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Portuguese Citizenship via Marriage

Citizenship Acquisition and Wish-Effect

In general, people acquire Portuguese citizenship in one of three ways: wish-effect, adoption, or naturalization. When a candidate is married to a Portuguese citizen, a wish-effect is the relevant pathway. Portugal grants citizenship to the spouse or legally recognized cohabitant of a Portuguese citizen via wish-effect. More simply, the person must declare their wish to be Portuguese.

I. Persons married to a Portuguese citizen for at least three years are eligible for citizenship, regardless of residency provided they meet the following criteria:

i. demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language; and

ii. maintain active ties to the national community; and

iii. possess no convictions with a prison sentence of more than three years; and

iv. do not serve as a civil servant to a foreign state; and

v. have not rendered non-compulsory military service to a foreign state.