Portuguese Passport: How To Get It Guide

If you’re considering a second passport and don’t want to give up your citizenship, then a golden passport in Portugal is an excellent option for expat families.

Famed for its long stretch of Atlantic coastline, endless sunshine, and delicious cuisine, Portugal is increasingly the ‘it’ destination for expat families looking for a European passport.

If you visit Portugal, you’ll quickly understand why this country has established such popularity with expats worldwide. And, since Portugal recognizes dual citizenship, it’s perfectly possible to obtain a passport and call this nation home.

Indeed, the fact that Portugal recognizes dual citizenship is one of the many advantages, as you will not be required to relinquish your previous passport (provided your home nation allows dual citizenship).

Learn more about how to apply for this lucrative passport and enjoy the many benefits associated with Portuguese citizenship.

Obtaining a Portuguese Passport

A Portuguese passport (PEP) is issued to citizens of Portugal for the purpose of international travel and free movement within the European Union (EU).

As a European country, a member of the EU, and the Schengen Area, a Portuguese passport gives you the opportunity to travel freely when entering Portugal, alongside being able to travel around Europe and live, work and study anywhere within the EU, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland. European citizens have many work and travel benefits open to them.

By being a citizen in Portugal, you’re afforded all the rights that come with being a national, including the right to live in the country, to vote, and have access to health care and quality schooling in the country.

It’s important to note that citizens of Portugal aren’t obliged to own a passport. You can apply for the Portuguese Citizen Card as a general identity document. This document is beneficial for international travel around Europe.

Portugal also permits dual citizenship, which means that you can maintain your home country’s passport when securing a passport in Portugal. To make a request, you must have lived lawfully in Portugal for five years, been born in Portugal, have Portuguese parents or grandparents, or be married to a Portuguese national.

Benefits of Having a Portuguese Passport

There are numerous benefits of having a passport in Portugal. These include:

Portuguese citizenship for life Portuguese citizenship for life
The right to travel, live, work and study anywhere in the EU The right to travel, live, work and study anywhere in the EU
Visa-free travel to over 172 countries with the Portuguese passport Visa-free travel to over 172 countries with the Portuguese passport
Free access to quality health care Free access to quality health care
Free access to quality schooling Free access to quality schooling
Fantastic quality of life Fantastic quality of life
  • The right to travel, live, work and study anywhere in the EU: You can move freely across the Schengen zone without the need for a Schengen Visa. Since Portugal is an EU member, you have the right to live, work, and study in any of the 27 countries in the EU.
  • Free access to quality schooling: Enjoy free education in some of the world’s best institutions and enjoy the government-sponsored health care programs that offer coverage across Europe.
  • Excellent quality of life: Portugal truly is a wonderful place to live. The climate, safe environment, and excellent Mediterranean cuisine are just a few examples.
  • Employment opportunities: Enjoy full or part-time employment without an additional work permit required.
  • Low living costs: Portugal is a relatively affordable country compared to its European neighbors.

Portugal’s Passport Power

A Portuguese passport grants visa-free access to 172 countries. In Global Citizen Solutions’ Global Passport Index, Portugal ranks in the 30th position. In other words, this passport is extremely strong to possess.

Passport Cost

In general, the passport costs just €65 to obtain if you are applying for Portuguese citizenship in the national territory. If you are, for example, in the United States, then the passport costs around €100 to obtain.

There’s also the possibility to secure citizenship, and therefore a golden passport in Portugal, by making an investment in the country.

Known as the Portugal Golden Visa, for a €500,000 property purchase or a venture capital fund investment of €500,000, you can get residency in Portugal. Note that for residential property investments, the property must be located in a designated interior area of Portugal.

After five years of holding your respective investment, you are eligible for Portuguese citizenship (more info below).

Portuguese Passports | GCS

Portuguese passport requirements

The requirements depend upon which path you choose to take for Portuguese citizenship. If you are a foreign resident who wants to become a citizen of Portugal, you must have resided in Portugal for five years. However, this is reduced to three years for foreign citizens who have been married or have been in a legal partnership with a Portuguese national for three years.

Besides this, the requirements include the following:

  • At least A2 level in the Portuguese language
  • Clean health record
  • Criminal record certified by SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Border Service)
  • Evidence of residency in Portugal

As mentioned, a Portuguese passport requirement is for you to pass the Portuguese language test, as well as pass a detailed criminal background check.

The government of Portugal developed the CIPLE exam in 2006 to test the candidates’ capacity to understand and apply common Portuguese phrases. If you’re already familiar with European languages, it’s not too difficult, but it might be difficult for native English speakers.

