European citizen. This means you can travel, live, work, and study throughout the EU. For instance, you’ll have the right to pay the same taxes, participate in public contests, use public healthcare, and freely move among European bloc countries just with your citizen card.
Moreover, you can enjoy the country’s quality of life, known for its safety, low cost of living, and quality public services like healthcare and education.

If you desire to live in another European country with Portuguese citizenship, you only need to apply for your  European Registration Certificate (Certificado do Registo de Cidadão da União Europeia – CRUE) CRUE is an official document formalizing the residence rights of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens in European countries different from the one they hold nationality in.

2.Dealing with less bureaucracy

Portuguese citizens have to deal with less bureaucracy compared to immigrants with residence permits, for example.
People living in Portugal with a residence permit need to renew it every 1, 2, or 3 years, depending on the type of permit. Portuguese nationals no longer need to go through this procedure or deal with the SEF (Portuguese Immigration Service).

3.Traveling visa-free to 191 countries

Portuguese citizens enjoy the advantage of traveling without the need for a visa to 191 different countries. This is why the Portuguese passport ranks 4th among the most powerful globally and has been rising in this ranking over the years.
This includes trips to the United States, something highly desired by Brazilian citizens who need to pay a high price and undergo interviews to obtain a visa to visit the country.

4.Passing nationality to descendants

Another advantage of having Portuguese citizenship is acquiring the right to pass on nationality to children, as an inheritance. If you already have or intend to have children, they will also be entitled to citizenship. (Derived citizenship can only be passed to minor children. Learn more details here.)

5.Paying lower fees for studying at universities in Portugal

One of the advantages of Portuguese citizenship is the possibility to pay lower fees for studying in Portugal. If you are a student with Portuguese citizenship, you have the right to pay the same tuition fees as Portuguese students.

This is a great advantage for those who wish to pursue higher education in Portugal as the costs are significantly lower. To give an idea, at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto (FLUP), a bachelor’s degree course costs 697€ for national students, compared to 1925€ for students from the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries), which includes Brazilian students. For international students from countries that do not have Portuguese as an official language, the fee is higher: 3500€. Therefore, Portuguese citizenship can open doors to more accessible education in Portugal. See here the best universities in Portugal and how to obtain your student visa.

6.Accessing free basic education

In Portugal, education is compulsory from ages 6 to 18 (from the 1st to the 12th school year). Public schools are free, and many of them rank among the best institutions in the country. Only 20% of Portuguese students are enrolled in private schools, according to the Education in Numbers report. Having Portuguese citizenship allows you to access these services.

Read here all the advantages of studying in Portugal with Portuguese citizenship.

7.Accessing good healthcare services

Another advantage of Portuguese citizenship is access to high-quality public services at affordable prices, with public health being a notable example.
Portugal’s National Health Service (NHS) is efficient and can be your sole source of healthcare if desired, eliminating the need for private health insurance. Many NHS services are free, while others have very accessible costs. For instance, tests requested by the Health Center’s doctor are free.

Additionally, most prescribed medications are subsidized by the government. In some cases, the co-payment can cover up to 90% of the medication’s cost. Therefore, Portuguese citizenship can be a gateway to affordable and quality healthcare in Portugal.

8.Having political rights in Portugal

You have the right to vote and run for public office in Portugal and your country of residence within the EU.

Consular protection

As a Portuguese citizen, you have the right to receive consular assistance from the Embassy or Consulates of Portugal anywhere in the world. This includes emergency situations, accidents, international crises, and detentions abroad, ensuring you receive fair treatment in accordance with local laws and providing legal guidance.

Additionally, Portuguese consulates can assist in passport renewals, provide legal and medical guidance, and even help establish contact with family members in cases of communication loss.

How to acquire Portuguese citizenship

Portuguese citizenship can be obtained in various ways, as defined by the Nationality Law, as listed below:

  • By descent: those descended from a Portuguese person may be eligible. If you are a child or grandchild of a Portuguese citizen, you can obtain Portuguese citizenship directly. If you are a great-grandchild, you may still be eligible, provided your ancestors apply for it first;
  • By residency time: can be granted to those legally living in Portugal for at least 5 years. In this case, it will be citizenship by naturalization (derived);
  • Through marriage or common-law marriage: those married or in a common-law marriage with a Portuguese citizen (for at least 3 years) can apply for citizenship;
  • Child of immigrants born in Portugal: if the child’s parents have a residence permit or have lived in the country for at least 1 year, even without a title;
  • By adoption: this option is valid for people adopted by a Portuguese citizen before turning 18 and before October 8, 1981;
  • Being a descendant of Sephardic Jews: in this case, it is necessary to prove Sephardic origin through a certificate issued by the Jewish Community (in Porto or Lisbon);
  • Through investment in Portugal (Golden Visa): citizens who have an investor visa and maintain the investment for 5 years also have the right to apply for citizenship.

Is it worth having Portuguese citizenship?

For sure! If you believe you might be eligible for Portuguese citizenship (or wish to find out), we suggest that you go through the entire process with the support of a specialized consultancy, such as Atlantic Bridge. Get in touch with our consultants by clicking here.

Silvia Resende


Silvia Resende

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