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 for more than 3 years, 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. possess no convictions with a prison sentence of more than three years; and
ii. do not serve as a civil servant to a foreign state; and
iii. have not rendered non-compulsory military service to a foreign state.
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