Keep in mind that if your spouse is Portuguese, you may be able to obtain a passport after three years of marriage. There is no residency requirement for this route.

How to Apply for a Portuguese Passport

How to apply for a Portuguese passport depends on your personal situation. For example, if you have a Portuguese parent or grandparent, it’s much easier to secure a Portuguese passport than having no blood relatives in the country. Moreover, if your ancestors are Sephardic Jews who fled the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition period, you are also eligible for a Jewish Portuguese passport.

Generally speaking, for expats, the most common routes to Portuguese citizenship are listed below.

1. Portuguese passport through marriage

A Portuguese passport through marriage is a common way to obtain citizenship. You must be married for at least three years to a Portuguese citizen or cohabit with your partner. There is no need to have resided previously in Portugal, although you must provide documents proving your union and connection to the Portuguese community.

2. Portuguese citizen by descent

You must have a parent or grandparent that’s Portuguese in order to be eligible to become a Portuguese national by descent.

3. Portuguese passport by investment

The Portuguese passport by investment initiative grants qualifying investors with passports, provided that they invest in the country and maintain the respective investment for at least five years. The citizenship process is also known as naturalization as a Portuguese citizen because the person must spend at least five years living in the country to be eligible for a passport.

First, you must apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa. You can choose from a number of investment routes, including:

Buying a residential property in a designated interior area of Portugal at the minimum value of €500,000 or a commercial property anywhere in the country Buying a residential property in a designated interior area of Portugal at the minimum value of €500,000 or a commercial property anywhere in the country
Investing in venture capital funds costing at least €500,000 Investing in venture capital funds costing at least €500,000
Investing at least €350,000 in a property rehabilitation project, which is reduced to €280,000, if located in a low-density area Investing at least €350,000 in a property rehabilitation project, which is reduced to €280,000, if located in a low-density area

Additional requirements

  • You must obtain a criminal record certificate issued by SEF, proving you have been a legal resident in Portugal for at least five years.
  • You must present proof of sufficient knowledge of the language.
  • You will be required to provide details of your current Portuguese residency and have your unique tax identification number (NIF) in Portugal.

For more information, check out our Golden Visa Portugal 2022 ultimate guide.

Where to apply for a Portuguese passport

You can apply for a Portuguese passport at the following:

  • Insituto dos Registos e do Notariado (IRN) offices
  • Autonomous regional governments of the islands of Madeira and the Azores
  • Passport shops at the airports in Lisbon and Porto
  • A Portuguese Embassy or Portuguese Consulate in your area of residence if you are not in Portugal

Portuguese passport renewal

Your Portuguese passport can be renewed once its validity expires or within the period six months before the date that your passport expires.

You will need to bring with you the following documents:

  • Your original, valid Bilhete de Identidade (identity card)
  • Cartão de Cidadão (citizen card)
  • Your original passport (for renewal)

Take a look at our Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide by local experts

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Portuguese Passport Processing Time

Once all the required paperwork is submitted, the Portuguese passport processing time usually takes five business days. In urgent cases, and at the applicant’s request, the passport processing time can be fast-tracked to two working business days for an additional fee.

 

Global Citizen Solutions: How We Can Help

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique investment migration consultancy firm focused on finding the perfect residency or citizenship by investment program for individuals wishing to secure their future and become global citizens. Please get in touch to discuss how we can help you achieve your citizenship or residency goals.

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Portuguese Passport

How to get a passport in Portugal?

Getting a Portuguese passport depends on your situation. Generally speaking, you can either get a passport by marriage, a passport by descent, or a passport by investment.

How much does a Portuguese passport cost?

If you’re applying for a passport from within Portugal, it costs just €65. If you’re applying abroad, then it can cost €100 or more.

How do I apply for a passport online?

To apply for a Portuguese passport online, also known as the Portuguese electronic passport, you can do so at the passport bureau in Lisbon airport or Porto airport or the Portuguese Consulate or local Portuguese Embassy located in your area. The Portuguese Consulate or Portuguese Embassy close to you is probably the easiest option open to you.

How much is the passport renewal fee?

The Portuguese passport renewal fee starts from €100 and costs more if you are getting a new one because the previous one was stolen.

Can I buy a Portuguese passport?

No, you cannot buy a Portuguese passport. You can obtain a passport in Portugal by making a qualifying investment in the nation, usually in real estate, through the Portugal Golden Visa program. You will need to hold your investment for five years and fulfill all the requirements under Portuguese nationality law.

