Practical conditions required to naturalize via Golden Visa

hi chris j
Maybe my Chinese intermediary got backward information and did not have a thorough understanding of legal research. For example, after he sent me the above international law content, I believed it for a while, so some people interpreted the content of the above nationality law as that anyone who needs to be naturalized needs to be related to Portugal. When such wrong information is spread in a closed community, it is easy for some people in the community to have wrong interpretation of it. In essence, I think they have not done their job well and have not cooperated with lawyers to study the law

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I am not sure if I would call it “live” lol You need to be in Portuguese territory for 7 days per year on average. When I got the GV, the requirement was 7 days in year1, 14 days in years 2-3, and 14 days in years 4-5. You can fulfill the requirement in 1 trip or in several trips during the required period. I think that the periods have changed, but they probably still average out to 7 days per year (when my GV was granted, it was good for only 1 year and I had to renew it every 2 years. Now, I heard that the visa is good for 3 years?). After you fulfill your 5 year residency requirement, you can apply for naturalization. You need to remain as a resident until naturalization is granted, but I think that it doesn’t matter what type of residency (e.g. GV, temporary, permanent resident). Only GV allows you to remain as a legal resident even though you only spend 7 days a year in Portugal. The other residency programs, I believe, have much longer stay requirements. Good luck!


Thank you, SCK

That will completely solve the problem of this title, and it is enough to meet the residence period of 7 days. If GV can have a 3-year deadline, I think it will save the cost of renewal
The information you provide is very valuable and useful, and have a good years, not a day

Hmm… I did a quick internet search and it seems that the change is that the first GV is valid for 2 years instead of 1. The renewed GV seem to be good for 2 years as well (same as before). In terms of costs, I don’t think that you save any money with these changes because you still need to apply once and renew twice to maintain residency for 5 years. In fact, fees are continuously increasing :frowning:

Depends if the time to naturalization starts from application date, or card date

Thread here has details and discussion. I’m optimistic, personally

Yes, you’re right. At the moment, it seems that the law has yet to be ratified? It only seems fair because the approval that should take max. 90 days has been taking years!

Hi sck,

Thanks for sharing this useful information.

May I ask for the letter which proves 5-year residency, does 35 days count too or as long as you complete the 5 years of residency is fine? My situation is that I received my 1st GV card in 2016, valid from 2016 - 2017, 2nd from 2018 - 2019, 3rd from 2019 - 2021, and 4th from 2023 - 2025. However, due to covid-19, lockdown and everything, I did not go to Portugal since 2019 and did not renew my GV card, therefore there is a gap between 2021 - 2023. Last year, I instructed a lawyer to renew it online and it was successful. I don’t know if 35 days matter for citizenship application cus obviously, I didn’t fulfil 35 days even though I have 5 years of legal residency… And how long did it take to get the letter from AIMA?


First of all, thanks for your sharing infos and huge congratz to you.
There are two ways for counting 5 years residency

  • First way: 5 years residency can be counted by all resident cards. Total times of those cards add up to five years is counted as 5 years residency. Nothing else is needed.

  • Second way: 5 years residency by “contagem do tempo”. Let’s say some one has only two cards and been living in Portugal full time since 2019. The first card is 2019-2021 and the 2nd card is 2023-2025. The interrupted time between 2021-2023 was “residency extension” by AIMA. One could go to AIMA and apply for a certificate called “contagem do tempo” certifying that he has been living in PT 2019 and up to the point of applying this document he has the valid resident card and has completed 5 years residency.

For your case, you have 4 cards with total times of 6 years (1+1+2+1) and up to 2024 you have completed 5 years residency. All perfect to me. I cannot see any chance of being denied in applying for citizenship or PR.

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Hi, if you have a lawyer, I think that it will be best if you ask him/her. I am not an expert and can only speak from my experience. I wouldn’t want to give you wrong information. Note that in my case, even though 1 of my cards was extended automatically without submitting any documents due to COVID, I made sure that I fulfilled my 14 days per 2 year’s requirements. I am not sure if AIMA actually checks your Schengen/Portugal entry/departure records before issuing the letter or whether having a valid residency card is sufficient.

The letter from AIMA took me 2 weeks to get back in Jan. 2024. My lawyer had to request an appointment by email. She got a confirmation a few days later for an appointment a bit over a week away. She requested the letter during the appointment and got it by mail, I believe, a few days later. She sent me a scanned copy soon after.

Good luck!


Hi sck,

Thank you for your helpful information.

I have consulted several law companies, some said the letter from AIMA is needed and some said no. They told me it takes 3 months on average to get the letter…

Could you please recommend the lawyer who helped you with this process?


Hi, Feli.

I also got 2 different POVs. I made the decision to get the certificate from AIMA, not my lawyer. One lawyer said that photocopies of my 3 residency cards were sufficient to prove 5 years of residence. Another told me that I needed to get a “CERTIDÃO CONTAGEM DO TEMPO.” Since 2 of my cards were renewed without proper submission of documentation (boarding passes, receipts, etc. that proved my 7 days/year stays in PT) due to COVID and the backlog in SEF, I opted to play it safe and not take chances delaying the approval of my citizenship by having to get a letter from SEF/AIMA.

Honestly, I don’t think that the lawyer made a difference getting the appointment/letter quickly. Just like with card renewals, I think that I lucked out.

However, I do know that my lawyer got the appointment my emailing as well as and by sending a letter to Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, 20, 1069-119 Lisboa. I am not sure if the dir.lisboa email address is just for lawyers, but I think that the emails made the difference.

FYI, I had issues with my lawyer so I am using a different lawyer for citizenship. My last GV card renewal was made online. It would not have happened had it not been for the info and advice that I was given in this site. Good luck!

我2021年申请GV从北京移民到葡萄牙,现居住在Porto. 如果能在这里居住,最好办D7,速度快,成本低。国内移民中介坑太多!

At present, I can’t stay in Portugal for a long time while working in China, and the 7-day residence period with the golden visa is more suitable for me. I envy you for living in Portugal for a long time, is the residence requirement of D7 too long?

亲,D7好像类似与养老签证我之前有过一点了解 ,好像不是特别适合我,不知道你是准备最终以拿绿卡或护照的目标办理,还是只是为了方便过去生活,国内移民中介确实比较坑,但好像除此之外没有更好的选择了,只能说从一群大坑中挑一个比较小的坑了