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Portuguese Citizenship for Grandchildren of Portuguese: How to Apply

12 de December, 2023

Portuguese Citizenship for Grandchildren of Portuguese: How to Apply

Learn about Portuguese Citizenship for Grandchildren of Portuguese Citizens: Requirements, Required Documents, Costs, and How to Apply.
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Reading: 7 min

The expansion of the Portuguese community worldwide throughout the centuries has created a global network of family connections. With Portuguese presence in various parts of the world, many descendants now seek dual citizenship: whether to live in Portugal, have unrestricted access to the European Space, or simply secure rights for future generations. In this article, we’ll explain how Portuguese citizenship for grandchildren of Portuguese citizens works. Discover if you are eligible, the main requirements, necessary documents, costs, and the steps involved.

Also read: Does a great-grandchild of a Portuguese have the right to apply for dual citizenship?

Grandchildren of an original Portuguese citizen have the right to Portuguese citizenship

Since the amendment to the nationality law in 2015, the grandchild of an original Portuguese citizen is entitled to Portuguese citizenship by descent. In other words, it is retroactive to the individual’s birth. Thus, at the end of the process, the applicant is considered Portuguese since birth.

According to the Nationality Law, individuals are eligible if they have:

“…at least one ascendant of Portuguese nationality by origin in the direct line of the second degree who has not lost that nationality, if they declare that they want to be Portuguese and have effective ties to the national community.

Lei na Nacionalidade Portuguesa

This nationality right can be directly transmitted from the grandfather or grandmother to the grandson or granddaughter without the need for the intermediate generation to obtain citizenship. This condition is particularly useful for those who have lost their Portuguese descendant parent.

There are some requirements to fulfill, as we’ll explain below.

Does the Portuguese grandmother or grandfather need to be alive at the time of applying for citizenship?

No. The Portuguese ancestors may have already passed away. As provided in the Nationality Law, the attribution extends directly up to the 2nd generation.

Portuguese Grandfather and grandchildren in a field.

Great-Grandchild of a Portuguese Citizen Gains Portuguese Nationality?

In the case of Portuguese citizenship for great-grandchildren, unlike for grandchildren, this is only possible if at least one Portuguese ancestor (up to two previous generations) is still alive and acquires nationality beforehand to pass it on afterward. Therefore, a new citizenship application will be necessary for the child or grandchild. Check the details here.

Can a naturalized Portuguese grandchild request citizenship?

No.

There are two types of Portuguese nationality: origin (obtained by birth) and derivative (through naturalization).

Nationality for grandchildren is only valid for grandchildren of an original Portuguese citizen (according to the Nationality Law, article 1, no. 1, clause d). In other words: if the grandfather obtained nationality through naturalization (e.g., through Sephardic ancestry, marriage, or residency), the grandchild does not have the right.

Only minor children of a naturalized Portuguese citizen can receive Portuguese citizenship.

Requirements for requesting citizenship for a Portuguese grandchild

Similar to the Portuguese Citizenship for children application, it is essential to analyze the direct line of ancestry to the Portuguese individual, paying particular attention to birth records and required documents.

Note that for the grandchild to be eligible for citizenship, the parent of that grandchild (i.e., the descendant of the Portuguese) should also have that same right. In other words, the grandchild seeks direct citizenship when the Portuguese lineage ancestor (parent) is not interested or has already passed away.

Important aspects to consider before applying

Identify who the Portuguese individual was in the family. Was it the grandfather or grandmother? Was there a marriage? Who was responsible for registering your birth? Was this registration made when you were a child or in adulthood? Look for this information in your birth certificate and in the previous generation’s documentation.

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Registration of Birth in Adulthood

The first aspect to verify is the birth registration date (birth certificate). Nowadays, babies are registered at birth, but this wasn’t always the case. For the case to be viable, the birth registrations of the applicant and direct ancestor must have occurred before adulthood. So, if the registration occurred afterward, the case will be unviable.

