Portuguese Citizenship application after 5 years of Golden Visa

I have heard mentions of this, but it’s unclear to me how serious those discussions are, or if they are even ongoing at this moment. Even if it’s being seriously discussed I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a possible future implementation—especially since you’re already at the 5 year mark.

Instead study some Portuguese and take the A2 test somewhere outside Portugal (you’ll have to look up the test schedules for test centers in cities near you). It’s generally much easier to pass the test outside Portugal than if you take the test in Portugal.

that reference in Belion’s website is of a general nature (you need to understand that there are many routes that may lead to citizenship). In your case, citizenship would not depend on owning or renting a property for 3 years.

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Hi @Kingo.
I hope you are fine.

In Portugal we have two diferent laws which regulate the Portuguese citizenship applications.
One is the portuguese citizenship law and the portuguese citizenship regulation.

According to tportuguese citizenship law (article 6.º http://www.pgdlisboa.pt/leis/lei_mostra_articulado.php?nid=614&tabela=leis) you need to fulfill the following :

a. Be older than 18 years;
b. Be a legal resident of Portugal for at least 5 years ( Which you proof through the addition of your Golden Visa residence permits validity. Your lawyer may get a certificate from SEF which proofs this.);
c. Know the portuguese language (Pass the A2 exam as refered by @tkrunning above);
d. Not have been sentenced for a crime with a punishment of 3 years or more.

Besides those, there is a subjective requirement previewed in the portuguese citizenship regulation (http://www.pgdlisboa.pt/leis/lei_mostra_articulado.php?nid=895&tabela=leis&so_miolo=).
This regulation was not yet updated with the legal time frame of 5 years. It still states 6 years (article 19.º 2 b).
Article 56.º 2 a) states that the responsable entity may oppose itself to your citizenship application if there is a absence of an effective connection to the national community.

e. Connection to the national community; ( This is a very subjective requirement in which all connections with Portugal count (ex: flights to Portugal, the prove you used to renew your Golden Visa residence permits, portuguese tax identification numbers, public health insurance (SNS), portuguese bank account, the Golden Visa residence permit itself, etc…). There is no magic formula to comply with this requirement. It is subjectively decided by the competent entity.

Owning property for some time would count as additional connection with the country ( Owner of property, utility bills, tax return in Portugal over income generated by that property, etc…).

Answer: According to law there is no need for a permanente residency to be able to apply for the Portuguese Citizenship. But as the portuguese citizenship regulation was not yet updated, the request for citizenship is still made after 6 years, instead of 5 years how they preview to regulate in the next months/years when updating the portuguese citizenship regulation.



Alexander, thanks for the thorough answer and explanation.

Thank you very much for all the answers guide. great from you

Thank you so much Alexander for the valuable explanation. :pray:

Hi Alexander
thanks again

so, since I am residing outside Portugal, and have reached till now 5,5 year (12/2104) is to get the level A2 Portuguese language to apply for the PT citizenship. No need for renting or owning property, and no need of permanent residence permit ( something i would avoid for a fiscal matters)

NB: GV was granted following an investment. So i’m not holding a real estate investment ( no ownership and not renting)

my best

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Hmmm, I would highly doubt that you could get citizenship while not living in Portugal.

That would seem like a rather strange thing for a country to allow.

Regarding supporting documents,

Is it highly recommended to get a police certicate from my place of nationality, even if I have been there for less than 2 weeks in the past 10 years, and less than 3 months in my entire lifetime?

Problem is my place of nationality takes about 4-6 months to have police certificate requested from outside of the country… in the best case.

While I have a copy of my birth certificate, or maybe even the original from ages ago.

Am I still requried or recommended to get a new birth certificate issued for myself? my lawyer mentioned this but it doesn’t make anysense to me.
I have a copy
Not to mention it will be probably impossible to get due to how unorganized the bureaucracy is in the country I was born in. It would have to be done probably from within that country, and given COVID-19 restrictions it would be very difficult for me to get there, and I might not even get it all anyways if I did.

Hello Alexander,
Your Post regarding the citizenship is excellent. I do have a question, assuming one does satisfy the subjective requirements, can one apply for citizenship after 5 years of temporary stay in Portugal?

Thank you for your time.

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In practical terms i have seen applications made with only 5 years of legal residence.

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I truly appreciate your quick reply. I do have another question, to which I am not receiving satisfactory responses.

Does shifting from D7 to a golden visa reset the time needed to get permanent residency? I did answer this

Shifting from D7 to GV

but I am not certain about it . I welcome your comments on this matter. Thank you for your time

I dont see a problem.
The law requests legal residency for 5 years.
It does not really matter on which type of residency you are on, to be able to apply for it.

Thank you . Apologies if I am repeating myself. I am hung up on this is because it says

“Titularidade de autorização de residência temporária há pelo menos 5 anos”

but it is stops short of specifying whether it needs to be the same autorizacao or a different one will also qualify. Is there a possibility SEF will interpret this differently or the law is clear on this? If possible, any other link to what the law actually says will be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,

The 5 years of legal residence are counted according to the validity (time) of your valid residence permits. You add all the time in which your residence permits were valid.
According to the law it is clear that you need 5 years of legal residence to apply fo the citizenship.
Yes, there is a possibility that SEF will interpret this differently even if the law states it in this way. Sometimes SEF does not respect the law. For example the legal timeline to issue a Golden Visa residence permit is 90 days, but they may take up to 8 month…

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Some real useful info in this thread. I have a question from the lawyers in the thread: So if we meet all the requirements(including connection to national community) for citizenship and since we can apply for citizenship after 5 years according to the new rule, then that means you don’t really have to stay in the country(I mean after the 5 years of GV investment period) in order to obtain the passport correct? Am I missing something here?

Also, this subjective rule of “connection to national community”, how subjective is this? Do most people meet the requirement?

The golden visa has specific time in country requirements, which average out to only like a week a year.

Yes I understand that its 7 days per year on an average for the 5 year period of investment. I was specifically asking for the time period after the 5 year mark until you receive your passport. is it still the same, 7 days?

I assume once you get citizenship you can do whatever you want.

No, i think what he means is what is requirement between year 5 and when you obtain citizenship.

You have the option to pay more money to SEF and you can continue the GV incrementally.
Otherwise, you can apply for PERM residency which means you do have stay requirement,
or you can apply for citizenship and there is NO stay requirement.