Path to citizenship after 5 years on GV

I was wondering what are steps towards obtaining citizenship after completing 5 years on ARI GV.

Do we need to move to Portugal and reside in the country during the citizenship application process?
Do we need to apply for permanent residence permit before applying for citizenship ?


Once you hit the 5 year mark you can directly apply for citizenship assuming you have your A2 language requirement completed. You do not need to move there as you’re GV will still be valid for an additional year but you have to continue to meet the requirements of the GV (7 days/year).

Has anyone on this forum gotten citizenship via Portuguese golden visa, know of someone who did and/or have any statistical information?

Is the citizenship process as protracted as the golden visa itself so one would realistically expect a 9 to 10 year timeline actually?

I’ve met two families who have obtained PT passports this way. The most recent was received earlier this year. I don’t know when the other obtained, just that they did.
I don’t have any other stats

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That’s great to know! This is the first time I find such confirmation even indirectly. Any idea how long it took them and where they are from?

The one completed earlier this year was around 6 years from application to picking up the passport. However, I don’t think you can use that as a guide how long it will take for applications in process today. Just simply that the process does work.
I don’t want to identify countires but not USA or other major origination counties.

Any idea whether they actually lived in Portugal? On paper perhaps the main advantage of the Portuguese program is the minimal residence requirement. I applied for the golden visa, but don’t actually plan to live there at least for now. I wonder if they approve people that have only satisfied the residency requirements as stipulated as long as the language test is passed.

Neither live in PT.
I met one while picking up their passports in Lisbon this year with a mutual friend.
The other on holiday with a group of friends when they found out I’ve applied for a GV ( and live in Lisbon)

Thanks All. Great data points.

Hi everyone, any recommendations of a Lisbon based solicitor (and not a lawyer that costs an arm and a leg) to apply for Portuguese citizenship through naturalisation (5 years residency) thanks!

When you move away from the GV specific lawyers, the prices do drop significantly… Sent you a DM with one such law firm dedicated to Nationality and reunification only.


Portugal to Consider Changes on Time Required to Obtain Citizenship This September

Also discussed here earlier:

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Dear all,

I completed the 5 year mark and have applied for the citizenship just recently. As you might have already heard, the citizenship application is trackable online, however I am yet to receive the tracking number. I was told by a friend that it can take up to 1.5-2 months to get the online tracking number. Thanks to few friends here and outside of this forum I was told that there are seven stages in the citizenship application which I provided below. I am yet to gain visibility of that… The current expected completion time is 18-24 months, though my lawyers are citing that 24 months as a more realistic timeline; pre-Covid it is said to take 12 months.

I hope to keep you posted , what I also heard is the first three steps take almost 80% of total duration and once you are at stage 4, things progress quicker. The last step two steps anyway seems to be just the delivery (of passport, if the application is approved) and formal closure of the application.

  1. Received
  2. Registered
  3. Waiting for external consultations
  4. Verification of documents
  5. Analysis of the application
  6. Dispatch
  7. Completed

Congratulations! Wishing you well, with no delays, along this journey!

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That’s great to hear. Is there any biometric requirement or physical interview to be had during the citizenship application proces? Or you or your lawyer could wholly do it online without your actual presence in the country?

Did you already have your A2 exam certificate in hand too?

Congrats, do you mind sharing by pm the contact number of the lawyer you used to submit your application? I’m in the same boat…

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Hi again, thanks for your good wishes let me respond to incoming questions including some questions raised via direct message;

  1. Yes, I did have a A2 level language proficiency in hand, I am not 100% sure if you can submit the application without it (so that you don’t fall back in que while waiting for the certificate) and then submit it later on - something that you may want to check with the lawyers
  2. Yes I do work with a law firm - Legal Square, in a dedicated discussion thread, I’ve already mentioned my experience; while they can’t do miracles (e.g. I had hard time securing my last renewal appointment like everyone else) overall I am happy with them as they’ve been very responsive and provided right direction. I’ve been working with them since 2017 without interruption so this is my genuine reflection of their work.
  3. Good news, you don’t have to be present there for the submission, as long as you provide the power of attorney your lawyers can apply on your behalf, online - surprising right :slight_smile: I was equally surprised!
  4. No interview whatsoever :slight_smile:
  5. The required documents were;
  • criminal record (apostilled)
  • birth certificate(apostilled)
  • A2 language certificate
  • power of attorney, signed (scanned)
  • scanned copy of passport
  • valid residency permit

There are also few documents that were taken care of, e.g. proof of legal residency.
I also have a numero de utente (national healthcare number) that I had obtained via sending an email to the local medical center during Covid; there is a post in which I provided the info on how I got it

  1. In reality once I had the A2 certificate, the only other documents that I had to really get were apostilled criminal record and the birth certificate. I’ve been lucky in this sense as I could get documents, have them translated into Portuguese and then apostilled within 5-6 hours; I know this might sound unreal for some - in my case being able to get documents through a centralized e-governance platform from the local district directorate and having notaries and translators within 5-10 minutes of walking distance to each other helped. I did have them translated into Portuguese directly.

  2. As my last residency card is still valid I didn’t need to apply for PR - this could only happen due to extensions provided to residency cards during Covid… Yet I expect to apply for PR if my application is not finalized by then…

Hope these help, feel free to reach me out should you have more questions.
All the best and wish everyone a smooth and fast process in their applications.


Hi Mr. E. Thanks for sharing the details of our experience. I didn’t even think about using a POA to have them submit on your behalf and super helpful.

Mr. E, Thank you for such detailed response on practically everything. Just one more question, from how many countries did you need to get the criminal certificates? As it mentions to get them from country of birth, citizenship and all other countries where you resided after 16 years of age?