12 de December, 2023
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.
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.
No. The Portuguese ancestors may have already passed away. As provided in the Nationality Law, the attribution extends directly up to the 2nd generation.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
It will be necessary to review the aforementioned points, this time focusing on the generation immediately preceding the one seeking citizenship.
When discussing Portuguese citizenship for great-grandchildren, there are other requirements to fulfill:
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.
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:
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.
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€.
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.
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.
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!