Why do you want Portuguese citizenship (if American)?

I’m curious as to why you would want Portuguese citizenship as an American via the GV, if you retain your American citizenship as well.

Remember there are other Portgueuse and other options in Europe if you live there as a residence for permanent residency and later citizenship. So why for you do you feel getting a Portgueuse GV as somone who doesn’t live there full time is valuable to you?

Not judging or criticizing I think this information would be valuable to many.

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I’m not seeking a GV. Won’t know if I’ll want Portuguese citizenship until I’m eligible.

For me, there are 2 advantages of dual citizenship. The first is being allowed to live in any other EU country after completing a simple process. The other is living in Portugal but not being limited to traveling only 90 days out of any 180 period in the other Schengen Area countries. Having permanent resident status in Portugal does not allow you to do either.


Sure, some EU countries allow long term visas for foreigners, but certainly not all. But those long term visas are conditioned on you residing there pretty much full time. Many of those visas do not allow you to work. Getting citizenship via that route requires you to live in that country for 5-10 years. The golden visa lets you get citizenship while still living in the US. With that citizenship in hand, I can live and work in any EU country and all i need to do is register in that country.


Agreed. It’s not automatic, and there are requirements to be met. The following quotes are from the law.
“Possibility to request the acquisition of Portuguese nationality, by naturalization, fulfilling the other requirements required by the Nationality Law (Law no. 37/81, of 3 October, with the current wording).”

Two of those requirements are:
"b) Residing legally in Portuguese territory for at least five years;
c) Know the Portuguese language sufficiently;"

Version 11 - the most recent version of the law (Organic Law No. 2/2020, of 10/11)
See Article 6 - Acquisition of nationality by naturalization

Site is in Portuguese. Chrome browser translates using Brazilian Portuguese. To use European Portuguese, go to Bing Microsoft Translator - Vertalen uit Engels. Paste the URL into the left hand box. Clicking on the URL in the right hand box opens the translated site in a new tab.

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I actually think long-term residency does allow that. There’s a cut-out in the Schengen agreements where long-term residents ( defined as > 5 yrs) are to be considered in great part as if they are citizens in terms of live-n-work arrangements. I don’t have chapter and verse on that but could go find it.

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Because while I might not want to live there now, I might want to someday. Just like someday I might want to stop being an AmCit. I’m not saying I want to, but wouldn’t it be nice to have the option to do so?


Portugal law has 2 definitions for long term residence status. Article 126 is about the EU long-term residency available in any EU country (except Ireland and Denmark). Article 80 is about the Portugal specific long-term residency. Nationals of non-EU countries living in Portugal can obtain either long-term residency. Portugal’s long-term permit does not grant you the same rights as the EU long-term permit. The first link in Article 126 (‘Long-term resident status’) is to a summary of the rules and rights in the EU law.

Site is in Portuguese. Chrome browser translates using Brazilian Portuguese.

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That’s a great point!!

Ok, I get what you’re saying.
From what I read of the relevant law, though, it would seem to me that SEF might/could/would grant long term resident status to a GV holder, because it is a long-term PT permit and the holder wouldn’t be excluded under the terms of article 125. It just depends on your definition of “residence”.

'course, getting citizenship seems like the more logical course in any event. :slight_smile:

While I’m not personally interested in an EU visa, I did just come across this info (link below). You may want to look into Malta, Greece or Latvia.

Agreed. I thought that part was obvious.

The whole point of the Portugal GV is being eligible to obtain citizenship with the least residence requirement in Europe. Greece (7 years to citizenship), Lativa or Spain (10 years) are much cheaper, why else would you want a Portuguese GV?

It isn’t an unreasonable expectation that you have some basic fluency in the primary language of the country if you want to be a citizen of the country. Otherwise it leads to other social issues that we see elsewhere around the globe.

In case you ever need to exit your country ASAP, the GV gives you a place to go where you will be admitted and allowed to stay.

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Exactly my original point. I was pointing to the fact the Portuguese GV has an advance over Greece and Lativa when citizenship is taken into account.

I had an awakening in the last four years that being an American is NOT being untouchable.
Travel restrictions do exist.
I want to have an exit plan just in case and it would not hurt having a European city to retire in, a nice apartment overseeing the river. :heart_eyes:


Thanks for this useful tidbit!

[Edited by moderator]
relating to Spain or to Spanish-speaking countries, especially those of Latin America.
a Spanish-speaking person living in the US, especially one of Latin American descent.

The answer to your question would be no, they can’t.

So with a GV , to become a citizen I need to reside in Portugal for five years to be eligible to apply?

In my communications with law firms they have all confirmed to me that I need to retain the investment until I hold permanent residency and I only need to stay 7 days every year.

They did mention that I will need to take an A2 level Portuguese language exam and I will have to pass it

Is this wrongful information?

Can someone who applied for Portuguese citizenship after obtaining GV update us on the actual requirements to apply for Portuguese citizenship?

Yes. Having a residence permit means you’re residing in Portugal. With a GV, residing requires being in Portugal 7 days a year.

Passing an A2 level test is required for the permanent permit and for citizenship. I’m guessing you don’t have to take it twice.

Requirements for citizenship are in Section III, Article 6. Site is in Portuguese. Chrome browser translates. ::: Lei n.º 37/81, de 03 de Outubro