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Nationality Law

Attribution of Nationality

Attribution of Portuguese Nationality of those born abroad

Portugal follows the principle of "ius sanguinis", right from blood.  Therefore Nationality is passed on from the ancestors.

The applicant, as a key requirement, should be alive to be able to declare that he or she wants to be a Portuguese citizen.

Entitlement to Portuguese nationality under article 1 al C ) of the Nationality Law 37/81 of 3 October:

  • The children of a Portuguese mother or a Portuguese father born abroad, if they have their birth registered in the Portuguese civil registration or if they declare that it is their wish to be Portuguese
  • Individuals born in Portuguese territory to foreign parents, if at least one parent was also born in Portugal and have residence in the country , regardless of title, or the time of birth
  • Individuals born in Portuguese territory, children of foreigners, who are not at the service of the country, if they declare that they want to be Portuguese and provided that, at birth, one of the parents has been legally in the country for at least five years
  • Individuals born in Portuguese territory who at the time of birth do not possess any other nationality

Ensuring the Right to future generations

The absence of some elements may condition the right to nationality, such as the establishment of affiliation, which in many cases must be proven.

A preliminary analysis of the case is important  in order to check that the case is viable and within the law requirements, thus ensuring future generations, also born abroad, the right to Nationality .

It is compulsory to keep up to date all civil acts of an individual that has been granted Portuguese Nationality. These are binding acts with stakeholders as well as their descendants, in accordance with Article 1 of the Code of Civil Registration, such as marriage and death.

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