Portuguese Passport: How To Get It Guide

If you’re considering a second passport and don’t want to give up your citizenship then the Portuguese passport 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 from across the world. 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. 

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

Getting a Portugal 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 EU country, a member of the European Union (EU) and Schengen area, a Portuguese passport gives you the opportunity to travel freely when entering Portugal, alongside being able to travel around Europe freely and live, work and study anywhere within the EU, European Economic Area, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 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 vote, live, access to healthcare, 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 Portuguese passport. 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 Portugal 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 countries trave to over 186 countries with the Portuguese passport Visa-free countries trave to over 186 countries with the Portuguese passport
Free access to quality healthcare Free access to quality healthcare
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 healthcare 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.
  • Portuguese citizenship for life: Your Portuguese passport will be yours for life, one of the ultimate benefits.

Portugal passport power

A Portuguese passport grants you visa free access to 172 countries, placing the passport sixth in terms of travel freedom. In other words, this passport is extremely strong to possess.

Passport cost

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

There’s also the possibility of buying a passport by making an investment in the country. Known as the Portugal Golden Visa or Portuguese Passport by Investment Program, for a €500K property purchase or a venture capital fund investment of €350K, you can get residency in 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:

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

Another 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, then 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, then 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 for becoming 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 six years living in the country in order to be eligible for a passport.

First, you must apply for the Portuguese passport by investment scheme (also known as the Portugal Golden Visa). You can choose from a number of investment routes including:

Buying a property anywhere in Portugal at the minimum value of €500K Buying a property anywhere in Portugal at the minimum value of €500K
Investing in venture capital funds costing at least €350K Investing in venture capital funds costing at least €350K
Investing at least €280K in a rehabilitation project Investing at least €280K in a rehabilitation project

Additional requirements

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

For more information, check out our Golden Visa Portugal 2021 ultimate guide.

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 request of the applicant, 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 with achieving 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 Portugal passport depends on what your personal situation is. Generally speaking, you can either get a passport by marriage, a passport by descent, or a passport by investment.

How much does a Portugul passport cost?

If you’re applying for a passport from within Portugal, it costs just €65. If you’re applying abroad, then anywhere from €100 and above.

How do I apply for a passport online?

To apply for a Portugal passport online, also known as the Portuguese electronic passport, you can do so at the passport bureau in Lisbon airport or Porto airport, or at 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’re getting a new one because the previous one was stolen.

Can I buy a Portugal passport?

You can buy a passport in Portugal by making a qualifying investment in the nation, usually in real estate. Increasingly though, people are opting to rehabilitate old buildings at the value of €280K, or are investing in funds to the value of €350K, and as such, can get a Portuguese passport after six years.

What are the documents required to apply for Portuguese citizenship?

The documents required to apply for a passport include your birth certificate, a criminal record certificate, proof of identity, and proof of having resided in the country for six years, of which, one of the years you were a permanent resident.

What are the advantages of owning a passport from Portugal?

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 European Union (EU). A Portugal passport means you have free access to excellent healthcare and public schooling in the country. To top it off, you can enjoy a favorable tax regime in the country.

Portugal also allows for dual citizenship, so you won’t have to relinquish your previous passport from your home country. When you travel to Portugal, you can just 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?

Getting the passport only takes around five business days. However, to be eligible for the passport by citizenship through investment, it takes six years to obtain the passport.

How to renew a Portugal passport?

The standard Portuguese passport validity is for 5 years. You can apply for a replacement passport if it is due to expire within 6 months. However, it’s not possible to renew your passport once it has expired so keep an eye on the expiry date. In this case, you must make a fresh application for a new passport and go through the same process as you went through initially. You will need to have a valid passport when traveling.

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

What is the Portugal passport power?

A passport from Portugal is very strong. 

In Global Citizen Solutions’ pioneering Global Passport Index, Portugal ranks in 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 Solution’s Global Passport Index can be found here. 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. 

What are the benefits of a Portuguese passport?

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.

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.