A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]


CITIZENSHIP: Citizenship is based upon Citizenship Law #37/81, dated 1981, and regulated by Decree Law #322/82.

BY BIRTH: Birth within the territory of Portugal does not automatically confer citizenship.

BY DESCENT: Child, at least one of whose parents is a citizen of Portugal, regardless of the child's country of birth. Parents of a child born abroad must make a declaration of desire for Portuguese citizenship for the child and register the child either at a Portuguese consulate abroad or at government offices in Portugal.

REGISTRATION: The following are eligible for citizenship by registration: Foreign spouses who have been married to a Portuguese citizen for over 3 years. Foreign child adopted by Portuguese citizens.

BY NATURALIZATION: Portuguese citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions: Person is at least 21 years old. Person has resided in Portugal for at least six years if originally from a Portuguese speaking country or for 10 years for other nationals. Person has a working knowledge of Portuguese. Person possesses a good moral character and civil record. Person has a viable means of support.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP: RECOGNIZED. Exception: Portuguese citizens who obtained a second citizenship prior to October of 1981 lost their Portuguese citizenship under the previous Citizenship Law #2098, dated July, 1959. Upon adoption of the new law, # 37/81, these persons were able to petition for the return of their Portuguese citizenship.


VOLUNTARY: Voluntary renunciation of Portuguese citizenship is permitted by law. Contact the Embassy for details and required paperwork.

INVOLUNTARY: The following is grounds for involuntary loss of Portuguese citizenship: Upon reaching age 21, dual citizen does not formally express their desire to maintain their Portuguese citizenship.

ANY QUESTIONS concerning citizenship, or requests for renunciation of citizenship, should be directed to the address below:

Embassy of Portugal Consular Section 2310 Tracy Place NW Washington, DC 20008

Embassy/Consular Telephone: 202-332-3007 Fax: 202-387-2768


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