Obtaining Portuguese Nationality
Nationality is a bond between a person and a chosen country. In general,
countries are free to choose who they accept as their nationals.
Regulations applicable to Foreigners wishing to adopt Portuguese
Nationality are subject to change but as a guide the following factors
shown below apply:
• Married to a Portuguese national for more then 3 years.
• Underage or dependant children whose parents acquired Portuguese
nationality. The application needs to be requested by the legal
representative of the involved child.
• A child fully adopted by a Portuguese national.
The Portuguese government may also grant the Portuguese nationality
to foreign citizens when:
• They are over 18 years of age
• They have been living in Portugal, or a territory under the Portuguese
administration, with a valid “Residencia” permit for at least 6 or 10
years (only 6 years for nationals of Portuguese speaking countries)
• They have adequate knowledge of the Portuguese language (applicants
will be submitted to a test)
• They can prove that they have an effective connection with the
• They have no criminal record
• They have the proven financial means to provide for themselves and
their all living costs
A foreign citizen who wishes to apply for Portuguese nationality, must
make a request by letter to the “Ministério da Administração Interna”
through their local office of the “Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras
For further information about how to request a Portuguese nationality,
(Example: necessary documents), please contact your local SEF office, or
details can be found online at www.sef.pt
Arranging a Marriage in Portugal
Foreign citizens can become married in Portugal and the rules that apply
are the same as for Portuguese nationals. The foreign bride and groom
must prove that their union in marriage comply with the laws that are
applicable for marriage in their own country of origin.
To start the process it will be necessary for a “Certificado de
Capacidade Matrimonial” (Certificate of Matrimonial Capacity) issued by
the authorities of their own country. (Please also refer to the list of
impediments to marriage below)
In order that the authorities are able to verify the situation of the
bride and groom a document proving this fact must be obtained from the
Portuguese “Conservatória” which will organise the process of
confirmation of the matrimonial capacity.
The commence the process a Certificate of Nationality, Birth Certificate
of both bride and groom and Document proving the ability to confirm
their marital capacity must be arranged. When these documents are issued
in a foreign language they must be translated into the Portuguese
language by an authorised authority.
List of impediments to marriage in Portugal
According to Portuguese law the impediments for a marriage between to
• Aged under 16
• Possessing notorious dementia even during lucid periods
• Interdiction by psychic/mental illness reasons
• A previous marriage having not been dissolved, (even when occurring
abroad and not registered in Portugal)
• An insufficient period between marriages (civil or religious).
Requirement is 180 days for men and 300 days for women. (These periods
start from the date of dissolution of the previous marriage)
• When relatives in first or second degree
• Involving a legal bond of guardianship
• When either the bride or groom having been charged with murder of the
In specific cases there may be more documents or procedures requested.
We recommend that applicants should also check with their local
Portuguese Consulate or Embassy for any up-to-date changes to the above.