Increasingly though, people are opting to rehabilitate old buildings at the value of €350,000 or are investing in funds to the value of €500,000, and as such, can get a Portuguese passport after five years.

What are the documents required to apply for Portuguese citizenship?

If you are a resident of Portugal, you will need to have spent five years in the county. Following this, you can apply for a permanent residence permit and Portuguese citizenship.

You will also need to present the following:

  • At least A2 level in the Portuguese language
  • Clean health record
  • Criminal record certified by SEF
  • Portuguese residency evidence

In order to obtain Portuguese citizenship, you will need to pass a simple A2 test. The Portuguese government created the CIPLE exam in 2006, which tests the applicant on their ability to understand everyday Portuguese expressions.

What are the advantages of owning a passport from Portugal?

According to the Global Citizen Solutions Global Passport Index, the Portuguese passport is number 30, allowing free travel across 172 countries. With a very high mobility score, it is one of the most attractive passports in the world.

If you get a Portuguese passport, there are many advantages, including the right to enjoy full citizenship status in the country and travel, work, and live freely anywhere within the EU. A Portuguese passport means you have free access to excellent health care and public schooling in the country. To top it off, you can enjoy a favorable tax regime.

Portugal also allows for dual citizenship, so you won’t have to relinquish your previous passport from your home country (as long as your home country also allows dual citizenship). When you travel to Portugal, you can show your Portuguese passport when you are entering Portugal, whether it is mainland Portugal or the autonomous islands of Madiera and the Azores, and face no issues with visa requirements.

How long does it take to obtain a passport from Portugal?

Passports are issued in Portugal and usually take five business days if all the documents required are correct. If necessary, there is a fast-track option of two business days. Obviously, armed with a Portuguese EU passport, you can enter Portugal whenever you want, and, as EU citizens, you can live, work, and study across the European Union.

How do you renew a Portuguese passport?

The standard Portuguese passport validity is for five years. You can apply for a replacement passport if it is due to expire within six months.

Note that, generally speaking, you will get a Portuguese electronic passport. This comprises all the data that is needed to identify Portuguese citizens who travel out of the European Union and to any Schengen country. Only in exceptional cases of great urgency may a temporary passport that is not electric be issued.

What is Portugal’s passport power?

A passport from Portugal is very strong. In Global Citizen Solutions’ pioneering Global Passport Index, Portugal ranks in the 30th position. This takes into account enhanced mobility, investment opportunities, and quality of life indicators.

Which countries can I travel to with a Portuguese passport?

If you get a Portuguese passport, you have visa free-access to 172 countries, showing that Portuguese citizenship has many mobility benefits. This obviously includes being able to travel to Portugal for however long you want.

More details can be found about Portugal’s performance in Global Citizen Solutions Global Passport Index. Once you get a Portuguese passport, you have excellent mobility, including free movement across the EU and other Schengen countries and easy movement to the USA and Canada.

Who is eligible for a Portuguese passport?

You can apply for a Portuguese passport after obtaining Portuguese citizenship and having lived in Portugal for at least five years. With a Portuguese passport, you can enter Portugal whenever you choose and when you exit Portugal, you will have visa-free access to 172 countries.

How do I get a golden passport in Portugal?

There are many ways to secure the golden passport in Portugal, by descent, marriage, or naturalization. Also, the Portuguese Golden Visa program allows individuals and their family members to indirectly obtain a golden passport in Portugal.

You will be granted residency, and as long as you hold your investment for five years and fulfill all the requirements under Portuguese nationality law, you can then apply for citizenship and obtain a golden Portuguese passport.

What is the Portugal passport processing time?

Passports are issued in Portugal and usually take five business days if all the documents required are correct. If needed, there is a fast-track option of two business days. Obviously, armed with a Portuguese EU passport, you can enter Portugal whenever you want and, as EU citizens, you can live, work, and study across the European Union.

What are the Portuguese passport requirements?

If you are a resident of Portugal, you will need to have spent five years in the county. Following this, you can apply for a permanent residence permit, and subsequently, Portuguese citizenship.

You will also need to present the following:

  • At least A2 level in Portuguese language;
  • Clean health record;
  • Criminal record certified by SEF that also serves as proof of five years of having a residence permit in the country;
  • Portuguese residency evidence.

In order to obtain Portuguese citizenship, you will need to pass a simple A2 test. The Portuguese government created the CIPLE exam in 2006 which tests the applicant on their ability to understand everyday Portuguese expressions.