Insight Needed: Citizenship Process for Newborns to Portugal Golden Visa Parents

Hello Community,

I’m currently awaiting my Portuguese residency card under the Golden Visa program, expected to arrive in the next 2-3 months. My husband already holds his residency card, valid until 2025. We are planning to move to Portugal in February 2024 and are expecting a baby in July 2024. Given our situation, we’re seeking insights on the citizenship status of a newborn born in Portugal to Golden Visa holders.

Our lawyer has informed us that in our case, the newborn would be eligible for immediate Portuguese citizenship. However, we’ve come across information that suggests otherwise, indicating that children born to Golden Visa holders typically receive a temporary residence permit, not immediate citizenship (

There’s also a theory suggesting that children born in Portugal can apply for citizenship immediately if their non-EU parent has been a resident for at least one year. ‘being a resident for at least one year.’ Does this refer to the duration of holding the resident card, or does it mean physically living in Portugal for a year?

We would greatly appreciate any insights, experiences, or knowledge from the community, especially from those who have been in a similar situation or are well-versed in this matter.

Thank you in advance for your time and responses.

Portugal doesnt offer a birthright citizenship like in the US or Chile, however your lawyer is correct if one of the parent has lived in the national territory of Portugal for an year before the birth irrespective of the Visa/ Residency permit status the child can apply for a PT nationality at birth. In your case if you give birth to a baby in the national territory of PT and your husband had a residency permit for over 365 days at the time of birth, the baby should be automatically eligible. Its a straight forward process, if the place of birth is inside a public hospital they do have a counter where you can register in minutes and Voila… done deal.

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This is right. Ours was born in a private hospital, so no desk internally / we had to go to the Registo Civil in the month after birth and request a cartão cidadão. It was easy and took just a couple weeks to receive. We joke how much easier giving birth was vs the golden visa process :joy:

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It’s not a theory, it’s the law:

Artigo 1.º

(Nacionalidade originária)

1 - São portugueses de origem:

f) Os indivíduos nascidos no território português, filhos de estrangeiros que não se encontrem ao serviço do respetivo Estado, que não declarem não querer ser portugueses, desde que, no momento do nascimento, um dos progenitores resida legalmente no território português, ou aqui resida, independentemente do título, há pelo menos um ano;

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Thank you for your valuable insights. Your explanation clarifies a lot for us. We’ve travelled to Portugal for a few months in 2023, so we won’t meet the criterion of physically residing in Portugal for a full year. However, our situation seems hopeful as my husband will have held his residency card for over a year by July 2024, with his card issued on June 17, 2023.

To ensure we fully understand the requirements and are well-prepared, could you kindly share a link to the specific law or official document that mentions the eligibility for Portuguese nationality for a newborn, based on a parent holding a residency permit for over 365 days at the time of birth? Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your experience with the birth process and obtaining the cartão cidadão. It’s intriguing to compare it with the Golden Visa process! :smile:

Could you please share if you had been living in Portugal for a year before your child’s birth? Also, how long did you need to stay in Portugal after the birth to complete the birth certificate or citizenship formalities?

Many thanks for your insights!

Thank you for directing me to the specific law. The phrase ‘independentemente do título’ clarifies that the law also encompasses those with a Golden Visa, as it covers all types of legal residency titles. However, I hope there’s a more detailed explanation about the interpretation of “reside” in terms of physical presence versus legal status.

Residency Permit is the proof and Portugal is losing soo much population nowadays, you are right to be worried as this is a big decision to make in your life. However, I know atleast 2 couples who are in your situation and gotten their kids PT nationality at birth. Again, internet is a bad place to seek an advice, trust the expert Nationality lawyers.

Hi Guys,

Would love clarification on this as well.
Is “resident” defined based on the start date on the card, or is there any criteria regarding the number of days spent in that country in the last year or tax status etc?

If your home country allows dual citizenship there is not much possible downside. Except having to get copies of your child’s birth certificate from Portugal for the rest of their life! But most places that are not Portugal never ask for “fresh” birth certificates, so just getting a few extra copies when they are born might suffice.

We choose to stay 1 month after the birth but you can do all citizenship paperwork in 2 days.

Our lives have been all over the globe so obtaining our documents for the Golden Visa has been a huge pain. This Portuguese policy of “fresh” birth certificate thing (not to mention “fresh” marriage certificates with only 6 months validity) is crazy.

Your situation is same as mine. It’s really crazy. And the even more crazier thing is the legalization of these documents in countries who are not signatory to the apostille convention, it becomes even more torturous, as then you need to legalize these first from ministry of foreign affairs of the document issuing country, then further legalization from Portuguese embassy in that country. And the best thing is, the Portuguese embassies are so incompetent in most of the countries around the world are that, they don’t even bother replying to your emails or phone calls in order to give an appointment for such legalizations. I’ve been in touch with Portugues embassies in 2 countries which are not apostille countries, and so far none replies from them after waiting for more than 1 month, let alone when they reply if at all, and legalize the said documents. Such a horror show !