Portuguese citizenship | legally resident | at least 5 years
If you have lived as a legal resident in Portugal for at least five years, you can apply for citizenship, provided you have sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language and have active ties to the Portuguese community. In addition, the applicant cannot have felony convictions with a prison sentence of three or more years.
Applicants for citizenship must present the following documents:
- legal document that proves legal residence in Portugal (minimum of five years).
- a birth certificate;
- proof of proficiency in the Portuguese language (or course approved by the Portuguese Government);
- current passport;
- circumstances relating to the current residence permit;
- current home location and a list of nations of previous residence;
a criminal history record.
Remember that after five years of legal residence, the applicant is entitled to apply for both a permanent residence permit and citizenship. Therefore, the applicant can choose to make both requests or just one of them.
Permanent Residence Permit
The application for the long-term resident status is submitted by scheduling, delivered in person on a model form duly signed by the applicant or his/her legal representative, and may be submitted by the person itself in any directorate or regional delegation of SEF, which can forward it, after assessment and decision, to the directorate or regional delegation of the applicant’s area of residence.
It should be accompanied as follows:
- Two identical passport photographs, in colour with blank background, updated and in favourable conditions for identification;
- Valid travel document or a certified copy;
Supporting evidence of stable and regular resources, sufficient for his/her own subsistence and his/her relatives, without resorting to the welfare subsystem, as provided in Order n.º 1563/2007, of 11/12;
Supporting evidence of accommodation;
- Authorisation for consultation of the criminal record;
Supporting evidence of compliance of tax obligations and to social security;
- Holder of a temporary residence permit for at least five years.
Supporting evidence of knowledge of basic Portuguese, by means of submitting the following:
- Certificate of eligibility issued by an official Portuguese teaching establishment or private or corporative teaching establishment recognised by law, or
- In case of a person having attended an official teaching establishment or private or corporative teaching establishment recognized by law in a Portuguese speaking country, by means of a certificate of eligibility issued by that teaching establishment, or
- Certificate of completion of the course on Basic Portuguese issued by IEFP, or
- Certificate of completion of the course on Basic Portuguese issued by an official teaching establishment or private or corporative teaching establishment recognized by law, or
- Certificate of completion of Basic Portuguese, with the completion of a test in an Assessment Centre of Portuguese as foreign language (CAPLE), recognised by the Ministry of Education and Science; or, in addition
- Certificate of completion of level A2, or higher, of the Course on Portuguese as Host Language, promoted by public teaching establishments, by the direct and participated managing centres network of Instituto do Emprego e da Formação Profissional, I.P., and by Centros Qualifica network (or other public and private entities with proven experience in working with migrants, with which those entities or ACM. IP hold protocols), under Order n.º183/2020, of 5 August.
Author: Adriano Martins Pinheiro, lawyer in Portugal