Not adding spouse to GV application initially, bad idea?

I’m in the GV process, but haven’t included my spouse in the application mostly because they won’t have the time to spend 7 days each year or fly to Portugal for biometrics etc. We are right now in US/US citizens. I can work remotely so going back and forth to Portugal every year isn’t a big deal, but this isn’t true for spouse, those 7 days would have to come at the expense of other places in the world we’d rather go on holidays.

Our current thinking is that if and when I get the citizenship, and if and when we decide to use that citizenship to actually settle in Europe, my spouse can always just apply then for family reunification or naturalization due to having a Portuguese citizen spouse.

And if for whatever reason I’m unable to get eventual citizenship or we never plan to execute that citizenship by settling here due to life reasons, then atleast spouse didn’t have to go through the hassle.

Is there any pitfalls or issues here?

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Portugal is a country that lets spouses of citizens naturalize with no residence requirements. Which means of you’re happy to wait the decade or so it will take, this makes a lot of sense.


Personally I think this is a bad idea from your spouse’s perspective. Sorry to be morbid, but what if you die, or get divorced?

If I die or get divorced my spouse will have no reason to move to Europe. They’re a US citizen and will be happy to be here all their life.

I want an EU passport due to wanting to eventually live part-time in Europe, and spouse will join me on my crazy adventures because of love and all, but if I’m not in the picture current life is fine


In that case then yes, doesn’t seem much point adding spouse to application, save the fees.

With regards the point made by the poster above about Portugal letting spouses of citizens naturalize with no residence requirements. Although that is the case for most Portuguese citizens, my lawyer told me that spouses of citizens who have acquired Portuguese nationality cannot naturalize in this way. But you’d still be able to have them join you wherever you were living in the EU as your spouse.


I’ve heard differently from other lawyers…


Perhaps they were referring to it being harder to prove a link to the Portuguese community in that case (unless actually spending a lot of time in Portugal)?

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But I believe there’s a new law that the link is automatic if you’ve either been married 6 years (which if you’ve been married through the whole GV process seems likely) or married 3 years and have children together.


Right, the six year marriage being considered automatic proof of ties is what makes it work. OP will have been much longer than six years by the time they get citizenship.

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I didn’t add mine either, planning on waiting.

I understand the 6/3 year requirement to mean you have to be married to a Portuguese national for 6 years, or married to a Portuguese national for 3 and have Portuguese children. So your spouse’s clock would only start to run after you got your citizenship. No?

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I understand it to mean if married for 3 years, you must prove ties to Portugal. Having Portuguese children with your Portuguese spouse is considered indisputable proof, i.e. not up to the subjective judgement of a bureaucrat or challengable by the public prosecutor. If married for 6 years, no proof of ties is required.

So at 3 years with no kids, or kids born before your spouse naturalized, you can still apply, but should expect a higher burden of proof of ties to Portugal.

But, not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, etc

Right, but I’m still a bit hazy as to what the six year requirement actually means: six years of marriage to anyone who is a Portuguese national now, or six years of marriage to someone who was a Portuguese national all along? Like the OP I’m at the beginning of the GV process so it will be a good six years before I get citizenship. Once I do, will my wife immediately qualify for citizenship too because I’m now a Portuguese citizen, and she’s been married to me for six years? Or will she have to wait another six, until she has been married to the Portuguese version of me for that long?

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My situation is semi-related and hoping to get some insight too - I got married a year or so after applying for the GV, and therefore although I added her on the application, it wasn’t at the initial stage. Does anyone have insight as to whether these types of family reunification visas are subject to the same extreme timelines as main ARI visas, or are they processed more reasonably? My biometrics appointment came up in March without any sign of hers yet, so that has me wondering.

My daughter was added 3 months after my primary application. She was pre-approved same time as me, but she appears to have been invited for biometrics roughly in line with chronological order of date of application - about 6 months after I was invited.

Thanks for the info.