Portuguese Ancestry and Birth Declarant: Generation of the Portuguese

  • Portuguese paternal ancestry (Portuguese grandfather) with the grandfather declaring the birth of the parent of the applicant: viable process.
  • Portuguese maternal ancestry (Portuguese grandmother) with the grandmother declaring the birth of the parent of the applicant: viable process.
  • Portuguese maternal ancestry and the grandfather declaring the birth of the parent of the applicant. A crucial point: were they married at the time of the birth?
    • Yes. If married, the request is viable, requiring the presentation of the grandparents’ marriage transcription process (for marriages outside Portugal from 1911 onward).
    • No. In this case, the situation may be more complex but not impossible. You can proceed with the process as long as there are documents proving filiation during minority. The more documents signed by the grandmother that can be presented, the greater the chance of success in the process.
  • Portuguese paternal ancestry (Portuguese grandfather) with the grandmother declaring the birth of the parent of the applicant. Were they married at the time of birth?
    • Yes. If married, the request is viable, requiring the transcription of the grandparents’ marriage (for marriages outside Portugal from 1911 onward).
    • No. In this case, the process is unfeasible. The grandchild will not have the right to Portuguese citizenship.

Ancestor and Birth Declarant: Generation of the Child of the Portuguese (parent of the applicant)

It will be necessary to review the aforementioned points, this time focusing on the generation immediately preceding the one seeking citizenship.

Additional Requirements in the Grandchild’s Citizenship Application

When discussing Portuguese citizenship for great-grandchildren, there are other requirements to fulfill:

  • No conviction for a prison sentence equal to or exceeding 3 years, with a final court judgment according to Portuguese law.
  • No representation of danger or threat to national security or defense through involvement in terrorism-related activities.
  • Connections with Portugal.
  • Knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Currently, knowledge of Portuguese language is interpreted as a connection with Portugal. For citizens from CPLP nations, this knowledge is presumed, dispensing the need for proof.

Documents required for the grandchild’s citizenship application

Now that you know the criteria to check to see if you can start your process of acquiring Portuguese nationality, here are the required documents:

  • Completed and signed birth declaration in the presence of a Consulate-General of Portugal official (or power of attorney);
  • Applicant’s identification document;
  • Applicant’s birth certificate;
  • Portuguese birth certificate of the parent in the ancestry line;
  • If the Portuguese parent is deceased, it will be necessary to transcribe the Death Certificate for this record to appear in Portugal;
  • Portuguese grandparents’ marriage transcription;
  • Parents’ birth certificates in the ancestry line;
  • Documents proving filiation during minority (if the grandmother and/or mother are Portuguese, not the birth declarant, and the grandparents/parents were not married at the time of birth);
  • Proof of life if the applicant is over 70 years old;
  • If the applicant is a married woman and has changed her name due to marriage, the marriage certificate will also be necessary;
  • If one of the parents comes from a country where Portuguese is not the official language, a sworn translation of the documents related to that part will be necessary.

Where to apply for citizenship?

The application for Portuguese nationality can be done online, if done through a lawyer. It can also be done by the individual at the Portuguese consulate in the area of residence, at a Civil Registry Office (Conservatórias), at the Institute of Registries and Notaries counter (Instituto dos Registos e Notariado), at the National Support Center for Migrants’ Integration (Centro Nacional de Apoio à Integração de Migrantes), and at the Nationality Desk (Balcão de Nacionalidade).

Note: Obtaining citizenship through the consulate usually involves a longer process.

How much does the citizenship for Portuguese grandchildren cost?

The cost associated with processing the citizenship request for a grandchild is 175€ in Portugal. Consider that there will still be expenses for issuing the required documents, their copies, apostilles, and translations (if necessary).

For instance, the transcription of the grandparents’ marriage, if their marriage did not take place in Portugal, will cost an additional 250€.

How long does it take for a grandchild’s nationality to be ready?

The time will depend on the chosen Civil Registry Office (Conservatória), but on average, the waiting time is 36 months. This period can extend to 60 months when the grandchild’s citizenship is requested through a consulate.

How to expedite the nationality process

Applying for the citizenship of Portuguese grandchildren directly in Portugal can expedite your process as it bypasses intermediaries. A consultancy like Atlantic Bridge can assist you in making the online application through lawyers directly in Portugal.

Living in Portugal without Portuguese citizenship

If you don’t meet the requirements above, you cannot apply for citizenship through an ascendant, but hope is not lost! If you truly wish to live in Portugal, you can obtain citizenship through residency in the country. In this case, you’ll need to obtain a residency visa that suits your profile.

Never make your move without a visa that allows you to legally reside in the country! Speak to our consultants and explore all visa options for a relaxed life in Portugal!

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Silvia Resende

Author:

Silvia Resende

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